Creativity Takes Courage

Astrid van der Hulst, Irene Smit

Creativity Takes Courage



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Creativity is something we all need, and you don’t have to be an artist, creative director, or professional inventor to be a creative person: creativity is within each one of us, we just need to give it the chance to express itself, and this requires courage. In Creativity Takes Courage, the two founders of Flow magazine invite you to take a series of small courageous actions that foster creativity: for example, overcoming the fear of failure, getting out of your comfort zone, and trying new things, indulging in moments of boredom, looking at the world with the eyes of a child, and learning to spend time alone. By following the authors’ advice, we can all learn, step by step, how to fully express our creative potential.

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Analysis and key concepts


We can all be more creative if we learn to silence our inner critic and to be a bit more courageous


Learn to welcome failure as something natural, inevitable, and as your best teacher


Forget about perfectionism, step out of your comfort zone, and make the first move towards the thing you have always wanted to do but have been afraid to try


Make sleep a priority, a critical ingredient for creativity and happiness


Allow yourself to get bored: boredom is fertile ground for creativity


Try to view the world the way a child does: “beginner’s mind” is to look without judgement. It makes you more open, perceptive, and creative


Being alone is important for creativity: take some time to be by yourself, switch off and listen to the silence


Try meditation to dive into the depths of yourself, let go of any negative thinking and let your creativity flow


Make time to create while you are alone to nurture your creativity


Try out the potential of a creative partnership and the balance between connection and independence




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Reconnect with yourself to become more creative.
  • Act fearlessly and step out of your comfort zone.
  • Begin to view failure as an opportunity to learn.
  • Reduce the need for perfectionism and break any habits that hold you back.

Astrid van der Hulst is a Dutch author who has worked with Irene Smit for most of her professional life. Together they co-founded Flow magazine, established publishing partnerships with Workman in Europe and America, and have published numerous books on creativity, mindfulness, and personal growth. She currently lives outside Amsterdam.

Irene Smit is a Dutch author who writes about creativity and personal growth. She is also the co-founder and creative director of Flow magazine, a popular international publication that celebrates creativity, imperfection, and the small pleasures in life. In addition to Creativity takes Courage, she also joined forces with Astrid van der Hust to write other successful books such as Everything Grows With Love and Know Yourself. Smit currently lives outside Amsterdam.

Publishing house:

Workman Publishing