More than ever, creativity is a valuable asset for getting ahead in your career and standing out from the crowd.

For some people, creativity comes naturally, but for other, more left-brained individuals, creativity can be a struggle and an uncommon occurrence.

If we aren’t engaging in creative hobbies, like painting or writing, we can become separated from this natural capacity and cease to grow this latent talent.

Fortunately, creativity is a skill anyone can learn and cultivate. Here are 5 ways you can unleash your creative potential.

1. Be playful – Let loose and be open for creativity. Creativity can be enhanced by taking an amusing approach to the usual drudgery of daily life. Find activities that help you have more fun, relax, forget worries, and refresh your outlook and attitude.

2. Get artsy – Read books you wouldn’t normally read and explore art and music that is out of your usual taste. Watch independent and artistic films that prompt new perspectives and ideas. Try taking an art class and expand your creativity by getting hands on education.

3. Think less, try more – Creativity can be stifled by over-thinking and analyzing an idea or decision. We can kill our own creativity when we try to rationalize or intellectualize our ideas. Be willing to make a decision and just go with the flow of your ideas. Don’t shut yourself down before you have a chance to have a big idea.

4. Learn from other creative people – Spend time with people who can spark your creativity. People who are open to new ideas and don’t hold back novel and unique thoughts. Read the ideas of creative people and study their lives.

“To have a great idea, have a lot of them.” – Thomas Edison

5. Make it a habit – Take time to work out your creative muscle. Switch up your routine, or use an everyday item in a different way. Start thinking outside of the box until it feels more natural.

Bonus tip:

Use SCAMPER РFrom the book Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko. Whatever the situation or decision that needs to be made, consider how you can apply the acronym SCAMPER to think outside the box.

S – Substitute: What idea or item and can you substitute?

C – Combine or change: What can you combine or change?

A – Adapt to the circumstances: How can you adapt the idea to what you’re trying to do?

M – Can the idea be modified? Can you minimize or magnify certain parts?

P – Put the idea to another use. How else could the idea be applied?

E – Eliminate something from the equation.

R – Reverse the idea, or do the opposite of what you intended.

Next time you need to refuel your creative juices, consider some of these ideas and be open to the possibilities. Creative ideas come in small and large sizes so don’t limit yourself or get discouraged.

Get in the habit of letting your creativity happen and you will experience a dynamic shift in the way you innovate and approach problems.