Not sure where to start on your next project? Whether it is working up the gumption to “sell yourself” as an artist or awaiting the next “aha moment” has taken a lot longer than a moment, we have all experienced a creative block. To combat the times when the creative juices aren’t flowing, Live With Design has called on expert therapist for artists, Olga Gonithellis who has brought together the psychology behind creative blocks. Olga has pinpointed the five most common types of creative blocks and five ways to overcome them. Knowing more about the block you face gives you a great place to start!
Types of Creative Blocks:
Negative Thought-based: Common examples include “I’m not good enough”, “I’ve never tried this before-too late now” and “I don’t know where to start”
Experience-based: past failures, recent or past traumatic events, lack of knowledge of particular fields, technology gaps
Motivation-based: explore your motivation. Is it intrinsic? Are you being driven by a desire to perform an activity or creative process itself? Is your motivation extrinsic? To achieve a status, recognition, money, or to please others? Identifying your motivation can help you clarify a path to take toward your creative goal.
Environment-based: overwhelming schedules, stressful life changes, repetitive habits, lack of novel stimulation, time pressure, lack of creative freedom
Managing and transforming creative blocks:
Step 1. Identify which blocks seem to be impacting you right now, and prioritize. Tackling one at time, starting with the ones currently affecting you most. i.e. ” I’m not good at making personal connections”
Step 2. Create a Positive Inner Dialogue: Come up with 1-2 ways to respond to a creative block i.e “I’ll get better with practice” or “I don’t need to be good, I just need to try”
Step 3: Visualization: Come up with a desirable goal and spend 1-2 minutes imaging that you achieved your goal. i.e. ” I’m visualizing that I am calling a new contact every day”
Step 4. Awareness: Become aware of any anxiety or negative thoughts that may come up during the visualization. Acknowledge and consciously release. Exercising conscious and controlled breathing.
Step 5. Begin Actionable Changes: Think of action items that you can begin now. i.e. I will make a list of all possible contacts
Now that you’re ready to get the ball rolling again keep in touch as you reach your next aha moment! To hear our stories on creative blocks and our piece on other innovative design topics, please join our mailing list in the sidebar and follow us on Twitter!