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Do you think creativity is a skill you lack? Or do you associate creativity with certain people and you’re not one of them? In our fast-evolving world, creativity is a skill you cannot do without. And most people don’t lack the ability to create. They simply have habits that kill creativity.

The truth is, you were born with an infinite capacity for creativity. Look at any child and you’ll know this is true. But as you grow up, your environment grows more complex, and to cope with these threats, your brain forms habits and sets parameters within which you function almost on auto-pilot. 

If you want to reconnect with your creative side, here are five habits that kill creativity and what you can do to stop them.

How Creativity Works

According to neuroscience, creativity thrives on ‘divergent thinking’. In simpler terms, it’s the ability to connect seemingly unrelated things. Your neural network controls this activity, which is a combination of three brain networks — the default mode network, the executive control network, and the salience network. The default mode network provides your repository of ideas. Concentration, emotions, and decision making are some things that the executive network oversees. And the salience network identifies what information is important and what is not. These three work together to produce ‘creative thinking’, and the habits mentioned below hinder all three of them.

1. Over-rationalizing

Rational thinking is following the safest and most tried-and-tested pattern again and again to solve problems. Your rational mind is risk-averse to new ways of making connections. When you judge every single new idea with your default rational parameters, you stop taking risks and making new connections.

2. The Comfort Zone

This is when you let the default-mode take complete control. If you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time, your brain has fallen into a pattern. This means your salience network won’t present new information or your executive control network won’t weave it in with existing ideas. But this is mistaking a stupor for peace of mind. You’re not allowing your brain to perform creative functions, which are an essential part of its job. Getting too comfortable in one place actually numbs the creative part of your brain into inactivity and affects your brain health in the long term.

3. Fear of Failure

Failure is not a pleasant experience at all. It affects your mood and hormones negatively, which is why you avoid scenarios that can lead to failure. One of those scenarios is risk. But all creative enterprise contains a grain of risk. All new things are a leap into the darkness, however small. If you spend all of your energy avoiding failure, your brain stops generating and connecting new ideas. Focusing on failure is one of the habits that will kill creativity.

4. Information Overload

This is an all too common problem. There is too much information at your fingertips and too little time to analyze and digest it. When your brain becomes saturated with too much information, the salience network experiences immense pressure and cannot perform smoothly. This leads to indecision and overthinking, a sign of overworking the executive control network. Taking time off from a work situation is essential so that your brain has time to sort out the various info and discard the unimportant ones.

5. Not Sharing Ideas

Creativity thrives on collaboration. Letting other people’s voices into your mind offers fresh perspectives and a more diverse set of information points. This helps you look at problems differently. When you hide your ideas and work without outside input, you are missing out on important connections that another person with unique life experiences could identify more easily than you.


You are creative. Your brain has all the components to make creative thinking possible. Yet, it is often your brain that hinders creative growth because it relies too much on habits that kill creativity. It’s time to break the cycle. Kill these five habits and unleash your creative potential.

For more on how to unlock your creative side, watch this video:


It’s important to stop the ANTs—Automatic Negative Thoughts—whenever they pop up in your self-talk. These are more than just an annoying occurrence. They can significantly impact your performance, productivity, self-esteem, and self-worth.

Negative thoughts can often be an almost inescapable part of your day-to-day life. It’s important to understand that not all negative thoughts are useless. Being able to think in terms of threats and risks, and experiencing fear and doubt are hard-wired into you from your evolutionary ancestors. These processes kept early humans alive and allowed them to survive. These tough patterns turn into a problem when it outgrows the purpose of keeping you safe and starts to sabotage productive areas of your life.

It’s one thing to be able to critically analyze a situation. But it’s another thing entirely when that analysis turns into a self-critic who sits in your head voicing an opinion on everything. This can seriously interfere with your relationships, life goals, daily tasks, and eventually, even reduce your brain’s ability to perform.

If you start to notice negative thoughts are taking over, there are ways you can silence that critic and move forward away from fear and doubt. Here are three exercises that can help you stop the ANTS and get this annoying (and often disabling) negative self-talk out of your head effectively.

Exercise 1: Answer the Critic Back

You can stop the ANTS when they take over before they elevate your stress and potentially put you in a state of fight-or-flight. By then, it makes focusing difficult, but it also disrupts your executive functioning and critical thinking skills as well.

The best way to counter fear, particularly emotional fear, is by taking control over the narrative. You have to question if the things your inner critic is saying are true. And once you’re able to discern what is a valid concern and what isn’t, you can take steps to work towards solutions rather than spiraling in worry, fear, and doubt.

