Dreaming With the E-Brake On: How We Unknowingly Limit Creative Options

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How do you define creative options for yourself?


As possibilities you hold in your heart?  Clear choices out on the table? Hobbies and weekend passions that spark creativity? A list of alternatives that serve as a back-up to well-orchestrated plans?


Or is it expressed as an automatic gut-inspired choice?


While there’s no “one” way to see and act on the creative options in front of you, there’s a well-worn way you often go about it – and your default process can sometimes limit creative potential.


Why? You aren’t clear on your own decision making behaviors.


The most creative thing you do daily is intuit, examine and act on what you THINK are your best creative options, but do you know why? Have you ever dug a little deeper to notice patterns and triggers, or what motivates you to choose anything at all?


If you aren’t clear on how you identify creative options – you may be unknowingly driving through life with the e-brake (emergency brake) engaged.


Either/Or Thinking and the Part it Plays in Self-Expression of Creative Options


eitherorthinking, choices, creative, creativity, creative options, road sign


Conditioning often guides us to either/or choices. We see things as good or bad, mine or yours, cake or no cake – for example. However, you may not realize how easily you limit your own creative potential with this very same thinking.


Common boiler plate statements like “dream bigger and reach for the sky”, sound inspiring, but what if you have emotional and mental patterns in place like shame or fear? What if you are unknowingly carrying the sting of previous disappointments that limit how you see the creative options before you?


This is what makes either/or thinking a slippery slope, especially when you are unaware it’s happening.


Creatives are not just dreamers and artists. Each and every person is expressing their creative self when they see all options and honor them as equally valid. A walk in nature is as essential as the creative inspiration that comes from it. The way a person talks to themselves in their mind and heart is as powerful as sitting and doing the work, however tedious. Leaving room for change, flow and new ideas to alter everything are welcomed, but not often the final word. These are just some of the ways the creative cycle operates for everyone, and slowly reveals what’s possible.


How you specifically see your creative options naturally evolves from the dream and vision phase through clear action and learned experience. But what happens when pain, fear and obstacles spring up? Can you still hold the vision and support it with clear intention, thought and consistency? Or do you fold to negative thinking, beating yourself up? Do you overreact and give up, or scale down based on fear rather than facts?


In these frustrating and emotionally challenging situations, taking a step back to see all of your creative options is the most powerful option of all. 


Crafting a Limitless Personal Space Within 


inner space, rocks, ocean, limitless options


One of the best reasons for developing a consistent meditation practice or way to “get quiet within” is how it helps you block out the noise and connect with what’s true for you. As your personal practice builds, your thinking changes. An overall landscape of either/or options transforms into possibilities, and you don’t put weight on one more than the other because when the time is right, you intuitively know the best next step.


The stronger your sense of self grows in clarity and scope, the inner voice gets louder and sharper. Your creative options expand beyond an either/or game and shift into a sense of resonance that leads the way, judgment-free.


Hands down, the biggest opportunity for self-growth is to play with the idea of how either/or thinking comes up in your life. Do you make black and white choices on auto-pilot? If something happened once, do you think it will happen repeatedly? Ever notice a pattern of checking out and making no decision at all BECAUSE you feel you must choose one thing over another?


No matter what kind of life you live or talents you possess, the possibilities in front of you are limitless. You can wake up each and every day and choose to complete something, continue something, build or create something new, connect or disconnect, play the victim or the work through your feelings – and explore endless other choices. In this way, you are truly creating moment to moment.


It costs nothing to think. The cost comes when you spend energy on reworking the past, holding onto resentment, judgment or feeling less than. Why waste creativity on things that are an energy suck when so many creative options lie ahead, ready and waiting to be noticed?


What are you going to choose this week?


Want to do a little more introspection? Check out my posts on Dancing with the Dynamic of Being Practical and Staying Open-Hearted or What Motivates your Creative Voice? 5 Ways to Find Out. Need a little more mindful insight with a spiritual flair? Check out my podcast Flirting With Enlightenment. Just looking for an ear to listen and offer some unbiased guidance? Connect with me for an intuitive reading.