When I used to hear the word creativity, I used to think of artistic talent or music…which both were not my forte hence I would label myself as anything but creative (which I know many of us still do today)
Now and today I believe I am incredibly creative, not that I am the modern Picasso nor has my singing or musical abilities improved since my childhood but because creativity, for me is how we can use our intelligence and resources to solve challenges, overcome setbacks and take successful steps forward through uncertainty.
As a High-Performance Coach, this is one of the many key reasons my clients come to me, to understand how they can get even more out of themselves and navigate the complexities they face to create more success and impact in their business, career and life.
One of the things that I see from the number of clients I coach that stops us from fully harnessing the power of our creative potential, is not realising the nature and way our creative potential actually works.
For some reason, we have it ingrained in us that in order for us to be successful in anything, we need to have all the answers at hand and almost an exact knowing of how everything is going to unfold in front of us and in perfect alignment to your game plan.
That sounds good in theory but the downside to this is that firstly, as one of my mentors often reminds me:
- Any plan, strategy or anything we think will happen… Is entirely made up
(Have you ever had an experience before where things don’t work according to plan… I’m sure you know exactly what I mean…yet we still somehow find a way to succeed and thrive)
But also and importantly
- Creativity for me in it’s fullest and truest definition is about being able to respond, adapt and adjust to business, life, your circumstances and everything else as you go along, one step at a time effectively while not being able to see the way ahead or more than what you can see in front of you from moment to moment.
How can you possibly and ever know exactly what’s going to happen next?
Sure, you might be able to guess but it’s only a guess otherwise you would’ve won the lottery by now consistently.
This is one reason we really struggle with being creative and responsive because we are so hungry for certainty (which doesn’t exist).
As a result, we don’t take the key actions that could help us create more success & impact in our business or careers out of fear of what could happen if we did, which as you can imagine really limits and blocks our creativity.
It’s a very normal human instinct we all have and I’ve been there myself many times and I hear this often with clients:
What if I fail? What if things fall apart? What if I don’t succeed? What if…what if
What I am saying is that, our creativity and our success, doesn’t always come from knowing the exact way ahead but being able to respond to life and business as it happens moment to moment without complete clarity.
I recently had the joy of stumbling across an article about imposter syndrome not long ago which was very insightful.
The article in the nutshell outlines how a psychologist attended a significant conference to give a keynote and when she was speaking to her peers/friends during the break, (all whom are very successful and leaders in the fields), they individually shared said something with her that was very eye-opening.
They all in and out of their work had a sinking feeling looming over them along the lines of “I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m scared I will be found out”Now as I hear this, I was inspired by this piece because what it points to is how human we are deep down but we expect our self to be something other than human.
It’s not that they don’t know what they’re doing, it’s just that they don’t see the very factors in play that allow them to perform at such a high level…
That what has helped them create the success they have, is not needing to have all the answers but that they are very in tune with their creative ability to figure things out, to make complex decisions, and to come up with ideas one day at a time during the moments that matter most from boardroom meetings, challenging situations to difficult circumstances that are thrown at them from all angles.
When challenges come up, they have an amazing track record of navigating them successfully to be where they are today but for some reason we all have a tendency to forget that and think our innate ability to navigate life like we have so far will suddenly just disappear and we are left on our own to work everything out.
Steve Jobs, in my eyes is one of the most extraordinary visionaries to ever grace our world and he famously said something that inspires me to date.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust… Or somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, yoghurt, destiny, life, Karma, Whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
I love this quote because what I think Steve is really pointing to, is that we have an ability to connect the dots like we always have, seeing how things have always come together through uncertain times and they will continue to going forward one step at a time if we don’t put extra pressure on ourselves to have everything worked out.
I explore this approach more strategically in one of my earlier blogs here
As an executive and life coach, my role is to point my clients to this fundamental truth which the more clearer we see, the less pressure we put on ourselves self and as a result we are more calmer and quieter which helps us perform better and make much better decisions.
Every day, we make hundreds of decisions, whether you call them small or big, decisions are just decisions or creativity and they come from the same space but where I have seen countless times we really struggle On decision-making, listening, communication, innovation, or performance is when we come away from this Truth and are really caught up in our own thinking and stress about how scary things look and believing we have to have a solid bullet-proof knowing of how our life and business will unfold.
Another Steve Jobs example is how and you may have noticed, he always wore similar clothes, black shirts and jeans
When someone asked him about this, he responded that he didn’t want to waste time being caught up in his thinking every day about what he should wear today.
Instead, he was more interested in throwing himself into challenges and objectives for the day and using his creativity instead where needed. You could also call this avoiding decision fatigue.
This is one of the many reasons my own coaching mentors would often tell me, the best way to thrive, succeed and navigate complex decisions is to actually slow down.
When we slow down whether you’re going for walk or taking time away from things that you are constantly working on, you will give yourself more mental space for our inbuilt creativity to kick in and provide us with insights and answers to the complexities were facing.
If you want an example of this, ask yourself why are you get most of your creative ideas.
For me it’s when I’m cooking or on the golf course and funny enough for my clients, they find their best ideas while in the shower.
This article is not telling you to take a shower, play more golf or become the next Masterchef but in fact a very simple and fundamental truth that we are creative beings with an untapped creative potential.
Reid Hoffman, The founder of LinkedIn said
“An entrepreneur Is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.”
I don’t believe this is just for entrepreneurs but for most people that want to create more out of their life and business.
Success always starts with just an idea of whether that’s making a sandwich to launching a business, sure the process will be very different between both of these outcomes but what remains constant is that we can navigate and achieve both one step at a time.
I’d like to leave you with a question, what if you didn’t need to see the entire way ahead with your goals, vision or projects?
What impact would this make for you?
P.S. I’d love to find out what insights you took from the blog and if I can support you in any way with your business/career goals and vision this year, please do send me an email at [email protected] or through my website contact form and I will be in touch with you.
If you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find me here and please do introduce yourself