The Rewards of Going Outside Your Comfort Zone

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Creativity is one of life's great joys, and for me it may even be the greatest. There are few things more rewarding than expressing yourself, no matter how you choose to do it. But as a result of how good it can be, it becomes that much more frustrating when the creativity stops flowing, even if it's just a temporary blockage.

So what happens when you get stuck? With most creative people, they will either wait until the next burst of inspiration strikes, or they'll try to push on through and just wind up even more frustrated as a result. But there is another great option, and it's one that can be extremely rewarding, even it might seem a little scary at first.

Instead of sticking with what you know, turn everything upside down and start going out of your comfort zone. If you're using to working in a particular medium, switch things up and explore something else. If you paint watercolors, try working with acrylics. If your body of work is mostly portraiture, try working on some abstract expressionist pieces. No matter what you're used to, try switching it up and you might find yourself discovering talents that you never even knew you had.

It's almost like going back to the first time you started getting interested in the arts, when you were still trying to figure out how the whole creative process worked. By stopping yourself from following the paths you've already developed and since worn smooth, you have a much better chance of sparking new connections and restarting your creative flow, and you'll probably wind up having fun doing it.

But even if you don't feel like working with a new medium, that's not the only way that going outside of your comfort zone can inspire you to new projects. Your comfort zone doesn't just encompass your artistic practice, it covers every aspect of your life. Even doing something as simple as taking a new route to work, school, or the studio can make a huge difference in the way you see the world - and what else is our creativity really based on? The farther you push yourself to experience the world anew, the more effective it will be.

I know for a fact that this kind of experiment can pay off, because that's how I wound up picking up my first palette knife and what brought me to where I am today!

Did you find your passion by experimenting a new medium? Or maybe by exploring a new part of the world around you> Tell me about it in the comments below! After all, nothing helps a frustrated creative genius like knowing others overcame similar problems =)