Before You Give Up Start Pushing Back

chrisfenner // @kylereed

On page 42 of Issue No. 186 of Creative Arts, they asked this question to a group of creatives:

“So a recession can actually inspire creativity?”. The answer? Yes.

In order to be clear let me define a couple words and the context with which I use them in this article.

Resistance: anything that hinders creativity, this could be people around you, you, the systems that are setup, etc.

Pushing Against: You doing your best to change whatever is pushing you, or using that momentum, to foster a creative out come, solve problems, create new culture.

Resistance can foster not just personal growth, but creativity and inspiration in you, and to people around you. All of us sometime in our professional or personal lives have gone through the times when we feel like the organization or job we are in are hindering us from being creative. What can even be more frustrating is knowing that the people around you have so much more to give (including yourself), but aren’t being encouraged to give more, can’t, or just aren’t. I’m speaking from personal experience.

Here are some things that might help you get through those situations and maybe even change the situations.

1. Self Assess Yourself:

Are you really giving everything you have? You have to start by changing your own mentality and getting that creative hustle back. People won’t listen to someone who is lazy, or not taking their own advice.

2. Try and Find Out What’s Pushing Against You:

This might be a person, how things are structured, or you! Try and identify it, so you know what you are up against.

3. Lead by Influencing People:

Sometimes we aren’t the ones that have the authority to change everything. In this case show yourself approved to the people that can change things, take them out to lunch, get to know them, earn their respect. This in turn might not give you the authority to change things, but will give you the opportunity to speak your opinion into their lives. Know that I’m not necessarily  talking about your boss, this could be a peer, your volunteers, or a co worker.

4. It Will Take Time:

Know that changing things to be creative won’t happen overnight, it’s going to take time.

5. Just Do It:

Have creative meetings, start getting organized, get some motion in your creative life. Nothing will change unless something is happening.

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail:

Some of your ideas will work, some won’t. Not all your ideas will be great, some will suck.

7. Have a Team:

It’s important to have a team around you, both to help make better ideas and to help make those great ideas a reality.

8. Learn To Say No:

If you are feeling burnt out creatively, try and say no. Concentrate on what you are good at, and make sure you are mentally rested (yes I mean sleep).

Is there anything you would add to this list?



Create or Die – Chris

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Chris Fenner is a film maker, video editor, and a storyteller. He loves beautiful images and a clear message. He creates lasting films and videos. Currently a Tech Director and Media creator for Heritage Church.
  • Kyle Reed

    Great list. It is time to fight the resistance.
    I am excited that Steven Presfield just put out a new book entitled “Just Do It” (I think that is the title). He was the author of “the War of Art” (I am sure most of you know this) but I am ready to dive in to this book.

    That would be what I would want to add. Read. I think that helps a ton when trying to get through resistance and obstacles.

    • Michael

      Reading is clutch for sure. And I would point out to read things that you don’t necessarily agree with. As a creative I want to be pushed and stretched. I may not always agree, but at least it inspires.

      And I’m pretty stoked about Pressfield’s new book too, especially since it was free on Kindle.

      • Jeff Goins

        It’s called Do the Work, and it’s fantastic. I’m reading it right now. Great post, Chris! I thought long and hard about what to add and couldn’t think of anything.

        • Chris Fenner

          haha. thanks man! need to grab that book asap!