All of my friends are creative. This isn’t something special that puts me above anyone. I know we are all creative. It is part of the human spirit. We each just choose to express it differently. And those that don’t? That is the source of that quiet, lonely, empty feeling we’ve all felt like we are missing something from our lives. Some people assume its a partner that is missing, or another aspect of their life they feel “would make everything better.” Authenticity is something I’ve been reflecting a great deal upon and I sincerely believe if everyone focused on that inner creative voice screaming to be heard, the rest of their lives would fall into place. Why? It happened to me. And it’s about authenticity. If you are doing what your heart and soul really asks of you, calls out to you to do, you are going to find the people, a level of health (we can’t fix everything with our minds, sometimes our genes do get in the way), and personal contentment we’ve never found before.
Despite this knowledge, I feel like I’m talking to closed doors half the time. People who are closed off from their creativity, fearful of themselves and their future, are the least likely to listen.
The “I’m lazy” blocked creative is fearful of addressing something in their lives. They use a self-admonishing label, which hints at larger issues of self-loathing. And let’s be real, who has ever felt creative when they are hating on themselves?! Unless you want to forever live in the land of what ifs I suggest you find some resources to help you self-reflect and self-love and heal. You deserve more. And so do we.
The Organic Sisterhood – This woman seems to get that lazy isn’t about just moving into action or fighting procrastination. WHY do we label ourselves lazy? WHY do we choose this particular excuse?
Bold and Determined – More of a tough love website, Victor Pride gives you a no nonsense list to get out of your lazy label.
One with Now – Reminds us of all the negative consequences of choosing the lazy label.
“I don’t have enough time.”
The “I don’t have enough time” blocked creative keeps themselves busy, perhaps so busy they can’t think about what to prioritize in their life and what is most important to them. Is it more important to hit the snooze button three times before waking or get up at the first alarm so you have 15 minutes to work on your novel? These blocked creatives often like to be busy, but are so accustomed to their routine they don’t know how to revision their schedule and day to incorporate their true soul goals.
Oprah.com – Oprah surrounds herself and her brand with people who celebrate authenticity and creative goals. This article highlights possible practices in your day that are timesucks that you could change to make more time for that secret creative dream of yours.
Business KnowHow – Great advice from a freelancer, independent businesswoman who tries to maximize her time, leaving room for her creative dreams and goals! A big one for me that she suggests? No TV. For my family, we don’t subscribe to anything, we only have a TV screen for movies and it means I can’t just sit down and turn on the TV to waste time!
LifeHacker – Great tips shared by readers on how to simplify your day and make time for those creative things that really matter!
“I don’t have enough resources.”
This person is waiting for the perfect moment to make their creative debut, always in the far future. Since when does anyone have enough of the resources they want? I want new camera lenses, but what are wrong with the ones I already have? JR didn’t have a camera until he found one on a metro then he took photos with it (gasp, a used camera?) to ultimately win a TED award. It’s not always about the quality of your resources or even your quantity, it’s about doing well with what you have! But these creatives are waiting for the ideal resources, in anticipation that with the correct materials will come their creative reward. This blocked creative is SO CLOSE to their creative flow!
Forbes – Is even talking about how limitations drive genius! Perhaps this is a case of a glass half-full rather than one half-empty? A change in world-view or perspective may help this blocked creative.
TED – interviews an artist, Phil Hansen, to talk about restraints and how they cultivate creativity. Hear that you resource restrained creative?! This is an ADVANTAGE for creative thinking!
Wired – has yet another article talking about how restraint drives design. More evidence that fewer resources doesn’t mean the end of creative goals.
“When ‘this’ happens…”
This creatively blocked individual wants the stars to align or is saving their creativity for something special, “for retirement.” The “When ‘this’ happens…” blocked creative is waiting for the perfect moment to begin their creative endeavor. Wait, you are saving something for the end of your life? Something you want to do right now? Why, may I ask? How do you know you will make it to retirement (in all honesty)? This person believes that life will slow down sometime and make more room for their creative dream. (Things happen to you, or do you happen to things?) It’s an easy strategy to keep their creative hopes and dreams as something in the far distance rather than something to face today.
Fast Company – Has an article that says creativity is really just persistence and that science is backing up that claim. Can’t make your creative dream realized if you put it on hold. Need time to be able to persist!!!
Salaazy – A blog written by Frederik Kreijmborg explains how waiting for the right moment is a myth.
Lifehacker – Yes, again, Lifehacker. Reminds us again that creativity is a numbers game!
“I am not good enough.”
This creative is facing issues of self-worth that make them extremely self-critical when they begin any project. They may be, in fact, a perfectionist, and only if they can do something without failing will they try it at all. The “I am not good enough” Creative needs to stop listening to what I’ve heard called the “lizard brain,” that ugly inner voice that starts over analyzing and picking apart any creative risk-taking and idea development. It takes trial and error to get good at something! I almost wonder if issues of “I am not good enough” are actually at the heart of most other Blocked Creatives.
Seth Godin – I believe he coined the term “lizard brain” as a means to describe the negative naysayer in his head. He has lots of good advice on his blog in general. Take notes.
Zen Habits – Offers a resource and advice on how to Make it Impossible to Fail. Sounds like a dream to a perfectionist, no?
Tiny Buddha – Offers a fresh perspective, that perhaps we should acknowledge and let our thoughts move on from the negative. Worrying over worrying is probably counter productive, don’t you think?
This person knows they are stuck and inhibited from creative productivity. The “I’m blocked” creative feels stuck, caught in a trap of non-creative energy. They want to make and produce creative things but aren’t sure how to return to the groove, or get started. They acknowledge a desire for creative goals but feel it is currently unreachable. For this creative label, it’s all about making again or maybe for the first time. Once they get started, they will get out of their rut, but it’s about building a routine of creative practice and taking those first steps back into creativity.
The Artist’s Way
– (affiliate link) A wonderful book by Julia Cameron, it is a perfect resource for an artist or creative person looking to start a habit of creative practice. I read it years ago and can’t wait to get it back from a family member when I return to the US!
99U – Offers a resource similar to this very article you are reading explaining the kinds of blocks one can have. Take a look and consider how the nature of your creative block determines your way out of being blocked!
HuffPost – Asked a mental health counselor to discuss ways of becoming creatively unblocked. This is tied to your way of thinking, so hearing psychological perspectives can be handy!
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Do YOU fit one of these categories? How can you start to realize that creative dream you either hide from yourself and others, or see in the far distance?