Discover Powerful Ways To Unlock Your Creativity In Conversations, Business, And All Areas Of Life
Is it easy for you to create? To come up with ideas – what to say next in a conversation, solutions to problems, how to write or express yourself clearly…
For most people, this can be a major challenge. And there’s a reason for this.
Join Dr. Aziz as he continues his interview with world-renowned book coach Ben Clemenzi-Allen. You’ll discover exactly how to be more creative in life, and just how to get the confidence to put your ideas out there in a big way.
Click below to hear this episode!
Ben Clemenzi-Allen is a world renowned professor and book coach. He helps people break through inner blocks and tap into their unlimited creativity to produce best selling books quickly. You can learn more about Ben’s work here.
Welcome to today’s episode of the show. Today we’re going to be talking more about creativity, confidence and creativity. And sometimes people hear that and they’re like, well, not for me I’m not creative. And whoa, if you have that thought or that belief you especially need to listen to today’s show. Because we’re going to be really expanding what our definition of creativity is. I mean, creativity is something that you’re going to use every day. This isn’t just about writing a book or, you know, making a piece of music although you might find that the more you do stuff like that, write, create, sing, dance, paint, whatever your thing is the more alive you feel. But all of that stuff aside creativity is essential in your business, in your work. Creativity is essential for handling problems in your family life, in your personal life, in relationships, with your kids, with your wife, with your girlfriend, with women that you want to date. Learning how to talk to women requires a huge amount of creativity.
Being an exceptional conversationalist and knowing things to say and being able to tell stories and engage people and be naturally magnetic to others that requires creativity, knowing what to say next in a conversation. So creativity encompasses everything from your social life, to your personal life, to your business life, to your own fulfillment in pursuing, you know, expression, self expression is what we’re really talking about here. And the best person to talk to about this is Ben who’s my guest expert when we’re getting on the second half of the interview because he is a powerhouse with creativity in helping people unlock their creativity. So without further ado, let’s dive back into that interview with Ben.
Dr. Aziz: What about your audience just in general like you wrote that first book. What were you thinking about when you were about ready or maybe before when you sat down to write it or as you were beginning that process how were you perceiving the impact of the book? How were you perceiving its reception?
Ben: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think that I was focused a lot on who I wanted to help and what I wanted to help them do. And I was thinking about all the people that I had worked with and said, okay, like if I was going to guide someone along the path that I saw people who were successful in working with me, if I was going to guide people on that path what would that path be and let me write to them and speak to them. And that was my primary focus. I did of course have questions of what if it’s poorly received? What if people generally the unanimous consensus is, you know, 2 stars, nice try but you suck, you know. That did cross my mind and you know the funny thing is I think it was a test to how much confidence I developed already that I didn’t spend really anytime stressing about it and the thought was just, well then my next one will be better.
Dr. Aziz: That great. That’s great. So, there’s an idea that I’ve heard and I offer this as well that says, shoot for your third time, make the third time the best one. Another is take rapid action and the reason is I think part of it is that your identity begins to shift as you’re doing that and inevitably no matter how much anticipation and meditation you sort of involve in your process you will always learn something halfway through and then all the way through that you didn’t know before, right? So no matter what you got to do it to make it better like you got to roll. And when I’m talking with my writers often what I say to them was, great, what we’re going to do to this book is going to be amazing. I also want you to start thinking about your second book because that just instantly takes the pressure off on it that there’s going to be more, there’s going to be another time to do it.
And again this comes right back to the it’s about experimentation about continual action.
Dr. Aziz: That’s such a great way to hold it and that’s interesting when you tell them I want you to be thinking about your second book. It implies or assumes or presupposes that they’ll already write the first one and be working on their second one. So, you know, sneaky that we could geek out on that. But, it’s so valuable because I think people have all these fear, it’s going to go terribly, and then at the same time we have this idea I was just working with this on a client earlier today where it’s this, okay I’ve avoided this for so long now I’m going to work up the courage I’m going to do it. And then we sort of have this entitled expectation that the first time we do it it’s going to supposed to go awesome. It’s like, well I worked up my courage so if God or the universe or whoever is controlling this whole show better give me what I want because I showed up my end of the bargain by doing it.
