7 Things You Can Do to Develop Courage and Humility

What is the difference between courage and humility? Hm. Well, if you look courage up in a thesaurus, you will find that humility is an antonym for courage. Meaning different, yet is it, really?

I think they are more similar than they are different. And, I think understanding this similarity is important to our lives. Ready to take a look? Good, let’s go.

Let’s define these two, shall we. Here we go.

courage

noun  /ˈkʌrɪdʒ/ /ˈkɜːrɪdʒ/[uncountable]Idioms

the ability to do something dangerous, or to face pain or opposition, without showing fear

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

humility

noun /hjuːˈmɪləti/ /hjuːˈmɪləti/[uncountable]

the quality of not thinking that you are better than other people; the quality of being humble

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Hm. At this moment, I’m actually quite surprised about how similar these definitions are. More similar than I would have even predicted.

Do you see it? Either way, it’s okay, let’s take a deeper look at both courage and humility and see what we get.

7 Things You Can do to Develop Courage and Humility

As I’ve written about previously, people often mistakenly believe that there are people that have courage and there are people that don’t. Like it is a developmental trait that some have and others don’t.

However, courage is like any other skill set. Meaning that it can be developed. Yep, it’s true. And, guess what? As you develop courage, you also develop humility. Yep, also true.

Here, then, are 7 ways you can develop courage.

  1. Develop a growth mindset – meaning, be available and open to learning all there is to learn. When you have a growth mindset you realize that there is much more to learn than is known, and you are eager to learn. The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. Meaning unavailable and closed to learning. Think flexible versus rigid. When we are flexible, we go with the flow, receive what others have to give us, and then we give what we have back to them. When we are eager to develop a growth mindset, courage follows because contexts where growth mindsets flourish are about development and transformation.
  2. Grow your comfort zone – continuing to practice getting outside of your comfort zone is important. Important to your development, and to the development of courage. When we are outside of our comfort zone, in that moment, we are doing and modeling courage.
  3. Embrace and practice vulnerability – I’ve written several articles recently about vulnerability. Like your comfort zone, when you embrace your own vulnerability and practice being vulnerable, you are immediately being courageous. And, guess what? The more you practice vulnerability, the more courageous you become.
  4. Practice collaboration – collaborative contexts are naturally vulnerable contexts as they are about being open and flexible, learning, and development. When you are collaborating, really collaborating, you are practicing courage; and, the more collaborative contexts you engage in, the more courageous you will become.
  5. Create innovation – innovation and courage go hand in hand. They have to, because innovative contexts are imbued with vulnerability, growth, collaboration, and transformation. Innovative contexts are courageous in nature. The more innovation you create, the more you are being courageous, and the more your courage will grow.
  6. Take risks – though humans like predictability and habit, risk-taking is needed and necessary. Taking risks ensures you develop into the iteration of yourself where you can give the most back to the world. Really. Because humans like predictability and habit, risk-taking feels scary, so when you take risks you will develop courage. The more risk, the more courage will develop.
  7. Face your fears – every human on this planet is afraid. Yes, there is a continuum of fearfulness, yet know that you are not alone in being fearful of things. Fear is a natural part of being a human. However, when you face your fears, you develop courage. And, like risk-taking, or any of the others on this list, the more you face your fears, the more courageous you will become.

Alright, there we have 7 ways you can develop courage. Now, let’s make the connection to humility, shall we.

