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10 Blocks To Creativity

Blocks to creativity exist when you find yourself not having a creative space that you can escape to. Your life feels dull and you do not feel inspired. You experience little joy in what you do. It is more like going through the motions!!

Blocks to creativity also exist if you find yourself falling short of your potential. Your inner knowing tells you that you are capable of much more; yet when you try, it seems hard to have a major breakthrough. It is possible that you are stifling the genius within, when you do not allow adequate self expression.

1. Fear of Criticism. Perhaps one of the biggest blocks to exploring creativity lay in the fears that your ideas will be criticised. You are afraid that you will not receive support. After all, if your ideas are new and have never been explored before, you put yourself at risk of being ridiculed for them. You perceive that the more your ideas deviate from current norms and trends, the greater the chance of receiving a poor response to them. In seeking to protect your fragile ego, you prefer not to voice your ideas. You would rather not even indulge in your creative daydreams to begin with!

2. Fear of Making Mistakes. Then, there is also the fear that you are setting yourself up for more failures by coming up with new ideas. While creativity gives you a chance for innovation, your ideas may turn out to be a success or a complete flop. “Wouldn’t it be safer to stick to conventions or to old and tested ways?” you reasoned. Fear of making mistakes can be a huge obstacle, preventing you from exploring creativity freely.

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” — Quote by Erich Fromm

3. Too Much Clutter. Too much clutter can block the flow of creativity. Clutter can be both mental or physical clutter. In terms of mental clutter, creative ideas cannot flow freely if you are limited by thoughts of negativity like fear, blame, worry or shame. It will be quite impossible for ideas to come round, if your mind is constantly busy with thoughts; such as making arrangements for your schedule, how to make ends meet or whether or not to join the MLM program that your friend is promoting.

In terms of physical clutter, too much paper and things lying around, as well as too many possessions, can be distracting. They are productive suckers, occupying your mind with little or no space left to explore creativity.
(Sur comments: At here where the Concept Map can help you to structure your cluterred mind.)

4. Low Self Confidence. If you suffer from low confidence, you may believe that you are not capable. Hence, you choose to believe that you are not able to come up with creative ideas. You think that creativity is the domain of only geniuses or those who are smarter than you. Limiting thoughts make great blocks to creativity!

5. Not Enough Time To Relax. A brain that is overworked, with no time set aside for relaxation, will find it hard to produce creative ideas. It is too busy with thoughts on activities and tasks. When you are relaxed, great ideas will flow like gushing water from a tap that is fully turned on.

6. Inadequate Sleep. Inadequate sleep can hinder you in coming up with creative ideas the next day. Your physical body needs to feel good first before you can develop and explore your mental creative faculties.

In fact, it is said that many successful people have received their greatest revelations while in a dream-like state and transformed their own lives or even the world around them. One good example was Thomas Edison, who was awarded 1368 distinct patents and invented, including the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, the film projector, and the first motion picture. Edison was known to have said, “Ideas come from spaceâ€. Edison purportedly took frequent naps in the afternoons and woke up with solutions to the most perplexing problems.

7. Lack of Priority. If you do not attach any importance to being creative, guess what? You are not going to enjoy the benefits of being creative either. You will be like how you are now - dull and listless. Consider setting aside time for developing creativity. It will be a good idea to also start keeping an idea journal, to faciliate this process.

8. Stubborness. A refusal to let go of your existing beliefs and thoughts can limit you in thinking of new possibilities. The more you identify yourself with specific values, meanings, beliefs and symbols, the more you will stifle creativity. On the other hand, the more you focus on how values, meanings, beliefs and symbols are formed and interrelated, the more you can explore creativity.

9. Poverty Thinking. You tend to associate those in the creative arts as poor and struggling. Hence, you may feel that it is not important to explore creativity since it cannot help you pay your bills. Why bother to waste time developing right brain thinking when you can rely adequately on your left brain to feed you?

10. Inappropriate Comparisons. If you think that only special, talented people are creative and that geniuses are born and not made, then you may have no wish to develop your creative abilities. You protest that you can barely draw, sing or dance. You are definite that you are tone-deaf or color-blind. You consider people like Shakespeare, Picasso and Mozart as “gifted”.
(Sur comments: see again The Multiple Intelligence. Those people are gifted in Verbal/ Linguist, Visual and Musical; but perhaps lacks in Analytical/ logical side.)

Here is an exciting piece of information for you: When researchers examined outstanding performances in the arts, mathematics and sports, to determine if “the widespread belief that to reach high levels of ability, a person must possess an innate potential called talent”, they discovered the opposite. It is also important to highlight, for instance, that Mozart trained for 16 years before he produced a masterpiece.

While it is true that it is best to develop your innate abilities, the strict definitions of creativity to areas in arts, should not apply. Creativity is also an essential part of innovation and invention and is important in almost every profession. It can be explored, developed and trained in many ways.

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