Ben: Yeah. You know, you’re pretty really good point with this. It’s like there’s a couple of things and this when you’re talking about serving your clients and with the people reading the book. If you think about serving others and this is actually super useful for anybody who’s really struggling with social anxiety well I had and people who are struggling to form healthy relationships with people that they’re attracted to as well as just friendships. Think about it this way and especially with the book and creativity you’re trying to offer something. You’re doing this for others. You’re doing this as a form of service to the world. And truly that how friendships and relationships should be anyways. If you’re not serving the people around you then it’s kind of a selfish relationship. But if you’re actually like approaching somebody with a mentality like you’re going to serve them it takes your ego at it. It eliminates this problem that you’re talking about right here and same thing with the book. Once I start telling people that we start talking about this idea that your experiences, your life, your voice is shaped to serve and to speak to you a particular group of people and those people are waiting for your voice and for your impact. That starts to shift them as well.
And I think that people can think about that same when they’re building a business, when they’re meeting strangers, when they’re speaking in front of a group, when they’re trying to ask for a raise. Think about value. How much value are you offering? It’s not about asking it’s just about being received for the amount of impact that you’re giving, positive impact. I find that very thrilling.
Dr. Aziz: Absolutely. And, we can hear your passion as you’re speaking you’re actually picking up some pounding on the table.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, I can’t help it I get a little bit of a passion Italian boy. I grew up on the east coast of Italian Fin. So I speak with my hands I chew with my mouth.
Dr. Aziz: Just pounding on the table. This is my point.
Ben: book then will just be me the pictures of me shaking my hands.
Dr. Aziz: The gesture book. But it’s funny, man, because you’re inspiring. I mean talking to you you can feel this freedom of like, yeah, why one why not several? I mean, to helps free people even more. Let’s look at this you said something at the very beginning of our conversation where you said, back when I was really shy I had a hard time doing all these different things and one of the things you mentioned was asserting what I believed in because the fear of other’s opinions. And it’s funny because whether it’s a book or a song or a poem or whatever expression we’re going to do in a sort of creativity even in the marketing for your business, you know, there’s an assertion of here I am, here’s what I believe in or here’s what I’m offering or here’s what I’m presenting to you whoever is going to receive it. And there’s I think a great deal of fear around standing behind what we say.
And I’m curious how have you found or how do you help people get that more of the confidence to stand behind what they’re saying, to believe in what they’re saying more?
Ben: That’s great. I think it’s, I don’t know, people don’t believe in what they’re saying I think that if somebody is to just be comfortable with themselves. Like if they go home, if they arrive at their heart if they arrive at their origin all ideas and thoughts come quite organically. I’m right now in this conversation. There’s a little bit of anxiety that comes up thinking that a lot of people are going to be listening to this and of course they want to come across very polished and like really amazing and be like the most impressive dude in the world, right? And then I have to say something that is other. So I think the simple shift here is that when people allow themselves to just be who they are in that sense, they allow themselves to assert their instinctive responses or their instinctive creativity, whatever it is that they’re trying to do while also developing to be better in what they do then it’s actually very easy for them to produce that.
What gives them away is that they lean into others then try to anticipate what others want to hear, right? And when they’re doing that they think they get away from what comes up organically. You know, they’re people pleasing. First is like listening to their own heart and their own creativity. And there’s something really valuable I think in going back to your origin, going back to your center, and trusting that there is some inspiration there. But at the same time working, right, like a horse we need to develop. Even if you have amazing talent it has got to be shaped.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah, that’s a whole another point is because, man, that links to so many things. Because I’m scared of putting myself out there because of other people’s opinions or I want to please other people. I don’t think it’s going to go well in my first attempt so I’m not just going to, you know like that woman you mentioned for 12 years was doing that.
Ben: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Aziz: And, as a result during those 12 years she’s not getting badass at writing books.
Ben: That’s right, yeah.