Photo by Samia Liamani on Unsplash

Here then are

7 Reasons Why Developing Courage Will Also Develop Your humility

  1. Growth mindset – as you develop a growth mindset, you will become more present to just how little humans really know; and, conversely, just how much there is to learn. It is vast, and humbling.
  2. Comfort zones – getting outside of your comfort zone is hard work. Really. At times, very hard. As you get outside of your comfort zone, you will realize how tiring and depleting it can be. Rewarding absolutely, and very, very tiring, and humbling.
  3. Vulnerability – being vulnerable is extremely hard. Of all the items on this list, maybe the hardest. Oftentimes, just being vulnerable once in a different way will cause you to experience great humility.
  4. Collaboration – connecting with other human beings through true collaboration is lovely, and is also an experience where you get to see other humans in action, being vulnerable, developing themselves in new ways, being courageous, taking risks, and transforming. It is a wondrous sight, and very humbling.
  5. Innovation – any and all innovation is humbling. Just the idea of creating something new is a humbling experience. When I created the first iteration of this site, which took a long time, and was totally out of my range of expertise, I was tremendously humbled by the experience.
  6. Risk-taking – like being vulnerable, taking risks is scary. And, if you take risks often, especially while working alongside others, you will experience a whole new level of humbleness.
  7. Fears – facing our fears is extremely difficult; and, when you face them often, you become more humble. You sort of wake up to the reality that facing fears is hard for everyone, so when you witness someone do it, it can actually bring tears to your eyes. Shared humanity.
Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

Alright, there are 7 ways you can develop courage, and 7 reasons why developing courage will also result in more humility.

In the event you’ve been wondering, I picked the introduction picture intentionally. Why?

Because developing courage by doing any of the 7 listed above is about being in action, doing things, living your life the best way you know how by giving your all every day.

Sometimes people conflate courage with iconic pictures of the hero saving the day, which is very dramatic. Yet, I want to offer you a different way to think about courage.

Courage is about being human. Recognizing our fears, the current limits of our knowledge, and doing something to face them, and grow ourselves. When we recognize where we have opportunities to develop, we can then take the necessary actions to create opportunities for ourselves to grow.

And, yes, if you like, to even transform. What does it take?

A willingness to set aside the ego, a little at a time, one step at a time, and take a different action. Take an action you’ve never taken before, and see what you get back. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

#collaboration, #comfortzones, #courage, #developingcourage, #developinghumility, #development, #growthmindset, #grwoth, #humility, #innovation, #risktaking, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement, #vulnerability

10 Reasons Why Asking Questions is Important to Your Development

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

To question, or not to question? Hm. How many times do you remember being in a class, with a group of friends, or in a work environment where you wanted to ask a question, yet didn’t? Yep, me too. Really, we all have those memories.

Many people are afraid to ask questions, to speak up generally. Why? Afraid of looking silly, asking the “wrong” questions, not being taken seriously, or being made fun of. Has happened to all of us at some point.

Yet, the ability to ask questions, to discern relevance out of a context that is unclear, to move toward more clarity, while acquiring more knowledge and adding to the knowledge-base within the context is really important. Why?

Well, let’s ask Socrates, shall we. Here we go.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” – Socrates

Goal Cast

And this one.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” -Socrates

Goal Cast

Powerful. Simply, there is so much unknown about life and the world, that to not ask, to not speak up in a way cheats ourselves and all of humanity out of possible progress.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The topic of questioning is so important. Important to life, the world, the production and eventual dissemination of knowledge, and, yes, it is also very important to our development. Why? Well, I’ve got 10 reasons.

Ready? Very well, let’s go.