This exercise attempts to shock your bullying critic by challenging it, which forces it into unfamiliar territory where it will be less effective.

The steps:

  1. Take out a pen/pencil and some paper.
  2. Write down all the negative things that your brain is churning up at that moment. Let the thoughts spill from your mind to the paper, but write them in second person, as if someone is telling them to you. For example, “That idea is stupid”, “You’ll never reach that goal”, or “You’re not succeeding in your job”.
  3. Even though it feels counterintuitive, read what you’ve written.
  4. Now, take a new piece of paper and line it up with what your critic said.
  5. Answer each statement, in the strongest possible words and in the first person. For example, “My idea is fantastic” and list all the reasons why.
  6. Don’t hold back when it comes to your replies and allow yourself to feel the emotions that standing up for yourself brings up. No matter how awkward or difficult, don’t stop until you finish answering each of your negative thoughts back.
  7. When you’re done, take the time to read the negative comments and your answers together. Pay attention to the truth and emotion in your responses. You can even go one step further and tear up or cross out the negative thoughts.
  8. Focus on the boost of positivity and confidence your positive words give you.

Exercise 2: Creative Visualization

Sometimes words on a page isn’t enough and using your imagination can help. Countering fear and doubt with logic is one strategy, but you can also fight it by pointing out how ridiculous that inner critic is being. This helps externalize the voices in your head by giving them a visual or verbal identity. And by turning that voice into a different person with exaggerated attributes, it can help reduce the fear by taking away the power that voice holds.

The steps:

  1. This one can be done in a variety of ways. You can draw cartoon characters or stick figures. If you’re not artistically inclined, you can simply visualize your inner critic in your mind.
  2. Now, give your critic embellished traits. Draw in wild, green hair, or spaghetti coming out of their nose. Imagine that they have a high-pitched squeaky voice, like they just sucked helium out of a balloon. The more outlandish the better.
  3. Write down your negative thoughts or imagine they’re being spoken by your critic. Hear their cartoon voice in your head. Does the spaghetti flop around as they’re talking? Are dogs howling at their high-pitched voice?
  4. If that person was standing in front of you, would you take their words seriously? Odds are, you wouldn’t. So why would you take their word now?
  5. You can take this exercise one step further by imagining or drawing someone you admire and respect. This can be a trusted friend, a mentor, or a teacher.
  6. Imagine how they would respond to this person. What would they say to their criticisms? Write those down or imagine their response.
  7. In the moment of negative self-talk, we often feel alone and insecure. Remembering our friends and imagining them defending us is a powerful thought experiment that can bring our sense of security and confidence back.

Exercise 3: Advise Yourself as You Would Advise a Friend

Imagine telling your best friend that they were a failure. Or your child that they should just quit what they love. This probably sounds horrifying to you. But you should stop and ask why it’s okay to tell yourself these same things.

If someone you care about is going through a period of self-doubt, you obviously don’t reinforce those beliefs. You encourage them and help them work through their fears and doubts. It’s obvious when it’s someone else that the problem isn’t them but simply the voice in their head damaging their confidence. This exercise is intended to do the exact same thing for yourself and stop the ANTs before they do damage.

The steps:

  1. Imagine your best friend or someone close to you going through the exact situation you are at the moment. The big project at work is actually something your mom is dealing with. The assignment due is something your best friend has been working on.
  2. Again, you can write these thoughts down or simply imagine going through them, but remember all of your thoughts are now coming from this person you care about.
  3. Imagine this person telling you all the negative things about herself that you tell yourself.
  4. How would you respond to them? How would you help them reframe their thoughts?
  5. Write down as many responses as you can think of for each negative thought.
  6. When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts, but it’s important to remember that you deserve love and empathy as much as your loved ones.
  7. You can look back on this exercise and find repetitive thoughts that you struggle with the most. By turning those criticisms into daily affirmations, you can make this exercise of empathy and self-love even more powerful.


Everyone deals with ANTs from time to time, but when you notice that they’re overwhelming, or are interfering with your ability to move foward or be productive, you want to squish them once and for all. These three exercises can be done through daily journaling and customized so that they work best for you. The more you practice silencing your inner critic, the faster you can stop the ANTs effectively and efficiently.

