5 WAYS TO BREAK THROUGH A CREATIVE BLOCK
By Shana Lynn Yao
You're so creative you can't stand it. You have a million ideas a minute and you just know that if you could get it out in the right way, you'd be rich.
But you're stuck. Blocked. And when a creative person has block, it's painful. Because some days you're on fire and can write, create, do your work like a well-oiled machine. You're on fire and in flow. But the blocks that sometimes affect us all feels more like a CLOG. And the more you try to "overcome it" and bust through your own blocks, the more stuck you feel.
Am I right? If you can relate, read on. I've come up with 5 powerful ways to bust through your creative blocks and get moving back into a state of flow and accomplishing the vision that you so clearly see in your head.
The Break Through
1. DO NOTHING
I know, you're trying to get something done, but sometimes the best thing you can do when you are blocked is to just decide to do nothing.
Have you ever been stuck in traffic and you're in a rush? And despite how much you try to wish it away, try to pass the car next to you who is just as stuck and suddenly your head is filled with anger and panic? Having a creative block is similar. When you've done all you can do to bust through it, the more you try the things your head knows to solve the problem, the more frustrated and clogged you become.
Creativity in itself is found in your unconscious thought. You cannot think it into action. So the best way to bust through it is to just do nothing. Calm down. Go outside and take a walk. Let your brain find it's inspiration and clarity.
2. PUT IT INTO A BOX
I don't know about you, but I'm busy. And as a creative, a business owner, a dog mom, and a girl on a mission, making time to be creative in a productive way that produces results, is how I make money and what makes me feel fulfilled. If I wasn't able to use my creativity everyday, not only would I feel unhappy and unfulfilled, I would be broke.
When your clients hire you for your strategic and creative thinking to help them get results, and as a writer, making sure I can be creative everyday, probably much like you, is important to your survival. And what is important to your survival should be done everyday - right?
To bust through a creative block means doing what you can to prevent them in the first place. In truth, one of the reasons I started THE DAILY (subscribe here) was because I'm a writer and found that if I left my writing to happen when I felt like it, it would happen, but not often. And as I said, if you're creativity is how you thrive both personally and financially, you must schedule it to happen everyday.
Ok, so far I've told you to do nothing and sleep to bust through your blocks. While those seem counterintuitive, in actuality, that's why it works.
One of the most important lessons you will learn in life is that when we, as humans get stuck, is because we are human. We only know what we know and despite finding other solutions, our brains are 95% unconscious thought. Our brains and our lives are literally in a loop of unconscious thinking.
Sleep is one of the most powerful ways to let your creativity flow. From a practical level, if you are tired and stressed, having adequate sleep is essential to the health and functionality of your brain. But without getting to scientific, our creativity and inner wisdom happens best when our brains are in a state Theta. If you've ever woken up at 2 am with a great idea or dream the answers to a problem you've been struggling with, this is why.
When you've tried everything else to bust through your creative blocks, go to bed early. Right before bed, write down the problem you are having and ask God, the universe - whatever higher power you believe in - for answers. Don't expect immediate results but this has been one of the best, counterintuitive ways I have found to overcome blocks. Even if I don't wake up with answers, I find that getting enough sleep and taking the full responsibility of having to come up with answers in my own stuck brain alone, brings me unconventional resolutions to my blocks.
4. DO THE OPPOSITE
Whatever you are doing is NOT working. Getting real with yourself and admitting that you aren't able to bust through your blocks doing what you've been doing is the first step. Doing the opposite is utilizing what I spoke about in #3 - the critical counterintuitive.
Doing the opposite is a powerful and effective way to get out of your comfort zone. To try something new - something you've possibly been avoiding due to fear, fear of judgement from others, or fear of the unknown.
Even creatives develop a certain style so well that your creative muscle has become strong, maybe overbearing. Just like a muscle that needs to stretch, so does your creative limits. Doing the opposite - doing what scares you - going outside of your own box you may unconsciously be in is how you stretch and push your own limits.
This is one of the most powerful ways to bust through your creative blocks. And as a hard headed creative, I know it can be one of the hardest.
Creatives are stubborn. We have such high standards of our own work and selves, that thinking that someone else has a better answer or can help us get over our own blocks an sometimes BE the biggest block creatives have.
But when you've done all you can do, tried sleeping, doing nothing, doing the opposite and everything else under the sun, give yourself a break. Because while you could continue to try to bust through your own blocks, seek help from friends, tore your hair out and banged your head against the wall, only to end everyday frustrated with yourself, surrender.
Blocks are just a part of being human. It's not you, it's not that you're not good enough - in fact - you're probably so good that is the reason you MUST bust through your blocks. The world needs you. It's the artists of the world that should be the ones who fill the world with the beauty of your work.
Surrendering and letting go of your hard headed need to control the situation is freeing. How it looks in actual actions is about letting go of the result. Praying. Meditating. And deciding that the answers to your block don't have to materialize the way you had envisioned.
Gain clarity by seeking help outside of your own creative wisdom. I know for me, when I hit a block and know I cannot find the answer alone, I don't look for someone to help me. I look for a KEY. I look for a key to unlock the creative inner wisdom in my own mind. It's not found in a coach but in a key maker.
A key maker doesn't have the actual solution to your problem - they have the key - the key to the block you are facing. Find your key maker - this could be a friend, a mentor, or someone outside of your social circle. Just know that answers exist and when you are your own biggest block, busting through yourself requires action.
So I want to ask you, which blockbuster are you going to try? Share it below in the comments and let's help you bust through your block, get to your next goal, and be the creative visionary you are.
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