  1. Learning
    1. Seems simple, yes? The more questions we ask, the more we learn. Though this concept is simple, in practice, many people struggle to ask the questions they have deep inside them. They do. As was aforementioned, though an extrovert, I too once struggled with asking my questions. The issue? When we don’t ask, we actually carry that question around. Literally. We have it within us, unanswered, which can cause us pain, and frustration.
  2. Knowledge
    1. When we ask our questions, we gain knowledge, and we also contribute to knowledge acquisition. Yep. In every question there lives the possibility of more knowledge. We know so little about life and the world. Yet, with every question that we ask, we create the opportunity for us, and everyone else, to learn more.
  3. Clarity
    1. The more questions we ask, the more clarity we have. And, the more clarity everyone else has. As we learn, so does everyone else. And, as we all learn, we transform the nature of the context we’re in, to a context where questions are possible. A context where those that are fearful of asking questions, as you are, or once were, will be empowered to ask their questions. Powerful.
  4. Collaboration
    1. Asking questions is also the breeding ground for collaboration. When we ask questions, we are naturally contributing to a collaborative context, where learning from each other is embraced. We are actually fostering a collaborative context by asking our questions. Seriously, it is true.
  5. Strategy
    1. Asking questions is also super important to developing and executing on strategy. Without questions, you will only ever produce what was produced yesterday. Questions are the birthplace of strategy. And, with strategy, both concepts and execution, we get movement, and with movement, eventual traction in whatever it is we are doing.
  6. Innovation
    1. Like strategy, innovation depends upon asking questions. Creation and innovation are intertwined with curiosity, and those that are curious ask tons of questions. They have to, they are curious. With questions comes the possibility of innovation, and new ways of seeing and experiencing the world.
  7. Vulnerability
    1. When we ask our questions, we are also being vulnerable. We are modeling an attribute that is a necessity for development. Developmental growth is dependent upon being vulnerable, and when we accept our own vulnerability, even enter into vulnerable spaces intentionally, we will ask our questions.
  8. Leadership
    1. Well, if questions are important to strategy and innovation, they are equally important to leadership. Leaders are interested in what others think, know, and feel. They have to be interested, it’s part of being a leader. And, to learn how people think, know, and feel, you must ask questions.
  9. Trust
    1. When we ask questions we also contribute to a context or environment of trust. When we are actively interested in someone else, and what they know, or how they feel and think, we are modeling trust. Especially when we get back questions from those around us, which by leading through asking questions, we will definitely get.
  10. Relationships
    1. Asking questions means that we get to learn more about those around us, which also means that we get to deepen our relationships with those people. It is inevitable. Learning about someone necessitates a relationship. And being in a relationship means knowing about that person, and to know, we must ask questions.
Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

Alright, there are 10 reasons why asking questions is important to your development. Let’s take a look at how they are interconnected. Ready? Here we go.

When we learn, we know more, and when we know more we have more clarity about our life, yes, and of the lives of those around us. Learning and knowing are part of development. And clarity is an output of learning and knowing more.

When we collaborate with others we get to know people better, and we also get to know ourselves better.

Knowing others better will always shine a light on the parts of ourselves that we want to develop. It is normal, and is also very healthy.

Within a collaborative context that embraces strategy, we also create the possibility of developing an innovative culture. And, inside of an innovative culture, we create more innovative possibilities, which also contributes to future strategies. All of which contributes positively to our development and growth.

Photo by qinghill on Unsplash

I’ve written in other posts that vulnerability contributes to and fosters innovation. Vulnerability is actually where the seeds of innovation will eventually grow. And, like innovation growing through vulnerability, we also develop and grow when we are vulnerable.

Relationships are created, in part, through trust. When we trust each other, we can be real, be vulnerable, learn more from each other, and grow together. When we are open to each other, we get so much more from each other.

Knowing that we, as Socrates might say, know so very little about life and the world. Knowing this fact is at the center of development and growth.

Leadership is dependent upon all of the aforementioned. And, I am not only writing about leaders in the traditional sense. I am also writing about every human on the planet. We all have the opportunity to lead. Lead from within, and from without.

When we lead by asking questions, we model our interest and support of contexts that are open to development and growth. We create more possibilities for ourselves, and for everyone around us.

Possibilities to learn, to know, to have more clarity, to build collaborations and strategy, which foster vulnerability, trust, and relationships; and, that is leading.

Ask your questions, and develop yourself and everyone else around you.

#clarity, #collaboration, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #growth, #growthanddevelopment, #growthmindset, #innovation, #knowing, #knowledge, #known, #leadership, #leadershipdevelopment, #learning, #questionsandstrategy, #questionsarestrategy, #relationships, #socrates, #socratesandknowledge, #strategy, #trust, #unknown, #vulnerability

Creating Movement in Your Team, Business, or Organization: 3 Steps in 3 Minutes

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Photo by Jon Davey on Unsplash

I recently wrote 3 Steps and 9 Keys to Creating Safety on a Team in 5 Minutes, and today, I’m going to focus on creating movement. Have you ever felt stuck? Like you and your team, business, or organization are not moving, have not, maybe, moved in some time. Instead, you find that each day seems the same. A reproduction of the previous? Happens to us all.

