Many people think that creativity is an inherent gift, which cannot be learned or acquired. Alas! This is nothing but a myth. Creativity is not, an inborn talent; it is something that is present in every individual, who just hasn’t found a way to unlock his or her creative prowess. Or, they have blocked their creative pathways by learning bad habits. Numerous bad habits can seriously mar your creative talent and keep it hidden within.
So what are these, and how should you avoid them? Let’s find out.
1. Creating and Evaluating Simultaneously
One very important advice you should note is that “less is more”. Try to avoid doing multiple things at the same time. Performing two or more cognitive activities simultaneously can result in too much strain on your mind. This will result in stripping your mental gears of their ability to think outside the box.
Many people make the mistake or creating and evaluating at the same time. This is a huge mistake. Creating is the process of visualizing new ideas and concepts, while evaluating requires you to filter out the workable ideas from their counterparts. Evaluating too often or too soon, may hinder the process of creative thinking. Therefore, create as much as possible and leave the evaluation for later.
2. Fear of Ambiguity
Do not fear ambiguity, for it is ever present in the world. No matter how hard you try, there will always be a few things which you do not understand or do not make sense.
An idea might work. Why? You may never know. But it will, and you will have to make peace with the fact.
Some of the most creative ideas emerge from confusion and ambiguity. Creativity stems from chaos, from the need to solve a problem, or satisfy a desire. So embrace it, make it your friend, and use it to generate ideas.
3. Waiting for the Right Time
Most people do not voice their opinions or ideas because they are waiting for just the right moment. Well, guess what? There is no such thing as the right time. It’s now or never. If you dwindle for even a moment, someone else would think up an idea and leave you behind in the race. So take your chance, and express your creative ideas right here and now. The present is the perfect place to make your idea come to life. So make it happen now, and use the time you have to your advantage.
4. Aiming to be a Perfectionist
Perfection and creativity do not bode well together. You need to be aware that creative ideas will not be perfect and that they might not be controllable. Perfections stems from a desire to be in control. However, when it comes to creating something new, it is best to forget about being perfect. It will never happen, for there is no such thing as perfection. You can strive to improve, however, perfect is but an illusion to make you feel in control.
5. Not Willing to do Something beyond Your Scope
One of the biggest letdowns you will ever face is when you haven’t tried enough. People, who are unwilling to take a chance and go beyond the horizon, are unable to be creative. Fear of failure might keep you from taking chances. However, this will lead to self-destruction in future. So take a leap of faith, and you will unlock the creativity hidden deep inside you.
6. Not Letting Go
Some ideas may not work as well as you expected. Do not try to hold on to them. Refusing to let go of those ideas leads to a lack of creativity. Nothing lasts forever, so set yourself free. Binding your mind to a particular way of thinking limits your perspective. It is always better to let go of the things that keep holding you back. It may be hard, but once you pluck up the courage to let go, you will start feeling the flow of creative ideas.
7. Comparing Yourself to Others
You are a unique individual, who was born different from others. There is nobody like you and you are not like anybody else. So comparing yours success, or ideas to those of others is silly. Set your own standards of success and creativity. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Every person’s life, situations, and thinking are different from others, learn to respect and accept that.
8. Not Learning from People “Less” than You
Respect people, no matter what their background is. Do not think that they are less than you are, for they may have better ideas than you may. Develop a habit of learning from everyone, whether they are younger or older. Be it a child, an elderly, a beggar, or a filthy rich man/ woman, everyone has something to teach. So keep your eyes and ears open, and learn.
9. Not Assessing Your Mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes, and so will you. It is when you keep repeating the same mistakes, that you need to be alarmed. Take a deep breath and assess yourself. Why do you keep repeating the same mistakes? Get to the root of the problem and change this bad habit. Start acting differently and you will be able to find creative solutions to your problems.
10. Worrying About the Result
When you are about to take risks, it is only natural to be worried. What is harmful though, is the habit of putting too much thought into the outcome. Worrying about the future results will not ensure that you achieve success. On the other hand, it might affect your performance, thereby, hindering your chances of success. Many things are out of your control, so stop worrying about the results. Worrying clogs up your brain’s ability to think creatively, thereby, inhibiting your creative work.
11. Ruling Out Ideas Too Quickly
Do not be hasty when it comes to deciding whether you can work with an idea or not. It is important to give it some more thought, after the initial creation. Your mind might feel clustered with too many thoughts. Take a deep breath and clear your mind. Relax, and give the idea some more thought, before ruling it out. You never know, you just might find that it works for you.
12. Functional Fixedness
People, who are too fixated on the functional aspects of an object or product, will face trouble in being creative. It is good to pay attention to different functions; however, it is better not to be too focused. Focusing too much on the functional aspects will lead to a blockage of creativity. This would affect your performance negatively.
13. Thinking You’re Not Creative
Most people face trouble in bringing out their creativity because they think that they are not creative. Do not think negatively about yourself. Always think that you can do it, and with time, you will be able to bring out innovative ideas. Everyone is creative in their own unique way. Your ideas may be different, something that other people do not understand, and that does not mean that they are not creative.
14. Setting False Boundaries Around You
We have a habit of imposing limitations on ourselves. Most often, this is an involuntary act, which we perform, without even knowing that we have limited out scope of thinking. Creativity has no boundaries. Whenever you think, think big! Be open to any and everything. Take a bold step and try to step out of your comfort zone. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but once you realize the potential of thinking outside the box, you will become more creative. The world is full of possibilities, so create ideas by destroying all the barriers that limit your thinking.
15. Taking Life Too Seriously
Life can be demanding, no doubt about it. At times, you will feel down, as if the entire world is caving in. It is times like these, when you need to see the beauty of life. It is true that life throws difficult challenges at you. The key is not to let these challenges affect you negatively. Rather, face them head on, and come out conquering all the hurdles that you thought were impossible to cross. Remind yourself just how beautiful life really is, and don’t take it too seriously.
After all, you get one chance to live. So make the most of it!