4 Toxic Habits That Are Killing Your Creativity

I used to be an expert at finding new ways to procrastinate. If you gave me a task that I didn’t want to do, I would always find ways to put it off until the last minute. At the time, watching an episode of my favorite TV show was a lot more important than getting anything done.

Now, my entire life is different. I’ve become a lot more creative, productive, and can easily write several thousand words per day.

The reason? I made an effort to understand the bad habits that were holding me back from a better future. Once I did, it became easy to eliminate them, so I could make a lot more progress than I ever thought possible.

Chances are, you want to do the same. You want to become a lot more creative, productive, and fulfill your potential in everything you do. However, your habits are preventing you from achieving the life you desire. Barack Obama once said:

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

He’s totally right. You have the power to change your life right now by replacing the following bad habits with better ones.

1. You Believe There Is Only One Correct Answer

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in sales, marketing, writing, or anything else. There’s never one correct answer. The beauty of creativity is exploring a variety of different ways to achieve your objective.

Of course, various methods of reaching a goal will work for different people. Try to think of creativity like a road trip: there are often multiple ways to reach your desired destination. You just need to find the route that works best for you.

Tim Ferriss is someone that embodies the concept of finding multiple solutions beautifully. Whenever he faces an obstacle, he asks himself the following question: “What would this look like if it were easy?”

That question is absolutely brilliant. Because when you expand the limits of what you think is possible, it’s much easier to accomplish pretty much anything you desire.

What to do instead:

Reframe the way you see problems.

Break it down into the simplest terms. Explain it to yourself like a child. Remove any artificial constraints. Then, figure out the most efficient way to get from A to B. Darren Hardy said it best:

“You reap what you sow; you can’t get out of life what you’re not willing to put into it. If you want more love, give more love. If you want greater success, help others achieve more. And when you study and master the science of achievement, you will find the success you desire.”

If your desired objective is to write for an hour a day, figure out ways to make time in your schedule. The solution might be as simple as watching one less episode of your favorite TV show on Netflix or getting groceries delivered, so you don’t spend an hour driving to the store and back.

Think outside the box. There are often multiple ways to get something done. As long as your goal isn’t impossible to achieve, it’s within the realm of possibility. You just need to figure out how to make it a reality.

2. You Refuse to Embrace Ideas From Other People

Big mistake. Inspiration, by definition, is being influenced by what other people do and say. If you’re not embracing new and exciting ideas from other people, it’s incredibly difficult to become inspired.

Sure, you could work for 15 hours per day on your craft and not pay attention to anyone else, but what good would that serve? Chances are, not much.

If anything, you’d quickly lose interest in your passion since you wouldn’t have much inspiration or motivation to continue.

What to do instead:

Read more books. Listen to music. Watch movies. Embrace any form of media that makes you emotional. Then, use those emotions to create something absolutely beautiful.

Although it might initially seem like a simple strategy, the effect it’ll have on your level of creativity is profound.

3. You Spend Too Much Time Analyzing

Richard Branson hit the nail on the head when he said:

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.”

The truth is that it doesn’t matter if you have the best idea in the world that will improve billions of people’s lives. If you don’t take action on your dreams, they will never come true.

Although that might be a hard pill for you to swallow, it’s true.

What to do instead:

Don’t spend too much time in your head, analyzing and figuring things out.

From personal experience, I can say that it’s a recipe for disaster. I often spent hours and hours trying to find the perfect way to get something done. But in reality, I would’ve made a lot more progress by starting and figuring things out along the way.

Whether you like it or not, the only way to make progress is by getting started. Just put one foot in front of the other, and you’ll eventually reach your desired destination.

4. You Lack Faith in Your Ability to Succeed

For a long time, I struggled to be confident in anything I did. Having been bullied throughout high school, I was frequently told that I’ll never be successful. As you can imagine, I often struggled to remain optimistic during times of hardship and adversity.

The probability that you’re one of the many people who experience self-doubt is high. For example, you might frequently ask yourself:

  • What if I’m not good enough?
  • What if people don’t like my creative work?
  • What if people criticize and judge me for my inability to produce a beautiful masterpiece?

All of those thoughts are normal. But if you don’t learn to control your negative thoughts, they will always be in control of you. Quoting an article published by Forbes:

“The fear that fuels our doubt can drive us to be over cautious and keep us from taking the very actions that would help us and serve others.”

What to do instead:

Remember that a little bit of confidence can go an extremely long way. The entrepreneur Elon Musk said it best:

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

That means not giving up when things get tough. It means persevering through adversity and doing whatever you can to make your dreams a reality. For example:

  • If you want to be a writer, study the habits of professional writers, and implement them into your own routine.
  • If you’re going to be an athlete, study the habits of Olympic athletes, and implement them into your own routine.
  • If you want to be an entrepreneur, study the habits of professional entrepreneurs, and implement them into your own routine.

Every single day, act like the type of person you want to be. Have genuine faith in your ability to succeed in everything you do.

That’s how you change your life.

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