In this Facebook LIVE clip, Ankush speaks with renowned coach Steve Chandler on the subject of creativity. Steve is the author of dozens of books including the bestsellers Crazy Good and Time Warrior. They speak about how we are all born creative and how we can wake up to this fact.
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Waking Up to Your Own Creativity – Full Transcript
[00:00:00.00] Ankush: So, hello Facebook, Steve and I are back for another Facebook Live. We did one last Monday on ‘Waking up versus Growing Up.’ And today we’ve got a different topic, and the topic is: ‘Waking Up to Your Own Creativity.’ So, I’m looking forward to this Steve, I hope you are too.
[00:00:28.19] Steve: I hope I am.
[00:00:30.22] Ankush: We’re trying to be a little bit more professional today, we’ve got a backup plan and we’re making sure that we don’t have us, trying to swivel round and me using my phone, although that was good fun. We’re set up so that you can all see us okay. I can see already we’ve got a bunch of people joining us on this live, if you’re watching, say hello and we’ll just give everyone a wave. I don’t know why my screen is looking very blue, so.
[00:01:10.26] Steve: Don’t change a thing, you look like the album, the Miles Davis album cover, ‘Kind of Blue.’
[00:01:21.00] Ankush: I’ll have to take your word for it. I’m sure that’s a good thing, Steve.
[00:01:29.01] Steve: It is, it’s a great thing.
[00:01:33.17] Ankush: Fantastic, right we’ve got a few people here and we’re going to keep this nice and short, so, I think we’ll just crack on with it, and the title today is, ‘Waking up to your own Creativity.’ So, I’ve made a few notes of things that we might talk about, but, I’m going to kind of pass it over to you, because I know this was something you’ve been talking about to coaches recently, to Steve, in the school that you run. So, I’m kind of curious to see what you’ve been talking about with regards to creativity?
[00:02:12.24] Steve: Well I mean all people Ankush, not just coaches, but anyone out there in the world creating a business, creating a relationship, creating a new way of relating inside the company they’re working in, what I find adult humans shut down their innate God-given creativity, and when you watch little children, they create fearlessly, constantly. You give a kid a pad of paper and some crayons or paints, and they jump right in, but if we took a room full of grown-ups, gave them the same pad of paper, and crayons, and said, ‘okay, you’ve got 15 minutes, do your best, let’s go.’ There would be so much nervousness and hesitation, people would say, ‘you know I can’t do this, I’m not good at this, I don’t draw,’ or, ‘you’re not going to want to see what I do.’
Now what’s happening here is profound, because what people have done is shut themselves off to creativity that could be expressing itself all day long, and coaches do this because they spend their day reacting instead of creating. There are two different ways of being: and instead of creating innovative ways to connect with people, and wonderful emails to send and new ideas, they’re sitting around wondering what they should do. Which is the least creative thing in the world. So, all of us are profoundly creative, it’s what we’re made of, and we talk ourselves out of it by the time we get to adulthood, and we only call on it in little tiny areas.
Like one person might play the piano, but the other 98% of her life is reactive, instead of creative. And so when I work with clients and myself, the first thing I want to look at, is, is this human system creating throughout the day? Am I creating clients, am I creating conversations? Am I creating ways to serve, or, am I trying to figure out what to do? Or trying to figure out what I should do? And when people start to wake up to how creative they are, how creative everybody is, it changes everything.
[00:05:38.21] Ankush: I love that Steve. You recommended a film a couple of days ago in my group for coaches, which was called ‘Finding Eric,’ and I just finished watching it today, and I’d highly recommend it to any coach, to watch that film. It’s a very heartwarming story. And one of the key takeaways that I took from that film was there were always more opportunities and options available than we realise. And it kind of really nicely links into this idea of creativity, where the main protagonist in that film looks like there are no options, he can’t do anything he’s very boxed in, and throughout the film, we start to see how he does get really creative.
Now in the film, he’s got a spooky soccer star Eric Cantona kind of talking to him, but really what we realise is it’s him talking to himself through this apparition. And, what that’s showing me is that, we don’t need to have an apparition of one of our idols talk to us, but exactly what you talked about is that that creativity is within us, and that every single person that’s watching this is creative, was creative, and I made a little note that the only thing that gets in the way of that, is when we get very analytical, and we get up in our heads, and so I know what I used to do it, I used to try and think my way to more creative solutions and more creative options, and in fact, what you and I have discussed previously is the opposite.
