"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things."
- Theodore Levitt, economist and professor at Harvard Business School
Have you felt like you are stuck on repetitive doing but to no fruitful outcome? Have you felt like everything is happening in your mind and not anywhere else? Have you been trapped in a cycle of repeated patterns of thoughts and actions and you feel you are not growing?
I often feel like that - lost, confused, unmotivated, resigned, frustrated, helpless, a failure, stuck.
When starting out my business, I had just finished the website, and was caught up in endless mind-masturbation of thinking up products and questioning their purpose. I was praying for clarity and purpose and that was all wrapped in my head. I kept asking myself what's next? Is this really for me? Or is this just a hobby gig. I have to this point, just a handful of readers, mostly friends who support me, in whom I am grateful.
Digging my grave and rising from it
This mental rumination is like a cyclical grave for me. I go through this endless pursuit in my mind until finally, something shifts. It is like enough of it! This is when while testing a submission form on the website, which was giving me technical issues, something sparked.
I created a new identity for myself that I could feel hopeful about, and that I new was at least not untrue. In fact, I could think of past experiences to substantiate some truth in my identity as "I am a Creative Innovator".
With this new identity, it almost seemed like I was reshaping my negative beliefs about failure. It gave me hope, that by innovating (experimenting), it was expected to fail, and I could just keep thinking and doing new ways to make my work better.
I looked back into my past negative beliefs and repeated cognitive distortions about myself and how I would get myself stuck and thinking like I wasn't good enough, or that I was a failure.
Yet as written in the Kensho and Satori cycle of growth from pain and inspiration, the feeling stuck led me too far into inner darkness that I had to think something new in my mind to snap out of the rut. I recall the headache from the hangover next day (I drink to find ways to control the situation, and console myself), the idea flashed in my mind. I can be a Creative Innovator!
I searched for past events which I did well in, the smallest things like tweaking simple air fryer recipes to help speed up the meal prep for my kid before school, and the events at work when I tried something new, some didn't work, some did! I reflected on the wins of just having the website the way it is and the tools I tried to get some functions to work. The approach to failure changed. I almost welcomed it.
Failure gave me the pause, to reflect on how a Creative Innovator would look upon this situation, and act on it.
I began to view failure as a momentary awareness in the Guest House. This being a failure brought tons of wisdom. I'm not good enough also means I desire and can do something different to change things. Failure means the space to review, time to discern, the kick in the ass to act!
So I am on a roll, I do not know what will happen to this gig turned personal mission and venture, I am just doing me - create, innovate, enjoy the process!