Escaping your comfort zone is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for your brain.

As children, we would jump outside our comfort zone through uninstructed play.

If we witnessed others being creative, this often-triggered new insights for us.

There was little association with the idea we were “getting out of our comfort zone” because intrinsically, children are healthy analysts.  

For many, we continued these habits throughout our life.

I’ve been painting for 20-years and selling my work quite well, but still, I consider myself a beginner.

I believe longevity and sustainability as an artist is only possible if you are heavily invested in being curious.

Having that mindset allows for continuous growth and new experience.

For some people, the curiosity drifts away, or they don’t actively seek it.

Then they arrive at a point in their life, feeling they have no creative outlet.

For some people, it feels like the world is stuck in their head.


What is a Creative Outlet?

The three primary areas to discover your creative outlet is through, play, practice, and experience.  

Ideally the real magic happens when ideas and innovation are not contrived or constricted.

Your creative outlet could be solving problems or actively using your imagination. It can also be inventing or translating ideas.


Why Do You Need A Creative Outlet?

Creativity encourages deep focus.

For example, when I am working on a particularly challenging painting, I call it concentrating into agony.  

Involving yourself in some form of creativity greatly reduces stress.

If your daily working environment is stifled with a lot of responsibility and pressure, tapping into your creative outlet is critical for balanced mental health.

There are also external benefits.

For example, if you get involved in a support group for a worthy cause, you are using creativity to help other people in a powerful way.

Using your creativity can slow down a busy agenda and better control your scheduling, therefore shifting your priorities in a positive way.


How To Stay Creatively Inspired

We all want to avoid the mundane.

Shake things up – seek new ideas and inspiration.

Inspiration alone won’t get you in the front of the canvas raring to go at 6am every morning.

But a strong commitment to work ethic will.  

Inspiration is fleeting.

It comes and goes.

Therefore, it is paramount you never get sucked into the notion you need inspiration to be creative.

To keep yourself creatively inspired it requires daily activities to build on and ignite the energy to keep being creative.

But it also requires you to stop doing certain things.

A good place to start is to reduce the noise in your email inbox.

Or better still, greatly reduce the amount of attention you give to it.

Constantly accessing your email and scrolling hyper-social environments is demotivating.

Passively handing your conscious attention to all the digital noise helps to facilitate a habit that can be viciously difficulty to break.

Not to mention the constant battle for time…

Have you ever started watching a You Tube video, looked at your clock and suddenly it was an hour later?

Or perhaps three hours later?

The constant dopamine hit that someone gets from accessing their inbox or scrolling their social feed is the ultimate motivating behaviour.

Dopamine activity in the brain can either experience unexpected reward – this could be through learning something quite insightful and motivating.

It could also provide someone with an expected reward – such as receiving a text from your partner for which you may always look forward to.

But there is also the negative reward.

This is when you mindlessly scroll through social media and check your email sixteen times an hour.

What your mind desires and what it has predicted, is not materialising.

This in turn creates unconscious frustration, disappointment and begins to eat at your energy levels and your thinking patterns.

So, the tip is to get out of that unhealthy feedback loop.

Back in 2007 it was a bit weird to have someone next to you texting, when they could have been talking to you.

Now in 2022, it is unfortunately, completely normal. In fact, it’s what we have all become to expect in modern behaviour.


Where To Discover Your Creative Outlet

Did you abandon a passion or activity many years ago you can reinvestigate?

Perhaps start right there.

Many people who once swept their creative side into the dark shadows of life, have revisited their “old passion”, and immersed themselves completely.

Perhaps also consider something you always felt you were not good enough or worthy enough to participate in.

Call that thinking out for what it is – 100% high-class BS. i.e.

Never stand in front of a blank canvas and underestimate it’s potential.

Same applies to yourself.

If you experienced rejection somewhere along the line, use my formula…


Rejection Is Always Easily Overcome By Action

The tip is to remove unnecessary pressure from yourself.

This pressure could be instigated from having to prove a result.

You don’t.

