August 10, 2020

Our creative blocks will simply subside


During my creativity workshops, participants tend to ask the same types of questions.

They want to overcome hurdles in one of the three stages in the creative process. Inspiration, organization or execution.

And as someone who’s struggled with all three of them many times before, my heart goes out to them. Because these are very real problems that, if not addressed, can have a devastating effect on a person’s ability to collect, create and communicate their ideas.

But the answer is never as tactical as people hope it’s going to be. Read these books, install this software programs, use these hacks, solutions like these may deliver cosmetic changes, but the reality of creativity is, it’s such a deeply human process, that the only way to enable long term success is to repair the foundation.

To make multiple behavior changes in which we train ourselves to stop thinking, feeling and acting counterproductive ways. If we can do that inner work, our creative blocks simply subside.

Because existentially and ontologically, our being will be in such a state that inspiration, organization and execution flow naturally.

Drucker talks about this process in one of his books.

Medical educators say their greatest problem is the physician who has a good eye. He still has to learn not to depend on that along, but to go through the patient process of making a diagnosis, otherwise he will kill people. He must learn not to depend on solely insight and knowledge, but on a mundane, boring, and conscientious step by step process.

Creativity works the same way. When we do the inner work first, the outer work gets done. Let’s explore about several of the questions people ask most frequently. For each one, we’ll dig deeper to find the problem behind the problem, the thing behind the thing.

Can’t stay focused?

Well, spending thirty dollars on some website and app blocker might be a quick fix. But limiting your access to distractions isn’t the issue. Surrendering is. Letting go is. Trusting that the present moment is enough is. Do some of that work first.

Can’t come up with any ideas?

Sorry to say, but taking a different subway line home from work isn’t going to help. You need to give yourself permission to be creative. You need to believe that you have something worth saying. You need to surround yourself with loving people who will say yes to your ideas no matter what.

Can’t stay motivated to create regularly?

Signing up for a goal setting seminar will create a temporary spark of power, but let’s not shit ourselves here. People who aren’t motivated aren’t going to motivate themselves to attend a motivational program. What they need is to hit bottom, feel disgusted with themselves and admit that their life isn’t working and needs radical change.

Can’t snap into creative flow state?

Taking hallucinogens will certainly elevate your consciousness for a few hours, but it’s not a sustainable strategy. A smarter approach would be building several small routines into your day that help your mind loosen its grip so the ideas can spring forth.

Can’t create anything original?

Scouring social media for inspiration is a fun way to waste an afternoon, but you’re not actually producing anything. The principal work is creating piles and piles of things until you’ve flushed all the cover songs out of your system and dropped down into your authentic self.

Can’t get started?

You can write on sticky notes and brainstorm until your heart’s desire. But the only way to start moving the creative story forward is to reassess your relationship with fear. To honestly ask yourself what you’re scared of, why you’re scared of it, and what’s worst thing that might realistically happen if you leaned into that fear?

This is the true work of creativity. Making significant changes in the way we think, feel and act towards ourselves.

If we can master that, our creative blocks will simply subside.

What are you afraid to know about yourself?