The Courage to Be Creative

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No matter the job you have, the role you play is to create opportunity for others. Everyone’s individual output takes place as one component of a larger process that’s meant to be beneficial for a long line of others. That is to say that the efforts we put in are often the building blocks for others to use as their own starting points. As an example, a nurse who guides a patient back to health, gives them a new start at healthier living. Now say that patient is a financial strategist who creates sound financial plans for their clients. With a new lease on life, they pour creativity into their work to provide new economic opportunity as a starting point for yet others. It’s a cycle of prosperity that grows exponentially with the more opportunity we collectively create for each other.

Thinking of work at this level reveals that our interactions are a collaborative fabric through which all of our creative efforts take hold. We each benefit from the work that each and everyone else puts in. While each person plays a part in the success of others, the extent of your personal impact might not always be that visible to you. Those that benefit from the work you do might be three or four steps removed and people you’ve never actually even met. Regardless, they still depend on your ability to courageously and creatively put something of yourself out there.

It’s been said that creativity is nature’s way of manifesting itself within us. To thrive is to express yourself through creative means and different mediums. For example, perhaps in your role, you create in-depth strategies by pouring over data and assessing new opportunities. Your creative expression is in how you represent those possibilities that might support the future decisions of others. Alternatively, your creativity might be in how you interact with customers or clients. Your guidance helps shape their experience through the support you give and goes on to leave a lasting impression far beyond your direct reach. While our experiences are often not unique, it’s through our own expertise of them that we’re able to provide unique clarity and opportunities to others. Creativity in this way is about the need to take a risk to put yourself out there for the benefit of others.

In the TED Talk, Give Yourself Permission To Be Creative, actor Ethan Hawke explains the importance of being able to play the fool. Namely, that new ideas which inspire others often come at the expense of those that express them. That unfamiliar things and new ways of thinking have a way of being scrutinized and critiqued along with the person who presented them. As a result, many of us shy away from taking a risk at the expense of looking foolish. We avoid putting such an authentic and meaningful piece of ourselves out there for fear of ridicule. However, it’s through those courageous creative expressions that others benefit and build further opportunities upon it. Which is why it’s absolutely necessary.

This week, consider your creative medium, the role you play, and your natural approach for expressing ideas to others. As always, within your Prism Portrait are potential keys for guiding others to better see and understand your uniquely creative gifts. Use these insights to build confidence in your ability to put yourself out there. We all risk playing the fool when trying something new. But when you realize the potential impact a creative effort can have on countless others, it’s only foolish to not take the risk.

“ All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. ”
— William Shakespeare

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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