The humble creative

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You’re stuck, but you’re a professional so this is a peculiar situation, isn’t it?

You know how to write the words, or move the brush, or play the tune. You’ve done it at least one hundred times in the past. So why are you stuck?

One reason, the most common reason, is because you’re afraid. Afraid of what comes next. Afraid of failing. Afraid to set out on your own path and explore new possibilities.

Another reason, the less common but slightly more dangerous one, is that you’ve escaped humility. As a result, you’ve lost touch with what it means to be creative.

Creativity is about not knowing. It’s about embracing the fact that you know less than you think you do. It’s about finding new answers, even when you’re convinced you know them all.

When we’re humble, creativity is easy: it’s asking questions and pursuing the answers.

On the other hand: when we are convinced that we already know the answers, that our work is as good as it gets, that we’re the expert and we’re the ones who do it right, we miss an opportunity to do our best work.

We get stuck as a result.

We’ve convinced ourselves that we should know the answer to any question, the solution to any problem. So when we encounter an even slightly unfamiliar situation (where we can improvise and pursue creative answers) we stutter, we flop about, and we do fail.

If you want to be the best creative you can be, stay humble.

Sparked by a recent reminder in my own life to be humble with my work.

Read this next: To be more creative, question what you know you know