It’s about slowing down, and so in preparation for this call, for example, I took 10 minutes to just slow down and just not think about like what are some really good points to make but what do I already know about creativity, what’s bubbling up? So rather than having loads of thinking around it, just, we title this ‘Waking up to Creativity,’ we could have titled it, ‘Allowing your Creativity to Unfold.’ It’s allowing what’s ever there to bubble up as opposed to rushing and pushing and speeding up and going faster and faster, trying to look for solutions, and running too fast that you don’t see them.
[00:08:15.22] Steve: Yeah I agree. And that is a great movie, ‘Finding Eric.’ And you know where people shut themselves down, they put themselves on lockdown, as far as growing their own business, or whatever they want to grow. And that is when they get trapped in the thought, ‘I don’t know how to.’ So, I don’t know how to respond to this client… or potential client, I don’t know how to meet people… I don’t know how to… Now what that does for a person, is it strengthens the belief, that in order to do something out in the world, I always have to know ahead of time how to do it. And that’s just not true, because your innate creativity, which is what you’re really made of is creativity, that’s all you are,. It’s not like, oh I have a little bit of it, or I’m sort of creative, that’s where it goes South. It’s all you are. It allows you to proceed creatively into the world without knowing how to, just like, I didn’t know how to swim, I didn’t read a book on ‘boy in sea in water,’ I didn’t know how to ride a bike, I didn’t watch Youtube tutorials on how to keep the bike from tipping over, I ventured out, because I was so young. I was still connected to my creativity.
I mean I was awake to the fact that creativity was what I was, without putting words on it. So, I got on the bike, and I learned as I went, I didn’t know how to until afterwards. I got in the water and learned as I went, now people who build a thriving business or coaching practice or anything like that, what changes for them, is they drop this ‘I don’t know how to,’ stuff.
Could I tell a short story?
I’m going to backpedal as soon as I finish this very short story. When my daughter was 6 years old, Stephanie, I would say so, ‘clean up your room,’ and she would say, ‘I don’t know how to. I don’t know where… the bookshelves are filled, I don’t know where to put the books. So I don’t know how to do this.’ And I said, ‘okay, when you finish it though, we’ll go get ice-cream.’ The next thing I knew she was running around the room and books were going here, and man it looked great. So, the ‘I don’t know how to,’ is always a false obstruction created by pessimistic thought systems that grownups adapt on when they’re older. And, it’s the only thing in the way of allowing full creativity to express.
[00:12:17.00] Ankush: I really like that and I can see it apply both in my own life and also in my coaching practice. I was coaching someone this morning around the topic of confidence, and it is related that there are all these things we place as blockers in our way; I’m not creative enough or I’m not confident enough, I’m not motivated… But really they’re red herrings. They’re not really what is stopping us, but if we just show up, like you say and just take the action like your daughter did in that great little story. Then what we’ll find is creativity starts flowing and, as you know, I’d kind of written a draft manuscript for a book, and when I started writing, which you encouraged me to do, I didn’t know what I was going to write, and even every day when I would write. I didn’t know what I was going to write, but I would just start writing, and it’s in the power of doing it, that things then flow, if things flow and things evolve. So, sometimes I would surprise myself, like, oh okay, I didn’t know I was going to write that, that sounds pretty good. And it sounds a bit strange, but I’ve seen it happen over and over again. The other thing I wanted to talk about was…
[00:13:33.00] Steve: And what you’ve written is really good.
[00:13:35.00] Ankush: Thank you.
[00:13:38.03] Steve: Surprise, surprise, you didn’t know how or what to write, ahead of time, and look how good it is. You were willing to live in the divine unknowing, and that’s what adults are afraid of. ‘I need to know.’ They have created a false god out of knowing things, and it has shut them off from the divine unknowing. And you experienced with writing that book, ‘I don’t need to know ahead of time.’ to venture forth. In fact, the unknowing gives you more options. Because if you’re only working with the known, those are your only options, like, in Finding Eric. That’s why we don’t realise there are always more options on how to get this client, how to build this business. Because we’re only working with the known. We have an exaggerated respect for the known. Unwilling to experiment with, we’re falling back into the diving unknowing. Most grownups think not knowing is scary, they’ll lose their way. And so a lot of times they look like they try to look like they know everything, like, say, ‘you know Einstein’s theory right? You know how that works?’ And people say, ‘oh yeah, yeah, of course.’ And they don’t know, but they’re afraid to look like they don’t know. So they lose all their creativity by doing that. Anyway, I’m sorry.
