It is impossible to be sad while thinking about happy things. Likewise, you cannot conceive of a bold new thought while simultaneously being paralyzed by every conceivable thing that could be wrong with it.

I’ll let you in on a secret. Even the best creatives feel fear because it is the natural response to the act of creation. First, there is nothing and at the end, there must be something. Scary!

The thing is that ideas are social creatures. When they gather together, they multiply. So a great idea is usually the bastard offspring of a few crazy, awkward or dumb ideas. When you start from a place of fear, you’ll turn a lot of them away because they make you uncomfortable. It’s not smart to limit your gene pool like that.

You must signal to ideas that it’s safe to come out and play. That can only be done from a place free of judgment and trepidation.


Here’s another secret. You don’t need to have actual courage. You just need to convince yourself that you do. You can be scared witless by loads of ideas and still be good at attracting them. You just need to work on your poker face. Sometimes pretending to be brave is as good as the genuine article. Sometimes faking creative courage is enough to make you believe it’s real.

Ideas can’t tell the difference between friend and faux.