Creativity is the ability to make something new or to develop new ideas. Developing more creativity can benefit your career, relationships, and hobbies. Children love to be creative, but many adults have less motivation to create. There are also many obstacles to creativity.
Stack the deck in your favor by dealing intelligently with most the common barriers to creativity:
1. Fear of ridicule. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. No matter what you do, someone will provide criticism. Learn to ignore the naysayers and let your creativity shine.
2. Fear of failure. It can be the fear of losing money or valuable time. Or it can be a simple fear of failure. You’re tough enough to handle it. You’ve already failed thousands of times in one way or another and you’ve survived. What would happen if you did fail?
3. Interruptions. Time and space energize creativity. It’s more challenging to come up with a brilliant idea if your kids are calling your name or your phone is chirping at you every 30 seconds. Schedule your creative time to minimize as many interruptions as possible. Early in the morning and later in the evening can be the best options for many.
4. Distractions. A distraction is an interruption you give yourself. How do you commonly waste time? Remove those distractions from your immediate environment. Put your cell phone on mute and throw it in the drawer. Turn off 1 the TV. Focus 100% on your creative activity. Distractions are controllable. Have the self-discipline to control them.
5. Past experiences. Your past affects your current thinking and beliefs. Attempt to open your mind to all the possibilities. Just because something didn’t work once in the past doesn’t mean it can’t work today. Let go of the past and free your creativity.
6. Stopping too soon. Once a good idea is found, it’s common to stop looking for a better solution. Are you sure you’ve chosen the right color for your painting? The right word for your novel? The right idea to make $10 million? Once you’ve found a good idea, keep looking for an even better one.
7. Stress. Stress and creativity rarely go hand in hand. Whether it’s the stress of being tired, running out of time, financial issues, or illness, creativity is more challenging than when you’re relaxed. Find time to relax and decompress before starting a session of creativity. Your results will be enhanced.
8. Negative moods. It’s not just stress. Anger, jealousy, fear, impatience, sadness, or hopelessness can also be barriers to creativity. Studies have shown that creativity tends to peak while experiencing strong, positive moods. Do whatever is necessary to boost your mood before accessing your creativity. Take a walk, call a good friend, or listen to uplifting music. What makes you feel better when you’re in a bad mood?
9. Too many options. It can actually be easier to find your creative streak if you limit your choices. Try to make a painting with only three colors. Write a short story with only 300 words. Or compose a song with only a few chords. Having too many choices can be a challenge in itself. Try limiting your options if you’re stuck.
If you can’t get your creative juices flowing, maybe something is in your way. Your creativity is a significant part of your uniqueness. Avoid the common obstacles to creativity and show the world what you have to offer. To really boost your creativity, try using it regularly. And start today!
There are times when we all want to be more creative. We wish that there were something
we could do to express ourselves and create something beautiful at the same time.
If you're looking for ways to discover your creative side and release the artist within, here
are a few simple activities that you can do to get the creative energy flowing.
What type of personality do you have? Are you able to express that personality freely at
work or with friends? If not, tackle one of these projects and let your personality shine!
• Decorate your house, or at least one room, the way you like it. It doesn't
matter what anyone else tells you, just decorate your room, your way. This will help
you unleash your own self-expression.
• Dress the way you want. If tackling the house is too big of a job, then take a look at
your wardrobe. Dress how you want to dress. Trust yourself and trust your instincts.
You are dressing for you, not the world. Don't worry; you can express yourself while
still being professional at work.
You have to find ways in everything you do to allow creativity to flow through you. This can
be as simple as the way you sign a letter, mail an envelope, the way you dress or the house
that you live in.
Change Your Routine
If you're stuck in a rut, do things that take you out of your normal routine. It doesn't really
matter how stimulating your work or home life is, when you take a moment to step out of
your normal routine for some me time, you'll be open to new ideas and new thoughts.
How can you step out of your normal routine?
1. Read a book that you wouldn't usually pick up
2. Watch a movie that you wouldn't typically choose
3. Talk to a total stranger that you think looks interesting
4. Go shopping at a store that you have never been to. You don't necessarily have to buy
anything, just go in and look around.
5. Meet a friend you haven't seen for a long time.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Another simple activity to increase your creativity is to pay attention to your surroundings.
You may laugh and think that is absolutely ridiculous after all, you see the same things and
people everyday, and you probably even drive the same route to and from work, too. But
try to take a few moments and actually pay attention to your surroundings. See things the
way they are and not the way you think they are.
• Take a different route home from work. Discover shortcuts or new
• Sit on a park bench and people watch. Think of stories for each person or couple
that you see.
• Have you ever really paid attention to the people in your office? What about the person
that sits right across from you? Take five or ten minutes and take notice. Don't stare, but
pay attention. You just may find that other people can be quite the source of inspiration
Use Your Imagination
If you have a favorite poem or story that you loved as a kid, sit down and start writing that
story, but make the changes that you always thought should be there. What were Jack and
Jill really doing on their way up the hill? If they were fetching a pail of water, what was the
You don't have to re-invent the wheel, simply make the everyday your own.
Increasing your creativity starts in small, simple ways. Your life is filled with opportunities
for you to test your creative energies but it's up to you to take action!
Do you feel like you lack imagination? Do you struggle to create or to find solutions to the challenges in your life? It’s possible you’re suffering from a few creativity-blocking obstacles. By identifying the obstacles in your path, you can find ways to work around them.
Eliminate the creativity blockers from your life:
1. A cluttered mind makes creativity a challenge. Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come when you’re alone? You’re either being quiet or doing something very routine, like driving on a low-traffic road or taking a walk. It’s hard to get the creative juices flowing when you have too much going on.
2. You don’t prime your creative mechanism. Try doing a different creative activity for a few minutes. If you’re trying to write a book, try creating and humming a new song for a few minutes. Legos, Lincoln Logs, tinker toys, modeling clay, crayons and brain teasers are other options.
3. Stress. You might have time to yourself, but still be too distracted to be creative. When your adrenaline is flowing, and you’re dealing with the stresses of life, creativity can be hard to find.
4. A narrow focus can limit your ability to find new solutions. Keep an open mind and consider all the possibilities. Avoid assuming you know where the general location of the answer to your challenge is. The best solution might be something you’ve never considered.
5. You don’t believe you are a creative person. You’ve used your creativity countless times in the past. From dealing with an unpleasant boss to keeping a moody child occupied. Believe you’re a creative person and you’ll prove yourself correct.
6. You never get started. Creative endeavors can be intimidating. Procrastination is one of the primary enemies to creativity. Set aside time each day to be creative, even if you’re convinced you’re wasting your time. You never know when your creative genius will strike.
7. Fear of failure. The possibility of failure can stop anyone in their tracks. Think of all the times you failed in the past and came through unscathed. Creativity feels risky, but it’s all in your head.
8. You’re stuck in a rut. It’s not easy to come up with ideas in the same old space. Get outdoors or at least move yourself into a space you don’t normally use, like a spare bedroom or a conference room.
9. You insist on doing it alone. Fresh minds bring fresh ideas. Ask others for their input. You’re likely to find that the ideas of others trigger your own new ideas. Get some help! Who is the most creative person you know? They should be your first call.
10. You don’t have enough experience. You may have been a very creative child, but if you’re not flexing your creative muscles on a regular basis, you might be out of practice. Spend a few minutes being creative each day and you’ll enhance your creative skills.
Creativity is a powerful skill and ability to possess. The most creative people in the world have a huge advantage over the rest of us.
If you’re struggling to be creative, it’s likely that an obstacle or two is standing in your way. Overcome your obstacles and use your creativity to your advantage.