How to Overcome the 3 Creativity Killers – Lisa E Betz

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We are made in the image of our creator, therefore we all have the capacity for creative ideas and creative activities. Unfortunately, finding joy in creative activities can be an uphill battle, because there are three big creativity killers that hinder us. They steal our joy and squash our creative ideas before they have a chance to bloom.

The 3 Creativity Killers

Creativity Killer #1 – Conformity (Worrying about the product. Is it “good enough”?)

How often do we avoid doing creative activities because we hear a voice in our heads that tells us our efforts aren’t good enough?

My mother tells me that I used to love drawing and spent many happy hours drawing. Then, sometime in elementary school, someone told me I wasn’t good at drawing. I listened to that voice, and suddenly drawing wasn’t fun anymore, because my drawings didn’t measure up. My mother was sad to see me abandon something I enjoyed.

The moral of this story?

Worrying about whether your end result is “good enough” will squash your creativity! Every. Single. Time.

So, how do we overcome the fear of being imperfect or making “bad” art?

By adopting the mindset of a novice. When we become a student intent on learning new skills we are no longer afraid of rookie mistakes, and we don’t expect our early efforts to be top quality. 

We don’t expect children to create professional quality work. We applaud their efforts, however imperfect. Give yourself the same grace and patience.

Adopts these mindsets to overcome conformity anxiety

  • Your goal is to enjoy the process. This is your time to explore, try new things, play around, get silly. No judgements!
  • Mistakes and failure are a normal, expected, and useful part of learning.
  • The time and material you expend is not a waste. You are investing in yourself, and filling your creativity bucket.

Creativity Killer #2 – Comparison (Worrying what others think.)

Comparison is the villain in many areas of life, and the joy of creativity is no exception. Here’s what the unhelpful voice of comparison says about your creative efforts.

  • What if other people see how bad I am at this?
  • I’ll look like a total novice if I try that.
  • I’m too uncoordinated / old / stupid / untalented to do that.
  • I’ll never be as good as [J. K. Rowling, Pablo Picasso, Aretha Franklin, Ansel Adams,  …] so why bother?

Instead of listening to those unhelpful voices, consider these inspirational people who didn’t let comparison get in their way: Grandma Moses, who began painting seriously at the age or 78, or Joni Earecson Tada who didn’t let her paralysis keep her from finding a way to paint and to influence thousands with her story.  

Don’t allow worries over comparison to squash your creative efforts. The value (and joy) of creativity is about how YOU grow, not how you compare with anyone else.

Why define your thisness with everyone else’s thatness?

Erika Morrison

Creativity Killer #3 – Consuming  (It’s easier to be a passive consumer of entertainment)

We modern humans love our comfort. We prefer to spend our free time sitting passively while being entertained by TV, videos, books, radio, or podcasts. We call this relaxing and we like to fill out free time this way. However, chilling on the Lazy Boy while passively watching TV or a movie isn’t an effective way to refill our creativity bucket.

We’ll be happier in the long run if we opt for something active and creative, but it takes effort to get started. We must be intentional about getting out there and doing something creative instead of sitting on our butts.

Which of the three creativity killers do you struggle with the most? How can you invest in yourself and take steps to overcome that creativity killer this week?

Your Turn: Take this simple Make Creativity Fun Challenge:

  • Pick something you are not good at. For example, painting with watercolors, baking, dancing, composing a poem or a song.
  • Find a safe place, where you can work without worrying about others watching (and judging) you.
  • Spend 15 to 30 minutes playing with your chosen medium / activity. Your goal is to explore the medium and have some fun.
  • When the time is up, throw your results away!
  •  Finally, mull over how you felt during your activity. Either A) journal your answers or B) talk through your answers out loud (alone or with a trusted friend).

Here are suggested questions to help you:

  • What was more difficult than you expected?
    • What was easier than you expected?
    • What did you enjoy most?
    • Did anything frustrate you?
    • Might you enjoy doing more of this? (Maybe it could be a new hobby?)

I hope you take the challenge and discover  the joy of creating without worrying over comparison or conformity.

Lisa E. Betz is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and unconventional soul. She shares her quirky mysteries and thoughts on the joys and challenges of living authentically at

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