So you’ve read a ton of articles and followed the advice but when it comes to taking that first step in a new creative project or hobby, you freeze up. You’re anxious. Maybe you have tried something but ended up feeling frustrated and perpetually put off ever doing it again. Or maybe you’ve got all the tools but you don’t ever make the time to start. Or perhaps you are a creative wanting to try something different in your practice but you’re a bit stuck! If this sounds like you – don’t worry! It’s more than likely your mindset that is holding you back. I know from personal experience that the right mindset is the key to letting that creativity flow! So here are 8 things I recommend doing to avoid stifling your creativity.In society, we often perpetuate the romantic idea that creative people possess this innate natural talent but that’s only part of the truth. While some creatives may have a natural creative flair, the truth is they have taken months and years to hone their craft. And in the world of social media where everything is polished to perfection, it’s a journey you rarely ever see. This is also why as a creative, when you have spent a long time perfecting a particular craft, it can be scary to experiment or try something new! The pressure to create something good quickly is the nail in the coffin for creativity so allowing yourself time to experiment and explore without expecting what you create to be brilliant will help tremendously. Mistakes and failures are a by-product of the creative process and can often lead to exciting things!Creativity takes time. Setting yourself arbitrary deadlines will put unnecessary pressure on you and it’ll be hard to get into a state of flow. Instead set aside dedicated time to focus on your creative project but without treating it like a task you need to get done and out of the way. Slow down and enjoy it!Children will often do things just for the fun of it but somewhere along the way to adulthood that changes. As we get older, we start to feel embarrassed when we’re not good at something. We don’t enjoy it and we’re sometimes reluctant to try things out of fear at being rubbish. Ultimately, this mindset holds us back because getting good at something often takes practice. A lot of practice. So rather than aiming to produce something good and getting frustrated, embrace your inner child and just have fun with it. Be playful and focus instead on how you feel when creating. When you feel happy and fulfilled, you’ll naturally want to dedicate more time to it and ultimately, you’ll improve. So don’t worry about being good, instead find out what you enjoy and that will lead you onto the right path.You might initially think painting is your bag but somehow after exploring it extensively, it doesn’t sit right and you make excuses not to do it. That’s okay! Sometimes you try things, and you don’t love it. Life is too short to keep persevering with something you don’t enjoy so instead, keep an open mind and try a variety of things until you find something that hits the creative spot!You’ve bought all the materials, watched the tutorials and you’re ready to get started. But something is holding you back. Fear. You procrastinate and put it off to the next evening, the weekend, the following week and so on. Often that fear can overpower us and we need to silence it. A great way to silence that fear is to embrace Nike’s famous slogan; just do it. Don’t think about it, don’t worry about what you create and whether it’s good or not. Stop holding yourself back and just get started.Every beautiful flower starts off as a little seed and that’s how you need to approach a creative project. Starting small requires less energy, time and prevents you getting overwhelmed. It gives you confidence, momentum, and the opportunity to grow. Amazon, Google and Disney are massively successful companies, but they all started small. Think big, start small and you will win.Picasso was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, yet only a fraction of all the art he ever created, which is in the thousands, are considered his greatest works! Not everything you produce will be golden but each creation is a stepping stone to the next great work. Embrace all the failures and mistakes along the way as they will lead you to greater heights.We live in an age where nothing is private but when you’re trying to find your creative voice, don’t feel the need to share what you’re doing at first. Allow yourself to create a private space to explore and experiment without outside interference so you can develop in an organic way. Opinions are not facts but they can sway us if we let them and if you’re fragile creatively, this can knock your confidence and throw you off course. Life is full of distractions and there is something powerful in dedicating time just for yourself and yourself only. Once you feel confident, share it with the world, but allow yourself the privacy and freedom needed to get to that point.And there you have it! There are so many articles that talk about external actions to take such as going for a walk and visiting museums but personally for me, it was my mindset that really was holding me back. I changed my mindset using these steps to unlock my own creativity and I really hope they help you find your own creative path or give you to confidence to expand your creative practice. If this blog has helped you in any way, I’ve love to hear from you! Send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on my Instagram @bygladysholliday!