By: Dan Goodwin
Being more creative isn't just about finding lots of new ways you can increase your creativity, additions you can make to your creative life to make it all flow more smoothly and easily.
More powerful than adding new techniques is reducing the kind of habits you already have that are seriously limiting your creativity, maybe without you even knowing it.
So here are 5 top creativity killing habits, how to recognise them, and what to do instead:
1. You tell yourself you're JUST a writer/painter/sculptor... Even though you may be prolific in one creative form and creating away happily, if you see yourself only as being able to create in this one medium, it can significantly restrict you.
The basic principles of creativity are not about the tools and materials you use, they're about how you bring ideas into being that weren't there before. Try creating in a few other mediums now and then to stretch yourself and expand your creative horizons.
2. You hold back after periods of great creativity. So you've had a weekend of great creative activity and you're glowing with pride at your efforts. “Hang on though, if I've been so creative in such a short time, I'd better hold back and ration myself for a few weeks, just in case my creativity runs out." Sound familiar?
Creativity breeds creativity, we don't have a finite supply of ideas, the more we come up with, the more will appear. So don't get caught up in the myth that we each have a limited supply of creativity that will suddenly one day run out.
3. You believe you're only “playing around" and not a real artist. You can be highly creative and still believe that you're just dabbling and not really a serious creative artist. This deeply held belief can cause you to keep your creativity very low key, hidden away even, meaning you never truly enjoy your creativity at its fullest. The truth is, everyone who creates has these thoughts sometimes.
If you create stuff, you're a creative artist, and your work is of value, it's as simple as that. So create and be proud!
4. You talk down your creative achievements. Maybe when you create new projects, and people say they enjoy them or are inspired by them, you dismiss their comments with lines like: “oh anyone can do it" or “it's nothing special" and “It's OK, but I can do much better".
Not only does this belittle your own great efforts, but it's actually disrespectful to those making the comments. It's not for you to judge how moved someone is by what you've created, give THEM credit for knowing what they enjoy and telling you, and give YOURSELF credit for having created it.
5. You delay creating until after “essential" tasks. How often do you just decide to create and do it? How often do you find yourself thinking “Right, I'm going to get down to creating as soon as I've checked my emails" or “...finished this episode of my favourite sitcom" or “...rearrange my collection of 1000 books"?
Create first, while your energy and inspiration is high, do these other tasks after, as they take hardly any mental or creative effort. Save your juices for creating!
Which of these creativity killing habits do you recognise in your own life? Which can you focus on and take steps to reducing starting from today?
Want to learn more about how to increase YOUR creativity? It's easy: just sign up to “Create Create!" - Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin's free twice monthly ezine - today, and get your free copy of the “Explode Your Creativity!" Action Workbook. Head on over now to http://www.CoachCreative.com .
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