The Perils of Certainty & Over-Confidence

creativity personal development Aug 08, 2018
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Certainty and confidence are over-rated and the enemies of creativity. I take some flak for asserting this, but I stand by that assertion.

Here's the deal. Creativity is about change. Creativity is about innovation. Creativity is about risk. Creativity is an act of faith driven by an impulse that things can be improved.

Creative acts are executed with the understanding that they might not work. Failure is a distinct and real possibility. And yet, you, creative being that you are, generously lean in and bravely leap into a possibility "as if" there's a better way.

Creative requires courage. The courage of conviction and the courage to step into and influence what happens next. Curiosity, coupled with courage, creates change.

Certainty and confidence, on the other hand, are tied in the tried and true and the status quo. Certainty and confidence are earned by mastering information, systems, and structures that are firmly established.

But far too often the certain and confident cling to the things they know long after they've outlived or outlasted their utility and benefit.

Look at institutional education, political parties, economics, or any social issue. You'll find plenty of confident people quite certain about systems that no longer serve anyone's true best interests.

Certainty and confidence point to "what is." Curiosity and courage point to "what can be."

It's time to shun our confidence and certainty about the virtues of certainty and confidence. The peril of certainty and confidence is that we'll remain stuck in (and with), a status quo that serves too few. What the world needs now are people who are curious and courageous. Creating new ideas, systems, and structures that seek to enhance the lives of everyone.

Time to choose. Certainty or curiosity? Confidence or courage? Your choices reflect who you are and whether we wither or prosper. Choose wisely and choose well.

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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