January 6, 2010

Are You the Little Engine that Can't?

I think I can't.
I think I can't.

What happened to the little engine that could? It stalled. It got hung up with self-censorship and doubt, questioning its insights, its ideas, and its ambition.

Perhaps you, too, fall prey periodically to the insidious little voices inside your head during the creative process. If so, you're quickly on a high-speed train to stagnation, frustration, and disillusionment.

I think I can, I think I can is a nice chant for a children's story, but it alone won't get you through a creative block and silence your inner critics. Ironically, the antidote lies within the act of creating itself.

Remember, an object in motion stays in motion. Instead of thinking your way into a new manner of acting, act your way into a new manner of thinking. To be more creative, to break through your block, simple start creating ... doing ... anything. Your brain becomes engaged in the activity, and it has less time for listening and self-doubt.

More content on this topic:

My two-page FORUM article,
"Imagine the Possibilities: Silencing the Negative Voices in Your Mind."

An Association Forum video interview
in which I answer a few questions about overcoming obstacles to creativity.

A great TED Talk by author Elizabeth Gilbert about genius and the muse in the creative process.

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