Dr. Aziz: And, you know, so this means she doesn’t have many books in her and with your help now she can start moving but…
Ben: You know she’s actually on her second book now Hollywood agents actually.
Dr. Aziz: That’s awesome. There you go.
Dr. Aziz: No, I love it, right? And that just shows that you can get that momentum and this is true for books, this is true for in say socialize talking to women. I spent many years avoiding it and not doing it and as a result not getting that good at it. And so we kind of get behind as we are in that stage of waiting and planning and then in some ways, you know, maybe we try to pull that off as a great delay tactic and then we can say, oh it’s been too long, I’m too old, I missed my boat and so therefore… How do we break free of that? How do we get into action and start to be more creative in general? How can we do that?
Ben: Yeah, cool. I’ll enter in just one second I want to go back to this other ideas that we’re just kicking around there as well. I think that when people like when they feel writer’s block when they feel like they don’t know what to say next in a conversation that type of thing it is because they’re trying to anticipate what the other person wants to hear or what their clients wants to hear. Maybe I’m just repeating myself now but if that’s much clearer if they just allowed themselves to be in their state and you know just produce organically. I think I’ve been repeating myself there but…
Dr. Aziz: But it’s worth mentioning and it’s so important. I like linking those two, writer’s block and also freeing in a conversation.
Ben: It’s the same thing, right. It is.
Dr. Aziz: It’s the same thing.
Ben: When people are like, I don’t know what to create or I don’t know what to do it’s because they’re often, yeah, they’re associated with fear and they’re associated with trying to anticipate the needs of an audience. Also I have this quick story and this actually will head to your other question as well. So a woman I was working with, a different writer, came to me. This was late spring. Very gifted, very brilliant young woman but completely jammed up like totally stuck. She will take *0:13:44 hours and hours and hours and hours to do for 200-word piece and she’s a great writer but it will take her so long to produce. And so we talked about it and we got really into and I asked her a lot of questions stuff and we go deep into it. And essentially what was happening for her she had this one belief that wasn’t informing her and I asked her like how do you know a good writing? And her answer to that was that, I will say everything that needs to be said. And I was thinking about that with her in our conversation and I was feeling the pressure of that.
Imagine if you had to say everything that needs to be said and trying to say everything that needs to be said. The problem is it’s so vague. There’s no boundary to that. There’s no actual criteria for doing it well. So she felt so much pressure in that. And then what we ended up doing is we ended up shifting her perceptive of saying, well, maybe what would be better is it’s saying what I want to say. And that really it just tied back into her and we’re using this kind of visual metaphor for her as well and for her writing is real kind of creativity was a spiritual process almost like she was picturing like this light this energy like coming from her core out into the world. And for her it’s the that really worked and we allowed her to have that vision that her belief around that she could write what needed to be said. It became intuitive, it became natural for her. And like the most prolific streak of her life when she wrote this really wonderful review about it.
So, yeah, I mean, the lesson in that is that one of the ways to break through is really find your beliefs, you know, what are your beliefs? How do you know for instance when something is done? And this is something that is very complicated for artists and providers because you can edit something and then you can add it beyond that. But how do you know when something’s good or how do you know when something’s done? That’s the good question that I find I ask a lot and the easy answer with the books that I write and a lot of books I help people with are non-fiction personal development and self-development and professional-development books then the thing that we already shift from perfection to impact. So often what I happen to do is change their beliefs into thinking about the impact. Are they impacting their reader? And that’s the question that always need to be answering and that’s when I know something’s done and that helps them create. Does that make sense?
Dr. Aziz: Yeah. It’s so interesting, too, to see about all the different blocks that people might have that, you know. Because you’re right it all comes down to our beliefs and what each have to say everything that needs to be said. When you were saying that I was like good God imagine reading everything that has to be said, that sounds painful, right? But what’s so interesting is hearing that and realizing that that was never a block for me with writing is I like to produce stuff and get it done and then just like never, never I hated editing. I hate editing. So I’d rather just like it’s like 1 take try to do all videos, all these podcasts, writing even books it was just like I have an editor do that for me and then he like came back with me with huge amounts of edits and I kind of looked at a few of them I was like, yeah, that’s great, I approve them all. And he’s like, what? Like, no. And he wouldn’t let me approve them all.
