We are all creative beings, so why is so hard to actually express that creativity? As much as you want to write your memoir, teach a new sequence, or start your own business, you may be getting in your own way. The first step to a more creative life is recognising your blocks. Here are some of the most common ways we sabotage our own creativity.

  1. You anticipate other people’s judgments.

We carry around so many other people’s voices in our heads, and their judgments end up influencing the way we behave. We’ll think, “If I quit my job and become a yoga teacher, everybody will say I’m making the wrong decision,” or “If I share my idea, this person will think it’s not original.” These judgments usually come from a small group of people we know—often, people we don’t want to model our lives after anyway.

Be aware of those voices, and notice when they’re holding you back from being your true self or expressing your own vision. What other people think is none of your business.

  1. You’re doing it for the “likes.”

When we’re able to embrace our own unique voice and offerings, we’re able to do things for the pure joy we find in the process. You’ll teach a class for the love of doing it, you’ll sequence for the love of doing it, you’ll write a blog or share a moment on Instagram for the love of doing it—rather than just for the cheers from your fans.

When you approach a yoga class, a writing project or any other creative work with a focus on being praised for it, there’s a good chance it’s not going to really resonate with your audience. Be authentic and share what you love—not what you think others with “like.”

  1. You’re waiting until you’re ready.

So often, we think we’re not ready or qualified or smart enough to take on a new endeavour. But how often are we 100% ready for anything in life? Instead of waiting until everything is perfect, we need to write ourselves a permission slip to start a new project.

Once you give yourself permission, you embark on the path of learning and the process will unfold from there.

  1. You’re constantly comparing.

I spent many years always looking at what other people were doing and comparing myself to them. It made me really unhappy. My life coaching teacher calls this, “compare and despair.”

Here’s the thing: When our eyes are on someone else’s work, they’re not on our own. Don’t try to emulate someone else — just do you, and let go of the rest.