3 Limiting Beliefs That Are Keeping You From Your Best Creative Life

Josie and I sat down with our Creative Tribe on Facebook last week to have a heart-to-heart about limiting beliefs and creativity. We shared some of our own stories and experiences as a way of helping you discover things that might be holding you back from living your best creative life.

You can watch our chat below.

Don’t feel like watching? Here’s what we said in a nutshell. (Although, if you have time, watch the video because we share some stories that really illustrate the points below.)

No time now? Pin this post for later.

How Can I Become More Creative?

Creative growth comes from being self-aware. That doesn’t mean being self-focused or being selfish but it means being honest with yourself about what’s going on inside you. It’s also recognizing the beliefs you’re operating from.

These beliefs filter how you see yourself and your work. It’s crucial to remember that not all beliefs serve you and some can be false. That means it’s important to question them from time to time to make sure they aren’t holding you back.

3 Beliefs That Are Stunting Your Creativity 

(There are many more than three but the ones we’re about to share are among the most powerful limiting beliefs because they’re centered around your relationship with your creative work.)

1. Failure in my work means I’m a failure.

There are two things here. The first is that you as a person are separate from your work. A response to your work is not a response to you personally – so don’t take it personally. 😘

Second, personalizing a failure can make you afraid to take risks or get adventurous in your work. You hold yourself back because you’re afraid of failure and, as a result, stop short of your creative potential.

It’s so easy to forget that failure is where all the growth happens because it forces you to try something new to overcome the failure. Failure can really be a blessing in disguise if you let it be.

When it comes to creativity, the only true failure is quitting and refusing to grow from it.

2. All criticism is insulting.

A common reactions when hearing a criticism are:

  • “Haters gonna hate”
  • “Well, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it”
  • “I don’t need you to like what I do”

There’s an element of truth in each of those responses, but you still need to take what’s helpful and beneficial and dismiss what is not.

If your automatic response is to ignore criticism, then you risk dismissing the potential that maybe the person delivering the criticism is seeing something you don’t.

The IOD sisters sharing feedback on IOD products

Before ignoring a criticism, honestly weigh if there could be a bit of merit to it and ask yourself how can you grow from it?

This is not easy and it requires first sifting through the negative garbage and useless information. But it’s important to pause and make sure you’re not ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Don’t assume all criticism is irrelevant and bad, instead discern who and where it’s coming from. And then use the good stuff to help you grow.

So, once you determine the criticism is coming from a credible source with good intentions, filter the feedback into one of two buckets:

  • I’m going to hold on to this and incorporated into my creative process going forward because it’s going to help me grow
  • I’m going to leave this behind because it serves no purpose (Just remember, if you automatically putting all critiques here, you’ll lose out)

3. My work isn’t good enough to share and my worth is connected to my work.

There’s a prevailing idea in creative communities that your work is YOU because you are putting much of yourself into it. But we don’t agree with that at all!

Your work is something you do. Taking something from your head and heart and putting it into something tangible for your community to see is a beautiful thing.

But that work (the physical product or piece) should not limit or define you – it is not your worth. Really internalizing and embracing that mindset – your work is not you – will in turn give you the freedom to share.

Quote about limiting beliefs and creativity

If you choose not to share because you think your stuff “isn’t good enough” or “isn’t as good as” somebody else’s work, then you’re losing the opportunity to grow and expand your creative skills.

But when you share, the community becomes an engine for your growth. Hearing what people say without attaching it to your self worth accelerates your skills and pushes you to become better faster.

When you’re making something, you can’t help but become very close to it and see it in one way – to the point where you can only see it “Your Way.”

When the community sees it (… ahem… when people who are NOT YOU see it…) they have a different perspective. They’re seeing it in another way. They have the opportunity to see things you’re not seeing.

Allow that to sink in.

That doesn’t mean that your work should be all the different ways everyone is saying it should be. You have to process through their feedback and filter it through what you know to be your goals for your work.

But you can use the community to gain input in a wider way on your goals. Rather than closing down or getting defensive, which will cause you to be stagnant, stay open and curious about their input – and grow. Process and use the things that you want and leave the rest behind.

Your creation is a part of you – but it’s not you. It is scary to put your creativity out there, but your creation is not you. It’s a beautiful part of you, and it feels vulnerable, but make the distinction that your creation is not you and not connected to your worth.

What’s next? Challenge Yourself

Next time you share a piece you’re working on or ask for input if you’re at a struggle spot, take the feedback you get and process it in a self-aware way. When you feel the walls coming up, try to pause and take a deep breath.

Ask yourself:

  • What is being said here?
  • Is this an attack or someone trying to help answer my question?
  • Why am I feeling this way?

Tap into the “Why” behind your feelings:

  • Why is this bothering me?
  • Why am I getting upset?
  • What’s happening inside of me?
  • Is it pride or fear?

Really try to unpack it. If you make a habit of this, you can overcome any limiting belief and tap more deeply into your creativity. There is so much freedom when you let go of limiting beliefs. Once you recognize them for the falsehoods that they are, you can process failure, fear, and criticism in a way that is more loving to yourself and more open and productive for your creative soul.

Ok, thanks for this chat, lovely!

Want to learn more about how us? Read more about how we started Iron Orchid Designs.

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  1. Roslyn Cutter on July 29, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    So excited to be apart of your creative community hopefully expanding my horizons implementing your products into my work

  2. Lynn Holt on August 21, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Love your transfers and moulds! Looking forward to your new products!

