Ways to start thinking out of the box

No matter what, people grow. If you chose not to grow, you’re staying in a small box with a small mindset. People who win go outside of that box. It’s very simple when you look at it. – Kevin Hart

There are specific ways of thinking that most people have. We can all solve a problem in a specific way. We can all follow the road that everyone takes. But this is not always enough. It’s not always enough to do things the way everyone else does. Sometimes, you need to think outside of the box, especially in a world that is growing and changing as fast as it is. Let’s take a look at the ways you can increase your creativity and think outside of the box.

Take different perspective

The first strategy you can use to think outside of the box is trying to adopt a different perspective. Place yourself in the shoes of another person and consider how they would see the situation. But you can also supercharge this strategy.

Imagine a character and consider how they would see the situation. How would a superhero solve it? How would a knight or a king? When you play a role, you can reach conclusions you never imagined because it inspires you to think beyond your usual perspective.

Think like a child, without limits

Another approach is to go back to your childhood self. Children do not allow their thought and imagination to be limited. Instead, they believe that anything is possible. They believe that they can solve the problem and often come up with creative solutions.

Allow your imagination to run wild. Give yourself time to just thing about things and not worry whether they are realistic, viable, or expensive. Just let your mind fly free, and you will certainly connect with specific new ideas from this wild burst of creativity.

Think like a beginner, not encumbered by bias

Another exercise to think outside the box is to adopt the perspective of a beginner. A beginner doesn’t know that something just isn’t done or that things have to be done in X or Y manner. Instead, they can look at the world through an open lens, without filtering through the information.

Try to imagine you are seeing something for the first time. You don’t know anything, you are just seeing what is there, what is happening at the moment. Give your mind the chance to look at things through a fresh perspective.

Think backwards

Another strategy for thinking out of the box is reverse engineering. With this approach, you start by thinking about your desired end result. What do you want to achieve? What does it look like?

Once you have a general idea of your end result, the more specific, the better, consider the steps you need to take. If your end result has a bow on top, where can you get that bow? Working from the back can help you get a sense of everything you require to achieve just the right thing.

Use random prompts

A way of thinking outside the box is to connect the solution or the problem with random prompts. For instance, if you want to draw something but don’t know what, you can use the Internet or choose a random book or do anything else that will give you a better idea for what to do.

Randomness can stimulate your thinking in a fun way, by creating new connections and helping you turn the problem on its head. Use random ideas, colors, words, images, and that will jumpstart your creative thinking.

Add limitations

A somewhat counterintuitive way to stimulate your creative thinking is to add limitations. Decide on a specific format, technique, type of solution, tool, etc. For instance, an artist could decide to use only blues or watercolors or just a specific brush. A writer could choose to write a sonnet or a haiku, which have a certain structure.

Limitations nurture our creativity because they narrow the scope of thinking. Ironically, when we have unlimited ideas or can do anything, we can feel blocked, confused. A more specific goal is always more achievable.