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How to Destroy Your Creative Self in 9 Easy Steps

Yes, it’s snark, but that’s what’s fun about it!

1. Choose the First Answer/Choice/Solution/Idea.

By going with the first answer, choice, solution, or idea that pops in your mind, you don’t have to explore any other potentially exciting (and better) ideas. Really, all you have to do is recall something that’s worked for you in the past; you don’t even have to spend the mental energy expanding on it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

2. Believe There Is Only One Right Answer/Choice/Solution/Idea.

On that note, why consider the possibility that there’s more than one way to go about it? Who has time for that? Determine that there’s one right way to do things, get things done, and go on about your day.

3. Be Uncomfortable With Uncertainty.

Look, I’ll be real with you. Being OK with uncertainty, the unknown… that’s for the brave folks. The courageous people who aren’t afraid of taking risks because they know those risks could open doors to things that themselves haven’t even imagined yet.

You? C’mon now… that’s not you. You know that going out on a limb means plummeting if that limb snaps. You like to be comfortable. You like the path to be certain, and you don’t like being wrong.

4. Take Criticism to Heart.

Forget everything you’ve heard about learning to manage criticism. Take that shiz to heart!

When someone says your song sucks, obviously they’re right — and obviously you suck for writing it. Concede and let the truly creative people take over.

Avoiding criticism might mean avoiding growth, but who needs growth? You’re trying to destroy your creative self, after all.

5. Constantly Compare Yourself/Your Work to Others.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is basically locking up your own imagination and throwing away the key, and with your imagination safely tucked away — you guessed it — your creative self is sure to die.

So go ahead. Compare any ideas or images or even rough drafts or final products to others creations, then sit back and be amazed at how quickly it dies.

6. Give Yourself “Analysis Paralysis.”

Here’s how you get analysis paralysis:

  1. Overload yourself with information about whatever project it is you’re doing.
  2. Spend forever overthinking every possible way every single thing you know about the project could affect the direction of the project.
  3. Curl up in a ball and hide.

No way you’ll do anything to your creative self but chisel away at — and eventually destroy — it.

7. Never Ask for Help

Come on now, why would you ask for help?! If you can’t do something entirely on your own, doesn’t that mean it’s not entirely your creation, and so you’re not actually creative?

Sure it does! Don’t ever ask for help!

8. Be Terrified of Failure

Listen, mistakes and failures are scary and embarrassing and must be avoided at all costs. To do that, you must be quiet and conservative as you approach your project. Taking chances only increases chances you’ll make a few mistakes and fail a few times!

9. Avoid Any Kind of Encouragement

Someone’s encouraging you? They must be up to something.

Keep quiet about your project; you can encourage yourself.


Again, this was snark! These are great tips if you actually are looking to kill your creativity, but I highly doubt that’s what you want to do; it’s more likely that you’re doing some of these things and unknowingly killing your creativity.


  1. Don’t just settle on the first option.
  2. Understand that there’s no one right way.
  3. Get comfortable with the unknown.
  4. Take criticism for what it’s meant to be.
  5. Don’t compare yourself or your work to others.
  6. Analyze less and act more.
  7. Ask for help.
  8. Embrace failure.
  9. Welcome encouragement.

Photo by Yoad Shejtman on Unsplash.

How to Destroy Your Creative Self in 9 Easy Steps

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2020). How to Destroy Your Creative Self in 9 Easy Steps. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 3, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Apr 2020
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