Do you remember the feeling of a crisp new coloring book, and cracking open a fresh box of crayons?
And ohhhh the smell of creativity from inside of that Crayola box!
Did your creative and artistic side get left back in middle school? Perhaps you find yourself saying things like, "I'm not creative at all!". Well, if these statements resonate with you then you're in good company. Many adults feel the same way.
I used to be stuck in the "I'm not creative" trap too. Here’s what started my journey back into creativity...
Erik Wahl was the keynote for a conference I attended a few years ago. He asked the audience members to raise their hands if they could draw. A few hands went up. Mine wasn’t one of them.
Then, Erik said “When I go into a kindergarten classroom and ask that same question, every single kid raises their hand. Why? They believe they can draw, so they do!”.
How can we bring back that feeling of wonder and possibility into our work? Erik had a simple solution.
Buy a box of crayons.
Seriously. Run to the store (right after you finish reading this blog) and purchase a beautiful box of bright, glittery, metallic, neon, triangular, jumbo, or classic crayons. If it's been a while since you went shopping for school supplies, the number of options will boggle your mind!
Then... the next time you feel stuck, open the box and breath in the scent of creativity.
If you’re thinking, “that sounds too simple to actually work”, I understand. I felt the same way when I heard Eric’s advice.
Then, I arrived at work on the Monday after the conference to find a box of crayons on my desk. It works. No kidding!
The next time you are writing a difficult email, figuring out the solution to a problem, or deciding your next career move… open a box of creativity. Inhale the scent of possibility and see what happens next.
Here are a few additional ways you can use color to open the flow of creativity in your work:
Use colored pencils and a blank sheet of paper to:
Draw a mind map
Create a plan for your side hustle
Doodle about the problem you’re trying to solve
Buy a coloring book (there are intricate options available for adults) and a set of coloring pens. Break them out when you’re feeling stuck and take a 10 minute coloring break.
Create your "to do" list with colored ink (anything other than black and red - you're used to these)
Journal in color
We are all creatives. Some of us use our creativity to produce amazing artwork. Others create complex spreadsheets, project plans, write books, or start a businesses.
It's no fun being stuck in the "I'm not creative" trap.
Open a box of crayons. Use colored pencils or pens to add a splash of color to your business plan. Bring that feeling of discovery, self expression, and possibility to your work.