Saturday, November 10, 2012

How to Blast Past Your Creative Block #5

Rise and Shine © 2010 Amy Hillenbrand
10 x 8 oil on board

How are you doing on getting un-stuck?  Have you blasted past your in-action? This is the 5th in my series of getting out of your stuck mode and getting into the flow mode.

I recently was coaching a Gal who had a big project in front of her.  Last we spoke she had committed to starting on the project, but when I asked her how it was going she admitted she really had not started yet. As we dove in, it came out that she was just plain overwhelmed, even just the plain thought of it shut her down.  She was definitely in stuck mode. Sound familiar? So often when we have a big goal our minds jump to the end point, and without knowing it, our minds go "oh, ugh that feels too hard".

So, back to my client; the task in front of her was cleaning the basement that was stuffed to the gills with stuff.  (That does sound overwhelming doesn't it?) In David Allen's book Getting Things Done he suggests the technique of asking… What's the next action? I asked her what was the one thing she could do that would take 15 minutes or less.  She said she could give the old sleeping bags to charity, but that was not exactly the next action.  Next, I asked her what charity she was going to give them to. She wanted to donate them to the hurricane Sandy's victims.  So now she had to figure out what charity would accept items like this.  So the next real action or physical action she could take is getting online and researching charities that are helping with Hurricane Sandy.  I asked her could she commit to that action. No problem was her response.  We shifted the energy from overwhelm and stuckness to action by shifting her focus.  We started with a big-and-hairy-and-scary project of 20 hours or more and  shifted to one very doable task.  When our minds know it is a completable task it increases our positive energy, direction and motivation.

So next time you have a big goal that feels very overwhelming, ask yourself, what is the next action? Remember to drill down and figure out the very first item you can address.



  1. Love your flower series and your advice on blasting past our creative blocks. Your paintings are magnificent as well as your helpful thoughts!

  2. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this painting! And the name is perfect - rise and shine. This is a wonderful series. Look forward to seeing your flower paintings blossom. xoxo

  3. I wonder what happened to my comment??? This is a very accomplished painting, and I love so much of it - the flowers, of course... the shadow, and the bag - all handled so well! thanks, too, for the advice - another chapter for your book...

  4. Amy, love your painting, and great ideas! Thank you for sharing these tips! Looking forward to more of both!