Is your creativity important, unimportant or both?

February 19, 2016 - 4:46 pm

In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about a paradox of creativity — that it has to be both important and unimportant.

True. Because when we’re in the middle of a creative endeavor — be it making an art piece, planning an event or diving into a project — creativity can be and frequently should be the most important thing in the world at that moment.

But when it comes to worrying if our ideas and creative efforts will be laughed it or rejected, those concerns have to be unimportant — otherwise, we become¬† risk-adverse and unimaginative.

To live a creative life, we must forever value the importance of creativity. Yet at the same time, we can’t take our creative undertakings so seriously that we live in fear of making mistakes and being wrong.

“A big mistake people make is to start visualizing the criticism or the feedback while they’re still generating ideas,” says Robert Epstein, former editor of Psychology Today. “That can shut you right down.”

“You really have to believe in what you are doing.Devote yourself to it 100 percent and be prepared to take a few hits along the way. If you go into something expecting it to fail, nine times out of 10, it will.”¬† Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder

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