Everyone is capable of being creative. Creativity is something that simplifies our everyday lives in a myriad of ways – at work, at home, and in our hobbies. Creativity makes us problem solvers, innovators, artists, and visionaries.
Often times, the only thing standing in the way of our ability to harness our creativity is ourselves. We get caught in destructive thought patterns that are hindering us, whether or not we realize it. Training your brain to look at things differently can help you move your creativity to the forefront.
Here are 5 negative thinking habits that are killing your creativity:
1. Setting the wrong expectations
Have you ever considered that you may be attempting to do the wrong things? If you want to be the best accountant in the world, but you’re more suited to be an expert pastry chef, you aren’t going to have a good time. Forcing yourself to do something that doesn’t come naturally to you, especially if you lack passion in that niche, is not going to help you. Make sure you’re not setting false limitations on yourself that are preventing you from exploring the situations you can handle best.
“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” – Salvador Dali
2. Sticking to conventional methods
If you do things the same way every time, that’s like putting your brain on autopilot. When things become routine, it’s easy to lose your investigative drive. That curiosity is what inspires us to develop new, bold concepts that change things from the ground up. Aspire to stray from the beaten path and approach things from a variety of angles. Attempt new solutions, and make current solutions more efficient. It’s an easy way to flex your creative muscles and conceptualize new possibilities.
3. Not seeking feedback
You are your own worst critic. If you look at something you’ve done and you find the end result lackluster, there’s a possibility that you’re being too hard on yourself. Request feedback on your projects. Sometimes, things won’t be great, and hearing that from another person helps. Ask them what they would do differently. Feedback can help broaden your horizons. If you get positive feedback, that’s even better. That may just be the push you need to keep going.
4. Copying others
It’s time to drop the motto “if it works for him, it will work for me.” Everyone you encounter has a different skillset from you, and they use that skillset in their accomplishments. What’s working wonderfully for someone else may do absolutely nothing for you. It seems like a safe approach, but it’s potentially damaging. You can’t hold yourself to someone else’s standard – you need to hold yourself to your own standard. Develop methods you’re capable of utilizing and take role models with a grain of salt. You’re trying to be the best version of yourself, not a clone of someone else.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs
5. Being afraid to fail
If you fail, so what? Fear of failure is very common. It’s disheartening to devote yourself to something, only to see it flop. Nobody wants to find themselves in that position, but sometimes it’s inevitable. You’ll never be able to perfect your techniques if you don’t fail once in a while. Failure is what teaches people to be better, and it helps them identify the areas of their plan that aren’t working. Though it may seem to be a cliché, it’s true that failures, obstacles, mistakes are stepping stones. If you do fail, so what? It’s not the end of the world. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get back on that horse.
In developing your creativity, you’ll also experience a better relationship with yourself. The increase in confidence will allow you to approach every situation with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. Creativity only breeds more creativity.