Creativity Kick-Start: Identify your Creative Crutch

creative crutch, comfort zone, limitation


Sometimes a creative block isn’t really a block as much as a worn out creative crutch. It may seem harmless, just part of your routine, but it can also be the reason you feel too comfortable, unwilling to stretch beyond your comfort zone.


A creative crutch serves as a very effective distraction that straddles the line between contentment and limitation. It keeps things moving along in ways you know, in the familiar grooves and patterns. The tricky part is that just beyond the comfort zone is where all the creative opportunity is hanging out, waiting to become possible.


Creativity is the spark in the dark. It’s the idea or thought that comes to you out of the blue as much as it’s the insight you get when you commit to a practice and really show up to engage your muse. From the darkness comes the light of your next idea. From a well-worn routine with no challenge there comes a feeling of comfort, but it’s often paired with repetition and a sense of staleness in your creative projects or business.


creative crutch, judgment, head and heart


A Creative Crutch Shifts In and Out with Certain Emotional Patterns


Some creative crutches are a daily occurrence and others come in situationally. If you never vary what you do, you begin to operate on autopilot, doing things on impulse rather than mindfully and with a feeling of being present or aware.


This takes the creativity energy out of what you are doing, making it into a habit more than the strength of your intuitive connection, a creative pattern rather than a true desire.


For example, one of my crutches is a food pattern. When I’m bored or want to distract myself from doing a creative project or client work, I eat more sugary foods and beverages. It starts out small – a bit of black coffee that needs a sweet muffin to balance it out, or the salty chips that taste better when paired with a bit of dark chocolate.


Then my sugar cravings kick-in stronger and stronger. Now the one mocha I had in a week has spurred into a desire for more, even though I’m usually more than happy having none. The more I crave them, the more my focus is taken off my inner creative connection and placed on mentally fighting my cravings and judging them.


Small indulgences like this are not a bad thing. I just notice that when I’m distracted or wanting to take a bit of space and go on autopilot, I tend to go for more sugary foods.


The same can be said for consistent healthy daily patterns like meditation, exercise, or food management, etc., if you are using them as a distraction or something to do, rather than as a inner connection to your creative essence.


dropping attachments, monarch butterfly, release


Becoming Aware of your Crutches and Drop Judgment About Them


No matter who you are, you have a creative crutch. Don’t feel bad about it, own it. Be willing to look at it, to connect with it. Be honest with yourself about how one type of fear or emotion kicks it off, then watch how it rolls through your day, week or month.


To see this part of yourself takes courage, but you absolutely can start to spot your crutch. Begin by taking about 15 or 20 minutes in a quiet, undistracted place to empty your mind and tune into some of your patterns. Once in a meditative state simply ask your soul self to see your patterns clearly. Attempt to get clear on when and how they show up and their frequency.


Once you think you have a sense of what they are, write them down. The awareness of the pattern is what will help you to notice when you are falling into it, and the creative crutch you call on as a result of it.


The most important thing to remember is that this is a process. You need to be willing to take the time and tune in, then practice awareness of these patterns in your daily life to find ways to make your creative crutches obsolete – while your creativity has room to expand.


Feel like you want a little help with getting your creativity on track? Check out the Mini Guide for Connection with your Inner Guidance and Creative Fire. Want a little more specific support to help you through a challenge? Connect with me for a Creative Reflection Reading.


Photo credit: PhotoAtelier, Beth Scupham, Ken Colwell