The 8 Harmful Factors that Threaten to Kill your Creativity

We all feel paralyzed to create sometimes.

It can attack suddenly: One day many creative ideas start coming out, you feel like a bad ass and then, another day, you can’t come up with a single idea. Or ideas come to you slowly but surely. Like there’s some sort of parasite feeding on your creativity, making it more difficult to come up with something.

But not to worry, there are ways to keep that paralysis at bay. If you watch out for all the issues below and follow the advice to get past them, your creativity will have a much better chance to thrive.

1. Monotony: Mix Things Up

Always sitting in the same place, doing the same thing over and over, only ever talking to the same people will keep our minds stuck on the same thoughts and ideas.

To fuel your creativity, go and do things you would never usually do. Even if, or perhaps especially if, they scare you a little bit.

Get out and experience new things, new events, new places, new activities, new people. When it comes to thinking of ideas, you’ll have a much larger library to draw from.

If you avoid getting too comfortable, you’ll always have strange, interesting and exciting things going on around you. Each of these things will inspire you to come up with countless creative ideas in the future.


2. Self-doubt: Believe In Yourself

Thought of a good idea but don’t think you can pull it of? Maybe it’s a little out of your league. Maybe you let someone better try their luck at it.

Give it a go anyway. If you don’t attempt something a little out there and a little overwhelming every now and then, your thinking will end up getting stuck around what’s easy. And what’s easy will always be the same stuff.


Sycamore Street Press

Just go ahead and bring to life the ideas that come to you. The more challenges you face, the more you’ll have to employ creative thinking to work your way around them, and the more creative you’ll get.

As well as providing new creative avenues of thought, you may also be forced to learn new skills and techniques along the way which will help you think of and complete future creative projects.

So stop doubting yourself and try anyway. Yes, you may hit some difficulties, but overcoming challenges such as these is ultimately what makes you more creative. But if you don’t attempt it, your creativity will just die slowly.

3. Fear Of Failure: Do It Afraid

What if you’re able to pull off the idea only for it to fail miserably, fall under the radar, or not make enough sales. This one is an absolute creativity-destroying monster. But relax, it can be defeated.

It’s natural to shy away from putting yourself out there and subjecting your work to the scrutiny of people. It can be tough to fail in front of an audience but try to put those feelings aside.

The more you tell yourself you can’t do something, the more you believe it and the less you try. Never trying means never learning and never improving, and that damages your creativity considerably.

So what if you don’t think you can do something. Try anyway. What’s the worst that can happen? You can’t do it. And how is that any worse than choosing not to do it in the first place?

Even if you do fail, the journey to that failure will have taught you something that will help you in the future. You may have learned new skills and ideas or you may have met new people you can collaborate with. In other words, every failure is a success.


4. Excuses: Think Of Reasons You Can

Does this sound familiar? You want to create something but maybe you don’t know the right technique to achieve it. Or you’re not sure you want to get into a big project right now. Or you just don’t have time?

Don’t think of reasons you can’t do something, think of reasons you can.

You will never know if you can do it or not until you try.



5. Secrets: Share Your Ideas

Hiding all your ideas away may seem like a good way to protect your most precious thoughts, but it can really harm those ideas and harm your creativity, short-term and long-term.

Share your ideas with as many other creative people as you can. And sometimes even random people too. They may be able to add something to them which you can add to. You’ll fuel each other’s creativity.

And go out and collaborate on projects. Find people with different skills to work with and you’ll be able to create all sorts of new things. You’ll learn loads from them too. Their new ideas and new ways of thinking will help your creativity for years.


6. Apathy: Love What You Do

If you’re not working on something you care about then you’ll find it difficult to be creative for it.

Care about something and you’ll put all your love and passion into it. You’ll push yourself to make it the best it can be. You’ll be happier spending more time thinking about it and looking for solutions to any challenges you’re facing.

Don’t care about something and you’ll want to get it over with fast. You’ll settle for lesser ideas because you’re not excited to think of anything better. In other words, you’ll have little to no motivation to be creative, so you just won’t be.

Always love your work. And if you don’t love it, think about what you can change so that you can love it. If you do, your creativity will come flowing.


7. Pride: Stay Humble

So you’re very good. Good for you, that’s great. In many ways, it’s important to be confident, just try not to get overconfident.

When you become overconfident, you often stop thinking about how to do things differently and better. You stop pushing yourself to go out and learn new skills and experience new ideas. This leads to your creativity becoming a little stagnant, and you might not even realise it.

Don't get cocky

Lauren Morse

Stay humble and always remember that you’re never as good as you could be. Always push yourself to be better. And find people who are better than you to give you something to work towards.


8. Lack Of Practice: Exercise Your Creative Muscle

When you go too long without doing anything creative, you fall out of practice and it becomes hard to get your mind in gear again.

If you’re not getting the opportunity to be creative, in work or otherwise, then try to create those opportunities to get your creativity flowing.

Look at what other creative people are doing. How would you do it better? Or what could you learn from them to inspire a new creative project?

As Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” So get out there and force yourself to be creative on a regular basis. You’ll only get better and better at it.


Scott Biersack

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