Fear and Foolishness – By @oliverdfinel
By Oliver Finel
Fear and Foolishness
Before joining SCA, my idea generation process was massively hindered by a potent combination of fear and stupidity.
When I came up with an idea I would often shoot it down immediately. I feared that if I were to share the idea, humiliation from my peers would be the most likely outcome. I avoided feedback because I didn’t want to feel inadequate, dumb, or like a complete and total failure. I shielded my ideas from the world to protect myself and remain in a comfortable state of average nothingness. The problem with this approach is that you’re not always the best judge of your ideas (I learned this recently at the tender age of 26). They need to interact with the world, they need to be reshaped, ameliorated or sometimes violently killed. They should never never stay in the confines of your skull because some of the potentially good ideas might be left to rot and die.
On the other hand, I sometimes was too eager to share and execute on some very poor ideas. A handful of times, I felt like the spirits of Einstein, Aristotle and Edison descended from the heavens to instill in me a world-changing idea that would instantly make me a billionaire. I would spring in excitement, start doing research, tell all my friends, only to realize a couple of days or weeks later that the idea was utter trash. The inevitable outcome of that emotional roller-coaster was a bout of depression and a feeling of total incompetence.
While some of my ideas did work out and were essential to my financial and professional well-being for the past couple of years, I most definitely lost a massive amount of time, energy and opportunities by pursuing poor ideas or refusing to share the potentially good ones.
Learning to let all the poor, stupid, non-sensical ideas out of my brain was my most important takeaway from SCA so far. SCAMPING and sharing ideas ideas without the fear of humiliation was an extremely liberating and exhilarating experience. Getting ideas shot down by mentors in front of the whole class certainly feels terrible, but it’s also an incredibly motivating and humbling experience.
While I can’t say I’ve completely rid myself of idea-sharing fear and might still be prone to think some ideas were sent directly from the Heavens, knowing that I’ve been taught a concrete system for filtering and sharing ideas makes me a whole lot more confident about the future. I honestly can’t wait for my idea-generation and refinement process to improve exponentially over the next couple of months.