Creativity and the “F”-word. Strange Bedfellows.

I have this deck of cards.  It’s called the “Creative Whack Pack”, by Roger von Oech, the guy who brought you A Whack on the Side of the Head and other creativity-enhancing products and methods.  You open up the pack, ask a question or state a place in which you’re stymied, then pick a card, sort of like with Tarot.  But instead of finding an obscure reference about your life, you get a mini-whack to your process.  It could be a whack to your frame of reference, your starting place, or to the way you go about approaching the problem.

I really liked the idea of these cards when I bought them.  Perhaps you bought them, also…  or maybe you will.  After all, we all need a whack on the side of the head once in a while.

The interesting thing is… I don't use the cards. And I never have!

What's up with that?

(Wait!  News flash! I just lost 3 paragraphs because I was working online and hit a combination of keystrokes which took me away from the page I was on… and, naturally, I hadn’t saved my work recently enough prior to hitting that keystroke.  Now, as you might guess, I’m working offline.  While I could use this creative opportunity to write an article on the smart use of technology, I will leave it to you to stop for a moment and make sure you have saved your work.  And backed up your work.  And your hard drive!   And hey, when you’re finished, please come back and finish reading this article, which now continues.)

So this is what’s up with that.  Fear. 

I am afraid that if I use one of those cards, it will shift something that will force me to go back to the start of this page, or the start of today, or this project.  Or maybe even my career!

Yeah, I know this feels like a stretch, but go along with me for a bit.  Because there is this place where I feel like a fraud.  Where I feel like not only don’t I know what I’m talking about, but that I don’t do good work.  That my coaching is lackluster, that my clients don’t benefit from working with me.  And just perhaps I need to start all over again, build up my expertise in a different field, or go get a real job.

Perhaps you share this feeling of being fraud.

If so, I’m wondering where it holds you back.  What aren’t you producing or publishing or saying?

Please write me or leave a comment. Share with others how this shows up in your work, what you’ve learned about this particular “demon,” and how to circumvent it or at least temporarily put it out of commission.  You don't have to be a student or a professor to contribute. We'll all thank you for it.

To Your Success –

-Steve Reiter
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  1. Annegret

    I think feeling like a fraud has everything to do with not being able to meet your own expectations of perfection. You know what the best thing is to do, but you can't actually do that… so you feel inadequate about what you are doing. How adequate is actually good enough for everyone else?