The greatest enemy your ideas have is you. If you've ever shown off an idea only to have it shot down, you can easily slip into the habit of self-censoring. Avoid this trap if you want your ideas to flourish. Photo by Eliana.
As creative productivity site 99u explains, we naturally have very strong self-preservation instincts that keep us from returning to something that hurt us. Having your ideas rejected or criticised hurts. So, when we don't like the response, we shut down or inhibit the part of our mind that wants to share those ideas. This kills the creative process:
One touch of a red-hot stove is usually all we need to avoid that kind of discomfort in the future. The same is true as we experience the emotional sensation of stress from our first instances of social rejection or ridicule. We quickly learn to fear and thus automatically avoid potentially stressful situations of all kinds, including the most common of all: making mistakes...
The challenge is that our mistake response becomes so ingrained and so reflexive, so mindless, that our avoidance tactics automatically prevent new experiences that have potentially rewarding payoffs. We don't even give these experiences a chance!
Of course, there's nothing wrong with having a little common sense before you share an idea. Spouting off everything that pops into your head can get you in trouble. However, going too far in the other direction and rejecting every idea you have simply because you came up with it can hurt you even more in the long run.