In a world where we’re often forced to conform to the ideas and ideals of higher authorities around us, we can easily become subject to applying routine habits into the creative processes of work and life. Healthy routines and good habits are okay, but overdoing them is not. In fact, being overly focused on your routine could be killing your creativity.
Being creative allows you to be who you are, to feel freedom from within. It is the main ingredient of long term success. We’ve seen so many examples of successful people and their creative minds. Every human being is creative, it’s just the matter of how someone uses their creativity. Creativity is crucial in many aspects of our lives, especially for problem solving. Read our article “The geniuses’ guide to improving creative problem solving skills” to find out how you too can boost your creativity.
1. Rigid control
It’s healthy to look for control and order in your life and if it’s necessary for reaching a higher goal it’s great. But becoming obsessed with having everything ordered perfectly and stressing over it, will waste your time and energy, and your creative mind will completely shut down.
I once had a friend that always demanded that everything we planned together would be the way he thought was the best. If an outing or an event wasn’t going the way he had in mind he would get really negative and demotivated. Don’t do this to yourself!
2. Total chaos
Just as too much control is bad, chaos is too. It’s great when you have lots of stuff going on and you’re able to juggle everything for your best results. But taking up too many projects and goals at the same time and not knowing your priorities will throw you of the rails in no time. So once again, you won’t have enough energy to feed your creative mind with.
3. Interruptions could be killing your creativity seriously
Do you get constant interruptions at work? People sending you messages, asking you questions, shooting you FYI’s etc. Yes, we’re all for team work and collaboration here at Boston Mobile Dance Studio. But if you’re focusing on work that requires your creativity to be fully awake, learn to ignore interruptions. Who says you have to reply to questions and messages right away? And if you’re not able to ignore or not hear chit chat and other noises, get some headphones and some nice tunes to listen to, that will boost your creativity even more.
4. Insufficient resources
Now here’s another tricky one. Having less than you think you need is good for developing your creativity and some of the most amazing ideas can come out of that. But not having enough resources can get demotivating, and demotivation is a serious creativity killer.
5. Forgetting your long term visions
I have to admit it, but I’m often a victim of this one too. I tend to overly focus on my short term goals in my career, that I forget my life visions. Luckily, it doesn’t take me long to realize I’m doing this because meditation helps me stay in touch with my inner creativity.
6. Stress and pressure
Just like chaos, taking up too much work and too many responsibilities can create the feeling of pressure and stress. Of course, stress isn’t outside of us, it’s our inner reaction to certain things, people and situations. Psychologist Teresa Amabile PhD has found through her research and studies, that time pressure is deadly for creativity at work. Because rushing to finish a task uses up the mental resources prohibiting new ideas.
It’s a part of human nature to react under stressful situations, but changing the way you look at things and avoiding the things that bring you out of alignment with your inner being will have a huge positive effect on your creativity.
7. Avoiding challenges
If you’re constantly looking for safe and secure ways of doing things, not only are you killing your creativity, but you’re also limiting your full potential. Your brain isn’t able to develop and you are imposing false limits onto yourself. If you’re often avoiding challenges, you’re disabling your personal and professional growth and development. You’ve probably heard this many times already. But getting out of the comfort zone, where you feel secure in your routine ways of doing things, is crucial for success.
8. Not taking risks
Just like the prior, not taking risks is also a creativity serial killer. Extraordinary ideas that seem impossible might come to you often, but are you aware that you are suffocating your creativity and your inner being by not taking risks and not incarnating your amazing ideas that you could be living today? The best of the best have taken risks, and they’ve failed often. Failure is an inevitable part of success. And you know what they say; those who haven’t taken risks, haven’t lived.
9. Not developing new knowledge and skills
I love the way Matt Horwitz puts it in one of his videos, “The worst mindset people have”. If you’re one of these people who often say “I’d do (something), but I don’t know how to…” This is a WAKEUP call! There isn’t anything in this world that you can’t learn if you really want to reach a certain goal in life. Look at Nick Vujicic, an amazing guy who never paid attention to physical limitations and found a way to learn everything he wanted to learn in life.
