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

Most individuals are born creative. As children, we enjoy imaginary play, ask outlandish questions, draw blobs and refer to them as dinosaurs. But as time passes, because of socialization and formal education, many of us start to stifle those impulses. We learn to be warier of judgment, more cautious, more analytical. The world generally seems to divide into “creatives” and “noncreatives,” and many folks consciously or unconsciously resign themselves for the latter category. And yet we understand that creativity is vital to success in different discipline or industry. According to a current IBM survey of chief executives worldwide, it’s essentially the most sought-after trait in leaders today. No one can deny that creativity has allowed an upswing and continued success of numerous companies, from start-ups like Facebook and Google to stalwarts like Procter & Gamble and General Electric. Students often come to Stanford University’s “” (which was founded by certainly one of us—David Kelley—and is also formally referred to as Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) to build up their creativity. Clients work with IDEO, our design and innovation consultancy, for a similar reason. But on the way, we’ve found out that our job isn’t to teach them creativity. It’s to assist them rediscover their creative confidence—the natural power to develop new ideas along with the courage to try them out. We do this by offering them ways to work through four fears that hold most of us back: nervous about the messy unknown, nervous about being judged, anxiety about the first step, and nervous about losing control. Easier said than actually doing it, you may argue. But we all know it’s feasible 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 compilation of early experiments, he helped people conquer lifelong snake phobias by guiding them by having a compilation of increasingly demanding interactions. They would begin with watching a snake via a two-way mirror. Once more comfortable with that, they’d progress to observing it via an open door, then to watching someone else touch the snake, then to touching it themselves through a heavy leather glove, and, finally, quickly, to touching it making use of their own bare hands. Bandura calls this means of experiencing one small success after another “guided mastery.” The people who went through it weren’t just cured of an crippling fear they'd assumed was untreatable. They also had less anxiety and more success in other parts of these lives, trying out new and potentially frightening activities like horse riding and public speaking. They tried harder, persevered longer, along more resilience facing failure. They had gained a whole new confidence within their capacity to attain what you attempt to do.

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