Forbes recently published a terrific overview of why so many people experience such difficulty in their attempts to be more creative. Forbes opens their feature with a few quotes of wisdom on the matter, one of which is from Frederick Nietzsche who once wrote “I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.” The following are two of my favorites from Forbes top ten reasons why we struggle with creativity:
3) THE “SELF-EFFICACY” PROBLEM: Pioneering psychologist Albert Bandura devoted a large part of his expansive career to figuring out how people can develop a necessary sense of self-efficacy–the outcome when accomplishment yields compounding confidence in one’s abilities. The irony that Bandura uncovered is that we only get there when we’ve experienced enough failure to demonstrate the difficulty of our eventual accomplishment. Another way to say that is — if it were easy, none of us would have a problem. But creativity isn’t easy, and we’re going to stomach failure–probably more than we think–before achieving something that starts depositing confidence in our cerebral bank accounts. The thing to remember is that confidence compounds with time, and most people give up before they start earning a return on their investment.
#5) THE FUNCTIONARY TEMPTATION: “So, what are you going to do with that?” Tough question to answer for anyone trying to be creative, because there probably isn’t an answer. What we seem to have a hard time getting our arms around is the fact that there also doesn’t need to be an answer. What would a world driven by purely functionary concerns look like? Is that a world you’d want to live in? The answer to this one is self-evident: stop asking the functionary question about everything in your life, or others’ lives. The question itself is designed to drain creativity from your bones.
You can read Forbes’ entire list of the top ten reasons why we struggle with creativity (along with suggestions on how to access a deeply creative space in your life) by visiting Forbes.com. You can also read this post I published last November: Fascinating Article :Music To Live By”: 10 Top Authors Share What Music Gets Their Inspiration Flowing.