David J. Schwartz on Releasing Your Creative Powers
“Belief releases creative powers. Disbelief puts the brakes on.”David J. Schwartz, PhD
There’s another phrase that says this a different way: “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves.”
Once we decide to believe something (even for a few moments), our minds begin to come up with ideas to support it.
This is true for any thought. If we believe our neighbor is a stellar lady, we’ll find evidence that proves it. Likewise, if we think she’s a menace, we’ll find the evidence for that.
Once we adopt a belief, we see evidence at every turn. This is called the “confirmation bias”. We confirm what we already think.
When we choose to believe that it’s possible to get what we want, our creative mind goes to work on it. We then have ideas of how we can get it. We open to new possibilities.
The four-minute mile is a good example of how belief changes ability. When Roger Bannister did it, others could as well – because they believed it possible.
Does this mean every idea will be workable? No. That’s not the job of the creative mind. Its job is only to create, not evaluate.
We often limit ourselves. We decide we’re too __________ (young, old, untalented, poor, busy, etc.). And as soon as we decide this, we find ample examples of its truth.
But we find just as many examples of the opposite, if we suspend one belief and subscribe to another.
As musicians, we often limit ourselves in this way. We choose to believe in our limitations.
But we could see equal evidence to support our progress. If we look for signs of improvement, those are there as well.
All it takes is to first believe (or even pretend to believe), and then remain open to what comes.
As we act on those ideas, we soon see the proof. Then the new belief grows stronger and we become even more creative.
It’s a virtuous cycle that starts with a conscious choice to believe.