I attended a seminar in Markham, Ontario last Monday evening.…
Don’t you just hate people without inhibitions? They’re overbearing, always living for the moment, and constantly clamouring for every little bit of attention they can grab. Their zeal, impulsiveness, and imagination are troublesome.
They swear, talk too loud, arrive late, make spelling mistakes, use bad grammar, date who they want, don’t care what they look like, invade your personal space, spend freely, and waste way too much time laughing and enjoying instead of being productive.
Just like overgrown children they want to express their enthusiasm and always be a part of the fun. They never stifle themselves or walk slowly, everything to the max volume. And they won’t sit still and read a book unless it has lots of pictures. And let’s not forget the exhibitionism.
And their big, wide, sprawling handwriting snaking across the paper so they only fit 5 lines on the page. Outrageous disregard for economy, they revel in their profligate ways like it’s pop art. Too often, they’re in those flaky liberal arts careers drawing pictures, acting, singing or making music. Or they’re out sky diving, wind surfing, or driving a motorcycle. And they wander a lot, yet they’re at home wherever they are — and never fearful of that nasty world out there.
I want to be just like them.
How Do You Pull the Plug on Inhibition?
If we’re going to be more creative, or happy we have to expand our imagination and let it transform our world. This post is about disarming a big cause of poor creativity – inhibition. Inhibition does more than ruin social opportunities and fun — it causes us to miss out on a better life.
In psychology, inhibition is described as: conscious or unconscious constraint or curtailment of a process or behaviour, especially of impulses or desires. Inhibition serves necessary social functions, abating or preventing certain impulses from being acted on.
I’m refering to inhibition in a broader way to describe a thought and feeling-curtailing process that results in a narrow range of awareness. That of course means problems don’t solved and a person might not achieve their full potential. Actually, some inhibition is required to focus. But most of us don’t have a problem with too little inhibition.
It’s no secret that uninhibited people are more creative, at least when they’re not in jail. Just kidding. The one’s who run afoul of the law weren’t creative, just out of control. Many of them can establish goals and focus their energies for productive effort; many can’t.
What the research says about low inhibition and it’s role in thinking:
According to Toronto researchers, low latent inhibition only leads to increased creativity when it’s paired with a willingness to analyze our excess of thoughts, to constantly search for the signal amid the noise. We need to let more information in, but we also need to be ruthless about throwing out the useless stuff.
Basically, that means you should have some brains to cut the whey from the chaff.
But it’s safe to say that if you’re an inhibited person, you may never get to that extraverted extreme where trouble lurks. Your attempt to live life creatively on a more human level will likely bring you only good results. Your productivity will rise significantly.
Programmed All Too Well
In our society, inhibition reigns supreme, enforced by our culture, schools, jobs and families. The system needs to suppress us to achieve efficiency. We need to do more to break out of that mold.
If you can overcome your inhibitions to expand your creative capabilities you’ll be creating waves on a barren landscape, creating panoramic mountains and lush green valleys where you and others will be playing.
Research at major universities has shown that to reach our potential we must have a positive environment. In fact, to reach our potential we need about a 7 to 1 positive to constructive ratio in our environment. That means we need people around us that support us and help us. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have such a positive support environment.
A Total Commitment to You
Extraverts with no inhibitions give themselves license to do anything. You need to give yourself that license too. Begin at the philosophical level, the highest concepts that drive your everyday behaviour. You’ll replace can’t with can, won’t with will, and I don’t deserve with I absolutely deserve.
You’ll overwrite programming that’s not doing much for you anymore. In fact, in a world with unlimited demands, it’s killing your future.
“No one will support me. I’ll get put back in my place.” No, they’ll understand what you’re doing because you will explain it and demonstrate it in a way they can relate to. And yes, you may need some distance. Change is disruptive. But so worth it. Success, wealth, freedom, opportunity, and fulfillment are waiting for you.
Take a good look at your current life and your daily activities. What purpose does routine serve? What will happen when you get rid of your schedule? What if your schedule is designed around a new focus – to be open to those things that will create the most benefit for you. There’s no timetable there – only a commitment and willingness.
Begin doing creative things anytime you can. Take an art class, not to be an artist but just to retrain your brain to look at things differently. Listen to different music, music that has a harmonic, free flowing rhythm and turn it up loud. Drown out your negative thoughts. Seed your soil with beautiful plants and flowers that will push out the weeds you’ve admired for so long. Whenever the old ways try to suck you back in, turn the volume up so you can’t hear your thoughts. The past is gone. Let it go.
First Response: Other People Are Good until Proven Bad
Check your attitude about yourself and others. Inhibited people often have negative attitudes that keep them from being spontaneous. They’re too cautious from experiences, don’t trust their own instincts, fear exposing their emotions, or they feel others will take advantage of them if they are open and trusting.
Be open and trusting, be forward, introduce yourself, invade others space and connect with them. If they do take advantage of you, you will kick them hard in the ass. They won’t do that again.
After you’ve given yourself permission, you need to focus in on your prized goals. Then give yourself the widest path possible to them. It’s not a pipedream. It’s a wide channel where you’ll never get lost because you have your goals in mind. And your family and friends are still reference points you can always get back to if you fall down and scrape your knee.
The wide latitude you’re giving yourself means you will discover many new people and experiences along the way. You want to focus on those people that will help you achieve your goals. They will give you permission to be creative because they believe in your mission.If your personal philosophical and religious beliefs and concepts are getting in the way of you being more assertive and extraverted, you need to jettison them. They’re holding you back from becoming more creative and open to becoming yourself.
Review Your Goals as Your Reason Why
Review your life goals: better job, job in an exciting interesting area, new career, a new spouse or someone to love, more money, more freedom, travel, nice placer to live, new home, better social life, better athlete, more fit and trim, looking good, new clothes, and all the rest.
Then we’re onto the specific creative techniques you need to achieve success on an everday, practical level. Theory’s great, but nothing happens until we apply it systematically.