Embrace Uncertainty to Better Boost Creativity


If you want to be creative, you can’t be certain. As a designer in the fast-paced world, the inability to make quick decisions may feel like a barrier. The industry’s relentless pursuit of what’s new and next left may make you feel left behind. However, if you want to be creative, you can’t be certain. Creativity thrives on uncertainty. When creating something new, there isn’t a clear path. Embracing the unknown is essential to the creative process. Embracing uncertainty is a superpower for boosting creativity and generating creative solutions. Here’s why:

The Will to Innovate

Creating something unprecedented means stepping into the unknown. This mindset will push you to think outside the box, even though it often brought self-doubt and feelings of impostor syndrome. Seth Godin, a writer and creative thinker, articulates this well: “Everyone who is doing important work is working on something that might not work. And when things might not work, you’re acting as if. And that makes you an imposter.” Creativity involves doing important work that might fail, and self-doubt is an inherent part of the process.

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The Courage to Pivot

The creative process is iterative. We create, receive feedback, and make changes. Sometimes, the final product looks nothing like the initial idea. This requires courage to navigate changes and uncertainty. The willingness to pivot, to constantly evaluate and adapt based on needs and markets, is crucial. Even if years of work reveal flaws or lack of market interest, it’s the courage to change direction that leads to better solutions. The time spent isn’t wasted; it’s the necessary journey to discover what doesn’t work, bringing us closer to what does.

Staying in the Question

My struggle with decision-making allows me to stay in the question longer, avoiding rushed solutions. This deeper exploration often involves revisiting research and ensuring the chosen path is correct. Over time, I’ve come to see this as beneficial. Creative problem-solving requires us to identify the right problem first and then ensure our solutions are truly effective. Staying in the problem longer allows for unexpected connections—what’s known as apophenia, finding meaning in unrelated things. This process is essential for creativity.

In creativity, uncertainty isn’t just a hurdle; it’s a vital component of the process. Embrace it, and you’ll unlock new realms of possibility.

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