All of us need creativity to progress. And we need progress to feel happy. That means creativity is crucial for our fulfilment and our advancement. Being creative is not limited to artists and musicians. You might use creativity to develop a new business idea, create a landing page for your website, or create content for a presentation.
But what happens when you just don’t feel like being creative?
Creativity gets killed by a lot of things around us. Most of these things are within our control to change, we just need to be aware of what they are and how to eliminate them. If you’re struggling to find creative juice, stop what you’re doing and look at what’s around you. It’s time to make some simple changes that will turn your creativity back on.
Here are six killers of creativity that you can identify and eliminate.
Worry focuses on what might happen which creates anxiety in your body – an anti-repellent for creativity. Anxiety puts you on edge about all the things that might go wrong; taking your eye off the ball. Creativity thrives in comfort – an environment where you feel safe. Worrying triggers your mind to think that you are not safe and this pushes creativity to the side until that worry subsides. And let’s be honest, it may not subside at all.
Get a handle on your anxious or worrisome thoughts by writing them down and setting them aside. When you allow them to fester in your mind they can feel uncontrollable. Before turning your attention to the work you want to create, get these thoughts out of your mind, onto paper and start to change your mindset.
One of the great distractors in our lives is anything with a screen – TV, iPhone, iPad, computer, etc. If you’re trying to throw your mind into a zone where you are creating, any device can pull it right back out causing you to struggle.
When you’re going into a creative zone, don’t bring your devices with you. Let whoever needs to know that you’ll be unavailable. Respect your craft by giving it 100% of your attention.
The environment around you can enhance or detract from your creative levels. And a lot of this depends on your personality style. Some people thrive in an environment that is quiet, clean and orderly while others love the bustle of other people like a coffee shop.
Start by figuring out what environment works for you. Do you thrive in the comfort of your own home or do you prefer an environment with people and activity? Experiment with a few locations until you determine what works best for you.
#4 Group work
Chances are you either love group work or you loathe it. The problem with being creative in a group is there’s a lack of accountability and our ideas do not go as deep as when we’re thinking on our own. Suddenly, we’re screening our thoughts so they won’t seem completely ludicrous or we’re not sharing them at all for fear of being scrutinized.
There is value in group work. It can be essential for staying on track with a project and keeping everyone up to date. But some level of individual work is required. If you insist on creating ideas together, let everyone come up with ideas beforehand which are all shared (and not scrutinized). Also, be selective with the personalities in your group and have someone be a mediator so the group’s time is not monopolized by the loudest person.
This happens to me all the time. I want to sit down to write a post but my apartment is a mess or I’ve got something really pressing to do. I try to urge my mind to be creative but these things keep nagging at me. It’s distracting and it completely vaporizes any enthusiasm I had towards creating a post.
Tolerations are all the things – both intangible and tangible – that we’re putting up with. While some of these things may not seem like a big deal – like a messy apartment – they drain us of our energy.
To get your creativity back, zap tolerations. Start by making a list of everything you are putting up with and then get to work on eliminating each of those tolerations. Less tolerations mean more space for creative energy.
And then there are those moments where you have no energy left to be creative. You want it but your body just can’t give you anymore energy. Trying to force creativity is like a really bad first date. It’s uncomfortable, unfulfilling and doesn’t lead to much.
Get your rest in and if you need, take a break. Make time to rest before you dive into a project requiring high levels of creativity. Also, choose times of day where you have the highest energy levels to produce your most creative work. If you thrive after hours, don’t beat yourself up for not being creative as soon as you wake up.
Sacha Austin is a published author, blogger, life coach and trained speaker. Sacha helps entrepreneurs activate their potential so they can monetize their talent. Check out her work at www.sachaaustin.co