What To Do When You’re Out of Ideas?

Overthinking is another devil that keeps your ideas from coming out in the open


Sanjeev Yadav

3 years ago | 3 min read

A time comes when you can’t activate the creative muscles. It often happens, whenever you are worried about the result too much without putting in the effort to create something in the first place or vexed about how you will direct the process.

Overthinking is another devil that keeps your ideas from coming out in the open. I used to give into overthinking a lot, and the result is self-blaming. Being responsible is different than blaming yourself. When you take responsibility, you look to create opportunities, whereas blaming has a negative vibe and sprouts similar thoughts.

For creators, different approaches work when they have to come up with a jaw-dropping piece. But if you are a person who is trying to show up every day, one day comes when you think, “I don’t have any idea what to do. I can’t think clearly. What happens if I don’t show up?”

I am begging you stop right there when the first question pops up! You are letting the chain of similar question push you into overthinking, and you will end up blaming yourself and doing nothing.

Here are the four ways that help when I am stuck and ideas don’t flow like water: both in my writing journey and life as a whole.

Focussing on the journey instead

When you see the change you have made with your work; it gives a purpose to keep going.

No matter how big or small the difference is; if you are grateful enough that you learned from it even a little bit, or received positive feedback from any person or community, save this memory, it will create a remarkable journey.

How to handle the loss-aversion?

Showing up every day is an option, not an obligation. When you are starting on a new path, consistency is important because it the best way to build momentum and trust. There is another advantage of being a newbie, the one I do a lot. Experiments!

When you are starting, chances are you aren’t famous at the level you see yourself in the next two years. That is a brilliant opportunity! You have the flexibility to try new things and see how they improve the thought process. Sometimes “hit and trial” is so much fun, you get lost in the adventure of clashing different ideas!

Put some effort and be happy that you gave your best

On bad days, even if you deliver anything you come up with, the positivity will compound in the hard times in future. It is nice to have good memories of achievements!

I have done it myself. When I faced writer’s block, I wrote an article to remind about what I felt and how to recover from it by learning from the experience.

Working on bad days is a litmus test that humans feel good after responding courageously to a challenge. Your brain releases happiness hormones when you show up at your prime ability. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want happiness?

Look back at the best works you have done so far.

Looking back at the achievements is a timeless hack for me. Generally, you are stuck in the middle of your journey, not in the starting itself.

Perplexing in the starting is a different kind of problem where you haven’t got the push yet. But in the middle of the journey, you have developed experiences which will help you bounce back to normal. How it works is this:

  • see some of your best works from the past
  • try to recall what was your state of mind while nailing it
  • get ideas from the workflow you followed while working on your stunners
  • or recreate on the same topic altogether because as time changes, perception of reality changes and also your perspective broadens with experience.

Getting stuck is a natural process that learning journey brings to you. It only means that your brain is confused about the next step. The safest mechanism is to sit idle and let the confusion run over you.

The alternative that works is this: spending some time in self-reflection to recall all the accomplishments that brought you where you stand. It provides you with the ability to consolidate your purpose again.

“Remember why you started?” is a question that won’t drown you in overthinking. Instead, it will remind you of your purpose and give the control of creativity to fly!

This article was originally published by Sanjeev Yadav on medium.


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Sanjeev Yadav







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