10. Being surrounded by negative people and things
Whether you believe it or not, our world exists of energy. Energy is around us and within us. People who are under the effects of negative thought and emotion, vibrate on low frequencies. And if you’re not a highly conscious and mindful person, it’s easy to submit to these negative vibrations. If you are forced to work or collaborate with a negative person, try to look at their negativity from a higher perspective. They are probably unaware of their negativity, but all you can do is learn to see the bigger picture. To put it simply; their negativity, even if it’s directed at you, is only their problem and not yours. Take some deep breaths and affirm to yourself; this has nothing to do with me. But do keep in mind that negative behavioural patterns amongst team mates can also be the result of disagreements and confrontation. So make sure you talk things through and stay honest in your intentions.
11. Lack of sleep
Not getting enough sleep causes your body and mind to slow down. Your brain gets tired and confused and isn’t able to process information adequately. Sleep is to mind what food is to the body. So not sleeping enough, you’re sure to be killing your creativity. A human being needs 6 hours of sleep per 24 hours. Anything less, expect a burn out coming your way. And if you don’t burn out, then you’re probably an advanced human being.
12. Avoiding collaboration
It’s okay to be an introvert, but it’s not okay to close in on yourself. If you fail to collaborate with other people, you can’t keep an open mind to new ideas. You might be very creative already, but avoiding collaboration is destined to killing your creativity. Open up to other people, even if it’s a demanding move for you. You’ll be amazed how many new ideas you’ll be able to come up with together with your friends and colleagues.
13. Letting negative thought and emotions take over
Letting negativity take the best of you is not only killing your creativity, but all your other abilities and potentials too. Learn to snap out of it!
14. Dark spaces
Working in spaces with poor lighting isn’t just bad for your eyes. It’s depressing and demotivating too. And how can you be creative if your mood is down? Let the light shine in!
Fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of being cast out and the list goes on. It’s a known fact that fear paralyzes. The next time you see fear sneaking up on you, ask yourself; is it realistic or is it just in your head? So what if you fail, so what if you get criticised. At least you’ll learn something and you’ll grow.
16. Conforming to other people’s homogeneous ideas
People might be shocked by your ideas, they might often disagree because your ideas don’t fit in to their accustomed ways. But that doesn’t mean your ideas are bad. If you hear people at work say “we do things by the book here”, and you’re finding that hard to accept, It’s time for a job change. Otherwise you will kill your creativity.
Acting upon old conservative habits and behavioural patterns that have killed your motivation and will power already in the past, is a sure path to kill your creativity. The creative journey demands changes.
18. Narrow mindedness
This one is the worst of the worst. Not keeping your mind open to explore new wild ideas is deadly for creativity. Open your mind and look at things from a higher and wider perspective. A bird’s eye view is spectacular!
If you are continuously doubting everything you do and everything everyone else does, you’re not leaving any room for creativity and positive outcomes. Pessimists always have negative expectations in life, because they believe that it is not them creating and controlling their own lives. This way, they attract situations that confirm their negative beliefs even more. If you have a tendency of being pessimistic, it’s time to change that bad habit. Start approaching life with more positivity and optimism and you will see that your creativity will flourish too.
It’s easy to get discouraged by others’ comments if you lack self – confidence. Especially if it’s someone close discouraging you. Next time someone starts shooting negative discouraging comments and opinions at you, stop them. Even if it means being rude.
21. Information overload
Information overload aka Analysis Paralysis. Information is important, especially if you’re solving a problem. But creative work needs room to roam. You have to know when to stop thinking and gathering information, and start acting. Stop killing your creativity with irrelevant information.
22. Following only expert advice
Expert advice is important. But if you believe in your idea, then just go for it. If you fail, you’ll learn something. If you succeed, your confidence will grow and more amazing ideas will come.
23. False limits
Imposing self-limits are FALSE. Even physical limitation won’t stop an individual who is convinced in their ideas and goals. Don’t let your creativity be limited by yours or anyone’s limited belief systems.
24. Creating and evaluating
You can’t create and evaluate at the same time. Focusing on creating first will generate more ideas and creativity. Evaluating later will give you space to see what can be done better. This is extremely important in any line of work. For example, if I start writing a piece of content and going back and forth to evaluate and edit, I’m losing time and not being productive and my creativity is reduced. Whereas if I just write, write and write; my creativity juices are flowing without limits.
25. Lack of confidence
Lack of confidence is the main culprit of fear and discouragement. Believe in yourself and believe in your ideas. Know that creativity does not require perfection, it just needs to fly.
And there you have it. I hope this has been helpful for your creative journey and that it has helped you notice some things that may be holding you back and killing you creativity. Share your experiences with us, we’d love to hear them!