|by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP|
- fear of the messy unknown;
- fear of being judged;
- fear of the first step;
- fear of losing control.
This tenet bears repeating because even experienced improvisers will fall into the habit of asking questions rather than making offers when the pressure is on. Improvisation is rooted in collaboration and is most alive and exciting when all players initiate as much as receive. Because every human interaction involves some degree of risk, we can hold back or overthink what we might want to contribute to an improvised scene. But just as in real-life relationships, taking initiative not only gives partners something to work with and respond to, it is strengthens our confidence that not every try has to land. It can transform our need for approval into a desire to participate and support others that circumvents self-consciousness.
In their book Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, David and Tom Kelley argue that creative confidence "is like a muscle - it can be strengthened and nurtured through effort and experience" and that everyone has the capacity to be creative. What distinguishes innovators - "believing in your ability to create change in the world around you" - is what improvisation trains us to do in real time.
Read an interview with David and Tom Kelley on Edutopia: "How To Build Students' Creative Confidence"