BE CREATIVE • 7 Reasons why we struggle with Creativity & How to be more Creative
Do you struggle with creativity?
Is the lack of creativity hindering your potential and making life more difficult? Wondering how to create or discover great ideas?
You might not realize how much creativity affects your productivity and stress levels if you think being creative only applies to artistic endeavors.
CREATIVITY AFFECTS ALMOST EVERYTHING WE DO.
Even the most creative of us can struggle with things like finding new ideas, a better way to do things or problem solving.
Many daily tasks take some form of creativity.
I make my living from my creativity so understanding what the most common creative blocks are and how to overcome IS MY JOB.
Let’s get started!
CAN WE INCREASE OUR CREATIVITY?
Yes! We were not born creative or not creative. Creativity is something everyone of us has and is a learned behavior. It can be nurtured and made stronger. It comes in many forms and is as unique as you are.
We all start at different levels of creativity but with some practice we can rewire our brain to strengthen our creativity and problem solving.
Read the 7 reasons below to understand why you struggle with creativity and to understand how to conquer creative blocks.
WHAT IS CREATIVITY?
Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas, not just in the form of art work or crafts.
Your level of inventiveness and innovation can be felt in even the smallest of things. Even how to carry everything from your car in one trip, how to organize your day or schedule, what to make for dinner, how to fit everything into your suitcase, what to buy to stay on budget, or what clothes to pair together.
Creativity can be life changing when we apply it to larger things like, how to create our living environments and organize our homes, what business to start as an entrepreneur, creating new products, writing a book, deciding what your next goal is and how to make it a reality, where to travel and what to experience in your time there, how to help your kids learn… the applications are limitless.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CREATIVE?
Being creative doesn’t mean that you’re born with an innate talent to be good at making something. Creativity means to think for yourself, to think outside the box sometimes and to create a life experience of your own choosing. To work at a problem and find a solution.
To make something happen or bring something into existence from your mind that didn’t exist before.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY
Our creativity is directly linked to our happiness and our life satisfaction.
If you’re artistic, or crafty and have a calling to dabble in any sort of creative outlet - make time for it! If you don’t feel artistic there are many other ways to express creativity like dance, song, music, writing, completing puzzles, or building.
One of the most important applications of creativity is how we spend our time. Getting creative about how we spend our time, using our imagination and being original directly influences if our needs and wants are met. And if we are living authentically to ourselves.
The #1 Regret of the Dying:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
– Read the top 5 regrets of the dying, research done by Bronnie Ware
HOW DO I BECOME MORE CREATIVE?
Let’s look at some of the most common reasons why we struggle with creativity.
#1: NOT ENOUGH PLAY, CURIOSITY & ADVENTURE
Play is a state of mind that we start to leave out of our daily activities once we pass childhood. Curiosity also declines when our state of mind excludes play as well as our sense of adventure. Practicing curiosity, and approaching our daily tasks with a sense of play and adventure will increase our creativity. Make everything you can into an experiment.
When we approach creating or problem solving with this mindset we take the “do-or-die” stress and pressure off our need for perfection and productivity to validate our self-worth.
Play for the sake of play.
Do things that we would normally deem purposeless but do them just for sake that you’re enjoying it.
Ideas for play, adventure and curiosity:
- Learn how something is made or works
- Learn some fun facts that would never use in your work life
- Go to a class on something you have never done before
- Do something you are bad at just to have fun being bad at it
- Try to find a new way, or more scenic one without GPS
- Play an extra silly game with the kids
- Make a fort to watch a movie in
- Dance randomly once a day
- Go somewhere new
- Challenge yourself physically
- Read a fiction book that is set in a fantasy world
- Go to a comedy movie
#2: NOT GIVING YOUR MIND ENOUGH SPACE
In this modern age that worships busy and multitasking, we have removed much if not all the space our minds once used to have.
We’ve moved to an age where we are constantly plugged in and a lot of our work has changed from physical to mental. Do you remember the last time you sat to daydream, ponder or meditate freely? Not with an end goal, forced topic, or task oriented mindset?
Giving our brains the space to process ideas, to digest everything we have been shoving into it all day is vital to our creativity. As well as knowing our desires and how we feel about things. Finding daily space and quiet will help change the brain from a memorization/consumption and regurgitation state to a creative state.
Ideas how to get more space:
Day dreaming out a window
Coloring in a coloring book
Time alone with no electronics
Doing physical repetitive work just for the sake of doing it
Swinging in a hammock or playground swing
Bouncing gently in once place on a trampoline
Watching a candle or the fireplace
#3: NOT PRACTICING CREATIVITY ENOUGH
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use the more you have."
