Everyone wishes they were more creative. Even really creative people. Because there is a magical power that comes with great creative abilities. You can see things others don’t. You find opportunities in business that others miss. You can create art, music, stories, products and services that people have never seen before.
Much has been written on the subject of increasing your creativity. There is brainstorming and mindstorming and Hannah Storming activities you can do. Some people try drugs or alcohol to unlock their creativity. Which can lead to really creative ways to ruin your life. But there is one key ingredient that is guaranteed to help you, your coworkers and your family and friends think more creatively. And that’s confidence.
Creativity is about taking chances. And the more we believe in ourselves the more and bigger chances we are willing to take. The opposite is also true. When we don’t have great confidence in a particular area of our lives we play it safe. That’s why I look for confidence when I hire creative talent. (I also look to see if they are dry and secure, and if they will raise their hand…)
I saw a great example of confidence-enhanced creativity recently in my 10 year old daughter, Ava. She is a great writer if I do say so myself. And I do say it often because I want to amplify this strength. Recently her school held a writing competition. Each class would have two finalists whose writings would be judged against the best writers from the other classes to see who was the best in the entire grade.
Ava came home one day and couldn’t wait to tell me what happened in class. She said, ‘Dad, today in school the kids started talking about who they thought were going to be the two winners from my class. And everyone thought that I was going to be one of them!’ She felt like she had already won. That’s because everyone believed in her. So what happened next? A couple weeks later I ran into her handsome and talented teacher, Mr. Paul DeVigne, at a school play. He said, ‘Adam, I’ve been looking for you! (I get this a lot.) We have had a writing competition at school and Ava won for her entire grade! Now I need your permission to allow her to enter her poem in the county-wide competition.’ Boom goes the dynamite!
I am sure Ava would have written a nice piece no matter what. But the fact that her class believed in her gave her added confidence to take greater chances. And when you read the poem she wrote she clearly pushed her creativity and took bigger chances than she might have had no one considered her a viable champ.
So look for opportunities to increase confidence in yourself and others. Create easy wins, celebrate them and grow. Reward the wild ideas, the big dreams, and you’ll get bigger and wilder yet. The mind is a complicated place. But if you fill it with high octane confidence there’s no telling what great ideas will come out. Good luck. Think big. I know you will. Because you are good enough. You are smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like you.