Creativity: Development & Blocks

Defining Creativity

Humans are endlessly creative. It’s important to note that artists aren’t the only “creatives!” The creative spark is literally present in every aspect of civilization. Look around you. Unless you are completely naked in the wilderness with no human-made items, you are utilizing a product of human ingenuity.

Every field builds upon the creativity of many individuals: Engineering, Production, Accounting, High Finance, Scientific Experimentation, The Social Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Tech, Waste Management, Marketing—you name it. Of course it also includes those in the visual and performing arts and design, but it includes the creation of systems and utilitarian structures as well.

Some acts of human creativity are particularly novel and stand the test of time. Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, T. S. Eliot, Martha Graham, and Mahatma Gandhi are examples of people who’ve created works that Teresa M. Amabile has dubbed “big C” creativity.  Other acts of creativity happen in everyday life and in lesser known acts and works. She dubs these “little c” creativity. These acts are less famous or even completely unknown. They may be secret, or perhaps unacknowledged as “creative” by the creators but are just as important to an individual’s fulfillment as the big “C” creativity is (or was) to the creators of works that have earned that title.

Have you developed systems for doing your job? Running your household? Getting “everything” done? Do you wish you could?

Whether you are creating a new lifestyle and routine, designing a bridge, or building a work of art–trouble with moving forward or overwhelm around the process can all be issues of creativity. And they can crop up in creative people as well as in those who have not had the chance to develop their creativity.

General Categories of Working with Creativity


This is probably one of the most common creativity problems and most often has to do with underlying issues and feelings about what your creative expression will bring with it, or your right to create. Often the roots of the issue stem from past experiences. The “inside-out”IFS method of inner work can be very helpful get to the underlying causes. Some common underlying issues are:

  • Fear of success
  • Fear of failure
  • Unproductive self-criticism
  • Fear of looking foolish
  • Fear of attracting too much attention
  • Performance anxiety


Regardless of where you are in your creative journey, support and strategies for next steps are created and action plans are implemented.

  • For those who never before had the chance to develop their creativity
  • For those who want to develop their creative process further


There may be many underlying issues blocking your ability to envision new projects or next steps in projects already underway. The work we do may relate to blockages and procrastination. I could also relate to helping you discover your particular learning/creating process and perceptual mode. Some underlying issues may be:

  • Lack of internal permission to think outside of the box
  • Worry about what others will think
  • “Not good enough” syndrome
  • Lack of inner permission to fully follow quiet ideas, or outrageous ideas, to the next developmental level.
  • Trying to force yourself to creative the way others do rather than allowing discovery and validating your own process
  • Overwhelm from too many, or the complexity, of your ideas


Ideas are almost always easier to come up with than they are to implement. Often creative people can be flooded with ideas but lag behind in the execution of the ideas. The work in this area may include:

  • Breaking steps down into smaller and smaller tasks
  • Working with motivation
  • Working with tedium or boredom
  • Working with other underlying (perhaps subconscious) issues and fears sabotaging the birth of your creation.

For More Information:

Click on the images below  (or on the right), or see the pages under the “Specializations” and “About Counseling” menus.

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