5 Creative Barriers & How to Overcome Them

From a business standpoint, creatives can face barriers in a variety of forms. We explore 4 tricky creative barriers and consider how to overcome them

Even the most innovative minds can hit a creative brick wall. Whether these blocks are due to personal cognitive barriers or business restraints – creativity is not always a simple journey.

From a business standpoint, creatives can face barriers in a variety of forms from leadership, to other employees, rules and regulations or even organisational structure and hierarchy, all which prevents the flow of their creative concepts. There are also many internal cognitive barriers you can face, whether it be self-doubt, fear or stress.

We explore 4 tricky creative barriers and consider how to overcome them:


Fears can come in many shapes or forms and are very personal to each individual. The ‘fear’ of judgement, the fear of failing can both cripple creativity.

How to overcome it?

It is not easy to overcome fear in an instant. It is something you have to build up. Remember to always put your position in context – what is the worst that could happen? Also reduce the pressure on yourself when being creative, accepting that you will have to make some mistakes and have failed in order to get to the end. Mistakes often lead to successes, to trust in the creative process and don’t be scared to try.

“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”- Paula Scher 


When creativity is under the gun, it usually ends up getting killed, “ a quote from a Harvard Business Review article.

It is a well-known fact that tress can prohibit even the most creative mind, however in a world where everything is fast paced and you’re forced to meet a tight deadline, stress is a common struggle for creatives.

How to overcome it?

Understanding the stress means ceasing to see it as a negative thing. Deadlines are in place for a reason, and being aware of these from the outset and working hard to avoid any last minute panic will help you to reduce the levels of stress.

Remind yourself that stress is perceptual – and you will know what level of stress you can cope with and work with. Using tools such as exercise and meditation can help you to limit the stress you feel and enable your creativity to flow.


Self-doubt is synonymous with lack of confidence.  Lacing faith in oneself makes it very difficult to engage constructively with any challenge, especially when it comes to creativity.  Doubting yourself will make the ‘getting started’ really tricky, and the ‘finishing’ even harder.

How to overcome it?

It’s very easy to let your inner worries spiral out of control. When self-doubt does creep in, don’t ignore it, approach it head-on. Talk to someone about your concerns, when you hold them in they can evolve into exaggerated and distorted and far bigger than they need to be. Look back at other times you have doubted your creative abilities and you overcome them and had success.

Rules & Restrictions

No matter how much creative freedom given to you on a specific project, there will be some restrictions from the client which could prohibit your creativity.  These restrictions could be in the form of agency policies, organisational structure, or business rules and regulations.

How to overcome it?

Every client and business will be different, and as such the way you approach this with each will also be different. Some rules are necessary, but many can suppress innovation and ideas. Consider if some of the rules can be relaxed, updated, or tweaked slightly in order to make allowances for your creativity to flourish.


Having a strong belief in something cannot only limit our response options but cause us to limit the way in which we perceive and process information from the outside world. We may “filter out” information which contradicts our beliefs, and ends up in our own “reality tunnel.” In this short-sighted state, we remain blissfully unaware of much that occurs in front of our very eyes. We can remain committed to a belief without becoming blind to what is around us. Strong beliefs are meant to be tested and sometimes revised according to new information. This is not to imply that we must have no beliefs, merely that we need to be very aware of our beliefs and the possibility of their consequent limitations.

Creativity is a process. If you are facing barriers whether internal or external, take a break and step away from the project. Creativity can’t be forced. Take the advice from Adam J. Kurtz‘s, artist and author – “Forcing ourselves to ‘be creative’ is pointless. It’s not a manual skill that you either do or don’t, but a series of emotional and mental tasks that sometimes just don’t come together.”


If you are facing some creative barriers in your workplace and want to take on a new challenge then talk to our creative team today to explore new exciting creative opportunities across the globe click here.

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