Climb Out of the Traps

Have you fallen into the trap? The negative thinking trap. You know the traps I’m talking about. The one that has you obsessing and taking things personally that probably don’t have anything to do with you. This is one of the traps I’m most guilty of slipping into. When my coworkers get angry or are in a bad mood, I’m certain it’s because of something I said or did.

Rows of colorful lobster traps on a wet deck in a small fishing village in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Lobster traps in Peggy’s Point, Nova Scotia. Photo (c) Flash Mama Photography.

Another thinking trap I’m guilty of is what my husband and I call “tour bussing.” Tour bussing, or catastrophizing, is the negative thinking pattern that sends me, my spouse, and many others on the rapid downhill route of thinking only of all the worst possible outcomes. For example, if I make a small mistake at work, I think I’m definitely getting fired, will never find another job, and will end up living on the street. See how quickly that tour bus spun out of control!

These and other common cognitive distortions are anxiety-producing, creativity killers! These traps zap creativity and drain productivity because they monopolize our mental energy and lock us into a narrow way of thinking.

To improve your creativity and productivity, try to spend some time today identifying any negative thinking patterns you’ve fallen into lately. (For help identifying these traps, Lyra’s blog post offers insight into your negative thinking patterns). 

Awareness that you’ve put yourself in a locked box is the first step to breaking free from the artificial limits you’ve placed on yourself. Once you identify the traps, you can find ways to change your thinking patterns to more positive, productive ones. Mental Health America offers these strategies for Getting Out of Thinking Traps.  

Try these tips to help you climb out of the traps, free up mental space, and improve your energy levels. When I have identified and broken out of my thinking traps, I have seen my creativity soar in the form of blog post ideas and photography inspiration. Like cleaning out the attic, eliminating the traps frees up mental space for more positive, innovative thinking.

Leave a Reply