TED Conversations

Simon Caira

Personal Coach, Peak Performance Techniques

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If it's true that our gifts, passions and identity were educated out of us as we grew up, how can we reclaim and rekindle these gifts?



Sir Ken Robinson asks that we be mindful of the 'really extraordinary capacities that children have - their capacities for innovation,' and he contends, 'All kids have tremendous talents. And we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.'


He says, 'We don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.'

He believes - and I tend to agree - that 'many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they're not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn't valued, or was actually stigmatized.'

Have you been steered away from your true talents in order to follow a more conventional route to success? Or was it your sense of identity that was in some way challenged and even squandered?


Sir Ken believes that a child's ability to take a chance, to not be frightened of being wrong, is lost by the time they become adults. If this is true I guess it's fair to say there are a lot of us running around with limiting core beliefs that inherently hold us back from our originality and creativity. Beliefs like: I'm frightened to make mistakes, or, I'm scared to be wrong.


Identity statements and beliefs govern our thoughts, behaviors, actions and outcomes. I wonder if you agree that you had your identity, creativity and talents educated out of you and what can be done to rekindle the fire of lost passions and to rebuild those latent talents, qualities and abilities?

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  • Dec 15 2013: Play.
    Play outside. Play some board games. Use your body in playing outside as well as in kinesthetic play with board games.
    Play non-competitive sports.
    That's a first step in the right direction. It seems the sense of play is lost first.

    Fearfulness of mistakes is a form of perfectionism. To break that up a bit, find an activity that you cannot possibly be best at and get involved in it.

    Both of those are key steps I would suggest in breaking up creative paralysis, i.e. two dynamite sticks to blast out the blockage..

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