e have all been there, one way or another. We start a creative project with such a passion and energy on day one but on day two, three and four we feel stuck, unmotivated or sad that we cannot just keep going at the same creative pace.
Or even worse, we have always felt this urge to create but somehow we don’t feel creative enough to put the idea in motion, to let it out in the world. If you have ever experienced a creative block or just need that extra push to get your creativity on, this article is for you!
There are a couple of major put-offs to being your most creative self and often they have nothing to do with our creative ability but all to do with our perception.
The Perfectionist Syndrome
Whether it is that book you are trying to write, final touches on a painting you couldn’t finish for years or that song you are composing that is threatened to never fall on anyone else’s ears but yours, just do it. Nike didn’t use “Be perfect” in their iconic campaign, they used “Just do it” for a reason that resonated with so many people. Striving to create a perfect product is what most of the time actually kills it.
Way to fight it:
Repeat the old adage that “Done is better than perfect” which is such a critical concept to adopt that Facebook decided to print posters and stick them to every office to remind Facebook employees that perfectionism is the cousin of procrastination and the mother of anxiety.
Fear of exposure
Better yet, we have managed to overcome the perfectionist syndrome but are afraid of how other people will react to it and what will be the impact of their perception of us? Fear of exposure is what makes the greatest things in our world never happen and unfortunately it is ingrained in our society.
Way to fight it:
When was the last time you worried about someone else’s problem spending hours in analysing their work, art or life? Remember that most people are pre-occupied to think about themselves rather than think about you and your creative output.
Do you ever recall creating something you thought was genius but it was so out of the norm that no one around you appreciated it? We are forced to write or paint, or even think a certain way so that the work can be appreciated by the outside world but unfortunately this is what often kills creativity.
Self-doubt creeps in confidently and thoughts such as “Is this pretty/eloquent/meaningful enough?” fill our subconscious to the point where we start believing them. However, creativity requires confidence in its output, even if it’s non-traditional or extravagant.
Way to fight it:
Ponder this question “Did Da Vinci set out to make Mona Lisa a masterpiece or it just so happened that it became one?”. It is more likely the latter as he simply ignored what all his predecessors thought a female portrait should be and did it his own way.
Now that we have identified the major causes that cause creative blocks, here are some tips you can adopt in your routine to stimulate your creative thinking on a daily basis.
Play like a child
When was the last time you made a binocular from old toilet paper rolls and pretended to be Indiana Jones or initiated a kitchen duel with a pair of leeks? World’s most creative minds are all serious people but also possess a distinctive childlike curiosity and playfulness.
Interrupt the routine
Going the same way to work on a daily basis, having lunch at the same restaurant every Thursday… We love creating routines to deal with the daily requirement from the fast paced world but it’s equally as important to break them so we can release our inner creative energy.
Do one thing that scares you
Doing at least one thing that scares you a day, be it calling that angry person you need to speak to or publishing a blog post, has a great impact on your confidence levels. However, it also stimulates creativity because it eliminates the fear that is blocking it.
Use your creativity
Lastly, if you have a creative skill – use it at every chance you get! If you are into creative writing, write your loved one a novel for your anniversary. If you are into painting, you could save on a lot of meaningless Christmas presents if you paint every single friend or family member a nice painting, and chances are they are going to appreciate it even more than a pair of Egyptian cotton socks.
Most importantly, creativity isn’t a special skill that only a few chosen ones have been lucky enough to be born with. Everyone is creative in their own way whether they believe it or not! Stimulating your creative thinking and overcoming such creative blocks will not only help you express yourself better, it will also help you live a more meaningful life.