Finding Anxiety in Creativity

“No one knows what the hell they’re doing.”

That’s how Erin Mahone kicked off last Friday’s CreativeMornings Richmond session.

The topic was “Anxiety.” It was an interesting topic for CreativeMornings and you may be thinking, “How is having anxiety creative?”

Think about it like this. We all have anxiety. Many of us work in a fast-paced environment which can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming. Erin reassured the group on Friday that really, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing. We’re all just taking it day by day, trying to survive.

However, anxiety can generate creativity because it gives you the opportunity to be innovative in how you deal with everyday stressors.

Erin described the four “R’s” of anxiety as follows:

  1. Recognizing: You must first recognize anxiety’s existence. Take note of when anxiety arises.
  2. Resistance: And then you learn to understand the resistance that comes with recognizing your anxiety. Everyone has voices in their heads pulling them in one direction or another. Erin emphasized that you must learn to trump that resistance.
  3. Relationships: Remember that you’re not alone. If you’re swamped at work and becoming anxious, give the gift of helping you. Ask someone for assistance or help with a project.
  4. Recommit: Are you going to recommit to the task at hand or listen to the voices in your head?

Be creative in how you approach your anxiety. Find comfort in humor when you’re dealing with a stressful situation.

And don’t take yourself too seriously. There’s a freedom that comes with admitting you’re not perfect. Everything that we need to survive exists in us already – it’s just how we utilize those tools and deal with those anxieties in a creative way to keep going.

Posted by Sarah Prokopchak, Account Executive at initiate-it, a digital-first, full-service agency in Richmond, Virginia. Sarah has been working with initiate-it for over three years on a variety of client accounts including Sandler Training and VCU Health.