Want to explore a change of career, start a new relationship, expand your business or make life more exciting? But, instead of pushing forward with big changes, you find yourself stuck in a rut, unsure which direction to take?
It’s not unusual, when you’re faced with many 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/beliefs, as well as your fear of failure (and sometimes success), begin to hold you back, stopping you from achieving your full potential.
And whilst you might believe that this is because your plans are too big, or more dream-like than real, it could instead be due to unclear thinking and using a muddled approach.
Time to take charge?
Taking back charge can unlock your own future and realise your dreams. By using Disney’s Model of Creativity, you can begin to think things through in a strategic and systematic manner, so that ideas, plans and projects are clear, manageable and practical?
Of course, we know Walt Disney was a creative man, his approach to business and legacy of animation/cinematography confirms these facts. But did you realise that in the 1990’s Mr 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 realise a solid creative idea, as well as an effective action plan on how best to realise it. And remember, creativity involves all three roles working together, but in the right order.
‘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.