Watch this video for more on how to get rid of negative thoughts:

Take Time to Celebrate—It’s Good For Your Brain

Even though the end of the year is often marked with a multitude of events, are you taking time to celebrate? Holiday parties, family gatherings, office get-togethers. And while decorating, gift giving, and all the other holiday merrymaking can be seen as both a blessing and a curse, celebrations have a positive impact on your brain. Whether it’s simply participating in a local office party or enjoying a large meal with family and friends, here are four ways celebrations benefit the brain.

Reduces chances of depression

Studies show that gratitude is not compatible with depression or negative thinking. Holidays can be difficult for some. That coupled with long nights and cold weather can make this a tough time of year. People who join celebrations during this time of year often report lower levels of depression and anxiety than when they don’t celebrate. Being around people who care about you is important and helps reduce negative thoughts and feelings. Socialization has also been shown to improve your cognitive function, memory, and overall mental agility.

Improves your relationships

It’s such a common complaint: having to go home for the holidays. But what if you changed that sentence to you get to go home for the holidays? Family can be stressful and having your routine disrupted can be hard to deal with. But your perception of reality matters. If you go into an activity with a negative outlook, you’re far more likely to see negativity. Change that same perspective to one of love and gratitude, and you’ll change your entire experience. Expressing gratitude for the people in your life increases the connection in the relationship. Being grounded in this connection has profound effects on your brain, including elevating your mood, reducing your stress, and improving your overall brain function.

You feel better

Taking time away can help you return to your day-to-day routine feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Celebrations release the feel-good chemicals oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins, which lower the stress hormone cortisol. This doesn’t mean you simply are in a better mood, though your mood will improve. It also means you’ll have clarity of thought and feel more in control. You’ll feel less emotional which means you won’t be as reactive to difficult situations. This calm helps you make better decisions and improves your problem solving abilities.

Get quality sleep

When you improve your mood and reduce your stress, your brain can function properly, including releasing melatonin to help you get a good nights sleep. When your cortisol levels are elevated from long-term stress, it interferes with your brain’s ability to produce melatonin and that can directly impact how well you sleep. But celebrating can help you sleep by changing your physical activity levels, as well. Catching up with friends, laughing, and being outdoors can all help improve the quality of your sleep.


Celebrating is good for your brain. It releases happy hormones in your brain which lowers stress, helps with depression and anxiety, improves sleep, and helps you relax. Add in a hefty dose of gratitude and you’ll be sure to end the year on the right foot. Celebrations don’t have to be large, elaborate affairs to enjoy these brain benefits. Simply being around other people who you can laugh and connect with can have the same impact. So, this year, grab your mittens and a mug of hot cocoa, and join as many celebrations as you can. Your brain will thank you.

‍For helpful tips on how to win the next six months, check out this video:

How To Stay Motivated

It’s easy to get psyched up when you start working towards a goal. But staying motivated and on track can be difficult as time goes on. So, how do you maintain motivation over days, weeks, months, and even years? Today, we’re going to give you some ‘Kwik’ tips on how to stay motivated to achieve your goals—regardless of the situation.

Remember Your Why

When it comes to long-term goals, it can be easy to lose your focus. Your brain has a powerful reward system but unlocking those rewards can be challenging with goals that take more time to achieve. That’s why it’s important to remind yourself of your why. Why are you doing this? Why is it important to you? When you’re crystal clear on your purpose, maintaining your momentum becomes easier.

It might seem like focusing on meaning and motivation is tied with thinking about what you’ll intrinsically gain by accomplishing your goal. For example, if your goal is to exercise three times a week, focusing on how much stronger, healthier, and confident you’ll be, can be a huge motivator.

On the flip side, it’s also essential to think about the negative outcomes you’ll experience if you don’t do the task. What’s the cost of not taking action? It could be extra weight gain, decreased energy levels, or poor overall health affecting your day-to-day life and relationships.

By keeping your why at the top of your mind, you’ll be much more likely to stay motivated and on track with any goal.

Break Things Down into Bite-Sized Steps

You’ve probably heard the saying that a thousand-mile journey begins with a single step. This is absolutely true in terms of goal-setting and goal-getting.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged when facing big, audacious goals. The key to avoiding that frustration is not only take things one step at a time, but break each step down into the smallest, simplest action you can take that will move you forward.

When you break things down to the tiniest possible step, you are far more likely to start and keep going. It helps form the habit of doing those steps every day. Going back to the exercise example, if you put your exercise clothes out every night, you’ll be far more likely to exercise in the morning. This small, simple step helps create a routine that cements the daily habit. The more you automate the steps in your goals, the easier they’ll be to stay focused. This builds your motivation to continue on the path to success.

