Are you at a crossroads in your career, relationship or life choices and don’t know which direction to go? Do you fear making the wrong decision? Or does your inner critic kick in a little too quickly drowning all possible dreams?
It’s common when faced with different ideas, options or choices, for your brain to become overwhelmed. And before your creative juices get the opportunity to flow, the inner critic, negative voices or beliefs kick in. Combined with a fear of failure (and sometimes success), you start to hold back and stop yourself from achieving your full potential. All of a sudden you can think of all sorts of reasons why it’s all a bad idea.
Time to take charge?
Allowing space for your creative thinking to exist without being crushed by your inner critical voice, will help you unlock your dreams. The Disney’s Model of Creativity is a brilliant tool to help you unleash your potential.
We all know Walt Disney was a creative man, his approach to business and legacy of animation/cinematography confirms these facts. Back in the 1990’s Disney’s thinking processes, as well as those of Mozart and Aristotle, were keenly studied by Robert Dilts, one of the early pioneers of NLP’s (neuro-linguistic programming).
The result was a series of books on the ‘Strategy of Genius’, where Dilts divided the creative process into three clearly defined stages – the dreamer, the realist (or planner) and the critic. You can use this principle to help you overcome your mental paralysis, so when faced with choices, decisions etc. you can navigate yourself in the right direction.
Make your dreams fly
Essentially, for your ideas and dreams to see the light of day, you need to work through the three stages of creative brainstorming. Here’s an exercise for you to do when you find yourself unable to move forward with ideas, options or choices.
- The Dreamer – Create a space to allow your creative juices to flow without any time restrictions. Use different colour pens, post-it notes or any paper you want to capture your thoughts. Put your favourite music on and ban the realist and the critic from the room for now. Write down whatever comes to mind, even if it’s setting up the first coffee shop on the moon!
- The Realist (or planner) – With your planning hat on, look at the ideas you’ve written down and read them out loud. Are some appealing, whilst others seem more ambiguous or incomplete? Sort them into an order of preference, or groups, and start to create a logical plan of how you’ll achieve each of the ideas.
- The Critic – Time to bring in the critic to examine the plans in more detail for effectiveness and provide constructive analysis to explore what else might be needed. This may include additional training, more funds or potential pitfalls. If you need to make any adjustments, simply go back to your planning mode.
Three is better than one!
Try this tool next time you’re struggling to know what direction to take, so you can develop your creative ideas, as well as an effective action plan on how best to realise your dreams. And remember, creativity involves all three roles working together as a team.
‘Creativity as a total process involves the coordination of these three subprocesses: dreamer, realist and critic. A dreamer without a realist cannot turn ideas into tangible expressions. A critic and a dreamer without a realist just become stuck in a perpetual conflict. The dreamer and a realist might create things, but they might not achieve a high degree of quality without a critic. The critic helps to evaluate and refined the products of creativity’. Robert B. Dilts, Strategies of Genius: Volume 1
I have used this principle to develop my own ideas and often recommend it to clients who find themselves at a crossroads, whether that’s a relationship, work, family or a project. So, give it a go and clarify your thinking.
Be mindful of the critical voices that stifle your growth. If you have tried this exercise and still find yourself struggling to let go of control and that inner critic, give me a call on 0121 745 9044 to book an appointment.