(Post-A-Day Challenge, Day 19)
I saw a quote about creativity the other day that gave me pause for thought:
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
-Joseph Chilton Pearce
Which sounds profound and wonderful, but…not quite right. Or rather, it’s only partly right. It’s not that we fear being wrong. It’s that we fear looking stupid.
Being wrong is only one thing that can make us look stupid. Taking creative chances is another. How many of us have come up with what we think is a creative solution to a problem, only to be told, “No, that’s stupid, it will never work”?
It’s worse when someone whose opinion we value tells us that. How many of us have had a supervisor, a parent, a mentor tell us our idea was bad? If they say it often enough or loudly enough, isn’t it easy to start believing that all of our ideas are bad, or that we shouldn’t risk voicing them for fear that they will be shot down yet again?
I think that, in order to live a truly creative life, we have to get past that fear. We have to embrace the idea that sometimes, we’re going to be the only one dancing in a field of daisies in the rain, while everyone else would rather not get their shoes wet. But afterwards, we’ll be the ones who can best describe the smell of those wet daisies, the feel of rain-lashed petals on our skin, the sound of mud squelching between our toes. The nay-sayers will have stayed warm and safe and dry. But we’ll be the ones who have lived.
And maybe, from the middle of the daisy field, we’ll finally be able to see that they, not we, are the ones who look foolish.
So I think my version of the above quote has to be,
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of looking stupid.”
Easier said than done, I know. But I’ll be working on it.
Care to join me?