Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fear as a Positive Driving Force: A Review of Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

Some people handle fear and uncertainty better than others, almost as if it doesn't even affect them. Other people, when faced with uncertainty, become paralyzed and creativity is hindered. To these people, the ones who face uncertainty head-on seem like they were born fearless.

But according to Jonathan Fields in his new book UNCERTAINTY, no one is born fearless, but fear can actually be harnessed and used as a driving force to be more creative and productive. The people who face fear head-on are the ones who have learned to turn fear into a force for their good. Fields calls them "fear alchemists."

I love how Fields points out at the beginning that uncertainty is a sign that the creative endeavor you're pursuing isn't something that's already been done. That's why there is risk and fear of judgment involved. A lack of uncertainty usually means we're playing it safe.

Unfortunately, we often experience uncertainty as a source of suffering, and this causes us to try to remove uncertainty instead of using it to drive us.

Fields suggests several practices to implement into our lives to help us embrace uncertainty and allow it help us create better:
• Create creative rituals or routines that help counter resistance
• Developing a hive of people to give genuine constructive feedback on your creative endeavors
• Getting the input of the people you're creating for early on in the process
• Training your brain in the art of focused awareness through Attentional Training practices
• Create boundaries around your creativity, so that it doesn't become your whole life
• Operate from a new storyline that sees failure as something that can be recovered from

UNCERTAINTY explores many real life examples of people who have harnessed uncertainty to their advantage. From a creative perspective, I enjoyed this book as it helped me to think through the fear that often paralyzes me when I sit down to write something. I especially enjoyed the chapter on socializing creativity because I think getting potential audience input early on will make us better creators.

UNCERTAINTY is a great resource for anyone who wants to turn fear into a productive driving force.

I received this book for free for review from Portfolio Hardcover

In what areas are you prone to experience paralyzing fear?

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