Creativity and fear of failure

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I recently stumbled upon this talk on the excellent TED site: Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity.

In the talk, Sir Ken Robinson discusses how we ‘unlearn’ creativity by becoming scared to fail. Coincidentally, I found myself thinking something like that a few days prior to watching the talk. I realised that I was scared to do anything that was ‘sub-standard’ and this was prohibiting me from practicing and developing new skills.

As the old adage goes, though, ‘don’t run before you can walk’, and this is something I keep having to remind myself.

I see other people doing fantastic work and take great inspiration from what other people create, but I also feel disheartened to know that I can’t produce what they do. I have come to accept that I don’t have to follow other people’s approaches. Creativity is about doing things for yourself in a way that pleases you.

Oft-imitated Illustrator/doodler Jon Burgerman summed it up quite nicely in a recent issue of Computer Arts magazine.

“Maybe there is some sort of doodle style, but the way I draw is just the way that I draw… I always assumed that I drew in a very bad way.”

If you try to imitate others from the off, you will only end up frustrated. Just do what makes you happy and keep doing it.

One Response to “Creativity and fear of failure”

  1. EightyOne » Blog Archive » More on fear of failure Says:

    [...] a good example of the point I was trying to illustrate in my last post, from The 40-30-30 Rule: Why Risk Is Worth It. Only by trying something new, struggling, learning, [...]

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