For eighteen months of my life, I trained for a half-marathon.
I told people about the half-marathon I'd do, I bought new running shoes, I got a running plan - I did everything right. But I never ran a race - because I never committed to it! I would do everything apart from registering for the event, because that was a step that seemed to big.
One Christmas Day, I got a card from a friend. When I opened it, it simply said, "Enjoy the race!". They had paid for my registration into an upcoming half-marathon - and that was when I began to take the training seriously.
The hardest part of almost any endeavour is the first step. That is because taking the first step requires a change from your normal patterns, and it involves committing to something new and unknown. Taking the leap into the mysterious future can be a very fearful exercise.
Every person I have talked to who has gone bungee jumping talks about how much they loved the experience of falling towards the ground and then bouncing back into the sky. When asked about the hardest part it's always - "Taking the leap off the edge". It's an activity that they could physically do easily - but stepping off the platform into the unknown is a fearful step.
With creativity in your workplace, you probably have a lot of excellent ideas. As long as they just remain ideas, you are stuck at the edge of the bungee platform. For an excellent idea to become a creative innovation - you have to take action and get started. The project ahead may seem daunting and even scary - but as you begin to make your idea a reality, more ideas will flourish and your creative confidence will increase.
Consultancy and training in this area is available, but here are a couple of tips to get you started.
Jump in Tandem
Creativity often happens best in small teams. It is here that new connections can be made and fears can be discussed together.
Very rarely will you have the entire skill-set necessary to make your idea into a reality, so having a creatively active team around you is essential to your success. Find a colleague who will be up for an adventure, and then begin to share your ideas with them. Most of the time, you will discover they have a wealth of creative ideas themselves, which you can both begin taking steps on to make them a reality.
When you have a date that a project must be completed by, you can often surprise yourself with your productivity and your creativity in this time. Often, we think that we should leave creative ideas to linger, thinking time will help them develop naturally. Instead, giving yourself a tight deadline will force you to stop simply thinking, and start acting.
Tom and David Kelley, from IDEO, tell their employees, "Don't get ready, get started!". If you're standing behind the start-line with some of your creative ideas - sound the starter's gun yourself, and start turning ideas into reality.