Your Creativity’s Worst Enemies

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There are many, many articles written on the things that help your creativity. We know this because we read a lot about them. You would be surprised by how much creativity it takes to write articles about creativity. One thing we definitely don’t see as often are articles about the things that can hamper your ability to think creatively and come up with creative ideas. That’s got to be pretty important too, right? Well then, here you go.

Self-Doubt

Sylvia Plath was famously quoted as saying self-doubt is the worst enemy of creativity. Knowing what we know now about how Plath’s career would be cut short, we might rank suicide ahead of self-doubt as a bigger enemy, but her point stands. You may think it’s obvious that self-doubt works against creativity, and it is, but how often do you let self-doubt get the better of you anyway? How many sheets of paper have you crumpled up? How many canvases have you painted over? How many times have you put down your guitar for weeks at a time? All because something seemed ‘stupid’ or not good enough.

Good Taste and Good Sense

These two tidbits come courtesy of Pablo Picasso. Maybe you’ve heard of him? He was quoted on two separate occasions bemoaning first the negative effect of good sense on creativity, then the negative effect of good taste. Being creative and having creative ideas don’t actually require that you not have good taste or good sense. We think Picasso’s point is that when you are creating, you should forget that you might have good sense and good taste and free yourself from any preconceived notions or standards you may have set without even realizing it.

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Non-Ambient Noise

Thought this article was going to be all about freeing your mind and letting go of your fears and all that hippy-dippy-doo, didn’t you? Oh no, we’re coming at you with some facts. While studies have shown that working in an environment like a coffee shop where the noise level typically hovers between 50 and 70 decibels can be beneficial to creativity because it ever so slightly disrupts the mental process, enabling your brain to engage in more abstract thought processes. However, once the noise level starts to reach around 80 decibels, (the noise of a typical dishwasher, for instance,) thought processes are disrupted to the point that it’s hard to think at all. So maybe think twice before moving your workstation next to the garbage disposal.

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