Blocking Your Creative Genius? How to Undo Your Harmful Ways

In The Artist’s Way, a necessary book to read for awakening your soul, author Julia Cameron says we all have a creative genius. You, me and the kid next door. Your Mom, my Dad, and even the geek who speaks in a computer language neither of us understand.

A creative genius! All of us! Who knew?


I certainly didn’t as a bored-out-of-my-mind corporate employee. I studied electrical engineering in college. I fixed broken networks for giant banks and service providers. I set up IP telephony systems for companies. I memorized computer languages and routing protocols (BGP or OSPF anyone? Yep. Didn’t think so!).

I was doing great though, moving up the corporate ladder, making sweet money, and building a fancy career … but I was aching for something inside and I had no earthly clue what but now I know, thanks to Julia Cameron: I was starving my creative genius.

Are you starving your creative genius?

She is right, you know? I found my own creative genius too, buried deep under a thousand layers of doubt, shame and insecurity, hanging on to dear life thanks to my harmful ways and hoping against hope that I would embrace and accept it one day. So I finally did.

After I quit my job in May 2011, I started writing and I haven’t stopped since. Writing was my first creativity outlet and it led to a company that has now freed both me and my husband from our cushy corporate jobs. Writing, the last thing someone such as me was supposed to do for a living and yet writing has created the very life of my dreams.

The problem is we think of creativity the totally wrong way.

Creativity is way bigger than the generic definition society throws at it. Creativity isn’t about drawing pretty pictures, doing arts and crafts or making jewelry. When you give creativity such a limited point of view, you harm your own creative genius. Creativity can also be about serious stuff and make an enormous difference in your life and the life of those you serve.

Your creative genius wants to create. So for heaven’s sake, get out of its way and let it create.

Want ideas? How about:

  • Create the life of your dreams.
  • Create a career you are passionate about.
  • Create a program that can make a difference.
  • Create a book that will change the way people think.
  • Create a speech that will move people into action.
  • Create a website that will inspire hopeless souls to believe again.
  • Create a message that heal someone from suffering.
  • Create a business that will pour wealth and joy into your life.

And if you hear your mind say “That’s nice and all but it’s way over the top and not practical and it won’t work for me!”, tell it shut up! Don’t fall for the trick this time.

That is the voice you must censor so you hear the one beneath it, whispering softly, “Yes, you can be creative sweetheart. I believe in you!”. I spent years in an awful dark place of not believing in myself and feeling trapped at a job that was supposed to be my “dream career”. Alas. The lost years are gone and yours will be too if you keep delaying your creative genius.

Your job does not define you!  Your problems do not define you. Even your college degree (or lack thereof!) does not define you. And your past mistakes most certainly do not define you.

This mad cycle of harmful thinking must be undone.


You are more than the sum of your job and your problems and your boring little errands, darling.

You are a creative genius inside. It is what is inside that matters. Choose to shine a light on that gift, and watch it turn your whole life around. Stop bashing your dreams, start celebrating them.

Don’t believe it? Fine! Have it your way but not before I let you off the hook, we are going to play devil’s advocate. Let’s say you do not have any creative genius. At all. Okay?

Then why are you so unhappy and frustrated and annoyed with a boring job or in another wasteful dreadful work meeting?

Why are you itching to get out and do something else and be something more? Why not just settle and be “thankful you have a job” and do what you’re told?

It’s because your creative genius is dying to show you a better way, a kinder way, a happier way.

If you ignore it, you will regret it. Maybe not today or next week but in a few years, you will look back at your life and wish so badly you had believed in yourself today.

Believe in yourself today then.

Stop suppressing that creative genius already!

Whether or not you believe me (or Julia) does not change the reality that you have creative genius. It is as much a part of you as much as the blood running through your veins and the air pumping through your heart. What you do about it though, that is only up to you.

At least stop your harmful ways while you search for the reasons to believe. From this moment forward, vow to stop telling yourself harmful not-so-innocent lies such as:

  • “I am not that creative.”
  • “Creativity is just for artists!”
  • “I could never think of something like that.”
  • “I just don’t have the talent.”
  • “It is too late to get creative at this stage of my life.”
  • “Creativity doesn’t pay the bills. Let’s get real.”

You can only go on hating a thing for so long before the hate turns on you and starts harming you. Stop looking at the people around or listening to the media and feeding your soul with their negativity. Let others live their lives that way. Let them be negative and sarcastic and “realistic”.

You take action.

You do something about the job you hate.

You change the rules by which you play the game of life.

You start your own exit plan out of where you are to a place that makes it possible for you.

That is, if you haven’t given up on yourself yet!

Listen, if you are totally ready to start on an exit plan that will get you to a place where you can sleep better, have more money, enjoy your work, and not ever again dread a Monday morning in your life, take the Smart Exit Blueprint course.


I have re-opened my course Smart Exit Blueprint course for limited seats. Take this course only if you still believe in yourself, and think yourself worthy of success, and deserving of breaking out of your rut, and of doing more with your career and your life.

The awesome students that have taken and are taking this course have changed their mindset, their thoughts and their opportunities forever by believing in their own creative genius.

Are you one of them?

Or have you given up on yourself? I hope not because that would be a terrible waste of a creative genius!

  • Elissa

    Hi Ms. Farnoosh
    I love the way you said darling in your posts.
    Anyway, wonderful post as always. I heard every word of what you said. Like you, I believe we are all creative individuals but most of us fall short when the going gets tough.

