Creativity calls for courage.
By being creative, we’re trying new combinations and experimenting with ideas that others might not have seen or even heard of before. Then, we put our creative work out there, exposing it for judgement and criticism.
This whole process puts us in a very vulnerable space.
So it’s human to face the following creative blocks.
When posed with a creative problem, we get overcome with insecurity and we start to research on all the solutions available for a similar problem. If we’re to write a children’s book, we’d go to the kids’ section of the library. If we’re to design a tender pitch deck, we’d Google ‘pitch deck templates.’
Our fear of falling short drives us to want to look at what others have already done – and replicate. Because it’s safer.
Here’s the difference between lateral thinking and linear thinking.
With linear thinking, you start to analyse the problem and devise steps to take to address the problem. Every step can be explained and has been carefully deduced. With lateral thinking, you’re drawing from concepts, solutions and ideas from unrelated fields. They typically can only be explained by “a hunch” or “a gut feeling.”
Our fear of judgement and criticism drives us to want to have control in every step of the creative process. Because it’s safer.
For the more analytical folks out there (like myself!), we want to thoroughly understand the problem before we start generating ideas. To us, researching, fact-finding and problem familiarisation are crucial parts of a project. The trouble with this is that our thoughts are likely to become too narrowly focused. It constraints our lateral thinking process and limits the volume of ideas that we can come up with.
Our fear of inadequacy drives us to find security in knowledge right from the brainstorming phase. Because it’s safer.
What if you had a complete guide to changing your mindsets, practices and learning the tools to a more creative you?
You can get our FREE ebook guide here.
Three action steps to more creativity
What are the three IMMEDIATELY ACTIONABLE steps that you can take towards a more creative life?
We ALL have the ability to exercise creative in our daily lives and we are in fact, already doing so when we share stories about our days.
#1 Surround yourself with people who are in the arena
Negative feedback can get you down. No doubt. When you’re presenting your creative work, it represents you pride and can get personal. What you want to do is to differentiate between constructive feedback and general negativity.
#2 Make Morning Pages a daily practice
I love the idea of Morning Pages. Introduced by Julia Cameron, the idea is to write three full-length pages of anything first thing in the morning. You can write about the elation from last night’s dinner date or the anxiety coming up for today’s presentation. The intention is for it to clear your mind and allow unexpected insights to be made.
#3 Break pattern
Try a new coffee shop today. Or a new item on the menu. Take the bus instead of the train. Have a nutella bread instead of a regular kaya and butter toast. Often, we go about our daily lives like clockwork – wake up, have coffee, commute to work, reply emails, etc. The pattern is consistent and we hardly get jolted to look at fresh perspectives or activities outside of our work.