Let’s take a look at 3 steps you can take to get moving again.

Step 1: Create Time

We are all inundated with email, all day long. In the first year in my current position, I checked email often; and, there were times when I was more focused on keeping my email in check than doing my actual job. However, email is not the job; it is a tool, nothing more.

3 suggestions for creating time by managing email

  • Check periodically – morning, afternoon, and before close of business. Set this time aside. Add it to your calendar if needed. However, when you are not in your “check email time”, leave it alone.
  • Prioritize the need – sounds funny, yet prioritizing your email is very important. Often, I get emails that I might not respond to for several days. Why? It’s not needed. Not every email needs a response right away, and some never need a response.
  • Organize as needed – in the past three years, I’ve reorganized my email countless times. As the business changes, your calendar will change, and so should how you organize your email. Reorganizing your email so that it mirrors the current iteration of your team, business, or organization will save you the time of searching endlessly for emails to follow up on.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Step 2: Create Balance

I’ve found that finding time to work on the business (strategic thinking), instead of in the business (the weeds) is one of the hardest skills to develop. Why? Because we live in a reactive society, and work within reactive organizations.

Though you are working very hard, if you continue to work hard mostly on day-to-day operations, you will not spend the time needed on creating future plans, goals, and objectives. You will stay stuck. You must create the time to strategically think about the direction of your team, business, or organization.

3 strategies for balancing the weeds and strategic thinking

  • Manage time – I’ve used multiple different time management systems in the past three years; and, what I’ve come to realize is that continuing to change how you organize yourself is okay, even needed. If the way you are organizing yourself today is not working, let it go, and try something new.
  • Delegate – I’m one of those people who likes to do everything, and I have a hard time asking for help. Yet, letting your team assist you is necessary and needed. Delegating work is always essential, and is even more essential to ensure you have the time you need to create strategy.
  • Slow down – I love to be in action. Simple. Yet, there are times when you need to slow down. Let some of the day-to-day operations wait, so you can just sit and think about your team, business, or organization’s trajectory; and, what you want to create as its next step.
Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Step 3: Create Strategy

Once you’ve created more time, and have more balance, you can now effectively work on the business. Very important.

3 strategies for creating strategy and gaining traction

  • Get your ideas out – often we think about what we want to create, yet we are so busy doing other things, that we don’t get these ideas out; and, when our ideas stay within us, we cannot use them. Write them down, put them on a whiteboard, put them in a document. It matters less how you get them out, than it does that you do so, and have the time to reflect upon them.
  • Invite considerations – collaborative teams and organizations talk about strategy. If you are on that kind of team, or in that kind of business or organization, invite people to consider your ideas. What do they think? Incorporate the best ideas into your ideas. If you work on a team, or in a business or organization that does not collaborate, invite people to consider your ideas anyway. Create collaboration.
  • Create an action plan – once your ideas are out, you’ve invited feedback, and have had time to reflect, it’s time to create an action plan. I always work backwards. Meaning, if you are creating a strategy for next year, work those goals backward to each quarter, month, and week, and create objectives that align with the yearly goals.
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

With your new action plan, you can begin to create the traction you’ve been looking for. Remember, you are not alone. Most teams and organizations are in the same place. They feel stuck. That you are aware of it, is the first step. Now you can mobilize the steps outlined here, and create movement for your team, business, or organization.

Also remember, that sometimes your team, business, or organization may have to move “backward” to once again move “forward.” I’m not a fan of labeling movement, because all movement is important and needed.

