Ways to think outside the box
Do you have a problem in life that you can’t fix? Does it feel like your brain is bouncing around inside of the box struggling to find a solution, but it can’t because you can only see the information you already know? You are not alone! It can be hard to shift the way you think when you are used to seeing things in a standard way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break free from it and think outside the box and fix problems that have been escaping you up until now. If you are willing to get more creative, there is always hope.
Thinking inside the box simply means that you are focused on a narrow range of thought. You are focused on limited information and making it a priority as you make decisions in your life. For instance, an employee who wants to do their job better, but who is focused on doing their job in the way it has always been done, is thinking inside of the box.
To think outside of the box means that you need to open your mind up to more information. You need to be able to let that information in and get inspired by it. For instance, an employee who wants to do their job better, and opens up their awareness to information such as how other people do things, what is working and what is not for them, and how they can apply that information to their own job, is thinking outside the box and will find new information to help them.
If you are ready to start thinking outside of the box more, following are some ways to do that. Yes, you can think outside of the box! You just have to shift the way you look at life.
1. Start Embracing Your Uniqueness
This is the number one tip to open yourself up to new ideas and ways of doing things. People who think outside the box are not doing things the way other people are. Why? Because they don’t believe they have to do things like other people in order to be accepted, acknowledged, or right.
It may seem like a contradiction. Shouldn’t people who value their uniqueness be stuck in a certain frame of mind? The answer is a big fat NO. People who are unique value uniqueness in everyone, not just themselves, which means they recognize other people’s uniqueness and celebrate it. They can see how other people handle situations, move through life, find success and fix problems, and because of that awareness, they can recognize the things that other people are doing that might benefit their life.
If you value your uniqueness, you also don’t worry about other people judging you so much. And, worrying about being judged is going to be one of the biggest obstacles to thinking out of the box. When you are worried about what others think, you won’t even allow yourself to come up with unique and creative solutions to problems for fear of being put down, made fun of, talked about, or laughed at. It’s much easier to do what you know other people want you to do when you are afraid of being judged.
Also, when you are unique, you can clearly see that other people are no better than you. Even the smartest people, who create new and amazing things regularly, don’t have a superpower that you don’t. This insight allows you to stop comparing yourself to other people, which causes you to get stuck in an ego state where it is hard to let your mind find solutions to your problems. And, it helps you to see that you are totally capable of doing great things, which opens up your mind even more. You believe you are capable of anything, which allows you to always look for solutions.
Lastly, when you are unique, people are more willing to approach you with ideas that inspire you. They are willing to share their deepest thoughts and experiences because they know that you are not going to judge them, and that can help you find unique ideas that allow you to think outside the box when it comes to your life.
2. Learn How To Let Things Go
When you hold onto things with a passion, you also hold onto certain ways of thinking and doing things.
– You can’t let go of the belief that you need to do something in a certain way.
– You can’t let go of the idea that the way it has always been done is the way you should be doing it.
– You can’t let go of your opinion and accept new opinions into your life.
– You can’t eliminate things that don’t work so you can adopt new ways of doing things.
How are you supposed to think outside the box when you just can’t let go?
When you allow yourself to let go, you allow yourself to move on to the next thing, which means you not overrun by thoughts and beliefs and opinions, and you are able just to soak in what other people are saying, play with the information, and use it in a creative way to fix problems that you may be having.
For example, there is a vlogger on YouTube who tends to rub people the wrong way. Most people watch her with their thoughts of anger and hate as they do. But, if you let go of the anger and hate, and just watch how she talks, thinks, and acts, then you will find yourself being inspired by her in a way. Not in a way where you want to be like her, but in a way where you learn from her mistakes, attitude, what she’s doing right and, most importantly, what she’s doing wrong. In short, you can see the real reason why she talks, thinks, and acts like she does, and you can use that information to figure out what you may be doing wrong in your life that is keeping you stuck.
Letting things go allows you to live in the moment without judgment and keep your awareness open for new ideas and solutions that can benefit your life. I’m not talking about being an airhead and not standing behind your values or beliefs, but I am talking about keeping yourself open to things that may otherwise put you in a closed frame of mind where you can’t think outside the box.
3. Combine Things That Work For You
Sometimes you don’t need to look outside of yourself for a new idea to come to you. Sometimes you just need to look at your past and take two things that worked, fit them together in some way, and then BOOM you have an idea completely outside of the box.
