Does certainty get in the way of creativity?

How much do you want to be certain about your performance? How much do you want to know that you will get everything right?

Does this get in the way of you being creative? Can you be certain and creative?

Many of you will have heard me talk about perfection and how it can get in the way of us being the best we can be, even though we think it helps us achieve more.

Perfection is a form of certainty. Recently I was reading a book on coaching and it said the phrase “Certainty can contribute to a state of paralysis & lack of creativity” and this made me think.

We think certainty might keep us safe, and often believe that uncertainty is unsafe, but what if we believed uncertainty could be safe, exciting even? What would happen to our creativity then?

Certainty, being certain of what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, and how it will be received, seems like a great idea. Unfortunately it’s also fairly unrealistic. We can’t have absolute control over what will happen in the moment, what will go well or badly, how the audience will respond, who the audience will be (even if we know who the audience will be, we won’t know what mindset they will be in, or days they will have).

More importantly, if we think about it, even if we could control these things, that would mean we couldn’t be flexible when unexpected things happen, we can’t be in the present, or create moments of beautiful, unexpected genius. Everything would be pre-planned.

The reality is that the most we can do is influence, ourselves, our audience, what happens. If we accept this, and we let go of the idea of certainty being an ideal, we can open ourselves up to being able to create those moments of unexpected genius. Those moments of real creativity and beauty.

I discussed this in more depth in a video I did live in my FB group The Fearless Performer. Here’s a copy of that video:

So here’s to a few more moments of genius in all our lives!

With much love