On the Creative approach. The struggle of the perfectionist.
Most people don’t think they’re creative. Most people don’t think that creativity is available to them. Most people think Creativity is for those people over in the marketing department. But it is more than a select group of people. Creativity is available to us all. Creativity is a way of being, of acting. Creativity is a way you solve problems from multiple angles to see which is the best route to go. Most important, Creativity is a practice, actions of attacking problems. That’s how we go about doing, solving, building up. Creativity is a dedication to the way you think and act.
Creativity is not something that is reserved for the select, anointed few. It is available to us all through action. But first, we have to believe it is available to us. If we don’t believe first, we’re not going to get there. We won’t take the actions. We’ve decided that it isn’t us and we do nothing bu maintain the status quo.
Most of us are comfortable with the way things are. Not creatives. They’re restless. They seek to make change happen. They want to make things better. They’re not satisfied with the way things are. They have a burning vision for better. And, most important, they take action to make that better happen while understanding that what they create might not work. Yes, it’s scary to embrace that level of uncertainty, but what choice do you have when you’re experimenting and trying new things? Not everything will work. You simply accept it and move on, hammering on new things. That sense of restlessness with the way things are is what drives the Creative. The only way to relieve the tension of dissatisfaction is to work on making better things.
Top performers and leaders want to see positive change. We want to see what we’ve got and get after how we make things better. We are all about improvement, another day to get better. Another day to seek it. Another day to get after it. Better falls on us because not everyone is out to make things better. Most will simply accept things as they are. We place the industry on our shoulders in order to lead and build it up higher. If we’re not improving it, then what are we doing with it? No improvement is simply status quo, and we don’t want that. We want to make things better, faster, smarter, more durable.
Creativity as a practice is available to us all. It simply takes some teaching and guidance and tools. 🧰 It is a new skill set that can be learned just like software, programming or graphic design. What you’ll be equipped with is a new way to see. We become so used to the traditional one-track problem solving method that we can’t get out of our own way to see alternatives. Creativity always seeks alternative angles. There are plenty more ways to get after the problem if we act them out, experimenting, testing and trying approaches. It simply takes some creative courage to act.
Those who struggle with creativity are the perfectionists. They’re typically stymied in the status quo because they fear looking bad or making mistakes in front of others. Creativity is rife with things that might not work, and this scares them. Perfectionists want the guarantee that it will work, yet there are no guarantees that specific actions will work to solve the problem. You test and try. Test and try. Test and try. Iterate. Always iterating and pivoting until you come up with the solution. Which is the opposite of how perfectionists operate. They take the test and expect the A. They want to study before hand and already know the answer to the problem. Yet creativity is WAY bigger and wider than some standardized test designed for good test takers. It’s opposite as it is non-linear, accepting of mistakes, unconcerned with the good grade. Having no grades involved in the outcome perplexes the perfectionist. They’re not sure how to act. And when most of us are unsure how to act, we either do nothing or we look to others for cues. Thus, the power of social proof. Yet, this process is new and uncomfortable. And yes: some of us don’t like the new and uncomfortable.
It’s good to stretch our comfort zones, trying new things, new approaches. There are always new problems that need solving. Creativity is a great way to go about solving them with those multiple angles of attack. The same approaches that we’ve always used will only get us so far. What if we got really curious and openminded about problem solving and took on new approaches? What if there were multiple ways to solve the problem? What if we try new attacks? What if we embrace the culture of experimentation?