For instance, COVID-19 has created a “backward” momentum for teams, businesses, and organizations all across the globe. Now what matters most? Not being concerned about moving backward. Instead, create from where you are, and you will move forward.

#acitonplans, #brainstorming, #collaboration, #createstrategy, #creatingactionplans, #creatingbalance, #creatingmovement, #creatingtime, #delgation, #development, #leadership, #leadershipdevelopment, #managingemail, #managingtime, #organization, #prioritization, #slowingdown, #strategicplanning, #strategicthinking, #teambuilding

An Insight, an Inspiration, and A Quote: On Love and Fear 6/15/2020

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

This week I’ve been reflecting upon just how anxious people are, really. Everywhere. With more COVID-19 cases occurring throughout the country, people are wondering, worrying, and, in some instances, getting frustrated, and yes, even angry. Normal for a very non-normal situation. Whatever those words mean.

Alright, so it then occurred to me that creating a post, weekly, daily, not sure, about insights and inspirations I’ve seen and experienced might be beneficial for people. Especially people that are experiencing floods of emotion. Emotion that can be, at times, very difficult to feel.

Here we go then. An Insight, an Inspiration, and a Quote.

An Insight

Though every person on the planet is experiencing more fear than they normally feel, know that fear is a part of life. We are all fearful about the current pandemic situation. You are not alone.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

We are all connected. Yep. When you feel alone, please remember, you are not alone. You are connected to friends, family, peers, colleagues, and people you don’t even know. Example. You are connected to me right now as you read this. Not alone. Remember that.

An Inspiration

Though we are all feeling more fear, people are standing tall all across this country. Yep. Standing for what they believe, standing for change, standing for each other. Helping, assisting, connecting, collaborating, inspiring, and loving each other in whole new ways.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

There is so much love on this planet. Really. Everywhere. Love is inspiring. You are inspiring. How do I know that, you ask? Because whatever contribution you are making each day is exactly the contribution needed. Just so. Keep breathing, keep moving, keep standing, and keep loving.

A Quote

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

— Ella Fitzgerald

SproutNoDoubt

Okay. One more.

There is no such thing as a faithless person; we either have faith in the power of love, or faith in the power of fear. For faith is an aspect of consciousness. Have faith in love, and fear will lose its power over you. If you have faith in forgiveness, your self-hatred will fall away. Have faith in miracles, and they will come to you.”

— Marianne Williamson

SproutNoDoubt

Be well. Love well. Fearless.

#assisting, #collaboration, #connecting, #fearless, #insight, #insightandinspiration, #inspiration, #keepmoving, #keepstanding, #lovemore, #loveroverfear, #standtall, #weareconnected, #youarenotalone

Blind Spots: How Knowing About Them Can Help Move You, Those You Know, and All of Humanity Forward

Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

Have you ever considered your blind spots? No? Probably not, seeing as we are blind to them. What in the world are they, and how do they function; and, even more importantly, what can we do about them? Alright, let’s take a look.

What is a blind spot; and, how do they function?

You know what you know, right? Okay. Let me write it this way. You are aware of all those things that you know about, yes? Yes, good. How about those things that you know you don’t know. Yes? Good. Last one. How about those things that you don’t know you don’t know? Hm. A little different, right. Yep. That’s right. That’s your blind spot.

We all have them. And, they are all different. Meaning, that we all have different things that we don’t know we don’t know. Phew. A little semantical, I know. Hm. Let’s do a whiteboard real quick to show you. I also feel another video coming.

July 13, 2020

There we go, better. Let’s say that the circle encompasses all that is knowable. Got it, okay. Now, as you can see, the sections of that which we know we know, and know we don’t know, are much smaller than all that we don’t know we don’t know. A very important distinction. Why?

Because what this simple illustration shows, and what I am pointing to in this post is that there is a vast amount of information (knowing) that is available to all of us, yet is not accessible to most people. Why? Because that which we don’t know we don’t know lives in our blind spot. What can we do?

What can we do?

