Typically, artists, musicians, dancers, and perhaps a few eccentric folks come to mind as examples of creative individuals. But what about leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs – do they fit into the creative category? Absolutely! It is not limited to those who pursue expressive adventures. No matter what your role in life, creativity enhances what you do!
Creativity comes in handy when…
- Creating and casting a vision
- Solving problems
- Overcoming challenges
- Attracting an audience, clients, or customers
- Developing products and services
- Partnering with strategic partners
- Writing, speaking, and teaching
- Searching for work
- Organizing and being planning
- And so much more!
Creativity makes mundane things like planning meals, putting together an outfit, or cleaning the house more effective, not to mention a whole lot more enjoyable.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent to creativity is that you don’t see yourself as being creative!
The truth is: you are creative. While there is certainly a continuum – some people tap into creativity more than others, it is not reserved for the “creative geniuses” in your life. Creativity spills out in a wide variety of ways and you have your own unique way of expressing it!
Would it surprise you to learn that 75% of the people around you don’t think they are living up to their creative potential? That’s 3 out of 4 people!
The good news: you can learn to be more creative!
So if creativity is such a wonderful thing, why aren’t more people actively applying creativity to their life? Consider these 9 creativity crushers:
1. Wearing the busy badge
When your schedule is full and you are racing from one obligation to another there is very little space for creativity. Creativity flourishes when your mind can wander, and that takes time!
What if you traded your busy badge in for a creative badge and set aside time to not only let your mind wander, but to evaluate how things are going and brainstorm creative ways to enhance what you are doing. I’ve noticed that my best ideas often come when I am relaxed and allowing my mind to drift where it wants to go, like when I am on vacation or taking a walk – times when I’ve slowed down.
2. Doing life in an unbalanced way
When you are chasing goals and deadlines, it can be easy to invest in work more than is helpful. Or if you spend too much time playing and having fun, soon the other areas of your life suffer. You are not a one or two dimensional person. You are a multi-dimensional person. Over investing in one area of your life to the exclusion of other areas inhibits your creativity! When you are connecting to all the areas of your life, creativity is naturally sparked. When you are taking time to grow intellectually, it opens up new possibilities, and when you are healthy and physically fit, you are in a better mood. You are an interconnected, multi-dimensional person that is more creative when you are nurturing all of you.
And when one of these eight areas is suffering, it affects all the other areas of your life impeding your creativity.
What are the eight areas you want to be sure you are connecting to in some way?
3. Practicing bad habits
Some bad habits are a reflection of things being out of balance, like not getting enough sleep, skipping exercise, or not taking breaks, like I just mentioned. However, there are plenty of other bad habits you might be engaging in that interfere with being creative. Here are a few:
- Not asking for help, leaving yourself overwhelmed and over scheduled
- Being critical and judging your efforts or the efforts of other too harshly
- Having poor boundaries contributing to an out of balance life
- Procrastinating – always waiting until the last minute to tackle tasks
- Comparing yourself to others
- Endless analyzing and not taking action
- Not planning or scheduling – being unintentional about how you use your time
- Letting clutter accumulate – a constant distraction
4. Fear of failure (or success)
How you view failure makes a huge difference when it comes to creativity. If failure is something to be avoided at all costs, you will not try new and innovative approaches, making it impossible to be creative. But if you see failure as a part of the process and a way to learn and grow, you are more likely to experiment and get creative.
On the flip side, you might be afraid of success. You just can’t imagine yourself in that light. Success may be unfamiliar to you or you may be unsure how success might change your life if it is an unknown.
Either way, fear of failure or fear of success will crush your creativity!
Being perfect is not only impossible; it is a great big block to creativity! Instead, focus on doing your best within the time you have and explore innovative ways to make things better.
It is hard to imagine being comfortable as a bad thing, but when you desire comfort over taking risks, it makes it hard to be creative. Don’t worry; even taking baby steps outside your comfort zone can positively impact your ability to be creative!
7. Starving your creativity
When you are stuck in a routine, it limits the new experiences you have and starves your creativity. When you get out, meet new people, experience new things, travel, read, etc. your creativity is fed! Get curious and try new things!
8. Ignoring your heart
Beware people pleasers – your creativity is limited. Allowing others to overshadow your creative ways limits your creativity. Pay attention to your heart and allow your unique perspective to thrive because when you do, you have the potential to come up with something incredible!
9. Skipping time with God
Albert Einstein said “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” God is the source of creativity -Who better to hang out with!
When you need creativity the most do you skip your time with God or rush it? What if you did just the opposite and lingered in His presence and asked Him to give you the creative ideas you need? Do you trust that He will help you accomplish what needs to get done and bless you with the creativity you need?
What’s crushing your creativity?
© Can Stock Photo / pterwort