Here are some examples of unhelpful thoughts: I can’t do that kind of painting; his writing is so much better than mine; everyone would laugh if I tried to do that; mine wouldn't as good as Frank’s piece; I’m wasting my time trying to be that good.
Who the heck would do anything thinking like that? And where is the space to be inspired?
Here are some helpful ways to approach your priming: what new ways can I look at this idea; how open can I be to new ideas; what if…?; practice is important after inspiration but today I’m just here for inspiration; no preconceived notions, just openness; perfection is a myth that obscures true beauty.
Don’t engage in ‘yeah, buts’. Those are the discounting phrases that combine ‘yeah’ with ‘but’: ‘yeah, that’s really nice but I can’t paint like that’ or ‘yeah, that’s a great piece of music but I could never write anything like that.’ Going into priming with a quantitative and qualitative mindset won’t leave you open to new ideas. Check yourself when you hear those phrases coming up. Go into priming with an open mind—you have no idea what you might discover when you’re open. It may be a seed that you’ll grow later, but the seed has to be gathered in the first place for it to be planted at any time.
Remember though, priming the pump is not just about ‘thinking’; it's also about ‘doing’. So, get out there and get the creativity flowing!