First, we can become aware. Check. Now what? Well, we can create access to those blind spots. How, you ask? By being open to those that we are surrounded by.

Yep. It is those people that surround us inside of an open communication system where we can learn about our blind spots. Important. Here is another whiteboard to illustrate.

July 13, 2020

What this whiteboard creates is an important distinction that I’ve written about quite extensively on this website, and in many other contexts. Relationships and the interdependent nature of those relationships equals collaboration; and collaboration is where the access is. Yep.

As a matter of fact, the Monday message that went out to the team I work with today, was all about relationships, and just how important they are in all of our lives.

It is through these relationships that we can gain access to our blind spots. Don’t have those kinds of relationships? That’s okay.

You can create them. Really. You can. Why wait. There are so many people on this planet that are interested in the things that you are interested in.

Photo by alexandra lammerink on Unsplash

And, guess what?

You know things about your interest, and so will they. And, I can guarantee you that you will both learn from each other. Uncovering blind spots for each other along the way. No matter what the topic.

What we are discussing in this post has been written about for thousands of years. Here is an example.

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” -Socrates (469-399 B.C.)

Goalcast

I love this quote. There are many others like it, written similarly across all cultures. When we recognize that we know way less than there is to learn, and know, we immediately become open to new experiences, and new perspectives.

When we are open, and are in conversation and relationships with people that are interested in our growth, as we are in theirs, our blind spots are regularly pointed out. That is learning. It is the best kind of learning.

Ever heard of the socratic method? Here’s a snippet.

“In the Socratic method, the classroom experience is a shared dialogue between teacher and students in which both are responsible for pushing the dialogue forward through questioning.”

Edited by CTL Associate Director Mariatte Denman
Photo by Edvin Johansson on Unsplash

I too love this quote, however, I’m going to offer you a new way to think about it. Consider that the world is your classroom, and that everyone you meet, and are in relationships with can be the person that you share this kind of learning experience with. Truly.

When we are open, interested in learning from someone more than expounding on that which we know, we can learn something from almost anyone we meet.

Really. It is a beautiful experience.

Of course, we must be willing to, in a way, let go of that which we know. Let it go, and start listening, and taking in that which other people know. In the end, guess what? We end up knowing more. Yep.

When, however, we aren’t open, guess what? We get to keep that which we know, yes; yet, we miss out on the opportunity to add to that which we know. A truly missed opportunity.

My invitation to you

Don’t let those learning opportunities pass you by. Grab them while they are here. And, offer them back to those that you meet. For, they, like you, have something to learn from you.

We all have something to learn from each other. And, when we approach our relationships and interactions with that attitude. Phew. We can learn so much. You can learn so much. Start today.

Ask questions, listen, and believe. Believe in your ability to add to that which you know, and to contribute to someone else’s knowledge base. You can.

That is movement. Movement for yourself, for those you are in relationships with, and for all of humanity.

Learn, know, and reciprocate well.

#blindspots, #collaboration, #development, #growth, #growthanddevelopment, #knowing, #knowledge, #learning, #learningmore, #reciprocallearning, #relationships, #socrates, #socraticmethod, #theworldisyourclassroom

Writing and Life Series #3: Writer’s Block and A Collaborative Invitation

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I’m sure countless blog posts have been written about how to “deal” with writer’s block. Though I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, I have been writing for over 10 years.; meaning that I am interested in this topic, as it happens to me from time to time. Further, I’m interested in ideas you have, and strategies you use to become unblocked.

A couple questions to guide the conversation

  • When does writer’s block affect you most?
  • What happens when you are blocked?
  • How often do you have writer’s block?
  • What strategies do you use to unblock yourself?

Alright, so in this post then, I will address these questions from my standpoint, and then invite you to comment on your’s.

When does writer’s block affect you most?

Interestingly, I’m not sure there is a pattern I can discern about the timing of writer’s block for me. I know that there are times when writing is easy. When the words just flow through me and onto the page. I once thought that “being in the flow”, was a product of feeling more inspired about a piece. I’m not sure if that is actually the case. Why?

