Creative thinking is a crucial skill, whether you want to write an inspirational piece, produce your next masterpiece, design corporate stationery, or even solve a problem at work. There is no need to worry as this happens to everyone at one point in their lives.
What is going on? Why are you unable to come up with great ideas as you always do? What you may have is what is known as a mental block.
A mental block can be anything that impedes your ability to think clearly. Perhaps you have stared at that blank piece of paper for hours on end, trying to think of how to start. Or maybe you are in the middle of a project but don’t have the same drive as when you started.
Let a word master offering content writing in Dubai shed some light on what is going on and what you can do about a mental block. Grab a pen and notepad, and let us begin.
What causes mental block?
Mental blocks can happen for a number of reasons. It is difficult to pinpoint what really causes them as they can vary from one person to another, although some are common. Here is a list of typical reasons, some of which you may recognize:
1. Looking for the perfect answer
Formal education often teaches students that there is only one answer to a problem. This type of approach may be beneficial in tackling math or science problems. However, this approach hinders a person’s ability to think of alternative solutions or become creative.
Trying to find the right solution also means little when it comes to dealing with real-life issues. Life is ambiguous. Given situations different between different people, what works for one person may not work for you.
If you have encountered a problem that you can’t seem to solve, try seeing it from a different perspective. Reframe the issue, theme, or topic to come up with new ideas and solutions. Embrace the idea that there is no single right answer, and you will end up finding a concept or a unique way of handling the issue that only you can come up with.
2. Worrying about the rules
Rules set the standard of what is expected. Parents often teach their kids to follow the rules to become responsible adults. However, when it comes to creativity, following the rules is rarely a good thing.
Established rules indicate conformity and sharing the same set of values with a larger group. On the other hand, it can stifle your ability to see infinite possibilities.
Creative thinking is destructive in a way. It goes beyond the industry, or society, in general, deems as the norm. Instead of constantly trying to follow the rules, think of how you can break them.
Let your mind wander and spend time going through ‘what if’ scenarios. The ideas you come up with may sound crazy and impractical at first. But sometimes, by just letting the idea simmer inside your head, you can think of how to make the impossible more plausible.
3. Feeling overwhelmed
Tackling a huge task can make you feel like you haven’t made any progress. Finishing the job itself can become a mental block in itself. In such situations, it may be worth taking a break.
Change your focus for a few minutes and work on other tasks that require minimal thought or brainpower. Along the way, you can get smaller tasks done. Completing other errands, however minor they may be, will allow you to gain confidence and get over the hurdle of the main one.
Doing other tasks also allows your mind to wander. Perhaps you can think of an alternative way of tackling the main project, gain a new perspective on an old topic, or come up with an idea for your next novel.
4. Comparing your successes
Some people have the notion that success is finite and limited only to a handful of people. Given this notion, you may think that success may be unattainable. However, this is not true.
There will always be people who will be faster, more skilled, start earlier, or have access to more resources. Comparing your accomplishments to theirs will make it feel like your efforts are meaningless.
Each person has a unique set of skills. Even within the same industry, you can find many successful professionals and artists. Rather than compare your skills as a writer, a designer, or even as an entrepreneur, think of what makes you unique and make that your claim to success.
All individuals are creative by nature. But, sometimes, your immediate environment and way of thinking can stop you from tapping into those creative juices. Any of these elements can become your mental block.
Mental blocks are common, but you don’t have to let these prevent you from doing your best work. Identify what your mental block is, analyze it, and find a way to go beyond it. With this guide, you can find a way to get back to being your artistic self.
Hisham Wyne is an award-winning copywriter, brand consultant and content creator based in Dubai. He has over a decade’s experience in helping brands get their messages right. From crisp web copy and zippy brochures to in-depth company profiles and analytical annual reports, Hisham makes words work for you – so you can sell better, gain visibility, and give your brand a unique voice.
During his time in the Middle East, Hisham has collaborated extensively with blue-chip companies including Twitter, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Harley-Davidson and Aston Martin, and helped government concerns such as the Dubai Internet City, in5 and the Dubai Design District.