How We Lose Our Creativity as We Grow Up

“As we grow up, we give up crayons and soap bubbles. Meanwhile, our creativity goes on shrinking until it becomes dull, it seems.”

Everyone’s perspectives could be different about it, but I felt more creative as a child. Or at least, more imaginative, because I used to draw dinosaurs and traced cloud-figures in the sky. I had a colorful mind.

Then I grew up.

Becoming an adult did something. Now I struggle to find a handful of new ideas. It’s not that I fail to be creative, not at all, but the decline feels sort of bad. In the past few months, I shook up my lifestyle to be more creative. I’ve tried origami and freewriting, for example. But there’s more to understand about the problem. 

While we can experiment with tons of things, finding out what causes our creativity to wither is equally helpful.

Here’s how we lose our creativity while growing up.

Dying questions. As kids, we saw the world with new eyes and questioned everything. We used to be annoying and inquisitive. As time passed, we chose to sit still let things happen.

Growing wise. The fallacy that growing up makes us wise is fatal. Maybe we do become wise by stuffing our brains with information. Still, we lose a lot by turning a blind eye to what we don’t know. It’s important to keep our eyes peeled and hunger alive.

Complacency. We feel ‘we’ve arrived.’ Getting that job, having deeper pockets, or earning some recognition satisfies us. We stop thinking further after that. Creativity doesn’t remain a priority and we move away from our passions and settle.

Ignorance vs. curiosity. We didn’t ask why Pluto stopped being a planet. We don’t ask the names of butterflies or constellations. I don’t always do that, either. But a little bit more curiosity opens tons of doors to creativity.

Fitting-in. We become realistic cynics instead of courageous creatives. We hope to please everybody and fear to stand apart. Then we choose to fit-in and kill our own magic.

Education gets us. It turns square pegs into round ones. What comes out are identical replicas from the same mold, instead of fearless trailblazers or authentic inventors. It’s hard to preserve your individualism in a conventional system, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Monotony. A routine confines. Doing the same things, thinking the same way, and lacking newness eventually makes life stale. Shattering monotony breeds creativity.

The conclusion

We stop being creative as we trap ourselves in worldly shackles and norms. We can also set ourselves free by breaking them. If nothing works, we can always start again, practice, and work hard.