- Maya Angelou
Creativity and ideas are not a limited resource. We have more on some days than others depending on our mental state, but you don’t have only a certain # of ideas set for your life.
Practicing being creative and problem solving will sharpen and hone your skills. Our brains build neural pathways stronger when they are used more. Consistency will turn weak and thin pathways into gorging rivers that are easy to tap into and flow freely.
In small ways challenge your creativity often.
Ideas how to practice creativity daily:
Create your own or improve your recipes
Play brain games like a puzzle
Complete a 30 day writing or drawing challenge, or even coloring, dancing, scuplting or crafting. (Do a creative activity of your choice for 20 minutes a day every day)
Pair clothes together that you have never put together before
Assess and change the layout and location of things in your home or office for easier use or a more visually appealing aesthetic
#4: CONSUMING THE WRONG THINGS OR AMOUNT
We become what we consume. Not just our food but the energies and ideas that we put into our brain.
Our brain is a computer, and it’s output is greatly influenced by the input.
We all have and need different inputs to maximize our best output. I’m going to speak generally here as you should feel into what your specific input needs are.
When we become stuck, stressed and feel like we’re struggling, we need to check what we’re consuming. Are we not consuming enough inspiration and ideas… or to much?
How to check your input:
Use a notebook to write down what you saw, read, heard or talked about that inspired you during the day. Then write down what distracted you, stressed you or overwhelmed you. Doing this each day will help us become aware of what we want to consume, what we shouldn’t and how much is helpful each day.
What is the quality of those ideas, energies and information that we are plugging in?
Social media, the news and coworkers, family or friends can give us a lot of information to consume. Is what we’re reading, learning and consuming building us up or pulling us apart? Is that input overwhelming your own voice and ideas?
#5: WHO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH
We can’t always control who’s in our lives but pursuing friendships and relationships with people that are big thinkers, dreamers and achievers will level up your life and creativity in miraculous ways.
You can’t walk up river against a torrent forever. If you feel like you have to brace against the deluge of negativity, hopelessness, unhealthy, uninspired and tired people and situations - it’s time to get into a different river. One that flows in the direction you want to go.
Ideas to get into a new river:
Find new groups, events or meetings to attend.
Become more aware of the people that boost your energy vs. sucking it.
Do an personal inventory and decide who you want to spend more time with, and less time with.
#6: THINKING OF THE PROBLEM
Getting stuck on what the problem is and how things are not working hinders us from coming up with a solution. When you find yourself listing all the ways something is hard or impossible you can’t work tap into your creativity by being playful and curious.
Ideas how to find solutions:
Ask yourself “What about this could work?”.
Work backwards from where you are now and try any different approach you can think of no matter how weird or unhelpful it seems.
Free write any idea in your head, not even using complete sentences, and even if you think they won’t work. Pretend magic exists and write out ways that could solve this if anything were possible.
Let go of perfection and let it get messy.
Get away from it and do something physical or outdoors. Your brain can work on it uninhibited by the pressure and your “know-it all” conscious self.
#7: FEAR OF JUDGEMENT & CRITICISM
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
(I highly recommend reading her book: The Gifts of Imperfection or watching her ted talks here:)
This is likely the #1 killer of your creativity.
Our fears of being judged and criticized keep us from sharing our message, gifts and talents with the world. They keep us from trying or sharing our own ideas and creations. We compare ourselves to the rest of the world and if we don’t think measure up then we don’t put anything out at all.
Squandering our gifts, creations and ideas brings distress into our lives. Which then breeds more fear and stress that smother our creativity, courage and motivation.
To overcome self-doubt we need to start owning our messages, ideas and creations. To take the risk and be OK with judgement and criticism.
It might feel dangerous and scary but that’s where fostering a sense of adventure will come in handy. Have a small support team of trusted family or friends that have your back and seek your own approval for what you do. No one else’s.
Do and recognize what inspires you. What makes you feel more alive?
Your creativity will flow more freely and be at the ready when you’re in need of it.
Are you an entrepreneur and struggle with creativity as it directly effects your business?
Part 2 is coming soon with specific to be a more creative entrepreneur and more ways to be more creative.
Save this article to your Pinterest board for a reminder or feel free to share these quotes linked here to your social media.
I’M MONICA FAWN ORTO
I care deeply about your daily life satisfaction, health & happiness while you’re chasing your big dreams.
I give solo entrepreneurs that are stuck in start up mode simple step-by-step trainings that maximize their time & effort so they can make more money while living healthy, peaceful & passionate lives.