Some Reasons People Are Cautious About Creativity

There are lots of reasons people are cautious about creativity;

1. Creativity involves a loss of control

2. It takes you outside your comfort zone which is guaranteed to arouse the curiosity of your inner critic.

3. Creativity involves failure.

4. Creativity involves doubt.

5. Creativity involves despair.

6. It requires taking risks (over and over again...).

7. There is no step-by-step process to follow (sorry, no ticking the boxes or paint-by-numbers pictures).

8. Those around you may not approve.

9. It doesn't guarantee you an income, approval, or acceptance, or critical acclaim, or understanding.

10. You have to start again as a beginner (even if you are over 55 and have a corner office and a key to the executive bathroom).

11. It cuts across the well-established structures and habits of your life and may create chaos where previously there was order.

12. Creativity requires time, both in the doing and in the letting ideas bubble away 'til they are cooked (and no recipe can tell you when exactly that will be...).

13. People may laugh.

14. The boss may be cross.

15. You may be totally dissatisfied with the results.

16. There may be no results.

17. It can be very, very scary to let go of knowing all the answers and to sit in uncertainty.

18. It can feel very unfamiliar and very uncomfortable.

19. There is no external authority to tell you whether you are getting anywhere (your Mum doesn't count).

Some ways to handle these include

1. Take small steps, baby steps, towards your creative destination.

2. Listen to your insides telling you when to pause, to rest, to slow down.

3. Be aware that you are not alone; anyone who has trodden the creative path has dealt with at least some of these issues.

4. Read accounts by leaders and writers and entrepreneurs and artists and chefs and scientists and explorers - anyone who has tried something new - it can be very reassuring to see the recurring themes, and such accounts are often full of ideas about dealing with it.

5. Find some like-minded souls - join a writers' circle, a thinkers' group, a painting studio...go online or check your local bookshop. Do whatever you have to do to connect with others, if you can't find a group, start one!

6. Interact with people who think differently from you and will challenge you and your thoughts

7. Never ever, ever, ever give up. (This doesn't mean you can't pause, so long as sooner or later you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...)

8. Don't burn your bridges all at once - keep at least a foothold in your safe, known world.

9. Keep balance in your life between the new and the familiar, the safe and the dangerous, the known and the unknown.

10. Find a mentor, someone who has been where you are now and can be living proof that there is a way though it all...

11. If this is a work scenario, find a champion in your work world, someone who will support your dangerous ideas

12. Put together structures in your life that can support you to succeed.

The Litmus Test
As a litmus test for whether you are ready to have a creative adventure, ask yourself this question:

"...Is it more important to me to stay safe, or am I prepared to leave the harbour, even if it means losing sight of the shore for a day or two?..."

Joanna Maxwell, 2010

(source: Joanna Maxwell, 2010)

Brainstorming Techniques

Brainstorming techniques allow the development of multiple alternatives by using creative thinking techniques so that participants are

- not necessarily settling on the most obvious answers

- seeking to think divergently rather than convergently

- raising new questions and new possibilities from new angles

- using their collective imagination

It is important to create a physical, psychological and social climate which supports creativity

Creativity does not stem from inherited traits. It has been found that each individual has a capacity for creativity that, for various reasons, is significantly under-utilised. Thus there is a need to make the familiar seem new and different.

Movement is one of the key elements of creativity. By generating ideas/possibilities, other ideas/possibilities can be generated, ie piggyback. The "movement" is important. Movement is

"...the willingness to move forward in a positive exploring way rather than stopping to judge whether something is right or wrong. We are not concerned with analysis and judgment..."

Edward deBono has quoted by Piers Dudgeon, 2001


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