creative process

Fear versus Caution

Is fear crippling your business?

Fear is a primal emotion associated with a low level of consciousness. Some people think fear is an important part of our survival. It’s not. Caution is what’s important. Caution and fear are not the same. We survive in spite of fear, not because of it.

Fear shuts down our executive function—our ability to think and make decisions. Fear causes paralysis, kills creativity, and limits our growth.

People who operate from fear are unhappy. Businesses that operate from fear may survive, but they never thrive.

Caution means that you’re aware of potential pitfalls and take precautions when necessary. Caution keeps us alert. Caution doesn’t tangle us up in a web of emotions like fear does. Caution doesn’t hinder our ability to stay relaxed and focused. We can be cautious and still think and act with reason and accountability.

Fear can be pervasive within any person or business. When fear becomes our default position to act, think, talk, and make decisions, we are debilitated.

Caution is used only when needed, like after a fruitful brainstorm where many ideas are created. Caution helps Black Hat your ideas, searching for the potential pitfalls you missed in the idea generation stage of the creative process. In fear, creative ideas are rarely discovered.

Let go of fear and utilize caution when appropriate. The benefits you’ll reap are beyond measure.


Harness the Full Force of the Creative Process With These Four Powerful Archetypes

OVERVIEW: This guide provides a unique framework for understanding the creative process and effectively using it to create inspiring work.

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What is the creative process?

Google the “creative process” and you’ll eventually come to an English political scientist and psychologist named Graham Wallas.

In his 1926 classic, The Art of Thought, Wallas summarized the creative process in four basic stages:

  1. Preparation: The mind prepares for the creative solution, which requires study and thinking intently on the subject—whether it be a musical composition, a new invention, a mathematical formula, or a business dilemma.
  2. Incubation: A germination period follows. The person steps away from the problem and takes up some form of activity like daydreaming, walking, or meditating.
  3. Illumination: Often as a flash, a brilliant idea shoots across the mind, frequently during a mundane task or while one is involved with something else.
  4. Verification: The idea is tested to determine its validity. The composition is scored; the mathematical formula, proven.

Although variations of this creative process were developed over the last century, Wallas’ four-stage framework remains.

As creative professionals, how can we use this framework to create our best work?

The answer: Adopt the patterns of behavior associated with each stage of the creative process.

Let me explain …

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