Creativity is blocked (and encouraged!) by habits

Becoming more creative is not easy. Habits must be broken, perspectives changed, and thought patterns revised. Here are some reasons why it is difficult for most of us to be creative at all times:

The Known Vs. The New

People usually base their decisions on the best, most complete, and most accurate information or experience available. But the newer and more unique the solution required, the harder it is to get good and sufficient information. That is why the easiest solutions are not new and different.

Obstacles To Creativity

To unleash the creative process, much of what is usually known and taken for granted, must be looked at in a different way, for a new purpose

Habits Restrict Awareness

Habits tend to tune out those things and ideas around us that could be the basis for new insights; routine everyday decision-making works against searching for or accepting new ideas.

Rigid Categories Prevent Insight

We see the world selectively through a set of filters created by our experiences.
Wanting to fit new things into existing categories increases as we gain experience. Note the response of someone exposed to something new. They will probably start out saying, that it is the same as something they already know. If they are told it is not, they may take several tries at establishing an identification based on similarity with something they know.

The net-effect is that even when exposed to something new, we try to treat it like something familiar and we become reluctant to creating new categories.

Conceptual blocks

A conceptual block is a mind set that prevents a person from seeing a problem or a solution in an unconventional way.

  • Perceptual Blocks: Stereotyping, Imaginary boundaries, Information overload.
  • Emotional Blocks: Fear of taking a Risk, Dislike for uncertainty, Judgmental attitude, Lack of challenge
  • Cultural Blocks: Our way is right, taboos
  • Environmental Blocks: distractions in our surroundings
  • Intellectual Blocks: insufficient knowledge, denying the possibility that a solution can be achieved using a different specialty.
  • Expressive Blocks: inability or willingness to express ideas clearly to others or oneself

Overcoming the Obstacles
  1. Remove the fear of failure
  2. Change the solution mode. If the problem is being explored verbally, try making a diagram or representing it mathematically. Assume a solution and see if it can be made to fit the problem.
  3. Adjust attitudes. Emphasize the positive aspects of the solution. Ensure that risks are worth taking. Encourage the acceptance of alternate solutions.
  4. Use provocative Questions. Ask what if questions; get past the perceived block and then work backwards.
  5. Change the rules. Are specific rules or conditions blocking progress?


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Svaj Malizo - Design by Dzelque