When I was a kid, I was always coming up with new ideas. Ideas for new games my friends and I could play, ideas for places to go, ideas for ways to pass an afternoon. “I’ve got an idea” was my staple statement – one that regularly would incite nervousness in my parents or grandmother, who knew one of my ideas usually meant some involvement on their part (I’m an only child) and would usually respond with, “Uh-oh.”
As I got older, however, and entered “the real world,” I discovered much of the world wasn’t designed to allow for all of my ideas. School requires following specific instructions to receive an “A,” and my early jobs weren’t much different. Some of it was just the nature of the biz, but some of it was definitely a lack of openness to ideas from those lower on the totem pole.
One day, long after I’d escaped that world, I found myself lamenting my own lack of ingenuity. I fretted that I was a doer but not an idea-generator – a nice enough temperament, but not one that changes the world.
And then I remembered that I once was. I used to have ideas all the time! If then, why not now? No reason! By this time, I was working in an environment at Imagine that encouraged creativity from all employees and wouldn’t pity the soul naïve enough to think she could make a difference. (Creative Courage, anyone?)
So the next time I had an idea, I pitched it. Receiving a positive response, I felt encouraged. After that, I pitched and implemented another. It took a while to trust my own ideas, but eventually it became easier and easier.
Today, I’m thrilled to once again feel confident in my own creative and idea-generating abilities – enough so to also not to feel embarrassed if an idea doesn’t pan out. (An idea pitched and turned down still made it farther than the fantastic idea never verbalized.)
Is there a trait you wish you had but think you don’t? If so, set aside some time for introspection. You might just discover your coveted trait has been hiding deep inside of you all along!
Melissa Rothermel Biernacinski serves as Director of Media Relations for Imagine Communications. Email Melissa at email@example.com.