“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” - Maya Angelou
You know that feeling when you’ve been staring at your creative project for way too long and making no progress? Frustration creeps in, and all of a sudden, your talents and abilities become inadequate. Blindly led toward one too many dead-ends, the feeling of being “stuck” leaves you paralyzed in the anxiety of perfectionism. You reach a point where you question whether your endeavor is worth it and wonder if you should give up and move on. This creative block is all too common, and let’s be real, we’ve encountered it way too many times on this rollercoaster of a journey.
We aim to break through our creative blockades, conquer creativity, and surmount to the best. Just like the resilient flower that thrives through a thin crack in the solid concrete, we work to sprout through the dust and the dirt by making the most of our situations and playing the cards we’ve been dealt.
I admire a flower’s ability to bloom year after year even after being victim to rainy days, chilly winds, intense heat waves, and even the concrete barrier. Somehow through the passing seasons, this elastic blossom is able to push through the catastrophe that blocks and constrains, regenerate broken limbs, and mend its delicate stems. Unbelievable right?! To be as versatile and determined as a fragile flower to reach the sun requires fearless ability to bounce back from frustration and defeat.
A few ways to keep our creativity alive are:
Keep Yourself Rooted in a Positive Environment
A blooming flower needs a favorable environment, with plenty of sunlight and cool weather to prosper just as much as we need positive reinforcement and encouragement to keep us going, even when we have exhausted all our efforts. The media and news outlets of today are full of negativity, which is so accessible to our hands that it’s easy to go down the spiral of self-criticism.
But if you remove yourself from the toxicity and radiate enthusiasm and a positive outlook, you’ll flourish higher and farther, especially when the going gets rough. When we cultivate and build upon our foundation with optimism and constant reassurance, we instantly feel uplifted to keep on. Surround yourself with a community that inspires and challenges you creatively. Meet other doers, makers, and dreamers at creative events, talks, or clubs. And collaborate, collaborate, collaborate to keep that fire alive. Check out the Yellow Conference and the Yellow Collective!
To bloom where you are planted, you push the boundaries and searching for the small crevice in the concrete to break free – shattering the walls that threaten you from developing ideas. Just like in our creative pursuit, a plant’s root system is carefully cultivated, which is a necessary support in raising a prolific flower. With a stable foundation, a seed can surmount to be the most resilient and colorful flower that has graced this garden we call life.
Nourish Your Mind and Keep Yourself Inspired
To reach its full potential, a plant needs just the right elements to keep it beautiful and thriving. We need just as much nourishing as a small seedling.When you find yourself in a creative rut, take a productivity time-out and focus on the hobbies that rejuvenate you and make you feel alive. Redirect your thoughts from those pending to-do’s and free your mind to focus all your energy on your creative endeavor. By doing so, you will attain the courage and motivation you need to tackle your tasks.
Also, pull inspiration from anything you can get your hands on to keep your brain active and thinking. Whether it’s an inspiring podcast, upbeat music, or insightful articles, itch to learn more, in hope that new ideas will spark.
Dig through social media and admire what others in your realm are doing! Social media is both a blessing and a curse–it’s a marketplace for all things inspiration, but can quickly be self-destructive. And it’s important to note the difference between inspiration and comparison–don’t confuse the two. Just like too much water or sunlight can be toxic to a plant, so is comparison. When we are always alerted of the latest and greatest thing going on in our peers’ lives, it doesn’t always make us feel so hot. The moment you start to compare your work with another person’s, it’s time to shut it off and go offline – there’s no room for bad energy; you are too precious.
Take time for YOU
When we’re feeling stuck or just plain over it, a good old walk will do just the trick. Take a few minutes out of your day to stop and listen to the world around you. Not only does it do wonders for your artistic mind, but you will immediately feel more present and centered– the disappointment will slowly melt away. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Headspace for all my meditation needs – 10 minutes of reflection in your busy day will cure any blues. Do something that sparks your mind and creativity, whether that be taking photos, painting, etc. Get a fresh perspective and shine doing so.
Despite the obstructions and inclement weather, flowers keep showing up. In the cheesiest way, we can realize a great deal about our creative slumps through the plant life cycle. In some form, the visionaries and dreamers of this world want to become the most graceful and resilient flowers, trying to develop in a wild world where we’re faced with strains, setbacks, and barriers that attempt to hold us back. And it comes back to our fixed roots–no matter how many times we get torn down, we keep growing back.