There are a lot of mistaken ideas that people can sometimes hold on to, which hinder their creativity. I wanted to highlight 7 of them to help people realise how ridiculous these ideas are, form better ideas, and get producing!
- I don’t have what it takes. If you’re worrying that you don’t have what it takes to be an artist, ask yourself if you’re doing it for external recognition, or because you feel irresistibly compelled to produce your art from. If the answer is the former, maybe it’s not for you. If your answer is the second, stop worrying and get on with it.
- Creative people are tortured. This is a lie. In fact, mental or emotional issues like depression or bipolar disorder would most likely hinder productivity and erode the self-discipline it takes to become a successful artist. Look after your mental health, and think happy thoughts!
- Art is only defined by traditional forms such as writing, drawing or sculpting. Creativity is merely producing something new out of existing parts, and anyone with a bit of inspiration and intuition can do that. Creativity can be: cooking a fantastic new recipe, rearranging your bedroom or putting together the perfect outfit. Or, it can be writing a novel.
- I can only write depressing poetry. This is actually untrue – you probably have only written depressing poetry in the past. I think this is because writing is simply stirred by a deep well of feeling, and sometimes when you’re young, you only feel strongly if you feel bad. With time and personal development, you’ll connect with the deeper essence of life, and joy will move you, too.
- Women can’t be artists. This is a really sad one but unfortunately sexism persists in many areas of life. If you’re a woman, make sure you don’t give in to any limiting stereotypes, and try to see any obstacles in front of you as exciting challenges that you will rise to. If you’re a man, make sure you encourage all your artistic female friends to have more confidence in themselves.
- There’s no point in trying because I can never produce anything original. This is a difficult one because everyone in history has probably felt like this, except in medieval times when no one had really done anything yet, or we weren’t so well-acquainted with antiquity. It is obviously true that lots of things have been done. However, the world is constantly evolving with a startling complexity and no one will ever be able to understand its totality. Pick your corner of life to explore and run with it.
- I need to be perfect before I can produce something or people will laugh at me. This is a form of self-sabotage that is particularly paralysing: see how it is an endless loop? You can produce something a bit less than perfect, or a is a bit shit. Or just something.
Hopefully if you’ve been struggling with self-doubt about your creativity these points will have helped you to start to move past it. If you think you might still need some more inspiration, check out these tips for stimulating your creative process, or read some lovely poetry.
Catherine Julianne is a writer and digital communications professional obsessed with the field of personality systems theory. She also likes drawing, meditating and being in nature.