Being a creative person can be both a gift and a curse. Without creativity, our lives would be very monotonous and boring. Nevertheless, we sometimes feel there are limits to what we can create.
Creative people are naturally good at critical thinking, innovation, and developing new concepts that don’t yet exist. We’re told we’re dreamers and idealists, and that’s why our ideas can’t work in the “real world”.
Successful leaders are often those who think outside the box. They look for new approaches to solve problems and encourage others to do the same. The world’s greatest inventions and discoveries often began with a new idea from someone who didn’t think it could fail.
Mental Blocks and Creative Boundaries
Sometimes we experience mental blocks where our minds don’t seem to have any new original ideas. This may be a creative block, or we may simply be stuck in the past or in a particular problem and need to move on.
When we start thinking about the problem or situation, it seems our creative flow cannot move forward.
We have no choice but to give up, and a creative solution will not come up.
According to scientific research, the average person has more than 6,000 thoughts daily.
That’s a lot of thoughts to have!
But we don’t spend much time thinking about where our thoughts come from – we just have them.
A creative constraint is the idea that creative people are more productive when they set certain limits for themselves.
We all experience challenges in our creative lives, whether it’s a specific task or when we need a major creative breakthrough.
My personal experience with challenging creative work:
For many years I ran World Citizen Artists without funding, and I always had creative ideas for running successful projects with very little funding. But at some point, I felt limited in my creative activities for various reasons: lack of funding, lack of human resources, limited knowledge, and personal challenges. Then I took some time off, founded a business Stunning Brand, and came back with fresh ideas that helped the community grow again.
Five Examples of Mental Blocks
1. Fear of Failure
Studies show that creative people are more afraid than others. Fear is a sign of human creativity. Humans are creative when they find new ways to get what they want.
What creative humans want isn’t just food or security. Above all, they want to feel that their lives have meaning. And that feeling comes from creating something new.
The same drive that leads to creativity also leads to fear of failure; when you try new things and fail, you feel like your life has no meaning.
The same drive that leads to creativity also leads to fear of success; if your life has no meaning, neither does success.
The same drive that leads to creativity also leads to fear of other people: If no one else understands what your life means, it must be hopelessly meaningless.
Being creative means being afraid of all these things at the same time.
2. Low Self-Confidence
Telling new ideas is like presenting your work in school.
If others laugh or disagree with your idea, it’s easy to lose confidence. That doesn’t mean your creative idea will fail unless it’s bad.
The problem isn’t the difficulty of coming up with ideas but the difficulty of recognizing really good ideas. If someone says there are no new ideas, they haven’t recognized a good idea. (As opposed to a bad idea).
3. Difficulty With Visualization
A great idea starts with a feeling, and the most creative ideas come from ‘thinking outside the box’ (thinking differently). One of the most difficult tasks in creative work is to see something that doesn’t exist.
Mental visualization, the ability to see things in your creative mind’s eye, is a skill that can be learned.
The good thing about not being able to visualize your idea right away is that it’s probably unique.
4. Lack of Openness
Openness is the foundation of creative pursuits. It allows us to connect with others and learn from them. It’s also the key to making progress and solving problems.
The more closed we are, the less effective we are. The more closed off we are, the less happy we are. The more closed we are, the fewer emotions we feel.
Openness means you’re willing to engage with divergent thinking that challenges your assumptions about yourself and your world. Freedom from fear means you’re willing to take risks without worrying about being judged or humiliated.
5. Thinking Too Much
Creative thinking is so difficult that many people think about it too much. They get caught up in their thoughts and begin to doubt their ability to come up with good ideas.
Some people are too analytical and think too much about the answer.
At some point, you’ve to stop critical thinking and start acting.
Five Tips to Help You Overcome Blocks to Thinking
We all run into these mental blocks from time to time. These blocks don’t have to be permanent. Here are some ways to overcome creative blocks and get back in touch with your creative side:
1. Take a Break
What do you do when you feel like you can’t think of anything new to say?
It could be that your mind is simply overloaded.
Brainstorming and coming up with a creative solution is a mental task you’re best off not doing when you’re stressed or tired.
Try to take a break and do something else.
Get out of the room, do something physical, call a friend, rest – anything that gets you out of your head and into a relaxed state.
This will help you return to brainstorming refreshed and relaxed.
2. Start Small
If you’re a writer, try writing down ten words and then write a story or article with them. If you’re a painter, try random colors and lines or new material, then let your imagination and feeling guide you without trying to get the first idea.
The same creative process applies to business creativity.
Your imagination will be fired as you try to combine these disconnected words or images into a story or idea.
This is a great new way to encourage creative thought.
3. Connecting vs. Disconnecting With the Outside World
There’s no point in staring at a blank piece of paper for hours trying to find answers. If you’re constantly faced with an unsolvable creative task at work, it’s good to learn how to relax and refocus your mind on creativity.
By giving your attention to the outside world, new ideas and energy come into your mind, and you can explore new creative ways and help you see things from a different perspective.
However, your creative mind may feel overwhelmed if you’re already connected to the outside world. In this case, it’s best to withdraw from it for a while.
4. Good Nutrition
The human brain is made up of about 86 billion neurons. Try to eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. These help increase serotonin levels in the brain – making you feel happier and more relaxed, and your brain function better.
5. Create New Emotions vs. Reduce Emotions
If you feel completely blocked in your creative process, you should try to help someone because this can trigger new emotions and help you open up to a new world of ideas. On the other hand, if you feel that your emotions are blocking your creative flow, the best thing to try is meditation.
Change Your Creative Approach
There’s a reason it’s so hard to come up with new ideas.
The brain is good at what it does, and trying to outsmart it can sometimes be unproductive.
The best way to solve this problem is to think about what you want. Simply saying, “I want to develop creative ideas” is a bit like saying, “I want to win the lottery” It’s just not very specific. And when you give your brain instruction, ensure it’s very specific. So don’t say, “I need some new ideas” Instead, say something like, “I need a campaign idea to increase sales by 20 % in six months“
If you don’t have any luck with this approach, try doing the opposite of what your brain tells you. If you usually start with a goal and work backward, try working forward from the other end.
Five Inspirational Quotes About Creativity
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encompasses the world.Albert Einstein
Another word for creativity is courage.Henri Matisse
Learning to be creative within the limits of our possibilities is the best hope we’ve for changing ourselves and, together, our world.Phil Hansen
If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you should find another room.Austin Kleon
Routine kills creative thought.Scarlett Thomas
Human Creativity Is Infinite
Creativity is the ability to understand and generate a kind of originality.
There are no limits to creativity.
In the most general sense, anything we do that’s not routine has a creative output. Most of the time, we’re not even aware we’re being creative.
The details of our habits are constantly changing; every day, you make a creative move in your life without even knowing it.
For example, when we say “hello” to someone, it changes depending on our emotions, mood, state of mind, or situation. We live creative life every day.
There are endless possibilities for improving just one creative skill – But that fact doesn’t say much about creativity itself or creative breakthrough.
What can you do if you want to increase your creativity by 50%?
It’s as simple as doing something different every day for a week: read a different newspaper (or none), listen to a different radio station than usual… As soon as you change your routine just a little bit, be it in your way of thinking or in your behavior towards others, you’ll become more successful in your creative endeavor.