Remember when you were a small child?
I don’t remember that far back these days, but watching my daughter grow over the last 10 years has given me flashbacks. There are moments when she made me marvel at her choices. For example:
- Wearing a princess or superhero costume to go to the shops;
- Baking cupcakes to sell in front of our house;
- Singing anything that comes into her head while walking in the street;
- Doing a cartwheel or dancing whenever the mood takes her.
These moments make me marvel because it has so often contrasted with my own conservative behaviour in comparison, and it has made me question why this is the case.
I imagine that many of you could also be considered conservative in contrast to some of the moments I have highlighted, of course I might be wrong in this assumption. But as we grow it could be said we get to know ourselves better and should be more comfortable with ourselves and the person we project to others. But, and this may be what some term the naivety of youth, young children seem to be able to project a truer version of themselves by doing things that they want to, at the moment they want to. I have asked my daughter when she has done something surprising and “spur of the moment”:
Why did you do that?
And her answer always is:
Because I wanted to.
I love that answer, because it is showing that she is comfortable in addressing her own needs without worrying about what others think.
My belief is that we are often hung up on what other people think to the detriment of our own creative ideas and also to the detriment of our businesses or projects. Most often this is expressed as a fear of failure, this is synonymous with a fear of being judged that stops me from pulling off a cartwheel whenever the fancy takes me.
The entrepreneur Malcolm Forbes said of failing:
Failure is success if we learn from it.
There are strategies that will help us to recapture that creative freedom in our projects and business lives to do what we would like to do. These range from creative games that allow an individual or team to play with ideas or come up with new ones in a safe space where we can let go of inhibitions and learn what does work, to celebrating the times we fail to see what we can learn from. My friend and colleague Matt Matheson used his improv skills to create the Church of Fail for just such a reason and it has proved a popular way to help teams learn from and accept failures.
My goal is to now become more creative in my work life and do what I want to do. Right now that is to help teams and individuals build more creative businesses where every person is able to do what they want to do to to help build a profitable business and a happy workforce. I do this through facilitating LEGO® SERIOUSPLAY®, Improv, Game Storming and Design Thinking workshops for my clients.