Navigating Creative Blocks
Let’s take a minute to unlock your creative potential.
First, if you’re reading this: THANK YOU! I’ve officially reached 100 subscribers! Woot! What started off as a personal creative exercise for me has turned into a resource people enjoy and learn from. I appreciate it so much, and more to come!
Did you know there was a long period of time that I didn’t know what I wanted to create next? I saw people building new things and executing their creative ideas and wanted that to be me so badly. I knew I had it in me, but I didn’t have the energy. Ultimately, I was creatively stuck and burnt out.
Professionally, I was “thriving.” At the time, the startup I’m a part of was accepted into a 3-month global accelerator while I managed my former 9-5’s digital initiatives, including a major brand refresh and web redesign. So, when it came time to work on my own things of course my brain was fried.
If you noticed, I intentionally put thriving in “quotes.” It’s not really thriving when your trees are full but your roots are weak. (Don’t be like me.)
What do you do when it’s time to pour into yourself and take care of you? Two words: Refresh and Reflect.
Reflecting allows you to Pause for Perspective. A refresh allows you to Unplug and Unwind.
Step 1: Pause
Sometimes you have to sit in a room, turn the lights off, and close your eyes for an hour with no distractions. Whether you are sitting in silence or meditating, when was the last time you took the time to do nothing besides relax your mind? When your mind is racing daily, taking the time to chill is necessary in order to gain clarity on what’s next.
Step 2: Perspective
We all go through challenges, and we all have goals that we want to achieve. However, we can't be so critical of ourselves. At a work conference I attended, the speaker said “Would you talk to your daughter/best friend the way you talk to yourself?” It’s easy to be negative when things don't go the exact way we want or there’s a certain goal you haven't reached. Yet, being kind to ourselves is key. I know it’s easier said than done (trust, I am my worst critic), but without this step, it’s easy to focus on what you don’t have instead of the blessings you have in front of you.
Step 3: Unplug
I’m a firm believer in changing your environment to unplug. Whether it’s a solo staycation or a relaxation trip with friends, it’s important to remove yourself from your daily environment for a period of time with no distractions (including your phone or any electronic device). When you unplug, use this time to think about why this creative environment allows you to thrive. Maybe it’s peaceful and allows you to contribute to your craft with a clear head, or the art and nature inspire you to brainstorm endless ideas. For me, some of my favorite spots to unplug are Mexico City or my local beach 20 minutes away. Doesn’t have to be anything big, as long as it’s a special place for you.
Step 4: Unwind
After you unplug, don’t just rush back into work (professional or creative) Take the time to unwind by unpacking all your ideas and thoughts. Focus on the clarity you gained and document how this time made an impact on you, reinforcing your why and allowing you to understand what’s next. That way you can integrate this process into your life, and not just look at it as a one-off event.
Whether it’s a creative retreat, a self-care day, or any activity that allows you to reflect and refresh, make it a priority. Take care of yourself: your mind, your health, your spirit, and your energy. You can’t unlock your creative potential until you take care of the source.
Do you have a favorite spot to unplug? What steps are you taking to refresh and reflect? Let me know in the comments or share with me on social (@allthatiskim). I’m looking forward to hearing them all!
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