The Silent Thief that Steals Your Creativity

FotoChesKa via Compfight

Missing something?  

If someone crept into my home and stole something I loved, I’d not just want the stolen item back, I’d want to know…

  • Why was it stolen
  • Who stole it
  • How do I prevent this from happening again

As artists we can sometimes get discouraged and that discouragement can lead to procrastination, apathy and blocks that hinder our creativity.

In other words, discouragement robs us from creating, and consequently robs us of enriching the lives of others with our creativity. The result is that we may feel numb, uninspired and blocked–a victim of a discouragement robbery.

The antidote is simple, but not easy: ask a few basic questions…

Why do I feel discouraged?

The sooner we can get the the ‘why’ (which is deeper than any other question), the sooner the solution will come.

Tip: focus on things you can control when asking ‘why’. Blaming external circumstances, no matter how justified, always leads to victim living.

Who stole my creativity?

This question is intended to get our irrational child artist and our adult artist on the same page. The child says “it’s everyone else’s fault!” The adult says “even if I was wronged, I can take a different path and be better of for it!”

Tip: write down your responses while asking these three questions. Seeing is what we’re thinking is powerful, surprising and revealing.

How do I prevent this from happening again?

You get better. You get smarter. You learn and don’t blame. You improve without bitterness.

Tip: realize when it’s your immature child artist speaking and allow your mature adult artist to take over when needed. The child is great for a number of creative tasks, but the adult has to often hold the child’s hand and walk him through the fire.

Someone needs what only you can create. Someone needs your creativity–don’t let the thief of discouragement steal it. Just ask a few questions.

Please encourage someone you know by sharing this post!

[box options]Like this stuff? Subscribe to RSS or get new posts via e-mail.[/box]


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.

  • I’ve never really seen creativity as something that could be stolen. When my creativity is dry, I think of it as writer’s block, or just needing time to disconnect, but never as something that can be stolen. Great perspective though. This gives us the responsibility to protect our creativity and guard it from being stolen.

    • I can appreciate that. I know when I’m discouraged, I can feel like my joy and inspiration is stolen from me, hence I’ll be less creative.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion Jason!

  • I don’t think our creativity is stolen. I think we forget we have it. Perhaps we pack it away in some dark corner of our soul. Maybe we fear exposing it, because then someone will love it. And hate it.

    • Thanks for the comment Larry!

      I agree to an extent. Yet, the crux of this post is about how discouragement can steal our creativity. To put it another way: discouragement can mask our creativity in a cloud of negative thoughts that keep us from creating.

      Same general concept 😉

  • Teresa Carter

    I get this – discouragement can be paralyzing. Learning to walk unoffended is a great challenge as a person – let alone an artist who puts their ‘guts’ out there for inspection and rejection. I’ve found that knowing that you are loved is like a teflon armor coating. It covers that child artist – and discouragement slides right off 🙂

    • “Unoffended.”

      That’s a good word for an artist to get a grasp on, Teresa! Good point. Living in offense is the opposite of freedom… not just artistically, but in every way!

      Thanks for the insight!