There are moments when it seems we will never break through of our writers block, or find the solution to a nagging problem, or think of the perfect copy for an advertising client.
If you’ve ever felt creatively blocked, consider one very possible reason – your censor.
A censor is no friend to creativity, innovation or brainstorming. It’s the little judge in our brain that says (I imagine in a high-pitched British accent):
“your idea isn’t good enough/original enough/smart enough/funny enough”
“don’t bother saying that, no one will like it”
“it’s been done before”
“have another crumpet instead”.
Of course, there may be other reasons for our blockage, but getting rid of our censor is key to spontaneity, and thus, improvising. During Improv training, participants strengthen their spontaneity muscles by first become aware of their censor and then learning to control or lessen it over time. It can take a long time to ignore that voice in our heads, but I promise it gets easier with practice.
Improvisers are forced to suspend judgement on not just our ideas, but our partners ideas as well. We must truly react to whatever is thrown at us, and there is no time to sit and think about whether our ideas are strong enough. Everything we say or do is valuable and accepted.
Many of us censor ourselves (especially at work) because we don’t feel as if we can fail, take risks, or say the “wrong thing”. If you are in an environment where risk-taking, or small failures are not accepted or even encouraged, creativity can most definitely be stifled. I’ll touch on that in a later blog post.