What Beliefs Hold Back Your Creativity? And What Ones Move You Forward?

13 05 2009

To really embrace a new mindset about creativity, you need to look at the beliefs you have about it—both consciously and unconsciously. One of the best ways to awaken your creativity is to recognize and get rid some beliefs you may have that are limiting you and to open yourself up to new empowering beliefs.

One powerful way to get rid of these limiting beliefs and to embrace new ones is to 1) identify what those beliefs are, 2) understand their negative impact, 3) explore why these beliefs are not true, 4) identify areas you have been creative in the past, and 5) identify empowering beliefs about creativity. Below is a process that will help you eliminate your negative beliefs and identify new beliefs that can help expand your creativity.

As you go through this process, take the time to really ask yourself the below questions. Often times, it helps to ask and answers these questions out loud, and then write down your answers. It may sound strange, but you will be shocked at what comes out of your mouth when you say your answers out loud. Or if you want, find someone to ask you these questions, and as you answer back, they can write down your answers. Some of your beliefs may be unconscious, so you might have to dig a little to find out what they are.

Creative Beliefs Process—Out with the old, and in with the new

  1. Identify Your Beliefs. What beliefs do I have about creativity? What other beliefs do I have? What else do I believe? In the past, what have I believed about my ability to be creative?
  2. Understand the Consequences. Go through each of these beliefs and write how they have affected you and your creativity. How have these beliefs affected my ability to be creative? How have these beliefs had a negative impact in my life, career, family, etc? What has believing this cost me?
  3. Explore Why These Beliefs Are Not True. What is not true about these negative beliefs? Why have I chosen to believe them?
  4. Identify Areas Where You Have Been Creative in the Past. In the past, when  have I been creative? What did I do? What helped open up my creativity?
  5. Identify Empowering Beliefs About Creativity. What areas of my life can benefit from more creativity? What beliefs can awaken my creativity?  What do other creative people believe about creativity that I can model?

Once you identify your new beliefs, write them down and put them where you can regularly see them. Say them to yourself each day, or say them as you begin any area where you can benefit from some creativity.

Examples of Common Limiting Beliefs
1.    “I’m just not a creative person.”
2.    “I can’t write/I can’t draw/I can’t…”
3.    “I don’t have time to be creative.”
4.    “I don’t think that way…”
5.    “I’ve never been or done anything creative before.”

Examples of Empowering Creative Beliefs

  1. We are all creative beings.  Creativity is a choice—I have the ability to awaken it within me.
  2. The beauty of creativity is that it is an art—there is no right or wrong way to do it.
  3. My creativity can increase—the more I use it, the more I awaken it.
  4. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
  5. Creativity is a journey. I embrace the creative process.
  6. I need to just start somewhere. The most important thing is that I take the first steps toward doing it.
  7. Creativity exists in all areas of life. I can bring creativity to the table in any situation.
  8. Practice makes perfect. It’s ok if it’s not ‘right’ right now.
  9. God is the ultimate creative being. He loves seeing me explore my creativity.
  10. I am more creative than I even know.
  11. My creativeness can be a blessing to others.
  12. Creativity=Fun. I don’t know what or where this will lead to, but I will try it and have fun in the process. Trying is better than not doing anything at all.

Beliefs of Some Creative Geniuses

  1. “I dream for a living.” Steven Spielberg
  2. “Change only favors minds that are diligently looking and preparing for discovery.” Louis Pasteur
  3. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling
  4. “Life is not an exact science. It is an art.” Samuel Butler
  5. “I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.” Harry Emerson Fosdick
  6. “That which builds is better than that which is built.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
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