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What prevents you to be creative? 12 creative blocks

Illustration by Angeles Nieto

There are days where ideas are not bubbling, it is as if creativity has dried up, and usually this occurs at the moment when we need it most. We all have creative blocks, we limit ourselves to preconceived concepts that keep us from success and limits our ability.

Knowing what factors induce this will cause us to avoid it and to recognizing this. Creative thinking is a solution that begins with the birth of something new.

The creative blocks can be divided into four groups:


A) Perceptual blockade


1) How to consider a situation

A situation can be seen in various ways. How perceive our perceptual senses determine how we experience something and how we look at it. Often, different people see the same situation completely differently. A perceptual blockade prevents us from seeing what the real problem is, we do not isolate it to define and cost us effort to distinguish between cause and effect.


Illustration by Angeles Nieto


B) Cognitive blockade


2) How do we analyze a situation.

Routine or a plethora of information can prevent that we pay attention to the really important things, that we lose ourselves in details, without we find the essence of the problem. We must know what we want and focus on it.

3) Repeat solutions.

The main function of the brains is to ensure the survival of our body. Therefore, and due to evolution, create the brains information blocks, which are accessible for later use.

If we are faced with a situation that we successfully managed to resolve, we will, if this occurs again, solving it the same way, but now faster and with a minimum of energy consumption. The structure of these information blocks are stiffer, stronger and thus creates mental models that we repeat, without doubting its value.

Creativity has a lot to do with the breakdown of these mental models in the line of thought, we must dare to tread new other paths. In addition, our education focuses on finding the right answer, but there are problems with different solutions.

4) Accepting the main rules without reply.

It is easy to accept the established rules. However, every rule has arisen in a particular context and this can change. It is important to view the opportunity for investigation, and demand for the “obvious”, especially when the obvious option is a better solution to the problem.

“Often the pure approach to a problem is far more important than the solution containing only mathematical or experimental skills. Raise new questions, generating new opportunities, old problems viewing from a new angles, things that require imagination and real progress indicate the science.”
Einstein (1879-1955)


Illustration by Angeles Nieto


C) Emotional blockage


Emotional blocks are in ourselves, as a result of tensions, worries and fears that come along with new situations.

5) The fear of making mistakes.

We all fear to be wrong, to fail, to be found ridiculous, what people say about you; and the best way to avoid these risks is to keep within the boundaries of the well-known. It is almost impossible to do anything good at once, we should be making mistakes many times to finally find what we seek.

6) The tension.

Stress is a physiological response of the organism in which defense mechanisms enter into a defense with a situation that is perceived as threatening. In these moments the brains focus their attention on ensuring the survival. This state of stress blocks creativity, brains stops the flow of ideas.

Relaxation is essential in the inspiration and creation. Relaxation in the brains solve complex problems. Steve Jobs practiced meditation and was a follower of the Zen philosophy. According to this philosophy is the secret of creativity stop you to force, enjoy the scenery and see how everything flows and connects with each other.

“Creative blockade is like a signal to stop immediately thinking about the theme and approach it occasionally” Audrey Niffenegger, (1963) writer.

7) Thinking that we are not creative.

We all are creative, we are born with this ability. The most creative people in the world are children. They have no established mental models in their brains and their vision is natural very broad.

“All children are born artists; the problem is to remain an artist as we grow”. Picasso (1881-1973), schilder

Barron, psychologist says that the creative power of someone constantly grows and increases with age in the same way as in verbal intelligence, it is only a matter of training.

8) Being too critical. Look for a quick solution.

Being too critical, exclude or remove from the beginning ideas, being obsessed about finding the best, stops the flow of creativity. Write absolutely all the ideas you have. An idea has to grow, you have to give it time to develop, to mature before you realize the value and usefulness.

9) Pessimism and seriousness.

Good ideas come from the best of us. Believe in yourself and in the ability to find what you’re looking, this simplifies the process. Take a situation too seriously you can block. Give yourself permission to make jokes, to relativize the matter and to see things in the right proportions. See working as a game.


Illustration by Angeles Nieto


D) Cultural blockade


Cultural blocks refer to the limits of creativity as a result of education and socialization.

10) Educational blockade.

Education is primarily focused on vertical thinking or logic, creative qualities are forgotten. Our education system reinforced the left brain, responsible for speech functions, writing, mathematics and logic, but forget the functions of the right hemisphere of the brain responsible for emotions, intuition and creativity.

Today we live in a changing society, which seeks to transform and improve, where innovation is a symbol of success, and for this we need to develop creative abilities.

11) Distrust of environment and stereotypes.

We often seek approval to feel accepted and being loved in a group, we meet the requirements that are assigned to our gender or age, and we do what others expect from us. However, creativity is looking for new, innovative solutions, think differently, and therefore be free and creative.

12) The no action.

An unrealized idea is lost in thought. An idea is like a seed that is planted and must be cared for, to grow. Innovation is the process in order to realize an idea.

“Innovation is creativity put into motion”

Think of creativity as a game, bring the child in your upward, enjoy and if you can, laugh at yourself 🙂

Want to read more about creativity?

– The value of creativity


– 10 creative techniques to get ideas


– 10 keys to find creative inspiration


– Why imaginatie is needed? 10 reasons to encourage


Your brains are creative



Art by Angeles Nieto


Text and illustrations: Ángeles Nieto



– Robinson, Ken (2009). “El elemento”. Barcelona. Ed Grijalbo

-Byttebier, Igor  (2002).”Creatividad. Hoe? Zo!” Tielt. Ed Lanno

– Sikora, J. (1977). “Manual de métodos creativos”. Buenos Aires: Ed. Kapelusz.

-Simberg, A. L. (1975). “Los obstáculos a la creatividad. En Davis y Scott (Comps.), Estrategias para la creatividad.  Buenos Aires: Ed. Paidós.

-De Bono, E. (1974). El pensamiento lateral. Barcelona: Editorial Paidós.

– Los 5 motivos más comunes por los que puedes no estar siendo creativo http://www.tecnicasdeorganizacion.com/2011/04/los-5-motivos-mas-comunes-por-los-que-puedes-no-estar-siendo-creativo/

-Los bloqueos de la creatividad: un muro entre la posibilidad y la acción


¿Porque no soy creativo y porque los creativos no innovan?

-9 consejos de expertos para superar el bloqueo creativo.


– 10 obstáculos del pensamiento creativo FUENTE: Copyblogger Brian Clark


– «El estrés es el peor enemigo del cerebro» http://www.abc.es/ciencia/abci-estres-peor-enemigo-cerebro-201603142326_noticia.html




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