I used to think I wasn’t creative, it was so bad that even when I had come up with really good ideas, I’ll dismiss it as a coincidence or something not worth paying attention to. In my mind creativity was writing like Chimamanda Adichie, or being an artist with mind-blowing paintings to my name like Michelangelo, unfortunately, I am neither. Realising that my perception of myself as non-creative was holding me back, I started to research about ways to increase my creativity and found certain comforting facts that I’d like to share with you, the first being that I’m not the only one who feels that way. Phew! And the second fact being that creativity is not exclusive to artistry.

Apparently, creativity comes through when you proffer solutions to work problems just as much as when you make beautiful music or write a poetic piece. Creativity shines through when during an argument with a loved one, you get an idea to appeal to them in a way that saves the relationship before things go awry. I like how John Maxwell put it in his book ‘How Successful People Think.’ He said, “Being creative is being able to see or imagine a great deal of opportunity to life’s problems,” a thought that particularly excites me as there are loads of problems to solve, from time management issues, to relationships, cash flow issues, and unexpected work challenges.

Encouraged by this finding, I started to really pay attention to creative thinking as a way to proffer solutions, and it didn’t matter if it was as little as figuring out how to replace my worn out zipper or how to eat healthy despite being very tempted to buy that little piece of (you know the convenient junk you buy). What I found was it helped me accept my inherent creativity and opened me up to embrace tough situations a bit more because now, I approached them with an understanding that with a dedicated thinking time, I could come up with practical solutions.

So what are the two things you need to do to increase your creativity? I’ll tell you in two easy steps: see yourself as creative, and, create the right space for problem solving. Nothing fancy or complex, just a positive change in your perception about your creative abilities and a deliberateness about creating the space where you can really think on a problem until you figure out how to solve it.