Once upon a time I thought creative people carried around an unruly tray of paints and drank a lot of red wine whilst swilling around wild ideas. It took me a long time to understand that that stereo-type had been conveniently constructed in my mind to eliminate me from that category. How could I be creative? I am a serious business woman. Right! Seriously!
And as long as I continued to believe that I found it very difficult to understand why I would have highs of talking about incredible ideas (note, not being creative) followed by troughs of making them happen. Or, not bothering to make them happen because that was all too boring (Oh, sorry! I mean the funding didn’t come through, I’ve run out of energy, it’s not the right time blah blah)
There are SO many reasons to avoid the doing stage but over time I’ve come to understand why people avoid it so vehemently and as a result why so many incredible ideas get shelved. IT’S HARD ! And it’s not just the notion of hard work, it’s also the phase of decision making, letting go, committing…
The action stage is reality.
In the doing phase the idea is drawn from a fluffy, safe cloud and drawn down into the cold light of day. You can’t hide in the doing stage. There’s potential for difficult conversations, putting your money where your mouth is, shedding, losing face, failing… failing majorly.
For me embracing the notion of being a creative being was about more than buying a pair of purple shoes. It was also about realising that I need the time and space to get lost in ideas as much as I need to prepare myself for the focus and discipline of doing. Allowing myself to spend time in both space, and understanding that I can’t do both simultaneously was an incredibly important part of my learning journey.
If you’re finding it difficult to move into the doing phase chances are you are also a closet creative. Here are some ideas to help you get out there:
* Keep a giant piece of paper on your office wall for ideas – or keep your ideas in a beautiful journal. Whenever a new idea tickles your brain space quickly write it down and promise it you’ll give it attention at the right time
* Make time in your week for dreaming / working up new ideas. Schedule the time in your diary
* Have ideas friends who you can spend time with dreaming up big ideas
* Commit to action – have a deep understanding of why you need to achieve your goals
* Engage someone to hold you to account regarding your actions
* Notice when your mind is wandering and ask yourself what you need. Is it a new idea to dump into your ideas file (journal or paper) – or are you tired?
* Prepare yourself to move into a phase of action. Go in well rested with set goals and a simple understanding of what is enough (or, your KPIs if you like)
* Follow up your time of action with a phase of ideas – a day of new thinking; time out etc.
* Go easy on yourself. Moving from ideas to action is not always easy. Be aware of your internal conflict and notice if it’s feeling difficult and address it.
Image sourced from: Inspiration Feed