Analyze your setting to enhance your creativity

How external stimuli affect the creation of ideas

Creativity and creation of ideas


When you think about creativity, surely you think about an artist like Dali or a bizarre one expert in fine arts, yet these arts would rather be the product of a creative person.

Creativity is a cognitive ability part of the personality, it is a way of being and thinking, a different way of processing information and transforming reality.
La creatividad es una capacidad cognitiva que impregna la personalidad

It is also said that creativity is either owned or not. It is true that there are people more creative than others, these people tend to be more curious, imaginative, independent, enthusiastic… But it is an ability that can be developed or inhibited. Therefore, you don’t have to be a great painter or philosopher to be creative, you can boost it with the right stimulation since creativity is above all the capacity for problem solving and innovation.

What factors block our creativity?

As we have said, creativity is not an innate capacity, it can be learned and developed through different stimuli, but there are also some that block it. Over the years, we constantly receive these factors that block our creativity from the environment where we grow up, our family or our culture. They can be as roosted in ourselves they can be difficult to remove but detecting them is the first step to get rid of them. These are:

  1. Perceptual factors
  2. Psychological barriers
  3. Cultural factors
  4. Physical and social environment
  5. Organizational factors

1. Perceptual factors

Just as our eyes can mislead us when observing certain figures, our perception can be changed or not precise and make it difficult for us to perceive relationships between concepts or problems’ definitions. Watch out and turn on your senses against any stimulus!

2. Psychological barriers

Conservatism or unwillingness to project a new vision limits our freedom to research and manipulate ideas. Ourself can be our worst enemy and we can conceal our creativity only for fear of turning out wrong or feel foolish. Forget about prejudices or insecurities for fear of the unknown, they will only foster low self-esteem. Feel fear of change is, unfortunately, a common feature in developed countries. Change your mind and don’t care whether other people mind.

Factores que bloquean la creatividad. Barreras psicológicas
3. Cultural factors

Culture is something we have acquired since we were born, so even if we try to fight it, it will be difficult to alleviate it. In the culture of industrialized nations, the value of efficiency, effectiveness and wealth generation is fostered over entertainment, fantasy or reflection. This will lead to a lack of curiosity, an excess of faith in logic and the implantation of educational models, customs or traditions that limit fantasy. Set your own principles and follow them without fear.

4. Physical and social environment

Our early years are essential for our development. According to come researches, creative people generally had a childhood in which they were free to develop their own potential. Now you have the decision-making ability, build your own ideal environment.

Factores que bloquean la creatividad. Entorno físico y social
5. Organizational factors

The context in which our work takes place will also have a great impact. The cost of mistakes, pressure or over-administration will be as harmful to our creativity as a lack of encouragement or autonomy. Communicate with your environment and inform about your needs.

How to enhance your creativity?

espite the range of factors that block our creativity, it is up to you to let them affect you. We have at our disposal many tools that will help you to end with your blockers and let the ideas flow.

Work context

As we have said, the physical environment has a great impact on creativity, look for a place where you can express yourself without limits and in different ways. Where order, formality neither norm are not imperative. Find a place to make yours and nobody else, once you find it, it is recommended to divide it in two parts: a digital one, where you can place your computer, mobile phone and other tools; and another one that is completely analog, only with papers, ink or paints.

¿Cómo potenciar tu creatividad? Contexto de trabajo

Why leave aside technological advances and return to the Stone Age? The reason is the computer can be an excellent tool but it can also be your worst enemy. It is difficult to really focus while you receive stimuli such as notifications or announcements all the time.
If you want this to work, it is best to keep a relaxed and stimulating environment. Where time is at your total disposal, where you can invent, get bored or generate the need to do. Today, we own very little of this time without a watch, enjoy it!

Labor limitation

Set yourself tasks that have some difficulty, boredom protects and stimulates creativity and productivity, but facing new challenges will make you exercise your brain. Only then you will stand out and get truly original and unique results. Create your own routine by forcing yourself to create on a daily basis, as Picasso said:

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.  
La inspiración llega trabajando

How to prepare yourself to face these challenges? Live new and different experiences, places or trips and observe the details of here and now. Look around you, there is a lot of beauty in the details of the everyday. Life is a free buffet where stimuli are at fingertips, everything adds up and new skills and learning are acquired, do not let it go away.


Set clear goals and empower critical thinking. Evaluate your results by being demanding, but you must prioritize your own judgment over other’s opinions, they will be always a value judgment. Only you know the true meaning of your ideas and the effort involved, your opinion is the most important one.
Therefore, as you want others to respect your ideas, reflect this attitude in your evaluations. Provide honest value to these creations, encourage them to continue and enhance generating ability, there is no better advice than constructive criticism.

Competition vs Cooperation

According to your personality, competition can have two effects. On the one hand, it stimulates withdrawn people to empower their creativity, on the other hand, it generally blocks active people.

¿Cómo potenciar tu creatividad? Competición vs Cooperación

To avoid blockages and allow teamwork, we recommend cooperating. Do you want some advice? Surround yourself with talent, people you admire and better than you so you can learn from them. Overcome your ego, be humble and listen to others’ ideas, the greatest ideas are polished in a group. Use technologies to get valuable feedback, contact your idols or other professionals, and ask them to value your work. Listen to them and someday the student will become a teacher.

Climate and social atmosphere

Just as surrounding yourself with experts encourage creativity, your home environment will have a big impact. Don’t be afraid of look ridiculous or make mistakes. Show your creative abilities, take risks.
If you suddenly feel overwhelmed, go for a walk or visit your grandmother. Taking distance from what you were doing will turn your light bulb on. Open up to new cultural stimuli and feel free to shape your ideas. If you want to be original and creative do not get carried away by trends, if you read what everyone reads or watch the same movies as everyone else, you will get the same results.

Look for your own references, those that you are passionate about, even if they are not the most trendy ones.
¿Cómo potenciar tu creatividad? Clima y atmósfera social

It is clear that creativity can be more or less internalized in your being, but it will not come out on its own. If you want to have great ideas, train, work and improve. No one gets it right the first time neither no one becomes an innate genius. Believe in yourself, value other opinions and never ever stop working. Getting good results is in your hands.

Published at 31/03/2020

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