Jul 28, 2016

Embracing creative confidence

I have fallen in love with this whole idea of "Creative Confidence" and the principles behind it. In a popular HBR article, IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley had written about how everyone in the planet are born creative and creativity is not for the elusive few. Through their work, they help people rediscover their creative confidence. I'm planning to read their book on the same topic soon.

Recently, I was watching a talk by Maria Molfino on Femgineer TV where she defines creative confidence as "a mindset that allows one to experiment, make mistakes, let go of perfectionism and detach oneself from outcomes". These principles form the basis of design thinking which is widely being used in building products, services and experiences. From a personal development point of view, these principles are equally valuable towards building curiosity, explore various interest areas and enjoy the process of creativity.

David and Tom Kelley talks about four fears that prevent us from embracing creative confidence:
  1. fear of the messy unknown
  2. fear of being judged
  3. fear of the first step
  4. fear of losing control
In one of his TED talks, David Kelley says, "When people gain creative confidence, they actually start working on things that are really important in their lives."

He also talks about "guided mastery" - a step-by-step process where you experience micro-successes that eventually help you towards conquering your fears and building creative confidence.

These learnings helped me understand why EthnicPalate has become so special to me in the past 6 months. Around the same time last year, I had just started to think about a healthy food catering service but never had the confidence to get started. The four fears led me to procrastinate the idea for around 5-6 months. Fortunately, I stumbled upon the opportunity of a food stall at the end of Dec '15. I took the first step with a lot of hesitation and self-doubt. A few weeks after the food stall, I started taking catering orders in my apartment. There are weeks where I would get a good number of orders but there are also many weeks where the number of orders would just be 1 or 2. I'm not defining my success with the number of orders I get but from the positive, encouraging feedback I receive from my regular customers who love my food.

EthnicPalate's vision is all about spreading awareness of healthy, traditional, local and seasonal foods, from the various cuisines of our country. I had earlier written in detail about why I choose to go local. I had recently come across a term which is the need of the hour - locavore ; It has become necessary for us to adopt local food practices, not just for the sake of our own health but also to protect our environment (reduce carbon footprint) and to keep agricultural eco-system in balance.

I'm not thinking about EthnicPalate's growth/scale at this point of time. The only factor I'm working towards is to ensure the vision with which I started with resonates in every meal I prepare, every menu I plan out and in every communication I share.

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