What is a Creativity Saboteur?

Face Everything and Thrive

Face Everything and Thrive

Creativity Saboteurs are a universal phenomenon. They are the characterisation of feelings of insecurity that all people have when they face a daunting task.
Have you ever watched someone paint a portrait and thought, “Oh! I could never do that!”
How do you know? Have you ever tried? Portrait by Ben Lustenhouwer

It’s All About the Brain                              Jigsaw of the Day
Click to Mix and Solve

Watch this explanation of self sabotage by NY Times best selling author Shirzad Chamine it is a Ted Talk where he explains very clearly what is going on.

Even if you have tried to paint a portrait and couldn’t do it, this simply means you haven’t been taught the basic building blocks and structure and steps of the process.

Understanding Positive Intelligence

The question is not whether you have saboteurs. It is up to each individual to work out which ones affect them and how strong they are. Saboteurs that act as blocks to creativity are universal. They span cultures, genders, and age groups. They are connected to the functions of the brain focused on survival. All people from all cultures develop saboteurs early in childhood. People do this in order to survive the perceived threats of life, both physical and emotional. (Shirzad Chamine)
Unfortunately later in life these “lil’ devils” are no longer needed, but they can become invisible inhabitants of a creative artist’s mind. So much so that artists often don’t even know that they exist.

Face Everything and Thrive

In the book Global Citizens Creative Arts Text we talk with kids about what makes people resilient.
Sometimes people have had to flee another country. These people are called refugees.  It would be natural for people who have been trapped in this situation to feel as though there are saboteurs all around them. But this is not always the case.
Sometimes people who have been through a really hard time also survive so much that they end up really confident.

They have a feeling which says “I can face anything now.  I have been through so much and survived.”

To be able to develop this resilience each individual has to look at fears – or the things their saboteurs say – and face up to the challenge that these annoying little whispers provide and thus dismiss the negative thoughts. This is called acknowledging fear for just what it is.  FEAR. (Usually of failure)

Creative artists have at their disposal a way to turn this thing called fear into a resolute belief that they can face everything and respond. People who have this ability are fierce. They are

Fearless Innovative Evocative Responsively Creative Energies

Bob Dylan – Spain

Fierce artists are often so energetic that people around them become tired just watching them perform! They become so good at what they do that they become entertaining to watch.

This is the Introduction to one of the Activities from Global Citizen
  • Find Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me on YouTube (Dylan, 1966)
  • Write a collaborative article about “How you hear this song now.”
  • Write the same song again once your community of learning has worked through the cartooning activities contained in the book Global Citizens Creative Arts Text.


4 thoughts on “What is a Creativity Saboteur?

  1. Redo You Project

    Another very well written article, Jo! I like the idea that one doesn’t know what they can do if they have never tried something. Yet, it’s an assumption that is all too common among many of us! (By the way, I have tried painting, but found another successful “failure!”)

    It seems that you reference the “Global Citizens Creative Arts.” That is your book? If so, how did I miss that in our previous comments? You take care and have a great weekend!


    1. Jo Murphy Post author

      I am not sure what you mean? I have a book and time to time I set it for free so that I can give a copy to people just like you Jeff. Christian Mihai is going to review it soon and I will have that book and the next one about Virtual and Traditional Jigsaws in the Classroom ready. Both books will then have workbooks that support them. I wondered if you had missed this aspect when you asked was a bit cerebral?
      The books (one on Kindle) are actually about supporting students emotionally and practically in the classroom. You do – a Redo You project! I do a Redo the Classroom project! I start asking students to think about their thinking in Prep and work emotionally from there. It’s all fun, thanks for the visit, Jo

  2. Pingback: Saboteurs in the Potato Salad – NYTimes.com | Ye Olde Soapbox

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