Do you want to be more creative?
Stop clinging to comfort. Comfort is the enemy of creativity.
You are comfortable where it is safe and predictable. When you are curled up in your recliner watching your favorite sitcom.
Creativity resides out on the edge where things are a little dicey.
If you want to be more creative, then you’ve got to force yourself — usually kicking and screaming — to move outside that place where things are easy, sheltered and certain. Beyond comfort is where originality, invention and new discoveries are found. It is where life is rich and fulfilling. It is that place where you live up to your full potential.
Stop Flinching and Start Creating
You are programmed to avoid pain. You have been taught to stay where it is safe. Your mother didn’t want you to take too many risks because you might get hurt. School certainly didn’t teach you to be creative. It taught you to stay in the lines and conform.
You are creative. It is there somewhere inside you, but it is likely buried — at least to a degree.
Even if you do creative work, you probably aren’t producing all you are capable of.
How do I know this? Because I know you flinch.
“The flinch is the moment when every doubt you’ve ever had comes back and hits you, hard. It’s when your whole body feels tense. It’s an instinct that tells you to run. It’s a moment of tension that happens in the body and the brain, and it stops everything cold.”
~ Julien Smith, The Flinch
You pull back and throttle your creativity so you can avoid the risk of being criticized, questioned and thrust into the spotlight.
You have that moment where you wonder, “What if they don’t like this?”
It is then that you reel things in a little. You retreat to where it is more comfortable. Where you aren’t pushing the envelope quite so much. You step back from the edge.
After years of remaining comfortable, you are too afraid to get anywhere near creativity. You won’t sing in front of others. You won’t show your work to anyone . You hide behind mediocre efforts. You keep your mouth shut. You keep your ideas to yourself. You fail to deliver.
You may even say, “I am not creative.” That’s a dangerous place to go. It is a cop out. It is the ultimate flinch.
“No matter whether you are leading a team, developing marketing strategies, running a small business, or writing copy, when you are compensated for creating value with your mind, the pressure to perform is palpable.”
~ Todd Henry, The Accidental Creative
I get it. There is a lot of pressure.
There is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not living up to expectations. Fear of rejection. Fear of criticism. Fear of being ostracised. Fear your best isn’t good enough.
Fear that you suck.
And if it becomes known (to you and others) that you suck, where does that leave you?
On the other hand, there is comfort.
Is it any wonder that we choose the way we do? That’s right. More often than not, you are choosing to be comfortable rather than sticking your neck out to be creative.
This is why we live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in us. We are in bed with the enemy.
How to Defeat the Enemy and Live
“Behind every moment of courage was a man or woman who faced a difficult internal struggle. When they face it, it becomes an amazing story. They become legends.”
~ Julien Smith, The Flinch
If you want to live a really joyful, fulfilling and amazing story, then you’ve got to stop clinging to comfort and start creating. You’ve got to win this internal struggle.
Children are naturally creative. Why? Because they aren’t afraid to take risks. They aren’t yet slaves to comfort. They are already legends in their minds.
You were a child once. You know how to do it. You have brilliance inside you. You just need to rediscover it and take a chance. I won’t mislead you, it isn’t easy. It may even hurt a bit, but if you press through it to the other side. You will be astonished at the life you find.
You may not know where to start. I’d encourage you to read the two books I quoted in this article. I read them both recently and I loved them. They will help you to break free from the clutches of comfort.
The Flinch by Julien Smith is totally free on Amazon, so you have no excuse for not reading it, unless you just want to continue to wallow in the comfort of not knowing. You can click the link above to download your copy. You won’t regret it.
You can find out a lot more about The Accidental Creative on Todd Henry’s site that goes by the same name. He offers a ton of great information in the free articles alone. What I love best about Todd’s book is that he recognizes that it isn’t just artists that need to express creativity. He focuses on being creative in business and everyday life. You’ll get a lot out of his stuff.
Finally, I dare say that I might have a few other articles that can help inspire you to greatness. Here are some that are specifically targeted to arouse your creativity:
- 7 Great Ways To Rekindle Your Creativity
- 5 Ways to Inspire Truly Creative Ideas
- 7 Ideas For Expanding Your Creativity and Comfort Zone
It is time to put comfort aside, step out to the edge and let the world know why you are here. Go live your amazing story and become the legend you were meant to be!
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