Why You Are Not Creative (And What to Do)
The other day one of my friend and I were talking about being creative. He said he was envious of me because I was so creative and he could never figure out why he was not creative. And, he went on to joke about the fact he didn’t have one creative bone in his body – but wished he did.
I confessed to him that even though I’m a creative person, there are times when I have a creative block. After some reflection, I found a few reasons why this creative block happens.
Why was I not creative? The times in my life where I wasn’t creative usually had a direct correlation to the stress in my life. High stress in life sucked away my inspiration and I stopped asking questions. I forgot what my true passion was because I stopped taking time to reflect. Every single time, I let the rat race of life hijack my creativity.
When the stress in life lowered, I’d come out from under the rock and wonder what happened. Realize I’ve been under this rock for so many months.
Let me give some real examples about these things that block our creativity. I’ll also share what I do to overcome these challenges.
1) Stuck on Autopilot
Not being present is an epidemic in our society – in fact 46.9% of people have their minds on autopilot. When we are on autopilot, our brains are not focused and it’s impossible for us to be creative.
I remember when I first realized I was on autopilot. I had finished reading The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle. Driving in my car I was trying to apply some of his principles – particularly the space around us. It was mind blowing knowing I was able to live in the now – and definitely a spiritual awakening for me.
The thing is, if you’re like me, you’re busy and tired. It’s sometimes easier to live on autopilot. But, when we do, we are not living our best, intentional life.
What You Can Do
Try to bring yourself into the present moment at least 2x a day. If I find I’m slipping into autopilot due to stress, I’ll set my alarm on my phone for 12:00pm and 4:00pm. My alarm would go off with the words “be present”. T hen I take 5 minutes breathing, listening, feeling the space around me. If the weather is nice I go outside and sit in the sun.
Doing this a few times a day helps take my mind off of autopilot which allows me to be more creative – especially at work.
2) Lack of Self Care
Our self care decreases the more we get stressed. We become last on our priority list.
Sleep, healthy foods and exercise are the first things that go away in during stressful times. It’s like out of nowhere, I have no time to eat healthy and exercise. And, I find myself waking up a few times a night which means my body is not rejuvenating the way it should.
Self Care should be one of our main priorities because it fosters creativity.
What you can do
This is definitely an area of weakness for me. But, the truth it’s all about the planning. Planning ahead of time so we follow without thinking during those stressful times.
I’ll prep the night before. Get the coffee ready, pick out clothes to wear the next day, and set up the living room for my morning routine. I’ll set up the room with lavendar oil in my diffuser to create a calm and peaceful environment to sleep.
With food, I make sure I have enough food available and do my best at making clean choices. Once we stop planning ahead, we’re struggling with making last minute poor choices.
3) Too Much to Do with No Time For Ourselves
It’s like a catch 22. We get stressed because we have so much to do and not enough time to do it. And, we sometimes keep agreeing to do things when we should say no. When we are always on the go – there is no space for us to be creative. We need space in our lives to be able to fill it with creativity.
What you can do
One key game changer for me that has increased my creativity is to start a morning routine. I wake up an hour earlier to journal, meditate, pray, read and spend time in introspection. So much creativity came from this morning routine, like the creation of this blog. As well as my 15 minute journal routine – you can d
Whatever you can do for yourself do it. Journal, meditate, pray, read. Wake up 30 minutes before everyone in the house and sit in silence. Grab a coffee and “BE”. Breathe, listen and create space for creativity.
4) Stopped asking Questions
Creativity is an idea we turn into reality and we get our ideas from recognizing a gap and asking questions. When our day is full of stress we focus on getting the job done and then move on. We don’t have time to stop and ask questions. But, asking questions is the ultimate door opener for creativity.
What you can do
You can do what I do and ask questions with every interaction you have. Every client meeting I’m asking myself these questions:
- how can I help this person grow there business
- how could I be more efficient and work smarter
- what could I have done better
- what are some common questions that come up
- any commonalities between issues?
- is there a problem needing attending to?
- can I simplify the message or the process?
The key is to find a gap and figure out how I can use my strengths to fill that gap and provide a solution.
The above is a work example, but you can find gaps and solutions with anything in life .
5) Not Understanding and Listening to our Passion
When I talk to people about their passion, I often get the “I don’t know what my passion is” response. They are likely doing things in their life they are passionate about – but haven’t made the connection. In a high stress life, we are going to be even further seeing the connection with our passion and being creative.
I’ve taken many personality tests it’s pretty clear I am 100% introvert. It was a surprise when I discovered this because I have always been pretty social. And, I have always had extrovert-type careers.
Then, I started writing. When I write articles, I am the happiest. I lose sense of time. I could write for hours without eating or sleeping. But, I can’t write about any topic. I have to write about a topic I’m passionate about with the intention of helping others.
What you can do
Pay attention to the things you do and pick out that one thing that makes you the happiest. When you spend time doing that one thing you lose track of time. Instead of draining you, this one thing energizes you. And, people have told you you are good at doing this particular thing.
Whatever that is – that’s your passion! When you’re doing your passion – creativity will show up.
6) Lack of inspiration
When we get stressed – inspiration is out the window. There is no creativity because we are living day-to-day trying to keep our head above water. We’re exhausted at the end of the day and find ourselves sitting in front of the TV needing to chill. I’m not going to say you can’t get inspired from vegging out – but it’s unlikely.
What you can do
My morning routine always inspires me. I get up an hour and a half early and spend time journaling, mediating and praying.
When I find I need more inspiration, I read a book or podcast on a topic of interest. It’s usually on spirituality, minimalism or creativity… surprise! I’ll watch youtube videos and listen to peoples stories and how they reach certain goals. Even joining a membership community is worth it to get that extra jolt.
During the summer time I’ll sit on my deck and listen to the birds chirp and sit in silence. I can usually get some inspiration relaxing and being kind to myself.
Pick something you’re interested in learning about. Join a community, read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a youtube video on that topic. Keep your note pad or note app close – ideas will be knocking on your door sooner rather than later.
Does everyone have the ability to be creative? Yes, everyone has the ability to be creative. Regardless of your personality, you can be creative. Being creative is part of being a human being. When we are creative we are full-filling our need to find engagement in our lives. Creativity is about taking your thoughts and making them into reality.