Facing a creative block is frustrating. But, rather than staring at a blank page or at that menacing blinking text cursor for an hour, it's better to search for a little inspiration.
Fortunately, these five TED Talks are just what you need to pull out your inner creative genius -- no matter how stuck you feel.
1. David Kelley: How to Build Your Creative Confidence
If you don't think of yourself as a creative person, it's time to think again. In this talk, David Kelley will remind you that creativity isn't a trait that's exclusive to a few chosen people.
In fact, you'll likely realize that you're far more creative than you think you are -- if you'd only give yourself the room and the grace to execute your ideas.
Standout Quote: "It would be really great if you didn't let people divide the world into the creatives and the non-creatives, like it's some God-given thing, and to have people realize that they're naturally creative, and that those natural people should let their ideas fly."
2. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius
Do you know those people who seem to have creativity oozing from every pore? Well, have you ever thought that you could be one of them?
In her inspiring and oftentimes funny talk, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, challenges your assumptions of what it means to be a creative genius. Instead of asserting the idea of a very rare person being a genius, she states that all of us have a genius.
It's sure to challenge the way that you think about your own approach to your work.
Standout Quote: "And what I have to sort of keep telling myself when I get really psyched out about that is don't be afraid. Don't be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be."
3. Shimpei Takahashi: Play This Word Game to Come Up With Original Ideas
When you feel pressured to come up with your next great idea, it's easy to fall into the trap of trying way too hard -- which, more often than not, results in ideas that are mediocre at best.
Shimpei Takahashi challenges you to throw out the rulebook (and the data!) and just think of as many off-the-wall suggestions as you can. He even provides a fun word game that can help get the creative juices flowing.
While the talk is in Japanese, there are English subtitles and an interactive transcript for your reference.
Standout Quote: "If you base your ideas on data analysis and know what you're aiming for, you'll end up trying too hard, and you can't produce new ideas. Even if you know what your aim is, think of ideas as freely as if you were throwing darts with your eyes closed. If you do this, you surely will hit somewhere near the center. At least one will."
4. Adam Grant: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers
How do people continuously come up with great idea after great idea? As an organizational psychologist, Adam Grant studies the behaviors of these incredibly innovative thinkers.
In his enlightening talk, he highlights the three key habits of the people who always seem to be the most captivating participants in a brainstorming session -- so that you can learn from their tactics.
Standout Quote: "Know that being quick to start but slow to finish can boost your creativity, that you can motivate yourself by doubting your ideas and embracing the fear of failing to try, and that you need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones."
5. Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From
Despite what you might believe, ideas don't just magically form out of thin air -- there's some real science at work.
Throughout his talk, Steven Johnson explains where ideas come from, as well as how you can change your surroundings and environment in order to generate more great ones. It's just what the doctor ordered if you're currently feeling stuck in a rut.
Standout Quote: "An idea -- a new idea -- is a new network of neurons firing in sync with each other inside your brain. It's a new configuration that has never formed before. And the question is: how do you get your brain into environments where these new networks are going to be more likely to form?"
Nobody likes dealing with a creative block. Fortunately, these five enlightening TED Talks can help you channel all of your creative energy and pull yourself out of that dreaded rut.