Six Creative Blocks and How to Overcome Them

Creativity and imagination are found inside all of us. But there are times when something gets in the way of our flow of ideas.

Have you ever felt like your inspiration left you, or that your well of ideas have dried up?

One minute you’re happily creating, and then poof! The ideas and thoughts seem to evaporate.

You may have experienced these symptoms and didn’t even realize there was a name for it.

But this common phenomenon is known as a creative block.

Creative blocks happen to writers, musicians, entertainers, and artists at one time or another.

As innovators, we can experience a breakdown in our creative process for hours, days, weeks, even months.

The sad thing is that you might be in the middle of a creative block right now, and not even know it.

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Seek First to Understand.

One way to overcome these hurdles is by understanding the various types of creative blocks.

I’ve been studying creativity and have uncovered six creative blocks through my research.

Let’s take a look at each one, so you can clearly identify them.

Fear. This emotion is caused by anticipation that something may, or may not, happen. The fear of making a mistake can cause us to freeze. It is a basic human emotion that can protect us, but it is also the most common creative block.

Conformity. As humans, we all have an innate need to belong. This emerges in childhood when we start trying to dress and talk like our friends. We are driven to conform throughout life. We end up afraid that our ideas are so different from what most people like and appreciate they will disapprove.

Frustration. This state of dissatisfaction can arise from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs. When something isn’t working out the way you planned, you become discouraged and annoyed.

Judging Ideas. When you tap into your imagination, your goal is to generate ideas — lots of them. Creative block occurs when you start judging the ideas you’re creating. Judging ideas can create a negative attitude and discouragement.

Self Satisfaction. Did you know that smugness about your accomplishments can keep you from reaching your full potential? Becoming too self-assured can block you from pushing through to your outlandish ideas that develop into your most interesting work.

Boredom. When you are weary and have a restless lack of interest, apathy creeps in, and your imagination stops working.

How Can You Overcome Creative Blocks?

Leverage boredom to help unlock your creativity. Allow your mind to wander and daydream.

End frustration by taking a break. Take a walk around the block or go for a run to unplug and get a fresh perspective.

Forget what other people think. Embrace your uniqueness by challenging yourself to be different.

Soar past self-satisfaction by breaking ideas into steps. Brainstorm ideas. Write your thoughts out so you can “see” the concepts. Build upon them until something magical emerges.

Don’t strive to please others. Quit comparing yourself to other. Stop thinking about how people may respond to your creative works.

Search for inspiration everywhere you look. Collect ideas like they are going out of style. Remove any barriers or judgment so you can open up to things outside your comfort zone.

Let go of control and perfectionism. Release any self-doubt.

Trust in your ability to create, and you are guaranteed to find what you’re seeking.