So then I took it back to my house and like looked through a few more or them and I was like, yep, here you go, I read them all, I approve them all. Actually I picked like 3 or 4 to just kind of tweak a little bit so it looked like. Because I was just, blah, I was such a big idea person I just want to get the ideas out.
Ben: What are you thinking about? How do you know when?
Dr. Aziz: That’s a great question because I do have a completion point with something. Let me think, how would I… When I feel like it provides… Because I’ not writing fiction I’m writing non-fiction with a purpose it’s transformational communication. The purpose is someone’s going to read this and as a result have a shift internally that’s going to lead to a different life and I feel complete when it’s like this offers enough to produce a shift for this.
Ben: Yeah. That’s what I said among my authors is that it’s impact not perfection and speaking about that person. So, again I mean like we’re sort of answering the question, right? How do you become more creative and how do you unleash that creativity. You get your freaking ego out of the way, you know. You let go of like of your own things and you think about your audience and you think about what makes. And it’s odd, all right, because this is a real tight rope. You and I have particular messages. You have a particular message that serves certain people and that’s certainly amazing I’ve seen the results you’ve got work together, you’ve helped me a lot. And so you’re very good at serving certain people so your voice is part of your ego and your voice is something that has been shaped through your personality but at the same time we have to like polish the ego kind of put that thing out of the way so that we’re allowed to be a channel and that’s how I think about it.
Allow yourself to be a channel, you know. Each of the channels were shaped differently everything about it is a channel that carries water. river sort of as a different topology and texture and movement and whatever and climate and environment. So, you are unique in many ways and it’s your duty to be unique but it’s also your duty to get out of the way and allow that impulse and that energy to come up through you. And actually this helps me so much just saying this reminds me about being my own impulses and my own creativity is that, yeah, like really, I do believe on some level we’re all given something to share. Like literally humans are species that need community. We don’t survive on our own. We wouldn’t have lived this long as a species if we didn’t have community and we community and we have desire to long for community.
Social anxiety the very problem the reason why it’s so huge for so many people is because the pain of not having community is enormous so it’s deep in us to want community. So each person has something to contribute to that community. So get in touch with what that is and allow it to just be because it has always been there and it’s always going to be there and until you open up to it and let it just come out it will always at you, you know. That’s why people keep coming up against and that’s why people that’s why people write books. I’m hitting the table again. That’s why we will do these things is because they have that just back to begin a conversation is that people have this desire to be bigger, this desire to serve, and this desire to be a part and to be seen for something. You know I think it’s Maltz ho talks about this idea that, wait, to be human is to imprint something into the world with our labor and that’s one of the highest functions that we can have.
You know I don’t want to get political here but I love the philosophy of that and that it is something that we all feel so compelled to do in some way. I mean some people do that by, some people do that by having an amazing relationship, some people do that by making a house or a sculpture or a book or a poem or a play or a son or whatever it is. But they got to listen to that impulse. I call it divine restlessness. They got to listen to that impulse because they’re being called to grow.
Dr. Aziz: We’re going to pause for just one more moment right now and then we’re going to get back into the conclusion of my interview with Ben which is probably the best part of the entire interview. It gets really powerful. I got chills as we were doing it so you want to stay tuned for that in just a moment.
Dr. Aziz: I love it, man, and it’s inspiring because it highlights that each of us, you, me, and every single person listening right now has a lot to offer. It’s not just one thing either it’s a continual creative dance of expression and sometimes we tend to say, oh that person’s a really great singer obviously their gift is singing and we somewhat devalue our own contribution. It’s like, well, I’m nothing like that. And we forget that the contribution could be as simple as this morning before I came to work I was out in the yard with my son, Zaeem, and he’s a year and a half now and we were digging in the backyard with spoons. And he like pats the ground next to him indicating wants me to sit there and I sat down we started and where are we going to put the dirt? Oh now we’re going to put the dirt in this bowl, now we’re going to go make mud.
