Have you ever heard the saying, “Think outside the box?” Of course you have! It’s a saying that has been thrown around at work and in countless self-help books. Thinking outside the box usually creates unique solutions to the most unusual of problems, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
We are all creative, but it can be difficult to tap into the creativity within us if our minds are constrained by pressures, time, or judgment. For this reason, some of us may have difficulty thinking outside the box since it involves going outside of our snug comfort zone.
Leaving the Familiar Path
Thinking outside the box means you’re leaving the realm of familiarity by going well beyond what you have established as your boundaries. When you do this, you’ll unlock new ways of thinking and unique solutions to nagging problems. Others may look at your ideas with skepticism or disbelief, but that’s because it’s outside of their comfort zones, too! And that’s okay because you are the trailblazer.
So how do you leave that familiar path and think outside the box? You do it by expanding your comfort zone. Right now, you’re stuck in this maze of confined thinking. This is because we are all trained from a young age to think and act a certain way. In reality, there isn’t just one way to think. There really are countless ways of getting things done! This is exactly why we need to keep an open mind and remove all barriers.
You can learn how to develop the desire to be, think and act differently than everyone else, but it requires you to do things you may be uncomfortable doing. For example, speaking up in a crowd, going against common wisdom, or asking questions that no one else asks. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s the only way to expand your comfort zone and see things in a new way.
Do you think that Albert Einstein or Alexander Graham Bell stuck to conventional wisdom? Of course not! They took their thinking to entirely new levels in order to discover theories and inventions that have changed the course of the world today.
The key lesson here is that if something doesn’t work, you may have to think about it from another angle. Turn the page upside down if you have to! Always remember that you can test and tweak things until it’s just right. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail because failure is necessary for significant growth and improvement.
Characteristics of Thought
There are certain characteristics associated with thinking outside the box. These characteristics include:
- Listening to and evaluating new perspectives
- Thinking about and discussing topics with substance
- Envisioning the value of wacky ideas
- Always striving to create new, improved ways to get things done
- Respecting the opinions and ideas of others
It may be a challenge to see the world in a whole new way, but it’s not impossible. You may be required to recognize a good idea and be able to act upon it immediately. You also have to know that new ideas need to be nurtured and supported in order for them to flourish. By keeping these things in mind, you are well on your way to accepting the challenge to think and grow outside the box.