Blocks to Creativity

 June, designated creativity month by me, is into the last week and I want to share this list of blocks.  I frame creativity as applied to my artistic productivity, but it really can apply to any area of one’s life. 


Copyright 1970 by Sonia M. Nevis, Edwin C. Nevis and Elliott R. Danzig

 I. Fear of Failure Not taking risks; setting easy targets; settling for less in order to avoid the possible pain of failing; seeing failure as shameful; giving up quickly when faced with obstacles.

II. Reluctance to Play Literal, overly serious problem-solving style; not “playing around” with stuff. Fear of seeming foolish or silly by experimenting with the unusual; ignoring or mistrusting inner images or fantasies of self or others.

 III. Resource Myopia Narrow vision; limited appreciation of possibilities; failure to see one’s own strengths; lack of appreciation for resources in one’s environment – people or things; inability to let things happen naturally.

 IV. Overcertainty Rigidity of problem-solving responses; not checking assumptions; stereotyped reactions; persistence in behavior that is no longer functional

 V.  Frustration Avoidance:  giving up to soon when faced with obstacles; avoidance of the pain or discomfort that is often associated with change or novel solutions to problems.

 VI. Custom-Bound Over-emphasis on tradition; too much reverence for the past; tendency to conform rather than to stand out as being different.

 VII. Impoverished Fantasy:  Mistrusting, ignoring or demeaning the inner images and visualizations of self and others; over-valuing the so-called objective, real world; lack of “imagination” in the sense of “let’s pretend” or “what if.”

 VIII. Fear of the Unknown:  Avoidance of situations which lack clarity or which have unknown probability of succeeding; overweighing what is not known vs. what is known; a need to know the future before going forward.

 IX. Need for Balance:  Inability to tolerate disorder, confusion or ambiguity; dislike of complexity; excessive need for balance, order, symmetry.

 X. Reluctance To Exert Influence:  Fear of appearing too aggressive or pushy in trying to convince someone of something; hesitant to stand up for what you believe in the face of opposition. Difficulty in making yourself heard or in standing up for what you believe. Give priority to the needs of others before satisfying your needs.

 XI. Reluctance to Let Go:  trying too hard to push through solutions to problems; inability to let things incubate, or let things happen naturally; lack of trust in human capacities.

 XII.  Impoverished Emotional Life:  Failure to appreciate the motivational power of emotion; using energy in holding back spontaneous expressions; lack of awareness of the importance of feelings in achieving commitment to individual and group effort.

 XIII. Unintegrated Yin-Yang:  Not making sufficient use of contrasting ways or getting at the essence of things; polarizing things into opposites rather than knowing how to integrate the best of both sides; lacking unified perception of the wholeness in the universe.

XIV. Sensory Dullness:  Not adequately using one’s primary senses as a way of knowing; making only partial contact with self and environment; atrophy of capacities to explore; poor sensitivity.

My comments:  Psychologically complex? …Maybe, but I found it interesting so I’m passing it along…. LR

About Wings of Wonder

Linda Ruddy is a creative with a diverse range of interests in writing and painting. She currently is revising a middle grade novel, and author and illustrating a picture story book. She is an active member of SCBWI, Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. Linda has a body of paintings, which form the foundation of her artistic development. This work can be viewed on her website: Her recent illustrations are an outgrowth of the style she developed in these paintings. Another passion is sculpture. Linda often uses her figures as models for her art. Linda's blog is eclectic and journeys wherever her muse guides her attention. Her blog address is: Following the muse, Linda Ruddy
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2 Responses to Blocks to Creativity

  1. elliott danzig says:

    Linda. It was a delightful surprise to get your message.I am elliott danzig, and am in my study preparing a new version of the blocks to start presenting in a workshop this week-end.
    Please call and give me your phone number and address. I hope you live near here.

    Elliott R. Danzig, Ph.D.,D.J.
    4756 Quito Court
    San Diego,CA 92124
    land phone: 858-300-7641
    cell 858-337-9400

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