And like that is a contribution, that is an impact, that is a gift, that’s an offering to him in that moment. And we want to start thinking of creativity as that it’s like this giving in the moment whether it’s your voice, your opinion, your thought, your humor, your singing, your dance, the way you move your body, your book, your writing. I mean there’s just endless ways and I found and I’m sure you’ve probably seen this with yourself and clients, Ben, that the more creative I am the more alive I feel.
Ben: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Yeah, all of what you’re saying is so true it’s really resonating with me. It goes to our life lessons, right, in some ways. We don’t get woo-woo right now but, you know, creative energy is what causes things to live in some sense even in a metaphorical way. Letting trees grow and they keep flourishing because of this energy that exists. So we do when we’re in touch with that we feel alive. We don’t feel blocked. We don’t feel sad and we feel really alive. And I think I just want to echo what you’ve said about contribution. You know, let’s say that, I know your book hasn’t done this and I know your second book won’t do this either but let’s say that just 10 people ordered your book that’s 10 people whose lives maybe were changed, you know. Like that maybe we are meant to just who knows how we’re meant to contribute and who knows how big those contributions are going to be after they directly impact the people around us, you know. It’s the butterfly effect in some sense. One might impact one person and that person impacts 5,000 others, you know, and so on and so forth. We don’t know. It’s our duty in some ways to contribute.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah. I love that, man, and it highlights, you know, when I talking about getting your ego out of the way and whenever I have a setback in some way in my business or something *0:25:28 they try to put do some sort of training or class and no one shows up or there’s a client and there’s a potential to work together and they say no or something falls through and I feel rejected or discouraged and then I’m in this phase of like, oh, man, I failed, right? You know, this looks bad. My ego gets all wrapped up. The way I get out of that and I try to do it quicker and quicker now to say like it’s not about those results. This is what I’m here to do and I’m here to try to serve as many people in this way as I can and it’s always about that. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10,000 people maybe it’s just 5. So it’s about the dedication to that sharing or that impact rather than the specific result.
Ben: Exactly. Exactly. I think that’s exactly it. Yeah, the results aren’t in our hands. They never happened they never will be. Yeah we can do as much as we can but the world will respond to us the way the world will respond to us. And we can try and we should try and we should try to make that the best message possible but we don’t necessarily have to control *0:26:33 some people are misconstruing this. That’s okay, too, but the other thing I was thinking about with that is that *0:26:42 out there, yeah I lost it but there’s something I was *0:26:49 delivering your message and being committed to your message. Oh, right! So the fear, right? In the back of my mind I’m still answering your question a little bit around how you become more creative and part of it for me and this again is this sort of this is a principle that runs through a lot of my thinking these days and with my clients as well is it’s our duty to try to bring our message to the world and to try bring our creativity to the world and make our impact to world.
It’s also our duty to face the fears and discomfort that comes with that, you know, and that I think is awesome that sometimes just facing the fear is our duty. And it doesn’t matter how it goes. Sometimes when, you know for me I’m building this business, I’m launching these books and your book is coming up I’ve got a bunch of other books lined up and it’s really amazing things and doing self promotion can be very anxiety-provoking for me when I’m lost in the fears. you know one of my ways to come out of that is just think, wow, challenges i.e., fears are amazing invitation to grow. They’re amazing invitation to be bigger and actually it’s my job to do that. It’s my job to step over those fears and to walk over them and to learn how to reframe them like that is really harder for me.
Dr. Aziz: Yeah. I love it. It’s empowering and so valuable, man. And the work that you’re doing and all the iterations and I’ve seen you help people in a ton of ways I mean we didn’t get into all this but then this helped, I don’t know, hundreds of guys personally through mentorship in AA, guys who just want to get more comfortable in themselves, overcome stress and anxiety, thousands of students, and now all these writers and people want to put the message out with the book. So, I mean, your impact on the world is awesome and I think that what’s really cool about what you’re doing now is each writer that you helped to put that next book out there that’s going to be impacting hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people, so that’s amazing. And speaking of that we’re about the end of our time so…
Ben: Oh, wow, that went so fast.
