Showdown: Creativity Faces Fear

creative cultivation
Creativity is superficial unless it comes from knocking on the door of the forbidden or the unknown. The only ideas that have the power to make a change are ones that stare uncertainty in the face. Reaching such depth is probably the biggest challenge of the creative thinker.

Facing fears means identifying them. Once this is accomplished, the fear shrinks. But humans, with infinite potential, uncover new ones. When viewed as creative tools, the unknown (and the questions that result) become rudders—they push towards the truly original.

No one understands the relationship between fears and creativity more than Gail McMeekin. She contributes this exploration into the wilderness of idea-making:

Face Your Fears by Gail McMeekin
Fear blocks creativity because it keeps you from exploring. Fear of failure keeps you from an experimental mindset where failure is expected as new information. Fear of being wrong or criticized clips your creative wings. Therefore you learn to play it safe, cease taking risks, and stop the flow of creative solutions. However, while most people are educated in a school system that advocates one right answer, today’s workplace requires you to invoke new answers. The entrepreneurial mind innovates and makes up solutions. When you face your fears, you can advance beyond them. What frightens you most about expressing your creativity? Write down these perceptions so you can see them:



glass collection of Liane SebastianEvaluate the past. What creative traumas still hold power over you? What person(s) criticized your ideas and actions? How did you react? What do you think now?


glass collection of Liane SebastianTackle your internal critic. What do you fear from this nagging voice—your own or others?


glass collection of Liane SebastianAcknowledge your fear. Fear is a component of risk and risking is essential to creativity. All writers and artists and business people acknowledge fear. You will never be free of it but you can minimize it and strategize around it or make it work for you as a way to keep growing.


glass collection of Liane SebastianStay true to your self. Whenever you accomplish something, you become vulnerable to criticism. Leaders are often controversial and therefore targets for someone’s arrow. Are you living your life for them or for yourself?


glass collection of Liane SebastianFind antidotes for fears. Mentors, support groups, classes, coaches, readings, etc. all offer support systems which can undo demons from the past. Figure out what solutions will most help your fear stay in the background where
it belongs.


glass collection of Liane SebastianBuild a nurturing environment. Where do you do your best thinking? Where does your inner self feel most daring and alive?


glass collection of Liane SebastianSubtract what interferes. Excavate your creative saboteurs. Examine patterns in the things, people, places, activities, or thoughts that diminish your creative energy. From this list, what can you remove to free up more creative space?


glass collection of Liane SebastianRestructure your lifestyle and diligently cultivate your intuitive knowledge, nurturing its creative offshoots. Enjoy the new and exciting adventures that will result.


Your intuition is a valuable asset; you can’t afford to have it compromised by clutter, other people’s needs, or busyness. Even if you only find time to write in your journal or sit quietly for fifteen minutes a day, you are connecting with your intuition. Preserve and use these messages and insights.

See more contributions from Gail:
[Returning to one of the best writers on creativity (see my
previous blog), Gail McMeekin, says]
The Focus of Variety

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer


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