[00:15:51.20] Ankush: No, that’s fine and I love that and we’re getting a lot of lovely comments from people saying they love that, ‘living in the divine unknown and making a false deity of knowing.’ And I wanted to just bring this back to how this applies to coaches and in their coaching practice, and just linking it to what you just said which was… for me, when we’re talking to coaches, we’re not talking about consultants. Consultants live in the land of the known, right? I know something you don’t know, you hire me I’ll come in and tell you what I know for a fee. Whereas coaching and what coaches do are to say, well let’s open a space, where you can find your own answers, find the answers that are already there, get into this creative space where all the answers are there, and we’re just going to help you do that, we’re just going to point that mirror back to you. At least that’s the way I see it.
What I love is that, how this is kind of, I see it as a complete circle, that with coaching I’ve had with you and coaching I’ve had with other coaches, that’s helped me wake up to my own creativity. And what I get to do is I help my clients to wake up to their own creativity, and that’s when I’m not even there, just like when you’re not there, we’re just pointing, we’re pointing people to the source of their creativity, and when we do that we also, we learn it again for ourselves. So this is a really great thing and I’ve seen it time and time again, the thing that makes us a better coach, is also the thing that helps us grow our practice. So as a coach if I can see that I can wake up to my own creativity in terms of growing my coaching practice, what it also helps me see is, oh, I can help my clients wake up to their own creativity to find the answers for themselves, and have a much more impactful coaching experience. Would you agree with that?
[00:17:54.21] Steve: Yeah absolutely, you know I used to go to my coach and present some problem I had, and I described the problem, and he’d listen, and then he would say, he would always say, ‘okay given this situation, what would you like to create?’ He never said, ‘I’ll tell you what the solution is,’ he never said, ‘have you tried this?’ ‘What do you think the solution is to this problem?’ He would always say, ‘given this scenario, what would you like to create?’ And you know when I first heard that, I thought, what do you mean? I’m looking for a solution. Throw me a bone here. But I got what he was doing over time, he was inspiring me to find what I had gone to sleep about in my adulthood. Because I had built my adulthood around worries and fears. And my childhood was around possibilities and games, and he was helping me get back to that infinite creativity that we all have.
[00:19:30.02] Ankush: Yeah I really like that and again you and I have been talking about games a lot recently, and play and fun, and again this applies both to us as coaches but it also applies in how we work with our clients too, and I remember for many years thinking I wasn’t creative. But just because I wasn’t necessarily good at drawing or necessarily good at playing an instrument, but there are so many realms within which you can be creative. It’s often easy to overlook that, and like you said, one of the areas that I’ve really seen this in recent years is in my own coaching practice, and also with my clients, where you just try things out, and like you say it’s not about trying to fix the past, it’s not about trying to change things it’s about really creation of.
I think it’s taken me a little bit of time to see that coaching is really about creation, it’s not therapy. A lot of people when they find out I’m a coach, they think I’m a therapist or I just help people solve mental health problems. Coaching can include some of that, but really coaching for me is about the creative realm, it’s about helping clients create something, create a different future than the one that they’ve got, the default future that they’re living.
[00:20:51.09] Steve: Yes.
[00:20:53.20] Ankush: So we wanted to keep this to 20 minutes or so, and we’re at 20 minutes, so I’m just going to kind of leave it there, and say, if this really resonates with you, then I would invite you to join Steve and I in London, we’re going to be in London on the 9th and 10th of June doing a 2 day event for coaches, but what we’re also combining it with is 6 webinars where we’re going to take a lot of questions from the people in the group and really dive in deep to all of these subjects including creativity including growing up, including prosperity and all sorts of stuff, and if you’re interested in joining Steve and I then send me a private message on Facebook and we can have a discussion and see if it’s a good fit for you. Is there anything you want to add Steve?
[00:21:43.23] Steve: We’ll be bringing a lot of secret knowledge to that meeting.
[00:21:50.04] Ankush: Nothing will be left on the table.
[00:21:53.16] Steve: That’s right.
[00:21:56.07] Ankush: Alright thanks for joining us today.
You can find out more about Steve Chandler via his website: http://www.stevechandler.com/index.html