Dr. Aziz: I know, time flies. Let’s get to some shameless self promotion. So, how can people find out about you, the work you’re doing, you mentioned your press, Let’s say someone wants to get something published, let’s say someone wants to get some help to write a book in 10 hours which is freaking incredible. How could people get in touch with you?
Ben: We also make books bestsellers, man. I mean we got all the strategies, we got all the stuff, we get beautiful covers, you know, we really walk you through the whole process. So how do people get in touch with me? Right now one of the easiest ways and I want to kind of build some energy around this is we have a Facebook page Though Leader Press, you guys can find that. So Though Leader Press it’s on Facebook check us out. We’ll also be offering all kinds of great discounts and deals for people that follow us because what we have there is launch some things and we got Aziz taking part in some of this as well. So check us out there. I also have a webpage that’s being designed right now it’s called thethoughtleaderpress.com and on there you guys will find coming up soon as I’ll be having a workshop for people about creativity and courage. About how to be more creative and about how to overcome what Stephen Press calls resistance and how to get through and really be the person you want to be and like create these things you want to create and just become unplugged and for you to feel alive and to feel fearless and to feel that way in social context.
Well it’s not necessarily about social context but it’s about the creative process where you can certainly use it to spill over any area of your life any area you’re trying to build a business or whatever. So, yeah, it’s going to be about creativity and courage in particular about writing and about creative projects. So that will be available through Thought Leader Press or thethoughtleaderpress.com and I will be giving discounts for anybody that comes through this program and I’ll tell you guys how to do that on the website once it’s up and running, so.
Dr. Aziz: Awesome. And we’ll have links to those things down below at shrinkfortheshyguy.co. So any of the links that he mentioned will be down there. And one question for you so this workshop about creativity and courage which I love that idea, is this going to be something that people can access via the web or…
Ben: Yeah. It’s going to be online, it’s going to be probably a webinar structure that will be recorded as well so people can to be there face to face so to speak. They can listen to the recording later. It’s going to be really fun. We’re going to touch on a bunch of different categories about creativity and the process and ways to make it more exciting and entertaining and energetic and more service oriented, right, in some ways. Yes, that will be online, it’ll be between 5 and 10 meetings. I know that’s a big range but it really depends right now on a couple of features that I’m working out but it’s going to be absolutely amazing.
Dr. Aziz: Awesome. We’ll do it. That sounds like a really cool program and everything else that you’re offering is great. So we’ll link everyone up to the Thought Leader Press. And thank you so much for sharing your ideas and helping inspire all of us to just be more badass and creative in our lives.
Ben: Yeah, Aziz. Thank you so much, man. It has been a real gift to be on this show with you and to know *0:32:27 so go on. Thank you so much.
Dr. Aziz: That brings us to the end of the interview and the end of our time together here today. Except for we can’t leave without doing one thing, that’s right, your action step.
Your action step for today is to do something creative but that also involves facing a fear. So something creative that involves facing a fear. So, if you love to paint and you know pull up your easel and whatever and do a painting you don’t have to draw, you don’t have to write, and you just kind of do that in your room and you don’t feel any fear about it that’s not the mission for today, that’s not your action step.
Last week we looked at doing something that’s creative. This week we want to combine facing a fear with doing something that’s creative. So maybe it’s sharing your opinion more openly with a group of people. Maybe it’s sharing a song with someone that you love. Maybe it’s putting your writing out there in a blog post or starting to put something together for what you know is going to be publicly seen. Now we’re talking right. So if you get a little nervous, you get a little uncomfortable, good, right. Remember as Ben said, that’s your duty, that’s your job is to face the fear. There’s something calling you there’s that divine restlessness which is only fulfilled, our divine calling, our purpose is only fulfilled when we start to face our fear in the service of our creativity. And you just might find that you feel more alive than you have in a long time.
So go ahead and do that. That’s your action step. And until we speak again. May you have the courage to be who you are, to share who you are with the world with your creativity, and to know and remember on a deep level that you’re awesome. Talk to you soon.
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