Here’s a reminder…

You don’t.

Remember I said inspiration that backs creativity comes and goes.

It’s fleeting.

If you rely too much on the flaky side of inspiration, you’ll easily be knocked over by rejection or basic mishaps.

This is because you are not grounded in commitment.

If someone operates solely on a “it depends on how I feel” principal, they are equally vulnerable to the person scrolling social media seeking that unexpected reward.


Five areas you can focus on…

It could be through images or photography.

It can also be through our observations.

Therefore, keeping a journal or creating a blog can be a powerful way to tap into your creative outlet.

Imagination is a powerful area to also focus on.

Perhaps you have a movie script in you – fantasy or science fiction.

Another area you may discover is your desire to know more, to learn and create better environments and establish order.

As previously mentioned, this could be through a charity or support group working towards a worthy cause.

Of course, there is also your own experience in life.

Your life is a goldmine of ideas to be found if you take the time to look and believe.


Simple Works Best

If you are completely stumped, and you do not know where to start, try this…

Starting tomorrow morning, get up one hour earlier than you normally do.

If you normally get up at 6am, get up at 5am.

Whatever the time is – get up one hour earlier.

Grab a glass of water.

Find a quiet place in the home.

Meditate for ten minutes.

Get comfortable – load up some meditation music on You Tube, put your ear plugs in, close your eyes, and focus on breathing naturally.

Do this for no more than ten minutes.

Then do ten minutes of stretches or some form of light exercise.

It could be push ups, jumping jacks, lunges, walkouts, planking, single leg lifts, sit ups or a walk around the block.

Get the blood flowing to the brain.

Remember, no longer than ten minutes.


Now you are ready to tap into your inner genius…

Grab your notebook and pen and write down three things you are grateful for.

Spend at least two minutes really thinking about this so you can feel the impact.

Just writing something down for the sake of being able to tick this off your checklist is pointless.

You must get your head in on this one to feel the gratitude.

The next step is to write down all the things you feel you are good at.

Write down the things you have achieved, things you have experienced, activities that give you energy and is something you always look forward to participating in.

Write down things that irritate you and if you could change them, what would you do?

Also, write down ideas you have.

Write at least three.

Everyone has three.

The purpose of this exercise is getting you out of habit bound thinking patterns.

While you are writing do not stop to analyse.

You must not evaluate what you are writing down.

We spend most of our days in judgement and critical thought.

What this exercise will do is begin to allow you to think freely.

If you stop to judge and analyse what you are writing you are in essence throwing fertiliser onto weeds.

You only want to water the lawn seeds.

Keep writing and don’t stop for 20 minutes.

This may sound like an eternity to begin with, and it may also feel that way.

Keep in mind that the quality of what you are writing down is not important.

Not at this stage.

Generating a long list of ideas and possibilities is important.

When the 20-minute mark bell has sounded, put your pen down and give yourself some form of acknowledgment for having carried out this exercise.

You don’t need to analyse what you have written.

You can go over the notes, but you don’t need to delve deep into what has been documented.

Quite often, its not until some time has lapsed (the next day for example) that you’ll begin the appreciate what you have written down.


Don’t be too critical at this stage of the game

The fact you have started a genuine investigation into seeking out your creative outlet, is a major achievement in its own.

Now you have finished writing, read something you are interest in for ten minutes.

No more than ten minutes.

It can be a book of fiction.

Motor magazine.

It may be a book on business or simple accounting.

Whatever it is, add this as the last component of your morning ritual.

Reading is going to get your thinking patterns moving in the right direction.

Repeat this process the next day, and then the next.

Aim for seven days.

After seven days, see if you are keen to keep going, set your goal to twenty-one days.

At twenty-one days you’d of established a new positive habit.  

This whole exercise of getting up one hour earlier, meditating and writing is a creative outlet.

You may discover this is your newfound creative outlet.

At the very least, you will discover your creative outlet by acting and engaging in this exercise.

Good luck.

Carl
Artist/Teacher/CAKUart Head Cheese


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