1. Compare yourself to others. Nothing saps my creativity faster than comparing myself to other people. There will always be people who do it better than me, are funnier than me and get more likes. I can be overflowing with creativity and then - BAM - I start comparing myself to other people and it dries up instantly. Don't use your measuring stick to compare yourself to others. You do you.
2. Be a perfectionist. Sometimes you just have to let it free flow. Whether it be writing or drawing or cooking - aim more for creation and less for perfection.
3. Ignore self-care. When I take time to sleep, exercise, eat well and create white space, I find that my creativity overflows. But when I'm exhausted and stressed? I might as well not even try. My output is stifled. I'm best creatively when I take time to process, reflect and make room to learn along the way.
4. Consume junk. The old adage is true; we are what we eat. What we listen to, watch, read and who we spend our time with is what we become. If I start a book that is really poorly written, I don't let myself finish it. And I try to spend more time listening to podcasts than watching mindless TV. I find that, unfortunately, my output is really influenced my input, so I try to be aware of it.
My greatest struggle among this list is easily the comparison trap. There are so many amazing people out there with blogs and websites and services that are far ahead of me. I find myself looking at their sites and thinking, I can never do this. And then I remember: I'm not supposed to do this. I am supposed to do it my own way.
I once heard a sermon that said: find your purpose and live it. We are all one body and we have a purpose to serve to the body. You'd never ask a leg to be lips, would you? I think of this whenever I find myself wanting to compete with someone else - someone I'm not. I always think: I would not run on my lips or eat with my legs.
I believe humans are at their best when they're creating. Whether it be through fine arts or gardening or any of the hundreds of ways to create in between, we were made by a Creator and are fulfilled by creating things.
Whenever someone tells me they aren't creative, I think they generally mean they aren't clever or artistic. Everyone is creative in some capacity. My brother-in-law is an engineer through and through, and a lot of stereotypes would say engineers aren't really creative types. But he builds rockets for a living - he creates rockets. Do you know the kind of mental capacity and creativity that takes? I wouldn't ask him to write my blog and he sure as heck wouldn't ask me to build a rocket. But he is creative in his own right. And I think it's important to find our creative voice and capacity as we grow into whole, full people.
What's killing your creativity today?