Eat Brain Foods

One of the key ingredients in sustained motivation is energy. And the best way to get energy is by eating foods that boost your cognitive health. What you put into your body matters—especially for your brain matter.

If you want to stay focused and on track, you need to make sure you’re eating brain-boosting foods that will give you the energy and vitality you need to stay sharp. Some of the best brain foods include the following:

  • avocado
  • blueberries
  • eggs
  • coconut oil
  • broccoli
  • walnuts
  • salmon
  • turmeric
  • green leafy vegetables
  • dark chocolate

These foods are rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins, and minerals that all contribute to good brain health. Your body needs fuel to perform at its best. Adding these brain-boosting foods into your diet can help ensure you have the energy and brain power necessary to achieve your goals.

Get Quality Sleep

Food isn’t the only component to sustained energy. You also need to get quality sleep.

Sleep is essential for brain function, and when you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to focus and stay on task. There are a few things you can do to help ensure you’re getting quality sleep. First, make sure your sleep environment is conducive to rest by keeping it dark, quiet, and calm.

Set a consistent schedule for waking up and going to bed. Losing even one hour of sleep can impair cognitive abilities and increase anxiety the next day. And there’s no such thing as making up sleep on the weekends. Your brain needs consistent, quality sleep to perform at its best.

Make sure you limit your caffeine intake in the morning and stop consuming it by 2 PM. Caffeine has a half-life of eight hours, which means a 5 PM coffee is still in your system until 1 AM. Even if you’re able to fall asleep, having caffeine in your system can disrupt your sleep cycles and prevent you from getting the deep, restorative sleep you need.


Your goals are within reach. Understanding your purpose drives action. Energy fuels your action. And small, simple steps keeps your actions moving forward. While this may seem like a lot to remember, there’s an easy way to remember these steps: purpose, energy, small, simple steps. Or, motivation = P x E x S3. If you want to dive deeper into these topics, pick up a copy of Limitless, today.

 To go even deeper into motivation, check out a previous episode from our YouTube channel:


What is Brain-based Coaching

What if we told you that you could train your brain to read faster, make decisions quicker, and recall information more accurately? It might sound too good to be true, but that’s exactly what we do at Kwik Brain.

Our brain-based coaching programs focus on rewiring your brain by training it to work more efficiently. Similar to the way you exercise other parts of your body to be stronger and faster, our programs are a workout for your brain.  

If you’re curious about whether a brain coach is right for you, this ‘Kwik’ read is a good place to start.

How Does Brain-based Coaching Work?

Coaching has a long history of helping people grow. But brain-based coaching takes this approach to the next level. It leverages leading principles from the field of neuroscience and performance analysis to help you develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses.

Our executive coaching services differ from traditional approaches in several ways. We focus on teaching you how to build a foundation of healthy habits that will elevate every aspect of your learning and your life. Our programs allow you to focus on your interests and create goals based on your individual personal and professional needs. We help you identify what you’re good at and how you can leverage those strengths more effectively.

Our program guides you through the 3 M’s—Mindset, Motivation, and Methods. We teach you how to develop a healthy mindset, unlock what truly motivates you, and give you the tools and techniques to apply our methods to every facet of your life. You have limitless potential, and our goal at Kwik Brain is to help you find it.

Why is Brain-based Coaching Important?

In school, they taught you what to learn, but not how to learn. Brain-based coaching doesn’t focus on one set of skills that you practice repeatedly. Instead, our programs focus on skills and techniques that you can then apply to any subject to enhance your learning capabilities.

This holistic approach doesn’t just improve one area of your life, but every area. When you double or triple your reading speed, you save valuable time you can use getting more done throughout your day. And improving your focus and concentration increases your productivity, helping you reach your goals faster and more efficiently.

Once you understand how your brain works, you can work your brain. This is the core of why brain-based coaching is so important. Understanding how to learn means you can improve any skill, apply new learning to any area of your life, and meet any new challenge head on. As your competence grows, so does your confidence, taking you beyond what you ever thought was possible.

Who Benefits from Brain-based Coaching?

Whether you want to read faster, learn more, or improve your productivity, we have a Kwik Brain program for everyone, from employees to executives, students to parents. We design our brain-based coaching techniques to help you learn and grow no matter what age or stage you’re currently in.

