5 Ways to Sharpen your Creative Edge

sharpening your creative edge, mindfulness

For a creative edge to stay sharp requires attention. Notice I said attention, not work. The little mindful things you do to stretch your imagination, open your heart and shift how you see yourself connecting in the world are the real sharpening tools, and show you exactly where your creative edge lies. Sharpening it takes mindful action.


To help crack open your defenses and habits to challenge yourself in a meaningful way, rather than max limits through sheer force to expand your creativity, consider these natural ways to sharpen your creative edge:


Challenge yourself with something new rather than expanding the reach of a current goal.


What do you consider a challenge? A mental puzzle you need to figure out? A physical exertion of strength and endurance? Repairing a strained emotional connection with a friend or loved one?


When you know the type of challenge you like best and plays to your strengths, be adventurous and pick something else to practice. A creative sense of self is found in how you play with all aspects of your mind, body and spirit, so be willing to dabble in the less polished places to enhance your creative edge.


For example, if you are always taking on mental challenges, you will hone those edges but leave the other aspects of your creative center (body and spirit) dull and soft. When one skill is over developed, it’s also harder to feel grounded in all aspects of yourself when faced with a situation that requires skills you never practice.


mindandheart, creative edge


Listen using your mind and heart when in conflict.


People are going to hurt your feelings. It’s not necessarily intentional, understood or fair. They aren’t usually doing it consciously, either.


If you are clear on your boundaries what works for you in relationships, it’s easier to practice deep listening. Instead of taking things personally when you find yourself reacting to a conflict, try and see see the truth of what that person believes while also honoring your own.


The best way to hone your creative edge in a situation like this is to make a decision after you’ve heard all the facts and take time to step away and reflect. In solitude and quiet introspection, you are able to release judgment, review new information and come to a clearer decision that’s in the best interest of all involved – while using the challenge to expand your creative edge in relationship.


The influence of connection with others on your personal creative expression is very important, so any time you can practice this edge, it’s enhancing your creativity!


Be willing to be vulnerable.


To be vulnerable starts with your willingness to look at what feels scary or impossible. To stand in a space of sharing the truth about yourself, even with yourself, is one of the fastest ways to sharpen your creative edge. It puts the cards on the table in clear view and helps you take ownership of your dark spots – which can be very powerful creative suckers!


You can start by writing things in a journal or creating artwork that expresses personal insecurities, or share something in a personal or group setting. Even quiet time alone with no distractions is an easy way to begin a practice.


In the big picture, vulnerability is a cornerstone of creative expression. What you say, do or express and how you do it are completely unique to you. There’s no special formula to follow or “right way” to be vulnerable or creative. It’s just a risk you take to walk through one and get to the beauty and gifts of the other.


inner voice and being true to yourself


Acknowledge and honor your inner voice above all others.


Your inner voice shares insights and warnings. No matter where the advice leads you, it’s yours, so own it! The more you get caught up in asking opinions, doing more research or second guessing what you feel and hear in your heart, you are diluting the guidance.


To sharpen your creative edge, practice listening to your inner voice and what it says. Will it always lead you to your ideal expected outcome? Not necessarily, but it will give you an opportunity reach a new edge in self trust through practice.


Believe in what you create – during the process and after it’s complete.


A strong creative sense of self starts with believing in what you make. Before you measure your creative expression against the money it earns, how it’s received by others or by the amount of attention it gets, be proud of your effort and creative practice.


Everyone learns by doing, no exception. When you have a natural skill for something, it still takes a willingness to believe in what you are creating during the process and after, even if it doesn’t meet expectations, because it all starts with believing in your own expressions.


The more you believe and trust in your process, you are slowly and easily building a solid foundation for support you as you grow and sharpen your creative edge.


What are some simple truths you have discovered as you practice sharpening your creative edge? Have you hit a wall and need a little extra support?

Photo credit: danielflower, sinabeet