    • Lora Hyatt on August 21, 2020 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you for all you do for us with this great positive encouragement and your outstanding designs and help!
      I’m super new to this and haven’t even started my first project but I am stock piling , moulds, clay, bunches of tools, etc, and a whole garage full of furniture 😱. Can’t wait to gets started but have to get my re-decorating done that is in process or I know for a fact it won’t get done! Love you ladies 💕

      • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 9:29 am

        Hi Lora,

        Thank you for your kind words. 🙏😊

        • Judy bell infinty designs on August 27, 2020 at 6:27 pm

          Hey girls I mr and another million women wants to email them go to lookout judy bell on u tube I’m comming out I want to jump on my own wan go I just want to use only IOD will I teach my craft party look on tik tok see my new line of 1969 cum back in bells bangels soon as I get more IOD molds I own infinty designs from the same tracks your folks came from I want to make y’all a house hold name not only rich women want to play with give em hell baby ole hippie from Texas I can be your influencer make y’all And setting my 13 grandkids to have a good hard working business to leave them “”Don’t Pit in the Trash give this to those hippie chics they make cool shit 🥰🥰🥰❤️❤️🤪💋😎🔥🙏💯

          • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 28, 2020 at 7:14 am

            Hi Judy! Thank you for being a part of our community! Happy Creating!😀💖

    • Andrea Rasch on August 22, 2020 at 5:06 am

      Ich habe erst einen Beitrag veröffentlicht und es hat mich große Überwindung gekostet, obwohl ich schon so viele Sachen hergestellt habe. Die Angst nicht gut genug zu sein ist, glaube ich bei vielen Menschen sehr groß, daher ist dieser Beitrag von Euch super wichtig und gut gewesen. Vielen Dank dafür ♥️

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 7:22 am

      Thank you Lynn!! 😊

  3. Kathy G on August 21, 2020 at 9:35 am

    great read to help encourage people to keep their creative juices flowing, but we all don’t use facebook?
    I use to have an account but it just wasn’t for me, I’m sure there are many others out there who do not wish to support that road! Maybe consider more of this instead? Thanks

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 7:23 am

      Hi Kathy, thank you for reaching out. We do try and share as much as we can on our website and our youtube for those not on facebook. 😊

    • Look out judy bell on August 27, 2020 at 6:34 pm

      I wish you was near Waco Texas I have home craft parties I teach you and your guess to do a new craft in your home we are having a ball at 65 ole hippie getting Kong’s utube and tictok clanged my fall of my golden years god bless you and smile need a laugh go to look out judy bell on tik tok

  4. Nancy on August 21, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Good read…this ‘stay at home‘ and mask wearing has sent my creativity down the drain.

    • Deana Schindel on August 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Thanks for sharing. All of this is so true in all areas of life ❤️

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Hi Nancy, this has been a difficult time for all sadly. You will be inspired again! 🤞

  5. Laure on August 21, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Chores like Cleaning my house, making dinner, doing laundry _ All holding me back…I just finished a small end table – used some of the Astoria Foliage transfer …my husband saw it and told my aunt who was sitting next to it “Wow, this is really nice…but just look at this house…” They both busted out laughing…

  6. Maria on August 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks IOD sisters. I’m in a funk and needed that nudge! I love your IOD products.

  7. I Miss People on August 21, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    I love the positive vibe this gives me just from reading it! Keep reaching out ladies, ya never know how many of us you spur on!

    • Sandra Malbrough on August 21, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Good read. I guess I have fallen into a “not crafting rut” due to not having any local markets to sell in .. no craft shows or craft markets. To expensive to keep making if there isn’t anyplace to sell the items. Hopefully this will change soon.

      • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 7:29 am

        Hi Sandra, yes sadly this has been the case for so many. We are praying that everyone can get back to doing what they love soon. 🙏

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 7:28 am


  8. Linda on August 22, 2020 at 7:43 am

    My surroundings are not beautiful, we are struggling financially, but I guess i have to start somewhere even if it is just one piece. Outside is beautiful with God’s creation, i may make a sky blue plant pot first to start giving an airy feel to my small apartment. I’m kind of excited now…

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Hi Linda,

      We will keep you in our prayers. Such a difficult time for so many. 🙏😊

  9. Sue Rauch on August 24, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Hello wonderful Sisters,
    I love watching your videos because they start my creative thoughts and juices humming. I have been lucky enough to have the support of my husband in all of this. He renovated a building on our farm with paneling and a cedar ceiling, windows, a portable air conditioner and heater. I am addicted to local auctions for my projects. I have to admit that I am in my happy place when I am in my workshop surrounded by my paint, clay, moulds, transfers, and stamps and some sad table or chair crying for help.. During this time of self isolation, I am my happiest creating and often REcreating a single piece of furniture. My adult children keep telling me I need to sell my pieces, but then they come visit and take the finished pieces home with them. That to me is the greatest compliment.

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 24, 2020 at 11:36 am

      Hi Sue!

      That is amazing! It must feel wonderful to have the support of your family in your journey. Happy creating my friend! 🙏😍

  10. Valli on August 26, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Thank you for the encouraging words. I have always wanted to investigate my creativity. There always seemed to be something that had to be done first. Sadly, now that my kids have moved out and my Mom passed last year, I am finding it is time for me to do this. What you said has encouraged me and thanks for that. Will be on your site a lot more.

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 28, 2020 at 7:13 am

      Hi there, So sorry for your loss🙏. Welcome to our tribe. We hope you find inspiration here. 💖

  11. Dolores on November 14, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    According to feminist theory (too involved to explain here), women have difficulty separating themselves from their creative work. This is in all fields. But if you think about raising children, we feel that it is we who have done something wonderful when they succeed and terrible when they don’t.

    Rising above this is difficult, but it can be done. As you have recognized and done.
    Best wishes.

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