For instance, if you are a blogger, and you can’t come up with new ideas for a post, take a look at your popular posts from the past. They are popular for a reason. People like them. People are inspired by them. Or they just drive a lot of curiosity in people. Whatever the reason, they worked. Now, combine two of the ideas from your popular posts to create a brand new idea. If you are a food blogger, and you find past posts about healthy pasta and creamy cauliflower sauce that both went viral, then why not create a post on healthy pasta with creamy cauliflower sauce?
Combining past ideas that work is a great way to get creative in all areas of life. My friend’s grandfather used to own a gold mine. When he was at home, in the winter, he would develop new tools for panning for gold in his basement. He would think of ideas that worked and combine those ideas together, and eventually, he put together a machine that separated the rocks and the dirt from the gold with ease. He scaled it up, so it was big enough to handle large amounts of rock, and it made gold mining so much easier than it had ever been for himself. He was a great example of combining past successes to think outside of the box and create new and even better successes.
4. Find Alternatives In Life
One of the things that has allowed me to think outside the box often is being able to find alternatives easily. I don’t get stuck on one idea as being the ‘only’ idea. I can see that there are many different ways of doing things, and so if something isn’t working out or needs to be replaced, my mind can go there and get creative.
I started focusing on alternatives when it came to cooking. Being in a family where some people ate meat, some were vegetarian, and some were vegan, alternatives became necessary if we were all going to sit down and eat a meal together. Learning how to create baked goods without eggs and create flavor without butter was essential, and because of that, I was constantly looking for alternatives in cooking to create dishes that pleased everyone at the table despite what their diet was.
5. Spend Time Online Each Day
The Internet can be a really crappy or a really great place, depending on what you do while you are on it. If you waste your time looking at news articles that are meant to provoke fear, then you will find yourself retreating into limiting thoughts of fear and anger that don’t allow you to expand your mind and add ideas to it that help you think outside the box. But, if you focus on articles, videos, courses, eBooks, or other things that help you grow in some way, then you add information to your head that you can draw on later when you need to think outside the box.
Yes, you can watch TV and grow the information database in your brain, but the Internet allows you to focus on things that you want to focus in on. You can learn about any subject that you want to learn about. You can find answers to any questions that you have. And, if you do this every day, imagine how much information you will have to pull from in a year from now? A full 365 days of new thoughts, ideas, ways of doing things, and inspirations will give you a lot of information to help you think outside the box.
You can also reach out to people when you need to get creative right now. Forums are a great place to get on and ask a question and receive a ton of different ideas. Sometimes they are not that good and sometimes they will blow your mind away. Things that you have never thought of are inside of people’s heads who are using the very same forum. It’s amazing at what you can learn from others who have experienced different setbacks, cultures, successes, and sights than you have. And, you can do it within a minute from now.
6. Embrace Obstacles In Life
This is a small point on how to think outside the box, but it is a powerful one. Obstacles are the very things that force you to think outside the box. They give you the opportunity to do so!
When you can embrace obstacles with excitement, your mind will automatically shift into a creative gear where it is looking for solutions. It won’t get stuck in the ‘why me?’ state which limits your ability to look for and find solutions to your problems.
Nobody has ever gotten stuck by an obstacle unless they let it trap them. Every obstacle, no matter how big or small, can be overcome, and when you realize that, along with how valuable they are to your success in life, you will embrace them and allow them to motivate you to think and act creatively.
7. Challenge Your Perception
Lastly, a great way to start thinking outside the box is to challenge your perception. Don’t believe everything you hear or see. Open up your awareness to see all the possibilities of what is happening or as many as you can. I’m not sure anyone can open themselves up to see every possibility out there, but the exercise of trying is definitely a great way to open up your awareness and see things from new angles that can allow you to think outside of the box when needed.
The fact is that there are many different realities when you can change your perception. For instance, your mother, daughter, friend, and co-worker may be in the same situation as you but see things completely differently. Their reality of what happened may be opposite of yours, and that’s all because of perceptions.
To change your perceptions in life, try hearing things differently. Trying seeing things differently. Try pushing your judgments to the back and being mindful of what someone is really trying to say or do. Allow yourself to be as open as possible to different ways of viewing a situation and you will be able to see obstacles and situations that arise in your life in many different ways that allow you to overcome them much quicker.