why does christmas feel like i’m in an mma fight?

Now we’re in it! The big idea has stuck and now we’re rolling down the tracks to get this idea off the ground. At this point in the journey, there is still a bunch of stuff to figure out, but one thing is for sure, we’re doing something!

In my experience, this is where the idea people and the execution people tend to stop talking. We go into our separate corners and try to figure out how to get this thing done. And while there is a ton of individual work that needs to get done, the idea can’t afford for us to stop talking to each other. 

For the technical person, there are tons of unknowns, especially when you’re doing something you’ve not done before. For the creative, it can be easy to feel left out of the decisions that are getting made about your idea.

Instead of heading to our opposing corners and staying there, we need to keep coming back to the middle of the ring and work stuff out. 

To take this image of a boxing ring even further, many times when we go to our corner, we’ve got somebody there who understands us and is cheering us on. It is a safe place. And once I leave my corner, it is easy to not feel safe anymore. To feel like I might get punched in the face when I get out to the middle of the ring.

Why is it that idea people and executor people feel like we are in a boxing match so often? Why can it sometimes feel like combat? I believe we are created differently, to fill different roles. And because of those differences, it can feel like we are coming at each other. 

In reality, we need these differences to make ideas happen. We need to come at ideas with everything we have, from our very different perspectives. In order to make something amazing together, we need to understand that we aren’t trying to go for a knockout, we are just trying to figure out how to make the idea even better.

I shied away from these confrontations early in my life, because I thought that was exactly what they were: confrontations that were unpleasant and with me always seeming to get beat up in the process. And if you’re the one with the idea, you don’t need any more help pointing out the flaws in your idea. You know they are there. This whole meeting in the middle is like self-torture. Why would anyone want that?

I might sound like a broken record, but this part of the process is where we really need to trust each other. Trust that you’re just not throwing punches for fun. Trust that we’re trying to make this idea as amazing as it can be. Trust that when we go back to our corners that we are honoring each other. Trust that we are all working as hard as we can to accomplish the overall goal.

This is how to make the best ideas possible, by continuing to come together and hammer out the best solutions for making the idea more than any of us could have imagined. Like most of the other steps in the creative process, this one is not linear. We will need to keep circling back on decisions we’ve already made and refining the execution process as we go along. We will need to let go of good ideas so that great ones can come to the surface. Continually refining as we go. This is how it is supposed to be. 

Another aspect of this part of the process is the need to let go. If you’re involved in the creative process, chances are you are passionate about the part you play. You are super attached to your idea or you’re in love with your method for pulling off this idea. This is how it works. This is what helps to create amazing ideas. It is also what can create bad ideas. If we aren’t willing to release our part to make the whole thing better, ideas will be half-baked and not all they could be. 

It is important to care deeply about your part of the process. We need that from each other. We also need to be ready to sacrifice our favorite thing for what is best for the whole. We all have to let go if we hope to make something truly amazing.


Interested in joining a community of other technical artists trying to create healthy environments where we can work together and make ideas happen? Check out FILO Coaching!

Picture of Todd Elliott

Todd Elliott

Todd is a writer, speaker, technical artist in the local church and founder of FILO.

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