Our creativity beliefs are all the mental constructs built upon past experiences which were significant enough for us to preserve and remember them. They act as a constant GPS for one’s behaviour (in general and in regard to creativity).
9 beliefs blocking creativity
Sometimes, when faced with an innovation endeavor, our mind screams:
- ‘I don’t have the time to be innovative when there is already so much to do’.
- ‘I can’t change a thing’.
- ‘Even if I strive a lot, I do not have the time to be creative’ .
- ‘I just don’t know how to be innovative. It’s never really been my strength and seems so hard.’
- ‘This is how it is. It is hard to believe this might be improved anymore!’
- ‘I am not creative!’
- ‘If there were a better solution, someone else would have found it’
- ‘I don’t have the resources or the money to dedicate to anything that isn’t right in front of me’.
- ‘I was imaginative in my youth but not now!’
In a recent article by Tamara Kleinberg, Barriers To Innovation Aren’t Time, Money Or Ability – Innovation Excellence, says that these are obstacles to personal creativity, individual beliefs blocking our creative struggles.
Now, all these beliefs take energy ruminating and after a while you will end up lacking any kind of energy to create anything.
Tamara Kleinberg say that :
Lack of resources is definitely not your biggest barrier to innovation. If that were the case, only billion-dollar companies would innovate. We know that’s not true. In fact, sometimes the lack of resources can lead to the most innovative ideas because you have to. We also know it’s not time. Because, if that were true, only those with oodles of extra time would be innovative. Some of the busiest people I know are the most innovative. It’s why they are so busy getting the right stuff done.
These beliefs are not the real problem
She continues saying that the real obstacle is your lack of energy.
Your biggest barrier to innovation is your energy. That’s right, it’s you. Managing your energy level is the key to being more innovative.
Her recommendation is either to ‘Shift your mindset’ (view innovation as a tool) and start with it in the morning as ‘you get what you start with.’
I would add that there are a lot more ways to overcome these barriers and I have written 20 creative ones in The Leadership Spark.
But the core idea Tamara is sharing is that the energy we invest (or let be invested) in our creative endeavor is our daily mental energy. My idea is that such moments of energy lacking are valuable because they create polarising forces versus the high energy of creation. Creation is born following such a polarity – energy/ relaxation. I presume that each great creator had struggles thinking all the above thoughts and still created.
An explanation for the birth of creativity beliefs
Now, the main issue with the lack of energy is that opening your mind towards creative thoughts and coming up with new ideas require great shares of mental energy. The same process happens when we learn something new.
The simplest explanation of the neurobiology of creativity is that our learning experiences pass through four different areas of our brain, each of them specialised in a certain operation (David Kolb and James Zull): One is dedicated to processing new experiences, one is dedicated to observing what the body experiences (especially when facing new experiences), one is hardwired to deal with drawing conclusions and making theories, and one with testing these formed ‘conclusions’ (The Leadership Spark)
After each learning cycle is completed, the two main parts of the brain which are then triggered each time the ‘learning’, ‘habit’ or ‘belief’ occurs are the ‘theories and conclusions’ part and the ‘active testing’ part. This path between the two parts is named in many ways: ‘Fixed ideas’, ‘mind gremlin’, ‘voice in my head’, ‘ego’, ‘map’, ‘one’s view of the world’, ‘self #1’, ‘mindset’, ‘meme’, ‘set of beliefs’ and so on. It is basically formed from all the mental constructs built upon past experiences which were significant enough for one to remember them. They act as a constant GPS for one’s behavior. They give meaning to our world.
The brain uses around 20% of our body’s energy. Our evolution hardwired it to hibernate as soon as this is possible. Our beliefs blocking creativity are just software programs specially designed for this hardwired brain.
Energy comes from opening up to the world and seeing it with new senses, having a major goal (not minor tasks and to-do lists) and after relaxation periods (gestation).
Apart from Tamara Kleinberg hints, you may try out these two practices.
Experience new things each day. Drive on a different route towards your of ce. Eat something new. See unfamiliar movies. Read something unusual. Listen to strange radio stations. Make unconceivable body movements. Smell undesirable smells. Each day, experience something new. Meet people who are completely different from you.
Tip #16 (The Leadership Spark page 178)
Have days of just asking. To ask is to involve more neurons and neural connections than just to listen. Having answers is not creative. Losing yourself in the uncertainty of questions is creative. Ask others, ask yourself, question everything that day. Make the ‘?’ the symbol of the day and wear it everywhere. In time, you will become more reluctant to encounter brainwashing, the negative aspects of life and the subjective views of others, and be more relative (and thus, more objective) in your takings of life.
Thumbnails credit innovationexcellence.com.