How to Be More Creative: Move Towards Radical Uncertainty

In a recent talk I heard on the 99U podcast about how Radiolab came into being, co-creator Jad Abumrad shared with the audience that during the first few years of the now popular and award-winning show, he and his fellow co-creators were scared to death on a daily basis.

“For some reason, that I can’t really explain, at the beginning of Radiolab, it always felt like life or death. Even though it was just a radio show. Even though no one was listening. And I am not quite sure why... but it may have to do with that radical uncertainty you feel when you are trying to work without a template.
   -Jad Abumrad, co-creator of Radiolab, and MacArthur Fellow


Creatin' ain't easy

The words “fun,” happiness,” or “joy” did not come out of the Radiolab creators' mouths when asked to describe how they felt when starting the show.

The words that most quickly came to mind to describe the beginning stages of their creative work were “gut churn.

Instead of being paralyzed by this gut churn, they embraced it.  They used it as an indicator that they were about to do something new and innovative, and that they just needed to keep going.

Are you doing anything in your life where you are working without a template?

If not, then it might be time for you to take on something radically uncertain—something you are curious about or that you have always wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.

It is often in these radically uncertain episodes that we find the freedom and opportunity to truly create something unique and meaningful for ourselves and others.

Need Help Getting Started and Moving Past Your Comfort Zone?

I dig a bit deeper into some strategies and techniques that anyone can use to move towards uncertainty and ignite their personal creativity in my free e-book, How to Become a Creative Badass: A 9-Step Guide to Mastering the Creative Process. You can get your free copy now by entering your e-mail below. In addition to the free e-book, you will receive other creativity-enhancing resources (such as my top creativity-inducing books, podcasts, and documentaries) over the following weeks.  The theme for my 2015 is moving towards gut churn, getting really uncomfortable, and pushing through uncertainty.  Will you make 2015 the year of radical uncertainty, too?