Over the last four weeks, we’ve been ardently fed insightful tidbits and golden nuggets of knowledge to inspire, influence and encourage us to become our best creative selves – prompting numerous episodes of self-reflection.
The most recent one happened during Marc’s talk on creative techniques where he showed us a TED talk by Adam Grant on ‘the surprising habits of original thinkers’. In his presentation, Adam illustrated the correlation between originality, procrastination and our thought processes. And the one quote I kept coming back to was “procrastination gives you time to consider divergent ideas, to think in non-linear ways, to make unexpected leaps”.
I am a procrastinator. One who always, somehow, gets the work done. But, I’m also an anxious procrastinator, who dreads the thought of failing. Everything must be ideally researched, planned and illustrated – all routes to failure must be analysed and smoothly swerved, albeit hours or days before the deadline.
And whilst my habit of procrastinating did change somewhat once I joined the working world of 9am starts, nothing has curbed my bad habits like SCA has. I’ve found myself becoming increasingly introspective. And more okay with ‘failing’, or rather showing work that isn’t quite perfect. Or simply, bad.
I’m learning that right now, it’s okay to not have ideas firing on all cylinders the moment you read the brief. Or to be immediately able to access my playful child state. These will come with time, and practice. I’m learning not to internalise critiques, but instead reminding myself that it’s not a critique of me, or a question of whether I deserve to be here. Because in such a competitive environment, it’s easy to forget that there are people here to support you.
So, I guess the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt so far is how to switch my thinking and re-wire my brain. Prior to starting the course, my immediate response to a difficult task was always “I’m not very good at this”. Now, I’ve taught myself to add “yet” at the end of these thoughts. And, last week I found myself saying ”I’m not very good at scamping, yet” – embracing Marc’s statement that, ‘a challenge is an opportunity’.
I took some time out from the course last week to deal with some personal stuff. Usually, I’d scold myself for not just getting on with it, but instead I took the necessary time to be with my family and to be in the moment with my feelings. A huge step for me, which I have to thank Mike for, as he told us in week two: family is so important. The old me would’ve pushed through, using the course as a distraction from my feelings, to later regret it once the stress and emotions began to implode, or tearfully explode, a few months down the line.
SCA is teaching us to become the best, as our cohort is so aptly named (BOAT). This is a journey. I’ll trip, fall, stumble and swear, a lot. But once these ten months begin to draw to a close, I’ll look back at those literal and metaphorical scabs, tear-stained jumpers and boxes of Nurofen and feel more than a sense of accomplishment.
So I’ll end this SCAB with a mantra I’ve been repeating since week one, whenever the self-doubt starts niggling away at the back of my mind: ‘Nothing is a mistake. Let the accidents happen.’