Being defensive brews burnout and stifles your creativity

Photo by Tony Tran on Unsplash

What happens to your creativity when you’re no longer open to suggestions or feedback about your work? You burnout.

We’re doing a deep dive on burnout here on the blog because so many people are looking for solutions to revitalize their creativity. There is no one fast way to fix burnout — you cant unplug and plug people back in. creativity stems from who we are, and a part of our sense of self. And many times, a part of our passion to create lies within what we think we know to be true about the world and ourselves.

But being defensive and resistant to change and criticism is a sure fire way to breed burnout. When you bring up claws to defend yourself without seeking to understand or receive insight into your methodology or work, it’s important to realize you may be taking actions to actively staunch the flow of inspiration by closing yourself off to the world.

This is a big part of why I find it so important to commit to working with coaches, reading professional development books and working in my personal life towards being more open and receiving advice and insight. I have received incredible advice about myself as an entrepreneur from people with little to no experience in the field because I was open and willing to listen when they praised my creativity and encouraged me to take risks.

You may have some positive mirrors in your life that you’re choosing to silence or turn away from because you ridicule their lack of insight into your rprocess, or think your way is the best. This also fosters negativity and breeds burnout like a slick green algae that’ll eventually suffocate the oxygen from the water around you.

Burnout is a red flag. And indicator that something is in need of a change, a reset. It’s not necessarily time to pull the plug, but if you view burnout as something to be in opposition from, including the people in your support groups and community as your adversaries, burnout will continue to plague you and take joy from your work.

I know too many new entrepreneurs who feel like they have to be secretive and defensive of their process and work as a business owner. And while there are benefits to keeping trade secrets, it doesn’t work as far as receiving feedback. When I have shared openly about a business challenge, or a process that feels as though it’s stifling my work, my friends have come in with plenty of advice and suggestions. To work around, through or alongside the issue and get me back towards productivity. I take their suggestions and listen, because these people provide wealth and value into my life, outside of business and within it.

Being open to feedback and suggestions means you have places to turn to when you’re usual well of creativity is running dry and you’re not sure what to do next. Being defensive and critical of others around you, especially those in your field, means you will isolate yourself and your work in the process. This is not the same as establishing a brand and tone for your goal audience. I’m talking about being cold and cruel and thinking you’re an all-knowing individual above advice or critique on every level. If you’re not willing to be perceived, burnout will follow your footsteps into every business decision you make, and drain you dry until you’ve got nothing left to give.

It’s time to open up, and air out the process. Ask for advice, and critiques and feedback, and watch your creativity and passions flourish.

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Liz Brinks

Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!