Have you ever put time aside to just sit and write. Fully immerse yourself in your writing with no distractions, knowing that you need to put the effort in. The day comes and you slide into your comfy office chair and your mindset is sharp. Ready! Today is looking good to get writing. Happy, no distractions, no worries. Right?
Wrong! Instead, you find yourself, messing around with technology. Figuring you’ll get that nagging voice out of your head so you can concentrate fully on your creative thoughts, so you begin to get a video ready to save and send to your subscribers.
*Little evil dude sitting on the desk tapping his pitchfork* Like hell, you ain’t doing nothing but sweating over this video today!
Ask yourself: Can frustration be part of the creative process? Some say frustration aids creativity. Is that true? Is the act of feeling frustrated an essential element of creativity?
Let’s define frustration. It is the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something. Frustration is the prevention of progress. It feels as if you’re going in circles, never achieving anything and as the day starts to slip away, it feels like you’re at square 1. Right where you started! But are you…
Frustration can actually aid creativity. Psychologists have known for some time that certain kinds of difficulties or obstacles can actually improve your performance. Frustration can give us the power to find a new angle, an innovative idea or motivate us to go that bit further to achieve our goal.
Imagine your at the NRL finals footy game. The crowd is going nuts and there are all kinds of conversations, yelling and pointing going on around you. You want to filter them out, you want to focus on what’s important. The score is being announced. Can you concentrate on hearing the score by blocking out all the racket? Psychologists suggest that if you can you have strong attention filters. Some people struggle with it.
But some people have weak attentional filters and this means that they are constantly interrupted by the sounds, smells and sights of the stadium around them. Stick with me, my point is coming. A study revealed people with weak filters were vastly more likely to have real creative milestones in their lives. these are the ones who publish their novels, release their music CD or .display their art in a gallery. This element of frustration helps them think outside the box because literally, their filter is full of holes.
There is a point, however, where the level of frustration inhibits creativity. High levels of frustration lead to anger which leads to fruitlessness. How can we abate our struggle with frustration to harness our creativity? We need to learn to live with tension, then discover ways to harness our frustration into inspiration.
We need to learn to be comfortable with and embrace paradox, contradiction, and ambiguity. It is the foundation of creativity. Psychologists recommend ignoring the struggle caused by frustration. Embrace it allowing the battle to form a relationship with your creative process. This doesn’t mean you go out looking to get frustrated, it simply means, through acceptance you can benefit from its power and seek to move into a deeper fold of creativity.
Frustration is a sign you have reached your level of tension. You can feel the energy and you recognise the disturbances in your mind and body; see these as the boiling points for creative success. Collaborating with your frustration can exploit your creativity. So next time you feel that burning rise of disdain engulfing your body, take a moment to acknowledge, you are now awakening your deeper creative processes. Welcome it.