What needs to end for the sake of creativity?

Why do so many of us struggle with stumbling blocks? Writer’s block, missing muses, falling into a creative rut. Sometimes I feel like I am begging my brain to board the train. If I just worry more, control more and obsess the creative ideas will come. THEY MUST COME. But that’s not how it works.

So the next time you get handed a new creative project, don’t start. Stop. Think about the habitual thoughts, perceptions and behaviors you need to END first. See, those of us who work in creative fields pride ourselves on being unique. But when it comes to what we need to end to be more creative, it turns out we’re a lot alike.

During a recent CreativeMornings event we asked more than 200 members of the Richmond professional creative community what they needed to end to make their work more successful. What were the top winners? Procrastination, distraction, self-doubt and fear.

Those words are hard to wrestle with. And they can destroy our progress if we let them. Heck, those ideas can run our lives if we let them. How do we end them?

Start by knowing you’re not alone. Know that often the loudest voice in your head isn’t necessarily the right one. If you feel scared, distracted, doubtful or frozen—you might be onto something great. Feelings aren’t facts. Ride the negatives emotions out, feel them and move forward into the unknown. Take a friend and a flashlight. Make sure you both leave your bags of doubt at home.

Eliza Evans is a senior brand strategist at Joe Smith, the brand consultancy of Padilla.