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The #1 Creativity Killer and How To Avoid It

Today I start this Sunday letter with some tough love: creativity is not interested in our preferences.

 

Creativity has a higher cause, something beyond us that it wants us to experience, know, or see. Creativity  wants to lead us somewhere new and expansive.

 

This is more profound than what our limited mind can comprehend. Our creative calling gives us the gift of coming to understand our true priorities.

 

Have you ever wanted something so badly, didn’t get it, and then realized there was actually another option that was more in alignment?

 

Maybe you had a crush on someone who didn’t have the same feelings for you. Later, when you started dating someone else, you could easily see how your first fleeting crush wasn’t right for you at all.  

 

Or maybe you can think of a time when you listened to your intuition rather than to your rational mind. It turns out that you were being protected so you could end up someplace much better for you, both physically or emotionally.

 

What about a situation in which you were  attached to a certain outcome and, when it didn’t work out the way you wanted, you were actually more satisfied with an even better outcome?

 

Have you lost a job or watched a business fail only to realize later there was another job/career/acquisition that was better for you waiting right around the corner?

 

This is how letting go of preference can support us to achieve even better results.

 

When we don’t allow ourselves to let go and go with the flow, when we can’t rest in the uncertainty and be curious about how things might unfold, it’s like we’re pushing away the aliveness and possibility that life wants for us.

 

All too often, our attachments to outcome cause us to refuse creativity’s benefits before we even begin. This is why attachments to our preferences can be the #1 creativity killer.

 

We set our true aspirations aside for another time and our attention goes onto something else, most likely something less meaningful, important, or significant.

 

We give up way too fast, just when the energy is ready to inspire us. We snuff the light out before we give ourselves room to see what it illuminates.

 

Plus, there’s the stress that comes with trying to force our preferences out into the world. It wreaks havoc on our nervous systems. In its extreme, our need to will our desires into reality can make us become obsessive.

 

What we need is a wider perspective that ultimately offers more permission.

 

To do this, you have opportunity to understand your preferences. Preference usually comes with a “should” attached. For example: It should look like this. It should be like that. It should turn out like this. It should happen like that. It should work out like this.

 

Ask yourself:

 

What am I “should-ing?”

 

Locate the “should.”

 

Then, ask yourself, “What if it didn’t matter if it was _______ or not?”

 

Fill in the blank with the “should.”

 

The trick is to be self-aware and to stay curious. It takes practice to discover what your attachments and  preferences are telling you.

 

We don’t need to encumber ourselves by thinking that  life should be a certain way, or that we should we feel a certain way, or that others should act in a certain way. Listening to our insides, the perspective shift comes from somewhere deep within when we are guided by the truth of our inherent intuition and wisdom. That’s what opens us up to the creative flow within.

 

Wishing you freedom of expression!

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Lynn Newman