Because there are other times when I’m not necessarily feeling all that inspired by a piece, and the words are harder to come by, yet they do come. In time. Some of it, I think, has to do with being patient. With not forcing the writing, but letting it come in it’s time.

I cannot tell you how many times in the past 10 years I’ve left a particular piece, to only pick it back up again later, with a renewed interest and insight. Often. I think this actually happens more with blogging. I’ve got at least 4 or 5 pieces that are in my drafts at this moment. When will they get finished? Your guess is as good as mine. I guess when it’s time.

What happens when you are blocked?

I’ve addressed this a little, yet will expand a little more here. When I am feeling blocked, it’s as if I know what I want to write, yet the process is not really working for me at the moment. Sometimes, as aforementioned, for several moments, which can last days. Depends.

The piece I wrote on the sound of rainfall yesterday took several days to complete; and, when I look at it, I am confused as to why that is. It’s a very small piece, yet did take more time. Conversely, the piece I wrote, which I think was my longest post thus far, about the sociological imagination, though much longer, only took a couple of hours. The words just came.

There was a time when I would force the writing. This is not a strategy I recommend. The reason is simple. Because when you force writing, like anything, you are immediately in a space of frustration, and that will make its way into your writing. Not so helpful. Instead, what I typically do is back away from the keyboard, and just let the piece sit.

How often do you have writer’s block?

It happens a couple of times a month. I should also mention that I write everyday. So, there is that. How often you are blocked might be a product of how often you write. Not sure.

Sometimes I am so blocked about a particular topic that I just let it sit. I will go back to it occasionally, yet may or may not pick it up again. At this time, I have a couple different posts that are sitting in my drafts that I may or may not ever finish. Don’t know.

I do know that I believe that if they are meant to be finished, they will be. And, if not, they won’t be. And, at this point in my life, I am okay with that.

What strategies do you use to unblock yourself?

There are several strategies that I use to unblock myself. They all depend on the context. Here are a few with context.

  • I’m having a hard time even coming up with a new idea – when this happens to me, I go on a long walk. I usually walk every other day, so it may be an extra walk I put into my week, or the one that I am already planning to take. Either way, I think best when I am away from everyone and everything.
  • Write everything down – particularly when I am blocked, yet I do this all the time, when I have new ideas, I write them down. Anywhere, on anything. Sometimes, I put them on a post-it, sometimes on my whiteboard, and sometimes on my phone. Doesn’t matter, I make sure to capture them somewhere.
  • Go through my ideas – one of my favorite strategies to use when I am blocked is to go through the ideas I’ve been collecting. Sometimes that works, sometimes not. Depends. Either way, having ideas to draw upon is very helpful.
  • Take a day off – not a strategy that I employ often, yet have done so. Taking some time away from writing, like anything, can provide more clarity, and the space for new ideas to generate.

I’m sure there are other strategies I could capture here, however, the ones listed above are by far my favorites.

Now what?

Well, if you haven’t tried one of the strategies listed above, try one, try more than one. For me, it is about trying something. Making sure to take action to provide yourself the space to ponder and reflect. And, then to see what comes.

It is actually in times when I’ve been the most blocked that I’ve come up with some of my best ideas. Some have made their way to the page, some will at some point. When? Don’t know. And, for me, that’s some of the fun of writing. The expectation of the new idea, the process of getting that idea out, then onto the page. The fun in playing with the idea until there is a level of satisfaction, and it is ready to post. Fun.

Alright, now I would like to hear from you. I am inviting you to post to the four questions above, as I’ve done in this post. A collaboration of sorts. If we can get enough people to post, I will commit to collecting those ideas, and creating a new post with all of our ideas. That would be fun. And, that is an idea that just came to me now. Creativity. Love it.

#becoming-unblocked, #blogging, #collaboration, #creative-process, #creativity, #writers-block, #writing, #writing-process, #writing-strategy