Mindfulness and Creativity
Where are we now?
In a study conducted by Adobe (the graphics software company) found that 75% of the respondents felt that they were not living up to their creative potential. While another study conducted by Fast Company found that 60% of CEO’s say that creativity is the most important skill for an employee.
Companies are recognizing that when employees are allowed to be more creative the company benefits. Keep in mind that creativity is not something that resides exclusively in the arts world. Creativity is useful for any job especially when applied to problem solving.
What restricts creativity @work?
So why do many people feel they are not living up to their creative potential? A study conducted by Dong I Jung found that several managerial methods can decrease one’s ability and motivation to be more creative. As it turns out fear of failure limited people’s desire to try new approaches because of their fear of negative judgement and assessments for their managers.
All too often when ideas come up that may be helpful to a team or company, employees censor themselves by discounting their ideas as worthy of discussion. Fear of embarrassment and insecurity about their ability to make a difference are 2 reasons preventing them from speaking up.
Mindfulness Improves Creativity and Innovation
Mindfulness practices foster several skill that can counter these limiting stories and allow employees to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. Managers can also learn to be less judgmental and dismissive and give more time to investigating and evaluating different ideas. Through Mindfulness we learn skills such as non-judgement and acceptance. We see ideas as just that; ideas. We release the need to equate a bad idea with self-worth of ourselves or others. We shift from a stance of failure when things do not turn out optimally to a stance of feedback; learning and improving from what has happened. This shift changes our approach altogether and unleashes our creative potential. Mindfulness also teaches us that starting over is OK. When we experience set-backs we can begin again. We can try a different approach and we can move forward again and again, improving along the way.
Allowing ourselves and others to experiment, play around, think out of the box without the fear of getting the “failure” label frees us from that limiting self-talk and allows creativity to flourish.
The great news is that these skills and approaches are teachable. It all starts with being more Mindful of what is happening around us and within us.
Let us help you roll out a Mindfulness strategy to get your companies creative juices flowing.