Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Courage and Creativity

Previous blogs have looked at vision and reality as aspects of the creative character. Another aspect of the creative character is courage.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. Ambrose Redmoon
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. Alan Cohen
Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. Dorothy Thompson

What is courage?
In a review of the book The Courage to Create by Rollo May, psychologist Stephen Diamond comments, "Creativity always requires taking a chance on one's self... and moving ahead despite self-doubts, discouragement and anxiety. Courage, as May makes clear, is “not the absence of insecurity, fear, anxiety or despair, but resides in the decision to move through these feelings as constructively or creatively as possible." Courage has no switch that one can turn on or off at a whim. Cultivating courage is more of a discipline, or a moment-to-moment, day-by-day practice.

Why is courage important?
Courage requires that we step beyond our zone of comfort and expand beyond our current capabilities or ways of doing things. This is why it can seem so frightening. Creativity requires courage.
We can develop more courage in a number of ways:
§ Being honest with yourself and others. When you give integrity away, you do not have it anymore. It is at times easier to compromise our integrity than to have the courage to do what we believe is right. Taking a creative path through life can require great courage.
§ Acting on your values
§ Taking some pride in your achievements. This can pull you to do things in a manner that elicits courage and excellence, helping you to overcome low hurdles and large obstacles.
§ Practice daily acts of courage by stepping out of your comfort zone.

More ways to develop courage are to be found in my book - The Creative Edge - Putting life into your creativity - Putting creativity into your life.

If you would like to purchase the book - in pdf form on disc - you can order a copy from me or from the Creative Skills Training Council $NZ15 plus $NZ5 postage and packaging anywhere in the world. Pay by PayPal.

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