10 mindsets that crush creativity
Switching modes of thought and feeling is the key to creativity.
But it’s more difficult than it seems.
There are a few common mindsets that may be obstructing your creativity. Do you recognise any of these?
1. Following the ‘rules’
Once you no longer question the rules, your capacity to create is done for.
Find out what the rules for your specific field are. Figure them out quickly. Then break them when (because at some point, they won’t) they don’t make sense for you.
“Allow yourself to make hideous, embarrassing mistakes.”
2. No play in work
For the creative thinker, work is no different to play.
When the ‘worker’ mentality sets in, creativity erodes.
3. There is a ‘right’ answer
Often, there is no single answer to the question or problem.
Sometimes there’s no answer at all.
Confining yourself to a set, firm answer is a form of mental imprisonment.
4. I must use logical thought
Despite what some people like to believe, life is chaotic and absurd.
Logical thinking has its place in certain spheres. But it doesn’t cohere with fresh ways of looking at a problem.
Remember, a box is made from a series of lines.
To avoid boxed thinking, look instead for circles and spirals.
5. Practicality above all else
In the world of KPIs, ‘outcomes’ and productivity, it’s difficult to avoid being practical.
But sometimes practicality, especially in the initial stages of a project, can stifle creativity.
Allow yourself some craziness and absurdity. Go to places you haven’t been before. Who knows? They might be places you’d like to stay in.
6. This is not my area
This is a big one.
People confine themselves by not being curious about the world.
Creative people are ‘know-alls’. That’s because they foster constant curiosity – about varied subjects.
Don’t confine yourself to a set job description.
7. Being bad at something is bad
Allow yourself to make hideous, embarrassing mistakes.
Leave ego at the door.
8. Avoiding ambiguity
Ambiguity can feel uncomfortable because we want to know the answer.
We like to be sure.
But the fact is that mostly life is a soup rather than a meal of meat and three veg. Concepts blend, answers are unclear and sometimes contradictory.
Embrace this idea. Stop the struggle for clarity. Allow space for ambiguity.
9. I am a ‘serious person’
Cultures across time have relished and celebrated the jester.
One of the reasons is the fool often sees things for what they are.
Play the fool at times. Let go of the need to treat yourself seriously.
10. Denying your creativity
Our humanity hinges on the ability to use language. To think abstractly. To solve problems. To avoid mistakes made in the past. These are all facets of creativity.
To deny your creativity is to deny your humanity.
Once you see yourself as other than creative, you place yourself in the role of worker bee or robot. Neither of these is what you want.
Don’t let these dangerous ways of thinking about yourself and your creativity become a habit.
Instead, get into the habit of living a creative life today.
The boundaries and walls that hinder your creative thinking really are all in your mind.