At one time or another, each of us faces a challenging situation in our professional or personal life that opens the door to all of our doubts and insecurities.
It may come in the form of being passed over for a promotion or a team member ridicules our work or maybe we are being blamed for missing an important deadline. These moments often beg us to rethink how we went about our routines and how we may have added our personal touch to our decisions and actions.
We may even ask ourselves:
- “Where did I go wrong?”
- “Why did I approach the situation that way?”
- “When will I be seen for the leader I am?”
Those questions are beyond unhelpful. Instead we need to take a healthy look inside of us and ask:
- “Did I create the best outcome I could?”
- “Did I present my strongest and most creative product?”
- “Am I projecting my authentic self?”
In her mesmerizing book, Big Magic- Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert argues that when we dump our fears and remain committed to our decisions without constant worry, we are able to create well-crafted outcomes.
“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures,” Gilbert writes.
Here are seven ways to dump fears and remain commited to crete leadership success:
1. KNOW YOUR WORTH
If we allow everyone around us to decide if we are capable or strong enough in our field, we will spin in a circle. We can’t give others the power to dictate our worth; only we should be determining that. If we don’t receive the promotion we so deserve, we can definitely present our case to persuade a change in the decision. But if that doesn’t work, we can’t let it derail our career or make us think less of ourselves. We need to rethink our next move.
2. LEAVE PERFECTION BEHIND
According to Elizabeth Gilbert: “In order to stay in the game, you must let go of your fantasy of perfection. We don’t have time for perfect.” To be a creative leader we recognize when to stop re-doing and just taking action.
- Striving for perfection can often lead us empty handed at the end
- Perfection is really a myth and should be deleted from our vocabulary
- Imperfection means we are human
- Perfection can delay our deadlines and derail our commitments
3. DON’T WORRY WHAT OTHERS THINK
Of course we need to be aware of what our team members and colleagues think, but not at the expense of not creating the work we choose to create. When we find ourselves overly concerned with how others judge our choices or decisions, then it’s time to put some blinders on. One of my favorite sayings to myself when outside noise is getting me down is: “So what.”
4. BE CURIOUS
Another one of Elizabeth Gilbert’s strategies to staying creative and in the flow, is to turn fear into curiosity. Instead of becoming paralyzed with anxiety if we feel uncertain of how to proceed. Swap being frightened for learning more about the issues. If a team member is ridiculing you, explore why this is happening. Maybe you are part of their frustration and don’t even realize it. If the project you are working on seems dull and missing some energy, figure out what to change.
5. HAVE THE COURAGE TO FOLLOW YOUR CHOICES
Taking a risk with our creative endeavors can feel uncomfortable but think about the flip side of not trying.
- We may not see our greatest work
- We aren’t being honest of what we can possibly contribute
- We may be letting our team down
- We aren’t following through on our vision
Just remember to stay disciplined and not give up easily when things get tough.
6. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO MAKE CHANGES
Yes we are allowed to change our minds and change our direction! If we feel ourselves being drawn towards a different path, walk forward and try it. If we see a project isn’t playing out with the data you received, find new information. If we need to add a different department’s perspective, just reach out and ask.
7. NO NEED TO REINVENT THE WHEEL
Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the difference between authenticity and originality. She claims nothing is really original and that when we add our unique perspective to a creative choice, we are making it authentically “us”. So don’t be afraid to piggy-back or expand on an idea that you have already heard or read about. In the end, you are you and your creative juices cultivate authenticity.
How do you add creativity to your leadership? Do any of these strategies resonate with you?
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