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5 Lies Creatives Believe

I am not considered an artist or creative type. Rather I am more like a logical thinker and "math" guy. But for those of you who are "artists", there are lies that you may allow yourself to believe which will stifle your creativity. These lies create artificial boundaries in limiting your ability to engage and create.

Here are five believable lies that seem to be common from Todd Henry:

1. I am what I make. This lie tells us that our value as a team member - nay, as a human being, is dependent upon the perceived value of what we make. This one is a sinister little devil because most organizations are set up to reward those who live out this lie to the extreme. That makes it tougher to opt-out without

2. Why try? I’ll never be as good as (insert accomplished artist here)…
This lie tells us that unless we hit some invisible standard (and probably unrealistic) standard we’ve set, nothing is worth making. We fail to realize that (insert accomplished artist here) probably felt the same thing from time to time.

3. I’d might as well just give them what they want. This lie tells us that challenging clients or managers is useless because they’re only going to tell us to do something “compromised” anyway. The assumption underlying this lie is that striving for our best work is only valuable if the work is accepted and praised.

4. Because of my abilities, I am entitled to (insert benefit, award, promotion, peer approval, etc. here). This lie causes us to turn inward and withhold ourselves from the creative process. It’s a “my way or no way” kind of thinking that ultimately results in us eating our own heart. (Quick tip: except for your bookie, no one owes you anything.)

5. Risk is bad. Certainty is good. When a culture of fear emerges within an organization, whether it’s fear of failure or fear of success, it squelches personal and organizational innovation. All brilliance demands risk. It is the novelty of the connection that is the very definition of brilliance, and the closer “to the expected” an idea is the less likely it is to be brilliant.

Can you add some to the list?

Todd Henry)


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