How to overcome the major barrier of the creative mind
Today I want to talk about overcoming the major psychological barrier of the creative mind, fear.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of failure.
Fear of embarrassment.
Fear of being wrong.
Fear of looking stupid.
Fear of disappointing others.
To be a really great designer, I believe you have to be willing to face these fears.
There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Those that we look up to have a track record of failure and success.
Author Seth Godin has shared “the reason that I’ve managed a modicum of success is because I just keep shipping.”
To be a great UX designer you must actively avoid the trap of spending too much time striving for perfection or accepting the various excuses that will pop up. Instead, try different things, take risks, act out of obligation to act. Ship and iterate.
Shipping is the final act of execution. It’s when you release your work. Hit publish. Send your manuscript to the publisher. Go live with your new business.
Great designers commit to always shipping regardless of success or failure.
At Amazon, the unspoken rule is if it’s 80% there, launch it. And we don’t stop there. We get it into the hands of the customer and keep iterating and improving the product.
The best way to overcome fear is by being someone who ships. We can’t control the outcome, but we can choose to consistently execute.
“Every single time we get close to shipping, every single time the manuscript is ready to send to the publisher, the lizard brain speaks up…The lizard brain says ‘They’re gonna laugh at me,’ ‘I’m gonna get in trouble…’ The lizard brain [screams] at the top of its lungs. And so, what happens is we don’t do it. We sabotage it. We hold back. We have another meeting.” – Seth Godin
Of course, it’s difficult to quiet the lizard brain. My advice:
View it as an experiment
Running experiments is a great way to overcome fear. Fear is tricky because of its ambiguous nature. But when we write out what our hypothesis is, what success and failure look like, the duration, costs and so on, the negative emotions start to fall to the side.
Albert Einstein remained unfazed by failed experiments due to his embrace of the scientific process, unwavering determination, and the belief that failures provided valuable lessons for future endeavors.
Failed experiments or setbacks are the stepping stones to success.
James Dyson didn’t stop at prototype 1,389. He created 5,127 prototypes, to reach the first bagless vacuum.
Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company estimated that he and his team built and tested over 15,000 prototypes of the Model T before reaching the final version.
Thomas Edison famously said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." His journey to creating a commercially viable light bulb involved relentless trial and error.
Philo Farnsworth, credited with inventing the electronic television, estimated that he created and tested over 200 different versions of his television design before achieving success.
Be methodical about your work. Write out what your experiment is. Whether it’s a design challenge or a people challenge, start experimenting to find the best solution. Then after the experiment has run its course, examine the results, note what worked, what didn’t work, the next steps.
The price we should happily pay for great design is having a lot of failures along the way.
Get comfortable with the risk of failure, such comfort is the key to being able to execute and create great work.
→→ Download my *free* Experiment Worksheets HERE
Favorite Quote and Photo of the Week
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. — Mark Twain
Support the newsletter
If you enjoy my content, here’s how you can help support me:
Like or comment on this post 💛
Reply with a question or topic you’d like covered
Forward it to a friend and recommend that they subscribe
Share it with your network
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading!
→→ Download my free Experiment Worksheets HERE
Until next week,
Thanks for reading Secrets to Great UX Design! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.