Loving Your Ho-hum Ideas



Do I actually love my ho-hum ideas? 

Not really but I’m learning to embrace them as the creative opportunity that they are.

I know no one likes looking stupid (particularly in front of peers) but the fear that your idea might not be “good enough” keeps you quiet and second guessing rather than letting that idea grow.  And if you’re staying schtum, well, it’s lovely to keep your idea tucked away but not exactly productive.

You’ll notice this fear in play when you’re suddenly nervous about telling others your idea or when you decide to just keep it to yourself FOREVER.

I get it.  When I’m pitching an idea to someone I really admire I can get super squirrelly. Which is ridiculous! I don’t exactly lack confidence and I have been known on occasion to have great ideas – so what’s going on?

The fear of being judged or criticised that’s what. And how is this squirrelly, staying schtum nonsense contributing to a juicy, creative life? Surprise!  It’s not.

So here’s the thing – your idea might be a bit crappy. But instead of angsting about whether your idea is good, bad or ugly, why not just reframe it in your head as a creative starting point instead of allowing your fear of “not good enough” cripple your creative output?

Here’s how you can wrestle that fear to the ground and make your ho-hum ideas work for you.

Give Yourself Some Perspective:

Everybody has crappy ideas. You’re allowed to have them too. The world probably won’t fall off its axis because your idea is a bit average. And while I’m not suggesting you blert out every idea that comes into your head – realise it’s just an idea and an idea is just a starting point. And you’ll have more than one, right? As Edward de Bono so eloquently put it –

“It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.”

Pitch It in Private:

Before you go public, be brave and try out your idea on someone who will be direct with you. Be sure to articulate your anxiety – as in – is it a bit boring? Is it a bit same old, same old? Is it just plain crazy? If your fears are confirmed then you have an opportunity to improve it. Chances are you’ll end up with a better idea. Even better you might learn that it’s actually pretty good.

Make Enquires:

Ask yourself – if this idea is a bit ordinary, which element could I change to improve it? Is it the starting point for a whole new idea? Which elements do I think work and want to keep? If it’s really bad – what have I learnt about my process?

Let Your Idea Be the Spark That Lights Someone Else Up:

I have seen this happen so many times!  Sometimes your bad or average idea leads the way to great ideas from others. (And personally I’d rather be seen as a contributor than someone who offers nothing to the group.) Sometimes it can spark the answer to making your idea much, much better.

Have a Laugh at Your Own Expense:

If you happen to come up with something that you just know is rubbish. Take a minute to join the human race and have a quiet smile about it how very bad it is.  Beating yourself up for not being amazing all the time just makes creative thinking too hard. I’ve seen workshop participants in hysterics about their terrible ideas. Being imperfect can be pretty funny. And I particularly like this quote.

“Laughter is poison to fear.” Thanks, George R.R. Martin

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