Reframe Creative Hiccups to Move Forward with Confidence

creative, creativity, mistakes


Creative hiccups happen. You lose a computer file, the “idea well” runs dry as a deadline looms or a promising project falls flat. While unintended, these little snafus don’t leave you empty handed – they offer plate after plate of overthinking and regret just like an like all you can eat buffet.


Can you tell when you’re full? Or does the buffet keep sucking you back in for more self-judgment?


The creative hiccups sprinkled into all aspects of your life are choice points. Every single one of them. Does it mean you need to be happy about how they turned out and roll over into complacency? No. It does mean you have every right to be mad, frustrated, scared, or sad about the situation, express how you feel and move past it. Yet, it’s so easy to turn that emotional energy back onto yourself and take what was a little a creative hiccup, a mere blip on the radar, and turn it into a way to blame yourself for not being enough.


Grab that Paper Bag and Take a Deep Breath


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It’s easy to get a bit spun up when creative hiccups mess with your groove and deadlines. When you’ve worked hard and are completely exhausted, the last thing you want to think about doing is making more tweaks or starting over. More importantly, you may not want to face the feelings lurking under the surface, including disappointment, embarrassment or failure.


So stop thinking. Breathe instead.


Close your eyes, go for a walk, listen to music, pet your cat, cry or scream into a pillow – but stop thinking about how things should be different. It wasn’t and isn’t. When you keep going back to a scenario or conversation again and again, retracing your steps, all you succeed in doing is re-traveling a road that’s already been paved and reliving the emotion. Stomping on it isn’t going to make it disappear, but it will cement it into your memory as a longer lasting painful experience.


Your reaction can take a simple creative hiccup and change it from a from a moment in time into a way for you to build up fear and continue to underestimate yourself – so make a different choice. When you are feeling vulnerable is the most critical time to leverage your overactive creative storytelling brain and use it to reframe your thoughts and attitude by writing a new story to enjoy. 


Reframe that Big Grey Membrane


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Being kind and gentle with yourself can be one of the hardest things to practice, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to get your creative house in order and provide the self-care you need to rally. When you are feeling negative it’s easy to reinforce the crappy story of your day and why everything sucks in every way, so you need to reframe how you are thinking about the situation.


To effectively pull yourself in a new direction it’s time to whip up your imagination and play. Turn the people featured in the story of your horrible day into trolls, warlocks or toadstools. Laugh about how the internet dropping and ruining your video call was because of a batch of fuzzy kittens chewing on your modem wires, and now they have super powers! Make up a fun little song about why your project didn’t make the splash you expected, but had a different impact in a positive way.


When you can break the loop of negative thought by imagining something fun, silly, impossible or crazy, you start to see how negative feelings will begin to subside. Any emotion you experience always transitions sooner or later, but will turn around faster when you can call on your special inherent creative traits to reframe your creative hiccups.


Then, when you reconnect with whatever was a challenge, you have infused a lighter attitude and created some much needed space, allowing you to see things in a more productive way for yourself or within your exchange with someone else.


Now it’s time to practice thinking of little creative hiccups as another opportunity to use the power of your imagination!


Feel like you are stuck between the spark of an idea and how to get there? Why not check out the Mini Guide for Connecting with your Inner Guidance and Creative Fire and see if some of those tips can help. You can also check out a few of my previous blog posts The Direction of your Life is Never Direct or Practicing the Art of Self Acceptance. 

Photo credit: Peter Lindberg, Temari09, TZA