Why are so many scared of creativity?

Society celebrates, envies, and covets creative people. So many individuals wish they were more creative – but then shy away from risky ideas. How can we both desire to be more creative and then run from the creative process?

In the case of naming, sometimes creativity can cause you to fall flat on your face. Many creative ideas are extremely polarizing. For example, take 2 minutes to try naming a new kitchen ladle. Admittedly, names like “Super Scooper” or “Easy Lift” are either too cheesy or too vague, boring, or unrelated. But what about names like “PickMeUp,” “Souper Scooper,” or “Heavy Lifter?” They may not all work, but they’re definitely more creative and interesting than the humdrum alternatives.

Creativity requires a perspective of comfort towards the unknown. People who need the security of knowing that they have the correct answers or exactly how long their work will take may have a natural aversion to creativity.

Unknowns and vague approaches define the creative process. A unique spin, a suggestive name, those 80’s hip huggers – all are controversial. However, “different” is how sensations are born. Did Yo Yo Ma know that he was going to be a cello sensation when he picked up the instrument at age 4? Did many foresee the success of Facebook – who knew so many people would take a crazed interest in the minute-by-minute status of each other’s lives? (I thought it was ridiculous when I first started college!)

I saw a cooler in the grocery store yesterday and for the first time noticed the name – PlayMate. That’s a risky name! But it’s also memorable and fun. Taking a walk on the wild side may be fear-inspiring, but if we remember that we celebrate and desire creativity, we’ll realize that the walk is worth it.

Check out this video from TED where best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about creativity and managing the associated fear (her latest book is Eat, Pray, Love).

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  • Empowered Imaging Partners, LLC struggled with its own internal marketing group for 10+ weeks to coin the brand name that would launch our national Preventive Health Screening brand. When we eventually gave up and turned to Mike Carr and NameStormers, we were impressed with their professionalism and process orientation. HealthYES.com was the final brand chosen out of at least 3 viable alternatives provided by NameStormers. Without reservation, we recommend NameStormers as 'the company to turn to' for naming.
    Craig Lindley and Dale Wood - Co-Founders of Empowered Imaging Partners, LLC - now HealthYES.com
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  • I must underscore what an absolute pleasure it was to work with you during this entire project. Your methodical, timely, and resourceful approach to educating me on how a new name affects a company, and the steps you so painstaking address to make the transition a seamless one, were outstanding. Each time I needed to contact you to get direction or clarification, you responded with immediate and informative action. You are the consummate professional and a real pleasure to work with.
    Dorian Stern - Director of Marketing, Logicare
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  • Thank you for your excellent work, great customer service, and fast turnaround. I'd be happy to provide references for you. We decided on Alliant as a good tie to the corporate name: Virginia Mason-Group Health Alliance, Inc. And we've got two Alliant Health Plans, Plus which is a point of service plan, and Select for the HMO.
    Paula Heath - Director of Advertising & Sales Promotion - Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound
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  • I received your presentation booklet for our new car concept---I looked through it and want to compliment you on an outstanding job. The names you have developed will be terrific starting points for us as we move our project forward. We will not hesitate to use your firm again.
    Mike Suchstand - Vice President, Strategic Development - THORN Americas, Inc.
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  • I have hired Mike to do naming projects for several of our clients. Naming can be a difficult area for many companies and Mike does a great job walking people through the process and making them feel comfortable. One of his strengths is his ability to ask the right questions to really understand the problem and the objectives at hand. This allows NameStormers to always come up with a wide variety of options that expands the thinking of the client. I have yet to have a client be disappointed with the process or the results. If you are considering going through a naming exercise, I would highly recommend Mike and The NameStormers.
    Tom Dorow, Design North.
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  • Our success with our name change and branding has been phenomenal. I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. I am ecstatic over it. Our experience in working with NameStormers has been so good let's just call them again and let them handle this next project for us.
    Bill Macey - CEO of Valtera, formerly Personnel Research Associates
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  • I wanted to thank you and the NameStorming team for your great effort in helping me find a name for the company and our first product...starting a new business is quite a sizeable undertaking so knowing a competent team was tending to the name issues was a relief. We love the (company) name. We are also going to use the product name Acquis for a family of internet-and-otherwise commerce software packages. It really was a pleasure working with you. I look forward to NameStorming in the future.
    Tom Dowdell - Senior Software Developer - Intuitive Edge