Saturday, January 12, 2013

Creativity Tip: Be Fearless

Whether you think about innovative painters, like Picasso, or innovative inventors, like Edison or daVinci, you can always be certain of one shared personality trait between them... fearlessness.  They had no fear of failing, no fear of being different, and no fear of being judged.

When you do anything creative or innovative, you have to let go of your internalized views on failure and people pleasing.  Let's face it.  A majority of us have been raised to fit as nicely into society as possible.  And as we get older, we are expected to behave in a certain way.  Unfortunately, this expectation often works counter to creativity.  We can't fail.  We can't do something out of the ordinary.  Or we'll be judged for it.  And we don't like that feeling.

Edison tried many different ways to create a light bulb.  99% of them failed.  He just kept on moving forward, banking on his failures (learnings) and his intelligence to lead him to a solution.  When you set out to be creative, I promise you... you will encounter failures.  In some cases, people will tell you that you're wasting your time.  Your neighbors might act a little different around you.  And it's OK.  It might seem strange at first, but eventually, most people will get used to the new "you" and they will come to accept it.

But as you move down the creative path and take the leap to put your work in front of the masses, you will inevitably find "haters" on Facebook, Twitter, and in real life.  You must always stay confident in your abilities, and remember that these people will take any chance to point out your failures.  I've worked in a creative field for a long time, and I was once told by a boss that I greatly admired, "Anyone can judge a work of art, but few can create a work of art from a blank sheet of paper."  If you remember that one simple fact, then you realize that you are one of the few that tries to contribute to the world.

And one last note about being fearless:  If you continue to practice your craft over and over, without letting others decide your fate, you will become great at it.  So don't be afraid to try.  Don't be afraid to fail (and learn).  If you feel a creative calling, be fearless.  It will take you a long way.

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