HOW TO KILL YOUR CREATIVITY

HOW TO KILL YOUR CREATIVITY

THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

Eric Hungerford | October 9, 2020 | Creativity

BIG SHOES TO FILL

I’ve heard it so many times: “I’m not creative.” Or, “I’ll never be creative like you.” Well, this goes out to all you non-creatives out there who are committed to your craft. 


I see graphic designers, writers, and photographers getting all the love. But who is resourcing those brave souls who have decided that they are unable to bring fresh solutions to challenges?


Let’s seal the deal. Let’s kill your creativity. Here’s your definitive guide.

DEPRECIATE YOUR WORTH

Let’s kick it off with a bang. Nothing can kill your creativity quite like believing that you are worthless as a person. Remind yourself that you’re unskilled and unable to learn something new to improve your skills. If someone encourages you, forget it, and listen to the critics instead. 


Remember that voice in your head? The one who reminds you that you don’t have what it takes? Listen to that voice, and your sense of self worth will diminish. As you try to bring a new idea to your next problem, you’ll enter that space from a posture of “I can’t.” Your subconscious mind will do you the favor of backing up that belief with analysis paralysis. 


Is self-depreciation too difficult for you? There is hope. You can try the opposite extreme.

OR, BE ARROGANT

If you find yourself unable to listen to negative voices, being arrogant may be your ticket to removing creativity from your life. Be just like I was in college. My family put a lot of money into that education, but I already knew everything there was to know.


Since morning affirmations are all the rage, here are some mantras for you to center on (repeat the following statements slowly):

  • I’ve already learned all there is to learn.
  • Humbleness is for losers. I am a winner.
  • I refuse to take “no” for an answer.

Speaking of which,

SAY “YES” TO EVERYTHING

If you have yet to succeed in annihilating your creativity, try biting off way more than you could ever hope to chew. Give no thought to the requirements of follow-through. 


Ownership? Not for you. Just say “yes” to every request. Then, when you sit down to make progress, you’ll feel as if you’re reinventing the wheel every time. Avoid method, in favor of pure madness. By doing so, you’ll avoid progress in any particular direction, and you’ll feel overwhelmed. 


Overwhelm is a great way to make yourself feel busy so you can feel valuable, all while making no meaningful progress. No meaningful progress? No creativity. You’re welcome.

KEEP YOURSELF OPEN TO DISTRACTIONS

Speaking of avoiding meaningful progress, be sure to keep all of your tabs open. Your mind is a fury of anxious thoughts. Fuel your inner tumult with endless rabbit trails of possibility. The more news, the better. The news will put fear into your heart, and your creativity will be immediately snuffed. 


What good is it to bring your best solutions to your tiny corner of reality when the world is crumbling? Exactly. Follow these tips:


  • Keep your programs open.
  • Keep your communication channels open. Slack. Email. You name it.
  • Read headlines out of context. Re-share the articles without reading them.
  • Turn on all forms of audio notifications for everything. If your phone isn’t buzzing, blipping, or barking every five minutes, you’re not trying your best.

You can do this!

AVOID BOREDOM AT ALL COSTS

Something sinister happens when you’re bored. Your subconscious mind will solve complex problems for you. You’ll have a “eureka” moment. Or worse, a cloud-parting, angel-choir-singing epiphany. Nothing fuels creativity like a solution that freely pops into your head. Watch out.


Your phone is your friend. Use it to avoid boredom at all costs. Standing in line? Pull it out. Tap it and scroll the endless scroll. Lose yourself in the void.


While you’re at it, follow the next tip...

COMPARE YOURSELF TO THE BEST CREATIVES

Be sure to follow all of the best accounts. When you look at the creative work done by the professionals, remind yourself that you’re not as good as them. Remember self-depreciation? Comparison will help.

AVOID FEEDBACK ON YOUR WORK

Not everyone can totally avoid the pesky work of problem-solving. Perhaps your job demands it. If this is true, make sure you avoid feedback on your work. Perspectives from people outside of your area of expertise can lead to increased knowledge. Increased knowledge can cause you to accidentally solve problems better. Hence, increased creativity. Feedback is a plague.

SEE THAT YOUR GOALS ARE UNCLEAR

Feeling uncertain about what’s being required of you? Good. Whatever you do, refuse to ask clarifying questions. Take a shot in the dark. Cultivate team-wide frustration. This toxic culture of frustration will put a strong-armed stranglehold on your creativity. 

ONLY CREATE AT YOUR JOB. DON’T EXPLORE.

If your creativity is not monetized, beware. If you let yourself explore new possibilities, you might discover new ideas and methods. Fresh ideas and methods generate fresh creativity. 


Speaking of methods...

AVOID THE PROCESS

Process-creation is the most dangerous kind of creativity. It multiplies creativity exponentially. You thought the weeds in your yard were bad? Ha! Try making a process and see how creative problem solving takes over your life like weeds. Process-creation may even ensure continuous quality improvement in your work. I cannot stress it enough if you want to put the death knell into your creativity. Avoid any kind of process.

AVOID BREAKS

You’re on the clock, remember. No time for breaks. Especially beware of looking at nature, or being in nature. If you experience the natural world, you may also experience creativity activation.

BE A PERFECTIONIST

Behold, the mother of all creativity-crushers: perfectionism. Remember that your project isn’t finished until it’s perfect. If you keep this in mind, you will never finish your project. 


Congratulations! You’re not creative at all. Why? You haven’t finished anything.

What about you? What tips do you have for killing creativity?

Obviously, everything we’ve shared above would certainly kill the creativity God has instilled in you. And naturally, these are highly unlikely suggestions to be followed. However, sometimes we all get stuck.


If you’re in need of a little creative inspiration, fill out the form below. We’ll help you get those juices flowing again!