Two Limiting Beliefs Killing Your Creativity


As artists, we may have limiting beliefs that sabotage our success.

The challenge: we don’t always know we’ve adopted limiting beliefs unless we allow ourselves to be influenced by a creative community.

Limiting Belief One: Perfection

Have you ever said:

  • “Someone else always does it better.”
  • “I tried before and it wasn’t right.”
  • “I can’t.”

Perfectionists don’t often believe they’re perfectionists.

The belief that we (or our work) must be perfect always holds our creativity captive.

What’s the best way to kill perfectionism? Make mistakes.

I’m a huge proponent of airing my mistakes publically. I want to be living blooper reel so I can laugh at my mistakes, learn from them and then move on!

To prove it: Here’s some blunders I made last month.

[box options]Fall down and fall down often. Not only that–fall down and enjoy falling down. Enjoy the process of getting back up and seeing your creative legs strengthen. Go one step further: share your mistakes. When your mistakes are shared, other artists get to learn from them, connect with you without your ‘perfection facade” and have a good laugh in the process![/box]

Limiting Belief Two: Money Is Evil

This belief takes many forms:

  • “I don’t want to charge for my work. I don’t create for money anyway.”
  • “Budgeting is constraining.”
  • “I don’t know what to charge people who want my work.”

If you’ve thought or said these mantras, you may have a limiting belief in regards to money and your creativity.

Your new mantra: money is a tool and tools must be used wisely. If we don’t learn to use the tools, the tools may run us rather than us running them. You wouldn’t buy a car, hop in the passenger’s seat and then hope it takes you where you want to go, would you?

Sadly, many artists take this type of backseat approach to their finances. It’s our choice to be PROactive or REactive.

Many creatives don’t realize that their lack of knowledge in the financial arena could end up actually costing them.

[box options]Artists should get a coach and be open to being influenced by their coach. A good coach will help you set goals and hold you accountable for those goals. They’ll be on the sidelines cheering you along! If you’d like more info on coaching, drop me a line. I’d be happy to set up a free consultation or refer you to someone in my network who could help you.[/box]

If we shed light on the success-sabotagers and adopt new mantras, our creativity climbs to the next level instead of living in the land of plateau.

Question: What other limiting beliefs are you overcoming, and how have you overcome them? Help us all out by leaving a comment below.

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Daryl

    You nailed it with these first two for me! Other limiting beliefs:
    – I never have the time
    – If only I had the latest technology
    – I might embarrass myself

    • Those are nasty little buggers Daryl.

      I’ve believed those from time to time. Good to be aware of them. (Aside, would love to have you guest post anytime you’d like to!)

      • To comment on old technology, it’s really difficult and expensive to keep up with it especially in the media world (music, video editing, etc.) But I believe in going deep with technology. Some of the best engineers I know are the best because they’ve lived with equipment for a long, long time and gotten to know it really well. It’s a likely excuse, but there’s plenty of evidence out there to prove that it’s more about what you do with the tools and technology, than how old it is. If it works, it works.

  • I used to be a huge perfectionist. I wouldn’t finish a project until I thought it was perfect which happened to be a very rare occurrence. A few years back, I decided to just put some stuff out there that wasn’t perfect and see what happened. I learned quickly that it’s better to put something out there and tweak it and make it better along the way, then wait until something is perfect and try to put it out then. Because I chose to use this method, I have had more feedback and ideas than when perfection was my goal.

    • It’s a hard lesson to learn.

      It’s so vulnerable to make mistakes for all to see!

  • I love your comment about being a human blooper reel! 🙂

  • Money is definitely a tough one for creatives! I’ve always been amazed at how 9 to 5ers usually feel “underpaid” to do the crap work they hate, but feel “overpaid” to do the valuable work they love that can transform others. Wowza!

  • I struggle sometimes with being proactive versus reactive. Every event in my life that doesn’t go my way is not a personal assault or wrongdoing. I have to stop taking things so personally.