Friday, 20 November 2015

Reignite Your Creativity And Innovative Energies

Author: Dr. Cheryl Cottle, Ed. D 

Some of us creatives do get burnt-out from time to time due to the many hats that we wear. We are an entrepreneur, and we pride ourselves to be successful or aspire to be successful, but in addition to this noble vocation as women entrepreneurs, we also have to be just as equally successful in our many roles that society has ascribed to us and to which we have subscribed. We are wives, mothers, caregivers to our parents, and community leaders — these roles we also try our best to be excellent and we often are. However in achieving success in these many roles, we can become burnt-out and many of us do, even to the point where we become ill. 

We are often advised that we should find a balance — but how do we achieve this? We are also often told that you should treat yourself holistically — you ought to look at your physical and mental health wellness by maintaining a balance between your body, mind are soul. How do you achieve this balance is what most of us think about. How do I find time for myself when I have so many things to do? How can I find time to rest, is a recurring question that we have as entrepreneurs, but you must find time for yourself? According to Mrs. Michelle Obama, the 1st Lady of the United States of America, “you have to put yourself at the top of your to-do-list”. And as one of my guest on one of last year’s tele summit of Women in Business Radio entitled — Women Stories of Challenges and the Solutions Used to solve them”  says — draws upon the analogy airplanes, in times of an emergency where the advocate the use of the air mask. We are always advised in a case of an emergency that we must first put on our air mask, before assisting anyone, even as a parent travelling with children. I guess the message is without your gas mask, you won’t be able to assist any one, because in time your oxygen will be depleted . .. .”.

Yes, it is possible to reignite your creative spirit. Here are a few approaches that have been used by five women in business and they worked. Sometimes we want to be innovative in every way, but when we are faced with challenges, we can learn from others — those who have been there. We have heard the saying many times, why create the wheel? We can adopt what others have done before because we know that it has been tried and tested. This is however saying that we should adopt others people’s ideas and take it as yours. I have seen time and time where individuals see a concept or idea that someone is promoting and quickly claims it as theirs. We meet that very often on social media. I remember meeting a woman whose business was focused on "civility" and the development of young girls, but this quickly change to the empowerment of “women in business.”

Exercise is a great way to transform listlessness to action. According to one of my guest on my Women in Business Radio, suggests that rather than working all day behind your computer, you should take short breaks to exercise. She suggests that you can also stand for a while and do your work on your computer. It's also suggested that you take a break from your computer and desk to have your lunch. There are also simple exercises that you can do to feel better. Exercise helps you to reduce the risk of getting burnout. 

Eliminate Distraction: Change your environment. I have personally found that sitting in the same mundane space, day to day can reduce your creativity and your level of motivation. It starts to feel like “work” and not like love and passion. What has worked for me throughout the years, is that I have found if I went to another space — it worked well for me in stimulating my creativity and innovative spirit. Take a break for a while and visit a bookstore — many of them now has reading nooks or visit a coffee shop in your neighbourhood, where you can take a book and browse, or have a cup of tea or coffee.. These are great places to relax and rejuvenate. You may find that simple sitting having a cup of coffee or in my case tea, can be so relaxing. Some book stores also allow their clients to read a book while having a snack in the tea area — this I have found to be very relaxing. Some of these stores also have a reading nook — where you can enjoy a book, while seated on lovely puffed sofas and couches.

Sitting under a tree: Sitting under a tree, simply relaxing, can be quite soothing. Taking a look at the environment around you. Enjoying nature’s beauty — shrubs and flowers; and enjoying the birds, lizards, squirrels, deers, rabbits, and all that is beautiful around. Simply spending time with yourself — enjoying your own company. Past time like this helps you to relaxed and regenerate. 

Gardening is yet another wonderful exercise that causes you to become emerse and takes you away from the harsh realities of life   and that which gives you pleasure in the immaterial. Sowing and planting a tree and seeing it grows gives you joy and fulfillment. The very act of playing in the soil is fulfilling. You can plant a flower garden or a herb garden during the summer months. They are fun gardening concepts to engage in. Preparing the space as well as shopping for seedlings, rose cuttings and plants bulbs can be a rewarding exercise; and waiting in anticipation to see them grow is a marvelous experience. Cutting and pruning is also invigorating. It relaxes you fully. In addition to the way gardening makes you feel, it is also a great exercise. Gardening helps you mentally and physically and makes you spiritually uplifted.

Find Support — family, friends and peers can be great support. It’s very important that to find the balance that you need to maintain your creativity, is to have people who supports your visions and aspirations around you. Sometime it does not always comes from family because they can be our most critical critics, who sometimes only serves to demotivate you. You can find these people in your colleagues, friend, or individuals just like you — your peers. Your peers are often a great source of support because more often than not they have been there — where you are right now. They can share their advice and to help guide you.

Expand your network — It is often advised that you should join individuals who are like-minded. Join a mastermind group; being a part of a network has far reaching implications towards your business, socially, economically and health and wellness. Why, expanding your social network helps? Where to find it? Your social network will make you a more valuable asset at your job. 

Re-evaluate your aspirations! As the questions: What you are doing? In what ways does it makes sense? Am I achieving my goals? Are my goal realistic and are they achievable? Can I in all reality achieve these goals? Do I have the resources to achieve them? What must I do to reach the intellectual level to achieve my goals? Is it cost effective in terms of time, money and energy? These a some great questions that you can ask yourself if you begin doubting your ability to achieve a goal: rethinking them will help you to approach it in a new and positive way. 

Staying calm is very important to reclaiming one's creativity. New growth often occurs with a sense of calmness. Remember the saying after a storm, there is calmness and regrowth — it’s a process of regeneration. These are just some ways that you can light the fire of creativity within you, and ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship. I believe that visiting the library, or a bookstore as mentioned above, are great ways. Meditation, yoga and journaling are also other ways that will take you to that creative and innovative place that you must get to to create, to design and to implement. 

 What do you do when you lose the incentive to be creative and innovative? It will be nice if you can share.

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