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Creativity Coaching

Creativity Explored: Enhancement through Repetition

By Barbara Bowen | Updated June 14, 2018

Why is repetition so important in creativity? Partly, it helps us to discover our personal rhythms and know them more intimately. This knowledge saves time, maximizes our energy and creativity.

Repetition lubricates creativity, increases capacity, and helps develop effective working patterns that result in higher efficiency. No matter what the creative goal — a project, portfolio or marketing plan, repetition plays a key role in the creative process, up through completion.

Among creativity tools, repetition is key because it deepens our learning on two levels.

On the conscious level, repetition increases our mastery in using the new knowledge and tools we've learned. Increased mastery makes the new tasks more automatic, conserving more energy. Repetition is a sort of lubricant of the creative process that helps new learning "sink in."

Have you noticed? When you learn a new task related to your creative project but do not repeat it, the learning begins to fall away? When finally returning to the task, part of your time must be invested in re-learning what you've forgotten. If one of your goals is to maximize your creative growth, mastery through repetition is essential.

With enough repetition, learning on the conscious level deepens to internalize on the unconscious level. Our capacity expands to include instinct and intuition that guide us into more efficient choices and more elegant outcomes. Somewhat mysteriously, the unconscious energies become interwoven with the conscious ones, directing us toward our primary and secondary goals more efficiently. Most creative people have experienced those times in the creative process when energy seems to build exponentially and the project seems to take on "a life of its own." This experience is a result of fusion between the conscious and unconscious operations.

New tasks bring tension because they are unfamiliar. Repetition helps us to grow comfortable with what feels, at first, uncomfortable. This discomfort is an essential ingredient in creative growth, not to be avoided but wholly embraced. With repetition, discomfort gives way to comfort. We then stretch to learn another new task, bringing more discomfort and further repetition, giving way to comfort, and so on.

As we use repetition properly, each action builds more momentum on both the conscious and unconscious levels. We begin to experience less trial and error, fewer false starts, and more efficient use of time. With increased knowledge and sharpened instincts, our actions become progressively more effective.

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