One of the key components that sets our programs apart is the belief that improving your brain health is the most important aspect of learning. We help you dismantle LIEs—the limited ideas entertained—that might hold you back, manage stress, and show how diet and exercise can improve your focus and concentration. Rather than focus on what to learn, we teach you techniques to improve your memory and make studying easier.

We designed our program to fit within your busy schedule. They range from ten to thirty days, and every lesson is less than twenty minutes a day. Beyond the individual programs, we give you exclusive access to our online community where you can find support from our staff and among your fellow peers. We share the latest in neuroscientific studies, provide links to our weekly motivational podcast, and offer exclusive content, all to help you become a better leader, improve your confidence, reach your potential, and achieve any goal you set.

Beyond Typical Brain-based Teaching Methods

Your memory and capabilities are not fixed. You can learn and grow at any point in your life. We’ve developed and tested our tools and techniques for the last three decades to ensure you get the most powerful results possible.

Here’s a sneak peek to help you get started on your journey. All you have to remember is FAST.

F stands for forget. Forget three things: what you think you know, anything that’s not urgent, and your limitations. Don’t let the negativity of the past impact how your brain learns and recalls new information.

A stands for active. Learning is not a spectator sport. Take notes, ask questions, and take part in our community. The more engaged you are, the faster you’ll see results.

S stands for state. All learning is state dependent. Increase concentration, reduce anxiety, and discover new abilities.

T stands for teach. When you teach something, you get to learn it twice. Remember to share what you learn and invite a friend to join you on your learning adventure.

‍To learn more about our tools and techniques, watch this episode:

What Is A Brain Coach

Most people know what a coach is. It’s someone who helps you learn a new skill with instructions, guidance, and hands-on practice. There are many different types of coaches out there: sports coaches, diet coaches, music coaches, career coaches, and many more. But what exactly is a brain coach? And why do you need one?

What is a brain coach?

The human brain is an amazing organ, but it requires training to develop your focus and attention. Keeping the brain stimulated through active learning results in better memory, critical thinking skills, decision making, and other important functions. Normal cognitive processes and other skills can decline—including memory and critical thinking—if you don’t stimulate your brain.

My job as your brain coach is to help you train your brain so you can perform at your cognitive best. We do this by understanding how the brain functions, and how that functionality relates to people’s skills in learning and life. When you understand how connected your body and brain are, you can use that information to make better lifestyle choices every day.

How is brain coaching done?

We have several resources to help you on your limitless brain journey. We dedicate our classes to helping you focus on memory function, problem-solving, decision-making skills, and overall lifestyle changes, such as sleep, diet, exercise, and stress management. In addition, we offer weekly podcasts with incredible guests to help you hone these skills.

It doesn’t matter what age or stage in life you are in, our programs are designed to help you unlock your limitless potential. Whether it’s through a class, a podcast, our extensive Kwik Brain community, or any of our live streams and webinars, our training will fit into your busy life. For less than twenty minutes a day, we challenge and exercise your brain.

Benefits of brain coaching

Your brain is a muscle, and like any muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Brain coaching can lead to better performance, not only at home, but at work or school. Students often perform better in subjects that they might not have done so well before brain coaching. At work, you can have better overall mental performance, and that can lead to promotions or better pay.

By stimulating different areas of the brain, it improves overall functionality. This results in better brain health marked by things like reduced anxiety, lower stress, and an improvement in your mood. Your confidence will grow, leading to higher competency levels that will carry over through other areas of your life.

Why does brain coaching work?

Your brain is constantly working. When you apply brain training methods and techniques, you’re ensuring that the brain growth process of neuroplasticity continues. Neuroplasticity keeps your brain healthy through new neural growth and the organization of neural structures.

When you stop learning new things, your brain will eventually prune the neural network associated with skills and information you no longer use. By staying mentally engaged and active, you ensure that you not only use these networks, but maintain them. This stops your brain from shrinking and helps your grey matter stay healthy.

One of the biggest reasons our programs are so effective is that we aren’t teaching you one skill. We’re embracing the idea of metacognition—or learning how to learn. In school, teachers taught you what to learn. But they limited the actual process of learning to rote memorization and repetition. No matter what program you choose, you can apply those skills to learning any subject.


There are many approaches to brain coaching. Here at Kwik Brain, we want to help you improve brain function, increase brain capacity, reduce stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, and get you to perform better at work and school. Our programs fit into your busy schedule, and our staff are here to help support you on your limitless journey.

 If you want to learn more about how unlock your superhero potential, watch this episode: