Watch: TED Talk – How to build your Creative Confidence

TED Talks: David Kelley on how to build your creative confidence

Why you should watch:

“People divide themselves into ‘creative’ types and ‘not creative’ – often discouraged by being judged in their childhood. It’s not that they can’t be creative, just that they’re afraid to try.

David talks of phobias, and a treatment for fear of snakes implemented by Albert Bandura (described by David as the fourth greatest psychologist of history). People would be told there is a snake in the next room, then when they were comfortable they’d be taken to a window where they could see the snake, then be led to the doorway, then be in the room and eventually touching the snake. At each point they are held until they are comfortable moving to the next step. At the end they could even see the beauty in snakes, and would be less anxious about other parts of their life – they had gained a new confidence in their own self-efficacy.

Creative Confidence

David Kelley at TED2012: Full Spectrum, February 27 – March 2, 2012. Long Beach, CA. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

He discusses an anecdote from ‘Doug’ – a technician who designs MRI machines. He is a technical type, but forced himself to be creative when he discovered children were terrified of an MRI. 80% needed to be sedated to run the scan, so he made it more exciting for them. The machine was painted in bright colours, with a pirate ship theme. The operators were trained also to make it more exciting – they told the children the story of having to be perfectly still or else the pirates would get them, and described the movement of the machine as if the boat was rocking. The children loved the new machine – with only 10% needing to be sedated and this saved the hospital a lot of time and money in having to call for the anesthesiologist all the time.

David has survived a cancer scare, and through that decided his calling was in inspiring people to regain the creative confidence they had lost. When people regain this confidence, they can a new perspective on what’s important to them. They will change the direction of their lives to achieve whatever their goal is. We should not divide the world into ‘creatives’ and ‘non creative’, people are all naturally creative. We should be able to achieve self-efficacy and touch the snake.”-