What to do when you don’t know what to create.

Sometimes you wish you knew what to create when the urge hits you. You have the resources and the time, but you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

You come up with something brilliant and you get excited. Then you start judging yourself and the excitement wanes.

Your brain starts to overthink the idea and you tell yourself that you’re not creative enough. The idea dies before it even has a chance.

Let me tell you a little secret, you don’t have to have special talents or skills to be creative.  I used to think creatives were people who were artistic, musical, or exceptionally good at something.

I didn’t know that creativity could be applied to all areas of life and that you don’t need special skills or talents to be creative.

I learned that creativity comes in all shapes and sizes and happens every day and you may not even realize it.

I’m going to share with you what to do when you don’t know how to be creative and share some inspirational ideas to help you get started.

What to create when you don't know how to be creative.

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Anyone can create.

“Lack of resources is the mother of creativity.”

When I was in high school, I thought that the only creative people on campus were the ones in the thespian club, super intellectuals, and people who were really into music and art.

I carried this notion with me well into adulthood. It wasn’t until I started becoming more self aware and subsequently began practicing mindfulness that I realized that anyone can be creative.

Anyone can create. You don’t have to be an artist, musician, intellectual, or aspiring actress to be creative.

The light bulb moment came to me one day when I realized that we are most creative when we have a lack of resources.

There’s a saying in the Philippines about Filipino ingenuity. My husband loves to mention it any time we see people from there come up with ingenious contraptions that are made from spare parts.

From what I’ve observed, it’s not just ingenuity, it’s creativity.  This type of creativity goes against what we think of when we talk about being creative, or at least it did from my point of view.

But this type of creativity isn’t a phenomenon that is limited to the Philippines, it happens all the time. You are creative, too. In fact, you’re most likely creating something every day and you’re not even aware of it.

Everyday creativity.

Anyone can be creative at any time of day. Yes, even you. You may not even know you’re being creative when you’re in the middle of it.

Think of a time when you didn’t have enough materials for something and you had to make do with what you already had.

You needed to think outside of the box to pull off your task. When you did, you were pleasantly surprised at your results. That, my friend, is everyday creativity.

Creativity is not something that only special people have. You have it inside you too but you’re probably not aware of it or you’re holding yourself back from taking action.

You need to change your mindset about creativity if you want to be more creative. I’ll go over the ways you can do this so you’re not scratching your head over what to create the next time the urge strikes.

Changing your mindset about creativity.

One of the best ways to change your mindset about creativity is to practice mindfulness.

Practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening in the present moment. In Buddhism, mindfulness also helps to cultivate compassion within yourself and toward others.

Mindfulness can help you become more creative because it allows you to become aware of what is going on right in front of you.

When you’re more aware, you become more accepting. And when you’re more accepting, you’re better able to embrace your creativity. You’re also less likely to judge yourself and are more likely to take action as a result.

Mindfulness take time to hone and practice. The beauty of mindfulness is that there’s really no right or wrong way to do it.

I think this is why people get confused about mindfulness. Most people think that you have to sit and meditate in order to practice it. This is a common misconception. 

You don’t have to sit still to practice mindfulness. In fact, you can practice being mindful in your daily life while you’re doing your everyday activities, such as walking your dog, eating your breakfast, washing your dishes, or driving your car. 

Listen to your body.

Follow the signals that your body is giving off.  Your body can be a good indicator of what you want to create.

When an idea pops into your mind or you get inspiration from somewhere, become aware of what is going on in your body.

Does it make you feel like you’re floating on cloud nine? Or do you feel your insides churning in knots? 

Go with the sensation that feels right to you and then take action.

Be curious.

Ask questions and keep an open mind. Curiosity is a great way to explore new and old ideas and thoughts.

It allows you to experiment and play like you did when you were a kid. You might stumble across a long forgotten dream or discover a new way of doing things.

Stay curious and you won’t run out of creative ideas.

Pay careful attention.

When you pay close attention, you’re being aware of what is happening in the present moment without judging.

You’re allowing yourself to notice things without being carried away into a rabbit hole.

Paying attention is not scrolling, watching, or listening to whatever you want, such as famous celebrity memes or your best friend’s latest vacation posts.

Dr. Amishi Jha said that it matters what you pay attention to. In her book, “Peak Mind“, she stated that your brain is wired to be distracted and there may have been an evolutionary significance to this at some point, but not in the modern world.

There’s so much to distract your attention that it’s hard to focus it on your own creative endeavors.  But you can counteract this by increasing your attention, being more aware, and practicing mindfulness.

Pay attention to the little things in your life that you may have overlooked before. Chances are, they could be the things that spark your creativity.

Think outside of the box.

Creativity is not just about artistic, musical, or brainy activities. It can be about solving a problem, helping someone out, doing something meaningful, adding value to someone else’s life, or even making money in creative ways.

Sure you can try painting, music lessons, or taking a drama class, but what if you’re not into these things?

One way to find out is to write out all your creative ideas.  Grab a piece of paper and a pen and scribble all the ways you can create something.  Make a list of your values, beliefs, dreams, desires, and passions.

You can align them with your goals and start creating something. Then keep experimenting until you come up with ideas that will motivate you to take action.

Keep on trying.

If you’re afraid of failing it’s okay. You can be afraid but still take action. Your fear doesn’t have to stop you from creating.

Many successful people in the world have gotten to where they are at because they tried, failed, created new solutions, and tried again.

They didn’t stop because of their failures and you don’t have to either.  You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you try.

Ideas to spark your creativity.

The ideas that you come up with are the best ways to be more creative. However, even the most creative brains need a little bit of inspiration to get them going.

Here are some creative ideas that will hopefully get your creative juices flowing. 

  • Organize your bedroom.
  • Repurpose an old wooden mattress frame into a garden box.
  • Use the empty side of a printed piece of paper to write your grocery list
  • Make a slightly different version of your favorite dish.
  • Sell used clothing to save up for a vacation.
  • Trade services with someone to save money.
  • Build your own computer from scratch.
  • Write in a journal for 5 minutes a day without thinking or editing.
  • Draw or doodle in a notebook without judgment.
  • Sit still on a chair for 5 minutes and notice what comes up.
  • Take a different route on your daily walk.
  • Put together an unexpected outfit combination.
  • Salvage your favorite mug using kintsugi.
  • Wear your hair in a different style.
  • Rearrange your furniture.

The Takeaway.

Sometimes you get the urge to create but can’t figure out what to create to save your life. It’s enough to make you doubt and question if you’re creative enough.

Creativity isn’t something that only a few special people have. You’re being creative every day and you just don’t know it yet because we have a common misconception about creativity.

Being creative isn’t just about painting a picture, playing a piece of music, or having an intellectual conversation with your friends.

You’re being creative every day by coming up with solutions to your problems, especially when you don’t have all the materials you need at your disposal.

One way to cultivate your creativity is to practice being more mindful of what is going on around you in the present moment so you know what you like and you’re aware of what is holding you back.

When you become more aware of these things and accept them, then you can take action to create to your heart’s content.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Do you have any creative ideas that you want to share? Let me know in the comments!

Christine Songco is the creator of Third Bliss and is passionate about helping others thrive holistically by finding their purpose and living life with more authenticity and joy. Christine has been featured in WebMD, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, Philips Lifeline, Owl Guru, and The Lifestyle Blogger UK.

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