    Note to self: Creativity can only shine through hardship and pain. If I am not willing to work for and towards my dream I will never achieved it.

    And as you have stated “if I hear these words a lot “That’s nice and all but it’s way over the top and not practical and it won’t work for me!” I will say, I am worthy of it, so shut up and move back.

    Thanks and blessings.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi darling :)!
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I love seeing your pretty face pop up here, and glad we are on the same page on this. What are you working on to tap into your creative genius these days Elissa?

      • Elissa P

        Hello Ms. Farnoosh

        I love to pray with and share, what I hope, is good advice with people.

        However, when I suffered a lost about a year ago, I could not seem to find anyone to talk to, so I came online and still felt like I would not find anyone to talk to.

        So, I decided I need to start a blog for mothers who feel like they are going through their pains and daily struggles by themselves. I believe in positivity and hope to one day be the ‘person’ online for mothers and women that I was looking for.

        And that is what I am working on to tap into my creative genius these days. It’s a lot of work, not the writing, but learning what it takes to reach the people my heart is aching for.

        Blessings and goodnight,

        • Farnoosh

          Speechless at your compassion and beautiful creativity to help others, Elissa. I hope you continue to nurture this beautiful dream …. I’m checking out your site right now …. well-done and keep it up, Elissa.

  • Melly Deen

    Creativity is such a hard concept if you haven’t grown up with someone encouraging it. Sometimes it’s just fear that gets in the way – we resist it because we are so afraid of what we might do or say if we unleash it. I love the words we all have creative genius. Something to think about. Thanks Farnoosh.

    • Farnoosh

      Hello Melly, it is that way for most of us unless we had artists or singers or performers as parents – although I am sure there are many exceptions. Perhaps the first step would be to just accept that you have that creative genius and then start doing what you are interested in doing …. whatever that is for you. Start there. I hope this helps.

  • Maxwell Ivey

    Hi sweet farnoosh; such an empowering post. I liked what you said about not letting the media make you negative. Over time i have gotten to where i listen to one hour of news a day a half hour of local and another half hour of national. I don’t listen to talk radio not even sports talk. and i am not a member of any social media groups having to do with news or politics. And for the people who wonder if they have any creativity i bet you have at least one friend who has always tried to tell you different. If i am right, then listen to them. If i am wrong, then get some better friends. Thanks again for the post and take care, max

    • Farnoosh

      I bet you are creative beyond your imagination, Max. And while you eliminate the stuff that takes away your creativity, are you adding resources that can enhance it? :) Great to see you here Max.

      • Maxwell Ivey

        hi farnoosh; What a great question! And i think i hear another blog post in there. smile I was creative in the traditional sense growing up always drawing painting doing crafts projects. Now days its more of a mental exercise. I think I’m good when someone needs help brain storming and problem solving. but i will have to meditate on improving my artistic genius and exercises that could help in that process. Thanks so much Farnoosh, max

  • Sean Cox

    Amen Farnoosh. Wonderful. Isn’t it amazing how children, up until a certain age, have no problem whatsoever being creative geniuses? They are wild and free in their artistic expression–so beautiful–and very proud of their work! Until they start to develop self-consciousness, and begin judging themselves and fearing other’s judgment. Oh, to be a kid again! In all my many, many parenting foibles of my lovely 2 daughters (now 18 and almost 16), one thing I think I got right: I was always buying them art supplies–easels, paints, markers, pencils, clay, video camera, music, etc., and encouraging them to create. I took great pleasure seeing them so freely create with such wreckless abandon. Happy memories!

    • Farnoosh

      What lucky, lucky daughters you have and they won’t know how lucky until much much later in life …. you think they love you now – wait til they realize you fed their creative genius, Sean! How are you dear friend? It’s a breath of fresh air to see you here and read your thoughts. Are you blogging again? Love the words “wreckless abandon!”

  • Kimberley

    Thank you this is what I needed to read to change my way of thinking. I was told Friday that my position was going to be eliminated on January 31. I guess it’s time to see what I’m made of.

    • Farnoosh

      Kimberly, sorry to hear that – I will send you a recent post I wrote about layoffs but for now, focusing in your creative genius is a great use of your energy and resources… I wish you the absolute best!

  • CJ

    I fully agree with you. I believe that everyone is an artist and that our creativity can emerge in many different ways–even in cooking a meal or raising children. About 10 years ago I felt an enormous void in my life, and I finally came to the realization that I wasn’t expressing my creativity in any way. I picked up the guitar and it was the answer for me. Since then I have become a true artist, trying everything from writing my blog, to painting, collaging, scrapbooking and continuing with my music. My life is so much richer now that I have realized my creative potential. Thank you for an inspiring post!

    • Farnoosh

      CJ, powerful story – I love how creativity filled a void for you. Thanks so much for sharing this here … please keep encouraging what Julia Cameron calls “shadow artists” – people who have a gift but are hiding behind others’ shadow, afraid to pursue their own artistic abilities.

  • Sylvia Rytarowska

    I like this blog. Even though I’m usually quite careful about these topics, I’m more and more into it :-) Thanks. You must work really hard. I appreciate it.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi @sylviarytarowska:disqus, I know what you mean about careful about these topics. Heck I used to avoid them at all cost and look at me now? It works, it makes me feel better, it has made me become a happier and better person. The proof is so loud, I no longer question it!

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