I believe that we’re all creative. Does creativity flow much easier to others than some? Well, yes. Just like we’re all creative, most if not all of us have experienced a creative block of some sort in our lives. Whether you’re a writer, designer, artist, content creator, managing a project at work… one thing is for certain, creative blocks suck! Although that is true, they are not the end of the world. Keep reading to learn about the 7 ways to overcome creative blocks.
How would you describe your creative process? I’ll go first. As an author, blogger and influencer, I’d say that my creative process is like a roller coaster ride. There are so many highs and lows, twists and turns, a whirlwind of ideas one minute and then literal crickets the next. I won’t lie, this used to make me so upset and discouraged back in the day. Now I like to look at creative blocks as my mind and the universe telling me that I need a break. Yes, it’s annoying, but deep down I get excited because I know that a breakthrough is coming.
What is a Creative Block?
So what is a creative block anyway? Creative blocks are pretty much a state of mind that prevents you from creating or producing. These blocks can be caused by a few things like stress, unhappiness, and overwhelm (or what I like to call burnout, you can read all about that and how to beat that here).
The Thing About Creative Blocks
First and foremost, it is important to know and accept that creative blocks are totally normal. No one is immune to them. When you experience a creative block, that’s pretty much your mind’s way of telling you that it needs time and a break! Listen to it and honor that. The most important thing to do here is to give yourself grace, be patient, and trust that this is just a part of the process (an annoying part, but still)!
7 Ways to Overcome Creative Blocks
So the next time you’re trying to create or work on a project and things get a little foggy, take a deep breath and follow these steps:
1.Silence Your Inner Critic
You’d be surprised at how often we let our fears, self-doubt, or inner critics creep in. So when you experience a block, it’s important to check in with yourself. Is this truly a block or is it your inner saboteur being a hater?
2.Give Your Mind Permission to Wander
Sometimes we’ve hit a creative lock because we’ve put far too much pressure on ourselves and our minds to PERFORM or PRODUCE. That pressure can be taxing! Take a minute to switch things off for a bit and just be. What can you do that doesn’t require you to think too much that will allow your ideas and thoughts to run wild? For me, that’s walking, sitting on my balcony and just journaling whatever comes to mind, or laying out on the grass and listening to my surroundings. One day I’d like to say that meditating allows me to do this too, but I haven’t quite mastered that yet (wink).
3.Stop Forcing It
This is a big one for me. I find that whenever I try to force an idea, the more my mind and creativity fight back! If something in your creation is not working, it’s likely for a reason. That reason being, there’s something better that you haven’t unveiled yet. But you’ll never discover that great idea and be able to execute it if you’re still stuck trying to force the same idea you’ve been working on over the last 6 months or so. Catch my drift?
4.Understand Your Creative Peaks
When are you typically your most creative? Is it in the morning, the evening, or when you return from a relaxing vacation? Try to tune into and pay attention to your creative patterns. That way you can work WITH them to boost your creativity.
5.Revisit Old Ideas
Sometimes the key to unlocking our creativity is right there but we haven’t noticed it. Revisit old ideas and/or work to see if something of value is there. You never know, you might find a diamond in the rough!
6.Never Stop Finding Ways to Be Inspired
I know… the main part of experiencing a creative block is that you’re uninspired. But that doesn’t mean you should hang up the towel on finding inspiration completely! Take this downtime to seek inspiration in new ways and different avenues. Read a book you’d never think of reading, watch a movie you wouldn’t normally sit through, or try out a different hobby.
7.Let Go of Perfection & Comparison
I’m just going to put this out there, nothing or no one is perfect! Your need for perfection is probably what is holding you back and that’s likely rooted in your fear of failure. That and the need to compare yourselves to what others are doing is not serving you or helping your creativity! It’s only distracting you. Do yourself a favor and take and unplug. Quiet all the outside noise, don’t consume anyone else’s content for a few days, and just tune in to yourself, it just may pay off big time!
Honestly do whatever you can to give your mind a break. I find the more you try to force your creativity the harder it becomes. So let it flow and don’t give up on yourself or your greatness, friend!