The “Mental Prison” is when we are trapped in our head, reflecting on the past or thinking about the future. We are basically not in the moment listening, reacting, and operating off of the environment around us. The “Mental Prison” isn’t meant to be a negative term, but a symbol that represents our inability to produce ideas, thoughts, or actions outside the conventional way of thinking.

I also use the term Mental Prison to paint a picture in your mind. We often imagine prisons to be dark, gray, restricted, and contained. It’s the opposite of creativity. The “Mental Prison” represents uniformity, rigidity, control, and fear.

WE CREATE THE WALLS 

When we are trapped in our head, we are in the “Mental Prison.” This prison has four distinct walls that keep us captive. The four walls I write about are broad in nature, but can have a lifelong stranglehold on our creative capabilities if we aren’t aware of them or combat them. The more we build these walls, the harder it is for us to innovate, create, and connect.

The four walls of the “Mental Prison” are:

1. Perfection
2. Negativity 
3. Judgment
4. Fear 

The “Mental Prison” wants us to be self-absorbed, introspective, and cut off from the world we operate in. The more selfish we are with our time, money, and attention, the higher these walls become. Ironically, creativity is about getting the focus off of us and onto someone or something else. It’s about giving, charity, and being selfless. It’s about giving away our gifts and talents to others.

Creativity is tricky and elusive. Yet, simple techniques discussed in this book will be a spark to your creative capabilities and slowly break down your walls. Let us begin with the first wall of the “Mental Prison.”

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash