Breaking Through the Metal Blocks

Creativity is a very delicate, elusive thing. When it does shows itself, be ready to harness that energy, but it is not something to be forced. Putting on your hunting gear and releasing the hounds is not the way to find it either. It only appears when you least expect it.

The article “8 Bad Habits the Crush Your Creativity And Stifle Your Success” has a great deal of truth to it. A lot of these issues that surround us today are superstitions, which we place on ourselves. These limitations are created when we lose focus on the task at hand. Whether it’s fear of failure or criticizing your own work in fear of what others will think, it is all self imposed.

“Most people evaluate too soon and too often, and therefore create less.”

Immediately evaluating instead of entertaining the idea, one is quick to try to find flaws in it and move on to the next idea because they believe the pervious one to be worthless.  This will put a complete dampening on creativity because you will never get moving onto the next level. No matter how ridiculous the idea, keep it on your paper.  It may come in handy down the road.

“If you try too hard to avoid failure, you’ll also avoid success.”

It has taken me 24 years to learn the truth about this. In my mind there was only greatness and nothing else. I felt like Ricky-Bobby when his father told him, “If you’re not first, you’re last!” It was not till recently that I truly understood this statement.  Everything is not going to be a grand slam. Sometimes a project will work out, and other times it just does not. After coming to terms with this, I felt my lifespan extend just a fraction of a bit longer and less stress on my life.

“Most people like things to make sense.”

This statement has never held so much truth…until I became a programmer. Working for hours on different codes that should work flawlessly, fails miserably. After hours debugging and rearranging code, it the pieces finally connect and it all magically works. Like an unsteady tower of Jenga blocks, I slowly back away from the computer, pulling and placing pieces back in, hoping to not jinx it all to the ground.

On the road to letting creativity happen, it’s all right not to know everything. I am just not grasping this. Learning turns into obsession, which leads into “high speed and low drag” as I like to call it. It becomes you trying with all of your might to learn something, but in the end you just aren’t getting anywhere. The wheels are turning but you aren’t moving.  Knowing when to stop and back away is a very important step that many, including myself, have to learn.

“It’s called ‘analysis paralysis,’ the condition of spending so much time thinking about a problem and cramming your brain with so much information that you lose the ability to act.”

Creativity is an exhausting being once it releases its powers upon you. Going to hours on end without any awareness of your surroundings, it is an all encompassing feeling. After snapping back to reality, you are mentally and emotionally drained. It is something a lot of people suffer from.

People, by nature, are pack animals. It’s in our genetics. We are programmed to find comfort in numbers, but sometimes this can have a negative affect on our forward progress. Listening to comments and discouraging words from others is where, most of the problems stem from. If we stop and learn to take the comments as something constructive instead of something negative, then we can turn things around. The criticism is more useful and less harmful.

In the article, the mention of the conditions under discussion and overcoming them, made me realize something: Fear of Failure, the expert syndrome, which is critiquing your own work to the point of a mental flat line, is an attempt to strive for greatness in the eyes of others. Trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations and produce greatness at every turn of the road will stifle anyone’s creativity.

“Do You Recognize These 10 mental Blocks to Creative Thinking?” is a parallel article that provides great points about hitting a creative wall. Two important things that they both touch in different aspects are “Lack of Confidence” and “I’m Not Creative”.

Having self-confidence and backing that with positive reinforcement is a combination for success. The moment that you believe in yourself, is the moment that you get noticed.

“If you tell yourself you’re not creative, it becomes true. Stop that!

We need to escape the mindset that creativity applies to only art.  Creativity can be explored in any field of study of environment. I have a hard time thinking that creativity only shows itself to people that have drawing paper, painting canvas or people that know Photoshop.

Explore.

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