Time to fess up, Reptitude is a made up word.
Short version: It’s audacity with a little integrity thrown in. Plus creative sparks and some honest hard work for good measure.
Long version: I first heard the word on the USA Network television comedy and mystery series Psych It was used to describe the extreme polish and professionalism sidekick Burton ‘Gus’ Guster demonstrates on the job — he’s a bright, young, up and coming, hard working, studious and earnest pharmaceutical company sales representative — despite his occasional questionable moonlighting activities solving crimes with Shawn Spencer. (Check it out here.)
I then linked the word Reptitude in my mind to “representing” with attitude — something many creative types need to learn to do when presenting themselves to their public — my public relations/publicist version short-hand for that bold, courageous aspect of Reptitude is “representin’ with ‘tude.”
Over time, I began to imagine a connection of Reptitude with the lizard – a reptile with a certain attitude, yes, but also as a critter to be grabbed by the tail, much as many creative people need to grab hold of their creativity before it grabs hold of them: if you envision a little chameleon instead of a big hairy lizard, it gets easier.
Next, I think of Reptitude as a mind leap to purposely outmaneuver the downside occasionally presented by the reptilian portion of the brain in an effort to protect ourselves. In other words, the inner reserve creative people need to find and use to counter their fears — since fears tend to be the basis of creative blocks and fears hold us back in so many ways, this is a big part of Reptitude. As in, “Don’t you need to get yourself some Reptitude!?!”
And finally, I have become more aware of the many symbolic occurrences involving lizards, dragons, serpents and whatnot turned in a circle to devour their own tails…. If you believe in synchronicity, then this would be a great example. Reptitude has power!
In each iteration, Reptitude just seems to be a natural fit at one time or another. It’s a multipurpose, talisman-esque, tongue in cheek word for je ne sais quois!
What could Reptitude mean for you? I mentioned it in my very first creativity post, hinting at what it could mean.
As a creativde person, what kind of Reptitude do you want to develop, what do you need it to mean? Why not tell me about it in the comments, or if you think a friend would like some Reptitude in their creative life, use the button below to share this.