You hear a lot about creative people becoming blocked. When they get “blocked” they can’t seem to call on their creative skills to get their project done, and it’s a frustrating time. The problem, though, is that most obstacles are usually not even real blocks – they’re just roadblocks that you created. Because of that, you can overcome them easily with just a little bit of change.
- Lack of Goals – If you have no idea what the result should be, it can be difficult to continue going down the path. Setting realistic goals about how something should look or make people feel or perform is important. If you have goals that are spelled out and specific, you’ll be able to be more creative even though some people think that stifles them. It doesn’t. Think about a shoe designer, for example. They aren’t lost for ideas even though the shape doesn’t change much.
- Doubt – If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to believe that what you’re doing is going in the right direction. It’s important to believe in yourself. It may help you if you go over the things you have accomplished so you can re-experience past successes in your mind. This will help you get more confident and let go of doubt so you can move forward.
- Background Noise – If you have lots of distractions around, it can be hard to focus. It doesn’t matter if it’s music you like, or your kids; even a dog barking or a noisy fan can sometimes be distracting. If you’re having trouble focusing and you notice that you have background noise issues, try getting rid of them if you can. You can get noise-canceling headphones if you need them, or you can find a different room.
- Other People’s Thoughts – You need to get feedback on your work, but at the same time it can be something that gets in the way of finishing. It’s hard, but you cannot allow what other people think to guide you that much unless they’re professionals – and even then, don’t make their thoughts and feelings more important than your own.
- Fear of Failure or Success – It’s hard to imagine, but people are often just as afraid of success as they are failure. This is especially true when experiencing success isn’t something you know much about. Sadly, we’ve been taught that failure is a bad thing, but the truth is, you have to experience failure to get to success. Stop thinking about whether you’re going to succeed or fail; just implement.
- Fear of Criticism – Many people have a very hard time with criticism, even if it’s properly done and constructive. The only way to get through this is to get more criticism and practice dealing with it the right and healthy way. Remember to listen and to explore what they say, but you don’t have to agree.
- Homeostasis – Setting up processes and automation can help you accomplish a lot, even things that are creative. However, doing things in the same way at the same time with the same tools and everything without changing can become a major obstacle to being creative. Doing things in the way you’ve always done them can be great, but stay open to change.
- Passivity – The best part of creativity is always being proactive. You must intend to be creative and be willing to get out of your routine. You need to keep challenging your mind so that it’s open to new ideas. If you find yourself getting upset with change or someone interrupting you (or other silly things), look at whether you’ve become too passive and whether you’re too scared of innovation and change.
- Procrastination – This is a major obstacle that many people experience. The thing about procrastination is that it’s really a symptom of another problem: usually fear of success or failure. Sometimes it’s because you truly dislike doing what you’re doing, or you feel unprepared. The best way to overcome this is to know your goals and be willing to do what it takes to reach them.
You can overcome all these obstacles to your creativity by recognizing what is happening and doing something to change what you’re currently doing. When you make a change and come at something from a different angle, it can release your creativity in a way that makes sense and that can really unleash your creative spark.