I wish I could tell you that after almost 11 years into my creative career, I’m totally confident in my work. The truth is, confidence isn’t a destination, it’s a process that ebbs and flows. I can tell you that despite feelings of inadequacy and comparison, I remain confident in who I am as a person. I’ve learned to trust myself more, stick to a set of values that helped drive my work, and I understand the intricacies of creating fun and inspiring work (aka the good and the bad parts of the process).
Failure Is Inevitable
You probably have had this notion hammered into your head a million times, but it still doesn’t really resonate until you have a handful of failures under your belt. They hurt, big time. However, if you can remain resilient and know that failure is part of a creative process and that we can truly learn and grow from our mistakes, then you will become more comfortable with them. One of my tricks is knowing that the final outcome isn’t really what I’m after anyway. Sure, it’s great when you and others both love it, but the main goal for me is enjoying the entire process of making it. Hopefully I love the final outcome, but if it doesn’t pan out that’s OK, too. Reflect on the journey, be grateful and move on.
Get Out Of Your Head
When you’re making something or trying something new, you will hear all kinds of negative voices in your head. They will tell you you’re not good enough, your ideas suck, you’re going to fail, etc. This happens to me every single time I put myself out there and can be criticized. What helps me is to allow those thoughts to be along with me on my journey but they never get to take the driver’s seat. I acknowledged them and then keep working. Another way to push past your own negativity is to call a friend. He or she will be able to help get you out of the funk and realize your potential. I find that I start to think everything is all bullshit. Like, why am I wasting my time with this? No one cares. When that happens, I know it’s time for me to change my space. I take a walk, take a day off, listen to a new podcast, go work out, go to bed earlier. These things seems to always recharge my battery and clear my head.
I know this is easier said than done. We’re programmed to compare ourselves to others. However, if it’s not motivating you in a positive way, it’s time to put the blinders on. Stop following people who make you feel bad about yourself or envious. Think about your values and what you really like and then ignore the rest. It can be really scary, but also liberating. I know that I’ve been able to do this more and more as I get older. I’m truly at a place where I can’t even think of someone who I wish I would rather be. Fill your feeds with people who lift you up and inspire you. It will change your world!