4 Ways You Squash Your Own Creative Potential

As much as you want to write your memoir, teach a new sequence, or start your own business, you may be getting in your own way. The first step to a more creative life is recognizing your blocks.

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We are all creative beings, so why is so hard to actually express that creativity? As much as you want to write your memoir, teach a new sequence, or start your own business, you may be getting in your own way. The first step to a more creative life is recognizing your blocks, says Mary Beth LaRue, a Los Angeles-based yoga teacher, life design coach, and writer. Mary Beth is sharing her secrets to inspired sequencing and a creative life in our upcoming Yoga for Creativity online course. (Sign up now.) Here, she reveals some of the most common ways we sabotage our own creativity.

1. You anticipate other people’s judgments.

We carry around so many other people’s voices in our heads, and their judgments end up influencing the way we behave. We’ll think, “If I quit my job and become a yoga teacher, everybody will say I’m making the wrong decision,” or “If I share my idea, this person will think it’s not original.” These judgments usually come from a small group of people we know—often, people we don’t want to model our lives after anyway.

Be aware of those voices, and notice when they’re holding you back from being your true self or expressing your own vision. What other people think is none of your business.

2. You’re doing it for the “likes.”

When we’re able to embrace our own unique voice and offerings, we’re able to do things for the pure joy we find in the process. You’ll teach a class for the love of doing it, you’ll sequence for the love of doing it, you’ll write a blog or share a moment on Instagram for the love of doing it—rather than just for the cheers from your fans.

When you approach a yoga class, a writing project or any other creative work with a focus on being praised for it, there’s a good chance it’s not going to really resonate with your audience. Be authentic and share what you love—not what you think others with “like.”

3. You’re waiting until you’re ready.

So often, we think we’re not ready or qualified or smart enough to take on a new endeavor. But how often are we 100% ready for anything in life? Instead of waiting until everything is perfect, we need to write ourselves a permission slip to start a new project.

Once you give yourself permission, you embark on the path of learning and the process will unfold from there.

4. You’re constantly comparing.

I spent my first year of teaching yoga in Los Angeles always looking at what other people were doing and comparing myself to them. It made me really unhappy. My life coaching teacher Martha Beck calls this, “compare and despair.” (Last year, I actually started a yoga teacher support group in LA to help new teachers who are struggling with these issues.)

Here’s the thing: When our eyes are on someone else’s work, they’re not on our own. Don’t try to emulate someone else—just do you, and let go of the rest.

Mary Beth LaRue is a Los Angeles–based yoga instructor and life-design coach. She loves riding her bike, scribbling ideas over coffee, and taking long road trips with her family (including her English bulldog, Rosy). Inspired by her teachers Schuyler Grant, Elena Brower, and Kia Miller, LaRue has been teaching yoga for more than eight years, helping others connect to their inner bliss. She co-founded Rock Your Bliss, a yoga-inspired coaching company that helps clients “make shift happen.” Learn more at