Self-doubt is a common struggle for most humans, and especially common in creative industries. When you are creating something, you take everything so much more personal because you know how much time and thought went into it and how you envisioned it to be. Sometimes this struggle can fuel the art you are creating, but more often than not, it stifles your creativity and causes you to stop.
Personally, I have dealt with this issue since I was very young. I recall in middle school, sketching pictures and they didn’t look anything like I really wanted them too. I was stuck on the vision and anything less was unacceptable. I would want to immediately throw them in the trash, and my friends would take them out of the trash because they loved them. When I decided to go into business using my creativity, I ran into the same roadblock. I lacked confidence in myself and what I created. I would be afraid to share my images with my clients because I hated the images I created! This was not at all a rational view of reality, but it is what consumed my thoughts. I want to share some quick tips to help other creatives overcome self-doubt.
Interrupt the Negative Talk
One of my biggest pitfalls was getting into a negative feedback loop. I would tell myself the I wasn’t worth anything. And my work was horrible. No one wants to work with you and only do so out of pity. This negative talk will start out small and quickly spiral out of control. When I hear myself say something negative, I stop it in its track. I instead reframe the situation and remind myself of what my clients actual say. I reflect back at all the “I LOVE the pictures!” and “You are so talented!” This is an easy way to boost my confidence. If you don’t have clients yet, that’s okay! Stop the talk and remind yourself that you are worthy, that you are pursuing your passion, and reach out to someone you love or trust.
Journal with a Gratitude Attitude
Journaling is something I have recently started doing more often. A lot of my self-doubt stems from childhood issues that I hold onto. It’s easy to be a victim and make excuses so you don’t have to fail. I begin my day by sitting down for five minutes and write. I like to start with what I am grateful, big and small. From the laughter of my children to being able to coach my son’s soccer team or from being able to pursue my creative passions to being grateful for my past because it has led to an empathetic and giving adult.
Take Some “Me” Time
This is extremely important and something so many of us don’t take advantage of, myself included. This can because we feel like we don’t deserve it. But taking the time to do something that makes you happy is a great mental boost. You can meet up with some friends for a drink or go to a park and read a favorite book. You can go for a hike or sit down and paint anything. Like Tom and Donna say, “Treat Yo Self!”
Also always remember to be kind, not only to others but especially to yourself. We are humans, we make mistakes, we will fail, and that’s just part of the journey. Embrace it, learn from it, and don’t put yourself down. Instead get out there and prove yourself wrong!