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By Rick Benzel | Updated September 1, 2018
The Reward Approach can be an effective method to get out of stuckness when the creativity-halting goo is thin and leaves you with a sense of power over your situation. This approach requires you to be brutally honest with yourself in evaluating whether your stuckness reflects factors that you can control if you truly wanted to. For example, we all experience times when we simply don't want to get to work; we would rather watch TV or go for a walk than feel the pain of writing, painting, or practicing our instrument.
But in these types of situations, if you are truthful with yourself and are able to admit that the problem has more to do with your own negative attitude or your laziness, you might realize that this is the right time to adopt the Reward Approach. As the name implies, you simply offer yourself a reward for committing to get your work done or for achieving certain milestones along the way to total completion.
For example, you might make a contract with yourself that for every chapter you complete on your novel, you will allow yourself a nice dinner at one of your favorite restaurants, and you won't go to that restaurant unless you do complete the chapter. Other rewards could be buying yourself a desired piece of clothing, or a night out, or that new electronic device you desire.
So many of us are not good at abiding by contracts we make with ourselves. It is easy to tell yourself, "I know I said I was going to work tonight, but I'm just too tired." The problem is, of course, if you let yourself off the hook day in and day out, you accomplish very little towards your creative goals. You thus must find a new way to abide by your self-made contract. That is where the rewards come in.
In general, the more meaningful the reward, the more success you will have in fulfilling your commitment.
Next: The Hero Approach
©2005 Rick Benzel. All rights reserved.
This collection of insights for successful creating is based on Inspiring Creativity: Powerful Insights and Practical Ideas to Guide You to Successful Creating and published with permission.
Repudiating You're Not Creative
5 Eroding Notions to Resist
5 Nurturing Practices to Embrace
Feeling You Don't Have Permission to Create
How Society Tells Us Not to Create
How Friends May Convince Us Not to Create
How We Convince Ourselves Not to Create
Suggestions for Giving Yourself Permission
Every Artist Gets Stuck
Reframing Approach to Getting Unstuck
Marcel Proust Approach to Getting Unstuck
Pottery Approach to Getting Unstuck
Buddy Approach to Getting Unstuck
Matrix Approach to Getting Unstuck
Spiritual Approach to Getting Unstuck
Reward Approach to Getting Unstuck
Hero Approach to Getting Unstuck