Creativity can come at the most unexpected times, but it can’t always be conjured up on command.
Sometimes you find yourself in a creativity rut that you just can’t shake. These creative blocks can come from anywhere, from losing your sense of purpose to a fear of failure.
Though barriers arise, there is empowerment in overcoming them, especially when you have tools prepared for when they arise. Here are innovative ways that will help any woman crush societal pressure and dips in creativity.
1. Overcome Gendered Hustle Culture
There is evidence to prove people perceive women’s creativity differently. It is the joy of all women to combat this constructed gender perception – because it doesn’t exist. Everyone is equally creative. One of the most impactful ways to get imaginative again is to overcome societal anxieties concerning innate creative ability and hustle culture.
Hustle culture is wrapped inside that gendered perception. Women might feel they have to earn value by overworking and making productivity their only priority. This is not nurturing creative mindsets.
Counter this damaging work culture by knowing when it’s time to take a step back to nap, meditate, or walk in nature. Maybe you even need to take a personal day to regroup. Sometimes ideas are there and just incubating, waiting for an opportunity to bloom. When women return from these breaks more creative than ever, it will tear down toxic workplace stresses and gendered perceptions.
2. Plan a Day for Your Favorite Things
Breaks are necessary for creative development. You can obsess over productivity all you want, but you must reframe self-care as productivity to succeed creatively.
Self-care days are all the rage, but what about planning a day of your favorite things? Not all self-care suggestions are every ladies’ cup of tea. If you don’t like indulging in a home spa day, try ordering your favorite takeout and watching a movie with your friends. Either way, find ways to restore creative wells with happiness and comfort.
Jonathan Borba from Unsplash
3. Curate Your Environment for Inspiration
Have sketchbooks around. Make it easy to reach out to inspirational people to bounce ideas around. Decorate with fairy lights and scenic photos. Create the atmosphere that nourishes your best workflow, but do not follow trends if you don’t want to – it must be unique to you to work best with your creative mind.
4. Create Differently
Are you a writer? How about an architect? Paint through your struggle. Sing your thoughts out loud. It sounds like it wouldn’t help with your specific craft. However, sometimes reframing the mind to attack creative challenges with a fresh perspective unlocks the very thing that will progress your project further.
You can also try creating differently by adding fun and challenging constraints to your project – like only drawing your outfit design in black and white. You can also use mental models, like writing your next fundraising strategy like a middle-school lesson plan. These strategies will highlight the fantastic connectivity creatives have across different mediums.
5. Crush Limiting Beliefs and Scarcity
One of the most significant mental habits that inhibit creativity is limiting mindsets. Suppose you feel caught between doing one task or another. In that case, we sense we must compromise one project’s integrity for another’s progress.
Scarcity mindsets lead to feelings of restrictiveness. Having too narrow of a focus prevents us from seeing the opportunities in plenty of creative endeavors. Instead, women can recognize opportunities to help themselves or their team recenter. Boost morale with lunch-and-learns or a brainstorming session to uncover what’s holding you back.
6. Measure Trends, Find the Source
Sometimes you may experience a random creative rut – sometimes, it feels like they never stop coming. Take a breath and assess the situation. If this is chronic, there is probably a root cause that needs your attention.
Have you been under unnecessary stress in the last month? Has your sleep schedule been consistently five hours a night for a year? Interviewing yourself by asking reflective questions can help unravel the root of your block. They can range from physical to emotional influences, such as:
- Relationship management with colleagues, friends, or family
- Insecurity awareness, such as addressing perfectionism
- Physical health attention, such as diet or sleep management
- Environmental adjustments, like feelings of isolation or work-life balance
It’s essential to take the time to find the resources to adjust these life buckets. You may consider counseling or eating more energizing meals throughout the day. Regardless of the solution, be patient while finding the proper method.
7. Be Your Own Best Friend
When imagination seems to dwindle, it’s easy to beat yourself up. Try to overcome the urge because, most of the time, these gut reactions come from assumptions we have made about how creatives genuinely operate. If you can be your own best friend, inspiration will flourish even in the most unexpected places.
When you see a friend post their new and ground-breaking product on Instagram, it’s natural to want to compare. Be stronger than self-sabotage and practice self-love by providing your own validation.
You are in your industry for a reason – this is a time to remind yourself of how you’ve gone out of your comfort zone to achieve the success you’ve garnered. Look back at the last year, and even the previous week, to see how much you’ve grown.
Inspiring Women Inspire Women
Creating a dream product or service is just as crucial as designing sound techniques to stay dreaming. Regardless of the industry, it’s vital to remember that other women are trying to thrive with personal and professional creative endeavors.
Inspiration will arrive if you allow yourself to experiment and listen, always remembering why you create in the first place. There’s always a reason to make the art and do the work because every woman has value to add.