G.N.A.T.s of Creativity

G.N.A.T.S of Creativity instead of ‘BLOCKS’ of creativity.

You have heard about the “Blocks of Creativity” and “Keys of Creativity”. But have you heard of the “G.N.A.T.S. of Creativity”?

As their namesakes, GNATS, G.N.A.T.S. of Creativity are little things that can irritate and cause pain when we least expect it or simply distract us long enough to stop or stifle our creativeness or creative energy.

GNATS is an acronym that stands for Generally Natural Actions (Activities or Attitudes) that Threaten and Stop or Stifle Creativity. Because each of us is susceptible to varying GNATS I have developed a list of 26 of them, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet.

They may be caused by ourselves, by people who work with us, by people who we work for, by our clients, by total strangers. They can be real or imagined–true or simply believed to be true, either by ourselves or by others we deal with. GNATS can be physical, mental, emotional or social.

First lets look over a basic list of GNATS. Then we will take a look at a sample of them to explore how they can be prevented or dealt with when they come “buzzing” around our heads, externally or internally.

A age–fearing that you are too young, too old, not young or old enough or were not born in the right age (too soon or too late)

B background–you don’t have the background to work on the problem or to generate ideas for the topic area

C culture–you live in the wrong culture, a dull culture or you are not cultured enough to be creative

D dull–you are feeling dull or are in a dull environment.

E education–you don’t have enough or the wrong education to be creative (no degrees, too many degrees, wrong degree-right school or wrong school)

F foolish–you are too foolish to be creative or not foolish enough

G gamble–people see your ideas as too much of a gamble before you work out the pitfalls and turn them into viable solutions and workable plans.

H hard work–you don’t want to accept that creative problem solving is hard work or that you don’t want to work hard enough

I intelligence–creative thinking requires more or less intelligence than you possess

J jealousy–you are always jealous of creative people or you fear others will be jealous of you if you are creative

K killed–your ideas are always being killed by others

L laughter–other people just laugh at you when you are creative and they never take you seriously

M money–you don’t have the money to be creative or you have too much money and don’t need to be creative.

N narrow–others are too narrow-minded to accept your creative ideas

O opportunities–you never have any great opportunities–these can be limited by your location, profession, age, etc.

P paradigms–yours, mine and ours always get in the way of creativeness

Q quitters–you are surrounded by people who quit trying too soon, once they have a workable, acceptable solution they stop trying.

R radical–your ideas are constantly being called “too radical” and because you prefer to be creative most of the time you are labeled as a “radical”.

S stress–you are under too much stress to be creative

T time–you don’t have the time to spend on being creative you must get your work done now.

U unappreciated–you always feel unappreciated therefore you have quit trying to be creative for others

V vultures–you are surrounded by “vultures”, people who steal your ideas and take credit for your ideas as their.

W wisecracks–people respond to your creative ideas with wisecracks, put-downs and put-offs.

X xerographic–people are always copying your ideas without giving you credit–similar to “vultures”

Y yield–you stop or yield to others criticisms too easily and too often. Z zipped out–you have no energy to be creative.

Now we will look at a half dozen of these 26 and examine how we may deal with them physically, mentally, emotionally (psychologically) or socially.

Let’s start in reverse order with the letter Z or “zipped out”.

Physically check you recent sleep habits, add vitamin rich foods into your diet, get into an exercise program or go out for a walk, take a nap, have a piece of fruit, do some stretching exercises.

Mentally take a few minutes to write in your journal to examine the potential cause for you low energy read some motivational material listen to or watch a motivational tape

Emotionally list positive things about yourself list your recent successes call a positive friend and ask for a boost

Socially stop and go out to lunch with a friend or loved one attend an upbeat meeting or hold one

Wisecracks from others.

Physically imagine yourself karate chopping them, look at funny photographs and consider the source walk away from them.

Mentally go read support letters from friends or past clients, read an upbeat story jot down the wisecracks and make a “dumb” story out of them

Emotionally tell the person that you do not appreciate their comments, say: perhaps that is true, but help me by using your creative imagination and share with me how my idea might work

Socially seek out a supportive friend to relieve the built up stress, unwind with a friend share the wisecracks with a friend and ask for support

To deal and or prevent GNATS of Creativity from Stopping, Slowing down, or Stifling your Creativeness you need to take time to examine which one might it be. Then ask which ways they are (physically, mentally, emotionally or socially). Then develop a list of strategies to choose from and start with the one that has fun and power built into it.

As the quote “your life is always your choice”, so is your creativeness and your ability to be creative when you want to be or need to be. It is your choice.

Become aware of the various GNATS of your Creativity, whether on this list or your own, that bother you and begin to develop strategies and strengths to ward them off or simply avoid them and walk away.

We are all creative. Being creative is always OUR choice.
Go choose to be creative today and to help others to be creative too!

©2001 ©2015Robert Alan Black, Ph.D.
RAB, Inc. – Cre8ng People, Places & Possibilities P. O. Box 5805 Athens, Georgia 30604-5805 alan@cre8ng.com