How to Strengthen Your Creative Personality

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Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an “individual,” each of them is a “multitude.”

So, how can you achieve more creatively?

 

Step One: What’s Your Creative Personality Type?

The first step to boost your creative output (and achievement) is to identify your personality type according to these three ‘super factors’:

Plasticity – the extrovert personality:  Those individuals who fall in this category  seek new and exciting experiences.  They are always driving to try new things, high levels of energy, and have a constant stream of inspiration. They can be highly creative because of their passion for exploration and risk taking.

Divergence –  the free thinkers and non-conformists. Those who fall into this category are impulsive and independent, hard to get along with at times, and uncaring of how others think of them. Divergence is strongly related to creativity because it creates in the person a drive to be different.

Convergence – those who work persistently and precisely. They are ambitious, practical, good at evaluating ideas, and have high levels of energy.

So is your personality high on plasticity, divergence or convergence? You might not neatly fall into just one category, but one should be more dominant than the others.

 

Step Two: What’s Your Creative Work Process?
Step two in improving your creative output and your creative achievements is to identify your creative process, according to these two process types:

Generation –  involves coming up with new ideas (quantity — someone who has lots of ideas); and,

Selection, –  involves narrowing down your ideas to their best version (quality — someone who has a few good ideas).

So, are you a generator or a selector?

Studies have shown that those individuals with high levels of plasticity and divergence, with their drive for new experiences, favor the generation process. They are very good at coming up with lots and lots of new ideas, but they might not all be the best ideas.

Those individuals with high levels of convergence favor the selection process. They may not be the best at coming up with lots of new ideas, but they excel at spending time perfecting the few that they do come up with.

Step Three: Increase Your Creative Output by Strengthening Your Weaker Work Process

For Creative achievement, it is best if you use both work processes — generation and selection — together.

If your personality super factors favor generation, you need to improve on selection, and if your personality super factors favor selection, you need to improve generation.

Here are some steps you can take to increase each creative process and unlock the full potential of your creativity:

 

Improving Selection

So, you are great at coming up with ideas, but have a harder time evaluating and improving them?

You might get a thrill out of brainstorming and starting new projects, but they tend to fizzle out. You might have a lot of projects all going at once, but you have trouble focusing long enough to complete something.

Or, you slap together your projects in a rush to move on to something new, but aren’t always satisfied with the quality of what you have created.

Don’t worry!  Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to give your selection process a boost:

01. Clock the Hours

Devote time to improving your craft. Only through intense focus and determination can you really master something.

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea of the “10,000 Hour Rule” in his book Outliers, which claims that after you spend 10,000 hours practicing a skill the correct way, you will master it.

Follow the “10,000 Hour Rule:    (from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers)  “After you spend 10,000 hours practicing a skill the correct way, you will master it.”

Make a little bit of time, every day, to work on your projects. Finish what you start by pursuing only the most worthy projects, tackling one big project at a time, and making a commitment to work towards success.

02. Seek Constructive Criticism
There’s nothing like getting another set of eyes on what you are working on.

Here are a few online communities for showcasing work and getting feedback:

03. Start a 365 Project
You’ve probably heard of Project 365,   The basic idea is to take a photograph every single day, and share it online, usually on a platform like Flickr orInstagram. Hopefully, you improve your photography skills along the way. Each new day is a complete project, and by the time you’re done, you will have created a  sheer amount of impressive work.

You can take this premise beyond  photograph ,and apply it to anything. Want to get better at hand lettering? Do a daily hand lettering project,

You could do the same with logos, icons, illustrations, doodles, typography, and more.   Pick something that you can reasonably complete in an hour or less, in order to make a project like this easier to commit to.

 

Improving Generation

Are you great at improving upon existing ideas but have a hard time coming up with new material?

You might love getting lost in the process of working on a project, but when one project wraps up you lose direction. You worry that your ideas are not good enough to warrant getting started on, so you never start them. Or, you might lament that you don’t have any original ideas at all.

Here are  a number of ways you can give yourself that “spark,” or better capture it when you have it. to generate new creative ideas.

01. Capture Inspiration When It Strikes

You are all about quality,  so when you are hit with an idea,   make sure to capture it.  The important thing is to to set up a system for collecting ideas whenever they hit you, so that you don’t forget them. It doesn’t matter how technologically advanced it is, or how good it looks; it only matters that it exists.  You can use a notebook, a recording app on your cell phone, anything you can think of that will help you capture your ideas.

02. Limit Yourself
Sometimes thinking inside the box is the key to thinking outside of it.

If you’re at a loss for what limitations to set for yourself, try seeking out design prompts. Here are a few design prompt collections to try:

03. Collect Your Inspirational Triggers
You probably are well aware of the things that tend to inspire you. When you become aware of the things that trigger inspiration and new ideas, it’s just as important to capture that as it is to capture actual ideas.

Many creatives of all types decorate their workspaces with things that inspire them.

Unlocking Your Creative Potential
Once you understand how your personality type predisposes you to favor one particular part of the creative process, you can push the other process to help balance your creativity and create more and better work. Creative achievement comes from the interplay of generation and selection, or more simply, of quantity and quality.

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