Letting Go of Fear to Help the Creative Process
By Business Consultants, inc.
According to Dr. Will Schutz, one of the most prominent psychologists and practitioners of personal development of our time, the biggest block that people have standing in the way of their ability to be creative is fear. When asked specifically in a training session about the creative process Dr. Schutz explained that fear and a feeling of conflict are most responsible for blocking the creativity of a person. What are these fears specifically? Here is a list of the most common fears blocking creativity in Japan.
- Fear of not being creative. It seems obvious, but the anxiety caused by the fear of not being creative (or not being creative enough) is the number one block on the road to creativity. Some people simply doubt their creativity in specific circumstances while others in more extreme circumstances feel unable to be creative indefinitely. Either way, when a person if full of anxiety the creative process naturally becomes blocked. If you’re worried about being creative, it’s almost certain to cause problems. For the best creative results banish fear and let the ideas flow.
- Fear of lacking rationality. In order to best share ideas with others we know that we need to present them in a logical and rational way. At times, however, it’s best for the creative process to not worry too much about being logical. Trust your ability to come up with a rational explanation when your ideas are put into practice and don’t let worrying about logic hamper the flow of ideas early on.
- Fear of humiliation and embarrassment. Similar to a fear of not being creative enough, a fear of feeling inadequate will compromise your ability to be creative. When we’re constantly worried about what everyone else will think, the creative ideas we seek will be buried by our own anxieties. There is a time to worry about other’s reactions, but that time is not during the early creative stages.
- Fear of being undervalued and even ignored. We all worry that our ideas won’t be given attention. Some of us have actually heard things like “You aren’t even in a position to make that kind of a proposal” and some of us are simply afraid that one day we might. This worry makes even the most creative of people shy away from offering great ideas.
- Fear of rejection. Even worse than being ignored people can be very concerned that their idea will be shot down completely. Creativity will not thrive if a person is worried about a negative outcome. These fears are magnified if a person is working outside of what’s traditionally considered practical, feasible or possible. The irony is that this is where some of the best creative ideas come from.
- Fear of not being appreciated. Everyone wants to be of value, everyone wants to be appreciated. When attempting creativity many people stop to ask “How will this affect the way I’m regarded? If it’s approved will I be valued more? Worse, if it isn’t will people regard me less? While these worries are understandable, especially in the business world, they cause serious blocks to a person’s creativity.
- Fear of failure. We all know that every idea we have carries a certain risk of failure. Even though we all know we aren’t any more comfortable with the concept. In a best-case-scenario innovative organizations would happily tolerate failure as a necessary part of the creative process. But, this isn’t always the case, most business are not as tolerant of failure as they could be, which only hampers the creativity of its fearful employees.
- Fear of a lack of proper rewards. People work harder when they know they’re working for a reward. They try harder, put in more hours and are able to put aside other fears because their “eye is on the prize”. Conversely, if they feel that no reward will happen despite their best efforts they are likely to lose motivation.
Which of these fear and anxieties that Dr. Schutz has identified do you feel hurt your creativity the most? Take the time to make a list of your fears, once identified you’ll better be able to overcome them and remove what blocks your creativity.