Creative exercise: take a risk today

When an entrepreneur starts a new business endeavor, they are taking a risk, are they not?

When an artist first puts their brush or pen against the canvas, they too are taking a risk. When a writer sends her book off to a publisher and when a poet stands in front of an audience to read their latest work, they’re facing risks as well.

In-fact: if you want to be creative, you’re going to have to take a risk and likely do something that scares or intimidates you.

The best creators are those who face risks and dive head-first into uncertainty. As the Jonathan Fields writes: “One of the single greatest determinants of high-level success as an innovator or creator in any realm is the ability to manage and at times even seek out sustained high levels of uncertainty, bundled lovingly with risk of loss and exposure to criticism.”

Try this exercise, right now: on a piece of paper or on your computer or iPad, write a list of 10 things you’re afraid of doing right now in your life. It can be asking someone out, or proposing a new project at work, or a change you’ve been thinking of making. Anything.

Then, read through the list twice, and step away from it for five minutes. After the five minutes are up, go back to the list and pick one (just one) of the items, and do that one thing today.

You may be frightened, your nerves may be shaken, but to try new things is to be creative. That’s what this is all about, remember? Get out there and try that one thing today. If it goes well, tomorrow you can try another item on the list.

Remember that the likelihood of facing that fear ending in failure or embarrassment is just as likely as it ending in success.

Again, to quote Jonathan Fields: “Of all variables, the easiest to quantify is often the magnitude and impact of failure…But the odds and magnitude of success are near impossible to define.”

Realistically the odds are with you. So face that fear, be creative, explore.

Photo by Ibrahim Lujaz.