I don’t know about you, but my internal worry machine is capable of manufacturing worries like a fake spider factory on a Halloween deadline. And yet, I’m posting today and not worrying about it. This intentional departure is a deviation from the usual second guessing and “what ifs” that can make up a significant portion of my inner chatter.
I've been unravelling the worry habit for years. My coaching clients struggle with it; many, even though they wouldn't call themselves "creative," are using gobs of imaginative thinking.
The creative mind is prone to worry.
The good news is that the “what if" mind is imaginative and generative—picturing possibilities and conjuring scenarios. Creative thinking always involves, “What if?” What if I combine these ingredients in the sauce? What if we make a phone that’s small enough to carry everywhere? What if people could fly?
Creativity is great until you combine that fertile imagination with fear:
“What if I try and then fail?”
“What if I can’t manage all my To Dos?”
“What if the interviewer asks me something I don’t know?”
“What if I miss the train?”
“What if what I want isn’t possible?”
Fear begets avoidance, procrastination, lethargy, confusion, overreaction or impulsiveness. Which begets scrambling about for solutions to problems that don't yet exist. Which becomes a habitual way of dealing. Creativity in the service of what exactly?
Here's a new What if question for you...
What if you saw worrying as creativity gone off track? How would you approach your worry habit?