How Changing Your Perspective Can Help You Create
Plenty of things can get in the way of your creative efforts. Everything from hunger, to household chores, to mental health struggles can stifle your creativity. And while it’s easy for your creative flow to get turned off, it’s not so easy to turn it back on. That said, there are some things you can do to bust yourself out of a creative slump. Today, we’re talking about how changing your perspective can help you create.
How changing your perspective can help you create
Your perspective—the way you see and interpret the world and situations—has a big impact on your creativity. What you choose to create, and how you choose to create it, is affected by your observations, ruminations, and conclusions. So it stands to reason that changing your perspective would also change the way you create.
Not only that, but changing your perspective could help jumpstart your creativity if you’re feeling a little stuck. Here’s why that works.
It invites positivity.
Most of our thoughts tend to lean negative. This negativity bias can cause us to focus on the bad aspects of our day while ignoring the good ones.
The thing is, there’s almost always a different approach. You can choose to be positive under any circumstance.
Let’s say you get fired from your job. It’s easy to see the negative sides of that scenario, but isn’t it possible that there are plus sides, too? Maybe this is the push you need to go after your dream career, or maybe it will get you out of a toxic work environment. You could even see it as a learning opportunity (why did you get fired and what could you do differently next time?).
Keeping your mind in a positive space creates a welcoming environment for creative thoughts. One study found that 75% of people in a positive mood were able to successfully complete a creative task, while only 13% of people in the control group could do it.
If you can change your perspective to see the positive side of a situation, it can help you create.
It leads to solution seeking.
Sometimes, when we are presented with a problem, it’s much easier to wallow in the pain of the problem than it is to consider solutions. But creativity is all about finding innovative solutions to problems, and if you’re going to do that, you have to have the right perspective.
That means believing that a problem can be solved, and that you are capable of solving it. It means asking the right questions and looking for the right angle.
Changing your perspective can help you bring your creative faculties online as you consider solutions you would not have thought of before.
It helps you tap into different emotions.
Looking at something a different way allows you to experience a different emotion surrounding that experience. Feeling a wide variety of emotions can fuel your creativity in meaningful and powerful ways.
I find this to be particularly helpful when I feel creatively stuck. If I feel like something is “off” with my creative flow, I try to approach the project with a different or more specific emotion in mind. I zoom out and look at the whole thing with new eyes and try to explore the various emotions surrounding the project. When I find one that rings true, I move forward with that emotion guiding me.
It can help you see the beauty in the world.
The world is inspiring. Nature, architecture, history, geology, humanity: there is potential inspiration all around us.
The problem is that we often take these things for granted. So much so that sometimes, we don’t even notice them at all.
Another way to have a different perspective is to open your eyes to the world around you. What has inspired you in the past? Start there, and see if it inspires you again. If it doesn’t, try something else. Be observant. Be curious. Take in the things you’ve never really seen before.
Seeing the world from this perspective of wonder can help boost your creativity.
It can help you develop a growth mindset.
Let’s think about another definition of “changing your perspective.” A change in perspective can also mean a change in opinion or belief—or at least, it can mean being open to such a change.
That’s important, because a change like that says something very important about you. It says that you are willing to be wrong. You are willing to make mistakes, look closely at them, and try again.
Because of this, being willing to change your perspective can help you develop a growth mindset: a mindset that encourages positive change rather than defeatist acceptance. People with a growth mindset believe in learning and growing, while people with a fixed mindset believe that qualities like intelligence or creativity are static.
A growth mindset is a huge asset for a creative. Creativity is risky, and people with a growth mindset are going to be more willing to take those risks. People with a growth mindset are also usually less afraid of failure, seeing setbacks more like learning opportunities than wasted effort.
How to change your perspective
So now that we know that changing your perspective can help you create, what can you do to encourage and experience a new perspective? Here are a few quick tips.
Embrace “and” thinking.
“And” thinking is recognizing that different ideas can coexist—even if those ideas seem contradictory at first.
This type of thinking helps you explore the gray areas of life. Can people be good and bad? Can a religion be helpful and harmful? Do smart people ever do dumb things?
When you’re willing to look at and explore these ambiguities, you open yourself up to new perspectives.
Focus on what matters.
Perspective can have to do with angle, but it can also have to do with distance. Try zooming out and looking for the big picture in a situation. How does that change how you approach it?
Practice seeing events as neutral.
Changing your perspective is a lot easier if you can teach yourself to see events as neutral. Remember the example of getting fired from earlier? The event of getting fired is neutral: it is inherently neither good nor bad. But that same event can trigger either good or bad feelings, depending on your circumstances or mood.
When something happens, don’t be so quick to assign value to it. Recognize that it is neutral, and that you can choose your perspective on it.
See it from someone else’s point of view.
If there’s a specific issue you’d really like to change your perspective on, talk to someone with a different perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and try to really understand where their viewpoint comes from. This may or may not actually change your mind, but it can at least help you see another side of the story.
Changing your perspective can help you create in so many ways. The next time you are in a creative slump, try viewing things in a different light, from a different angle, close up, or at a distance. Have a fluid perspective. Be willing to examine new viewpoints and new ideas that fuel your creativity in new ways.
Expand your creativity and “create happy” in your life.
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