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Set of 2 Reclaimed Wood Sconces with Starfish-Wall | Etsy

Most people are born creative. As children, we experience imaginary play, ask outlandish questions, draw blobs and refer to them as dinosaurs. But with time, as a consequence of socialization and formal education, many people will stifle those impulses. We discover how to be warier of judgment, more cautious, more analytical. The world usually divide into “creatives” and “noncreatives,” and many folks consciously or unconsciously resign themselves towards the latter category. And yet we understand that creativity is essential to success in any discipline or industry. According to a recent IBM survey of chief executives worldwide, it’s essentially the most sought-after trait in leaders today. No one can deny that creative thinking means the rise and continued success of countless companies, from start-ups like Facebook and Google to stalwarts like Procter & Gamble and General Electric. Students often arrived at Stanford University’s “” (which has been founded by certainly one of us—David Kelley—which is formally known as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) to build up their creativity. Clients assist IDEO, our design and innovation consultancy, for similar reason. But on the way, we’ve found out that our obligation isn’t to teach them creativity. It’s to enable them to rediscover their creative confidence—the natural capability to come up with new ideas and the courage to test them out. We do this by providing them strategies to see through four fears that hold many people back: nervous about the messy unknown, nervous about being judged, nervous about step one, and fear of losing control. Easier said than done, you might argue. But we understand it’s practical for individuals to overcome even their most deep-seated fears. Consider the work of Albert Bandura, a world-renowned psychologist and Stanford professor. In one group of early experiments, he helped people conquer lifelong snake phobias by guiding them by way of a group of increasingly demanding interactions. They would start by watching a snake through a two-way mirror. Once at ease with that, they’d progress to observing it using an open door, then to watching another individual touch the snake, then to touching it themselves via a heavy leather glove, and, finally, in several hours, to touching it with their own bare hands. Bandura calls this means of experiencing one small success after another “guided mastery.” The those who underwent it weren’t just cured of your crippling fear that they had assumed was untreatable. They also had less anxiety and more success in the rest of these lives, trying out new and potentially frightening activities like riding and public speaking. They tried harder, persevered longer, together more resilience in the face of failure. They had gained a fresh confidence in their capacity to attain what you set out to do.

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