Brand YOU: Overcome fear & reach your full creative potential
So you’re looking to develop your creativity. You ask your boss if you can go on a two-day “creativity” course to learn some new creative thinking skills, tools and techniques. And it’s all agreed, which is awesome, except for one small point – you don’t BELIEVE in yourself.
Because no matter how many skills, tools, and techniques you’re taught, if your SELF-BELIEF (when it comes to being “creative”) is “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” … you’ll be shit, no matter what.
Creativity is all about self-belief.
When it comes to being creative, and sharing your ideas with a team of colleagues or managers at work, you are literally putting yourself on the line – your idea, your work, your reputation. There is no precedent. There is no right or wrong. There is no clear, objective measure of whether it’s a good or a bad idea. And there is no guarantee that this idea will work better than that idea, or if it will even work at all.
That’s why being creative is a tough gig. You have to step out of your comfort zone, put yourself on the line, and go for it. And be prepared to fall flat on your face, because that comes with the territory. And if you don’t or can’t or won’t back yourself in, you’ve got little hope of being creative at all.
In my creativity talks and workshops, I ask people, “What are the personal attributes of a creative human being?”. The list is always something like this – brave, lateral, independent, divergent, open-minded, risk-taker, curious.
And while there is no right or wrong here too, the bottom line is that all of these attributes exist OUTSIDE the comfort zone.
So, if you are more intent on being a people pleaser, or a crowd follower, or a captain of mediocrity, than a champion of creativity, you will always remain comfortably numb.
But the “comfort zone” is so-called precisely because it provides us with “comfort” – comfort from looking bad, from being wrong, from other people laughing at our ideas, from failing. Fear and self-doubt have always been the greatest enemies of human potential, and creativity especially. When self-doubt creeps in we start making agreements with ourselves about what we can and cannot do, and they play in our head all day long like a bad radio station.
Welcome to I SUCK 93.4 TODAY AM. I’m not good enough. I’m not creative enough. I’m not talented enough. I’m not brave enough. I’ll lose my job is I make a mistake and fail. I’ll lose respect if I share my bad ideas. I’ll never be as creative as the others in my team. I’ll stay under the radar so nobody catches me out for the fraud that I am (this last agreement is extremely common in creative industries among people in creative roles).
These are the sort of agreements we make with ourselves, fuelled by our fears and self-doubt, and they run our entire lives. They are the biggest obstacle to creativity and self-expression, and the way around this is to change them – to replace your agreements with new ones.
What makes me great? What do others admire and like about me? What do I do really well? Who am I really, and what do I stand for? What’s the motivation and purpose behind my work and my life. When you start to get clear on the answers to these type of questions, things change. Self-belief starts to emerge. Creativity becomes an everyday thing because it’s a natural expression of who you are and your ideas.
This is Brand YOU at work – without the masks, the bullshit, the fear, and the looking good pretences and adornments.