It’s a new year which is full of excitement and possibility. It is funny how the flip of the calendar can cause a flip in our approach to life, work, relationships, and opportunities.

I think one of the best things we can do as creative leaders is to find ways to extend these emotions around the new year as far into the year as possible! There are habits you have that you need to adjust to keep your creativity full of hope. My guess is we all have times when these bad habits can slip into our worlds.

The first habit that can impede our best creative efforts is creating and evaluating simultaneously. Creating is about wonder, surprise, looking forward, problems solving and the “what if”. Evaluation tends to drift more critical by nature. That’s not a bad thing it is just a reality. To make your best stuff, you have to stay in the creative mode as long as possible and until you find the right idea! Once you that right idea start to execute it like crazy. Save evaluation for when the creative process is complete.

Don’t be a follower! Listen to wisdom and best practices but stay true to who God created you to be, what He called you to do, and how you are creating. Creativity is about forging new paths not just following others templates. No one is ever going to be as good a version of you as you can be and, you will never be a good version of someone else. Your version, creation, road to success is going to be determined by the work you do, the toolbox you bring, and the experiences you have had. No one can counterfeit that so lean into it!

It is probably wise for you to go ahead and accept that failure is part of the process and that the fear of failure is going to cripple you if you don’t get comfortable with the idea. The more significant the challenge the more significant the chance to fail. A few years ago we did 2 videos that could have been COMPLETE failures…instead they became the 2 biggest videos of our year. Reward requires risk and you have to be comfortable with the fact that sometimes failing is part of the process. We don’t learn much from success but our best lessons are taught in failure.

Life is not clean! It usually is a hot mess. So maybe we should stop trying to pretend everything is clean. Some weeks are amazing and some suck. Great creative ideas often emerge from the chaos of the mess. Lean into the mess and the chaos and pay attention to what is happening!

God called you to be creative. You have never really fit in, why would that start now? You are never going to be 100% sure. That’s good. Lean into the confidence of who God made you to be and what He called you to do. This is your time.

On the times we do fail, and it will happen, are we going to let it keep us down? We have to have the courage not to lay down when we get hit, but get back up and go back to work. People, will tell you things won’t work, keep going. Failure is going to happen, keep creating!

We always have to remember that limits are usually false. Limits just show us where the boundaries of the canvas exist. Create like crazy inside of them and use them to your advantage. Leverage limits to make you your absolute best!

So just a few thoughts on habits that could keep us from being our best creatively. Is there anything you would add that is a habit you know you need to break in 2018?

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