7 Habits That Kill Creativity
Have you ever thought about why some people are more creative than others?
It doesn't take a lot of insight to know that people are lazy and likely to spend minimum effort on getting things done. Our brains like to follow known patterns instead of reinventing a process every single time. For some activities this is a pure blessing, in others, this tendency makes us far less creative and therefore – less efficient.
It's clear that most creatives follow certain habits that make them even more so – and so do people who complain about the lack of creativity in their lives. Here are seven common habits that kill creativity.
1. You're too logical
A creative idea cannot be born in an environment limited by logic and rationality. After all, our brains aren't like computers and the best ideas usually come up when we least expect them.
Human brains process heaps of illogical data ranging from emotions and symbols to dreams and language. If you decide that a logical course of action is the best, no wonder, you don't feel creatively stimulated. Logic stifles creativity and blinds you to essential insights from different kinds of analyses, from consumer groups to market.
2. You choose the first solution
This is a habit which never motivates you to play with alternative ideas, efficiently killing any creative bone in your body. Finding one solution is considered by creatives only the beginning of a long process. However, for many people, it's the end of it.
When you go with your first idea, you're not creating – you're just recalling. You're settling, not pushing your vision forward. Most of the time, you'll find that it may work to your expectations – unfortunately, it doesn't make you a creative person, making you far less efficient during those moments when creativity is what you are aiming at.
3. You believe that there's only one right answer
This is a very common thinking habit. Many of us think that most questions generate only one correct answer. This is wrong. Evidently the fruit of our scholastic system, the idea that it's better to memorize correct answers than look for them yourself, is deeply ingrained in the minds of many professionals.
It might work in mathematical problems, but anywhere else it's just incredibly limiting. Be it sales, marketing or web design, there's never only one correct answer. There exist many different approaches to tackling a challenge and that's what makes a field interesting.
4. You lack expert knowledge
You feel as if you had no relevant knowledge that could help you face a challenge. You've got no experience and consider yourself too smart to take the time to learn key rules of thumb.
Being a novice isn’t a bad thing – in fact, it happens to everyone starting a career in a new field. But it does overwhelm people to such a degree that they cannot deliver, instead offering sloppy analyses and questionable results. If you're new to a discipline, and you never took the time to study the basics properly, you'll inevitably put a strain on your creativity.
5. You've got too much expert knowledge
Interestingly, being too much of an expert seems to be bad for creativity as well. If you're convinced that you know everything there is to know about your field, you're limiting yourself to experience only one side of the industry. Plus, your ego might blow to unbelievable proportions.
You'll miss out on fantastic opportunities for growth and might even make some mistakes regarding your career. In sum, your belief in being one of the few who know what's going on will constrain your creativity.
6. You're overwhelmed by data
Too much information also has catastrophic consequences on creativity. If you're mulling over lots of data and become increasingly overwhelmed by it, it's a sign that you should stop.
Seriously, if you can't function efficiently, don't expect your brain to offer you creative ideas on a platter. Ask for just enough information and allow yourself some space for creative thinking.
7. You just think you're not creative
Doubt touches everyone, even the most creative people out there. You might feel that there's simply no creative bone in your body – that you were born this way and it's not up to you. The truth is that everyone has a potential for creativity, only most decide that it's not worth to use it in their daily lives. This is when they develop habits which gradually kill every bit of creativity they've got left. You're just not free enough in your thoughts and don't let yourself use the creativity gift. Ignorance of the creative process is not lack of creativity – it's a choice.
Once you identify key habits that affect your creativity, you'll be able to work on them and adopt lifestyle changes that will boost your creative self and help you find outlets for unleashing all that creative energy.
Don't know how to get started with a new skill?
Can't find time for a side project? Ever quit in frustration after beginning something new?
The you need to check out Novice to Expert: 6 Steps to Learn Anything, Increase Your Knowledge, and Master New Skills.
About the Author
Simone Smith is an educator and a blogger writing about Online Courses Australia, where she promotes a healthy work-life balance and a constant drive towards self-improvement as the keys to a successful life.
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