You know the feeling. There’s a deadline looming, and your mind has gone completely blank. Nothing, nada. It’s like your brain is frozen.
Luckily the latest research shows us the most common roadblocks to creativity, and how to move past them and get on with the job.
Let’s take a look ….
1. Fear of Failure
Most people are afraid of failing because they see it as a one-way street to disaster, rejection, or a stain on their reputation forever.
Interestingly, fear of failure is actually the mirror image of perfectionism. The idea that nothing you can do will be good enough, and that this failure defines your identity.
Fear of failure means you’re less likely to take risks, and you probably put off even starting. And those are two things that can kill creativity stone dead.
Re-define creativity as a series of experiments, with failure as a kind of course-correction and an inevitable part of the process.
2. There’s Not Enough Time
The ticking clock is another creativity killer. If you’re like most people, your schedule is probably crammed, and you feel like you’ll never catch up.
If your to-do list just keeps growing, you won’t be able to relax in the creative process and let the ideas flow.
A surprising way to find your creativity and more time is to schedule some “me” time into your day. Actually write it on your calendar, planner or in your scheduling software.
Prioritize some downtime to listen to music, meditate, or just sit quietly. You’ll feel much less stressed and much more open to the creative flow.
3. You’re Still Staring at the Screen
Sitting at your desk, staring at the computer or the blank page is not a good way to get the creative juices flowing.
If you’ve been trying to write or problem-solve and it’s just not happening, the best thing you can do is go for a walk or take a break.
Getting out of the environment that’s keeping you stuck and getting moving will get your mental gears turning and relax your brain enough to be ready when inspiration strikes.
4. You’re Feeling Negative
Negative thinking can stop creativity in its track. If you’re sitting there frowning, and thinking you can’t do it, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you won’t be able to do it.
Pessimism and negative self-talk set up a vicious cycle of gloom and low energy.
Reject that self-defeating attitude and give yourself a pep talk.
Re-frame your task and just promise yourself you’ll write down whatever comes into your head, just to get the process started.
Remember, first drafts are usually not your best product, because that’s what a first draft is for!
You’ve done good work before, you’ll do it again. Tell yourself you’re ready and get going!