Self-doubt can destroy one’s creativity. I am sharing with you today; how I constantly battle this doubt and the techniques I have found to overcome it.
COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ARTISTS
Staying social is a vital part of my creative process. Constantly being alone with my own thoughts eventually leads to second guessing my work, lack of inspiration, and procrastination. For myself, being in the same room as another artist can spark creative fireworks. 9 times out of 10, when I work with other artists, or just have coffee with a friend – I leave the situation with more ideas than I could ever create in a lifetime.
Where can you meet other artists?
The workplace is the most overlooked. A lot of creatives are disguised as something else during the 9-5. Ask around work to see if there are any artists who work with you. My best friend Jen, a painter, currently works at a pharmacy. My friend Barb makes handcrafted soaps by night and tests blood in the hospital lab by day. For a long time there was a doctor at our local clinic who was also a lovely artist.
Other places include: Craft and Vendor Fairs, Coffee Shops, Facebook and Social Media Groups.
It isn’t hard to make friends with another artist, because more than likely they are dying for someone to collaborate with as well.
CREATE WHAT YOU LIKE AND STAND BEHIND IT
Remember the old Apple Jacks slogan? “We eat what we like”
We aren’t going to eat something that we don’t like, so why would we produce something that we don’t like? I created pieces that did not represent my style for a very long time to try to please everyone.
I created art that I constantly doubted.
Say this to yourself “We create what we like!” Say it over and over until it sticks.
The day that I switched gears in my photography business and began creating what I wanted to create, vs. what was the “norm” was a game changer. I started focusing on the type of photography that I personally liked, and what I felt I excelled at.
A childhood friend of my dad’s, who grew up to become a billionaire, told my dad during his early years of entrepreneurship,
“If I ever can give you one tiny bit of advice – it is that no matter what you create – whether it be signs, shoes, clothing, art, homes, design – you have to stand for something.”
Focusing on what we personally like gives us a better ability to stand behind it. This will create less doubt and the right clients will flock to your work because of your confidence.
GATHER AN AUDIENCE OF PEOPLE WHO VALUE YOUR WORK
You have started creating things that you like, that you feel you can stand behind. Now you are on the right track. It is time to find clients who value your art, and feel the same about your work as you do!
Stay consistent with the work you create, stand behind it, and after a while of seeing good results – some of your doubt will slowly disappear, as you become known for your art. In the beginning you may only find crickets responding to your efforts. All great things take time. Don’t be afraid to turn down jobs that do not represent your work.
Is everyone who sees your work going to fall in love? The answer is no! Some people may find your work appalling. You are not going to please everyone, so accept that now, but do not get discouraged.
Keep pressing forward collaborating with other artists, creating what you like, and learning to stand behind it. The right people will come along – people who value and respect your craft.
USE THE TIMES OF DOUBT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
To create something requires a certain degree of confidence in your work, however; you don’t want to loose your humbleness.
We have seen those people right? Conceited people usually just say “you get what you get”. Do we really want to treat our clients that way? Absolutely not Possibly- a little self-doubt mixed with confidence is the perfect recipe.
My confidence helps me know that my clients are going to love their photos, and that I put everything that I could into each and every shoot. It allows me to wake up with the morning and keep creating knowing that more work will come. The shred of doubt that I keep locked inside encourages me to check in with those clients constantly ensuring that they received everything they had hoped for.
NEVER STOP LEARNING
There are two things that I believe in investing in:
- A good blend of coffee. Please, for the love of god, do not buy cheap coffee!
- Continuing Education
If you find yourself really doubting your capabilities, maybe its time to step away and watch some tutorials, take some classes online, or read a book about your subject matter. I personally invest about a third of the money I make into personal and professional development. Each course I take gives me a newfound confidence to continue doing what I love.
FIND A GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM
I must say that I am blessed to have people who support me in every corner. But if you don’t have this – your ok, just find one person who you know respects you – who can give it to you straight.
Family and Friends
At some point we all want to grow up and fly away from the nest to be our own independent individuals. Looking to your parents for support doesn’t necessarily mean you are dependent up on them, think of them now as friends with unconditional love. My Dad encourages me to keep reaching for the stars. He is a dreamer and entrepreneur, so we are able to connect about work and talk for hours about new ideas. My mom was blessed with the ability to believe that everything I produce, everything that I say, or do – is heaven sent. She could possibly cause me to be WAY over confident; however, when dreaded doubt comes knocking on the door, she is there to shoo it away with a broom.
Fans / Clients
I use my fans and previous clients as a support system, as I rely on them for feedback and reassurance. I have a particular client whom follows my work via social media and tells me exactly what she thinks of each and everything I produce. She is in love with my work, and has promoted my photography business since day one. She is outspoken and tells me what she thinks and I need that! I do not always love what she has to say, but she is real – and I am thankful for that.
I am currently involved in a few Facebook groups that help out a lot with constructive criticism. There are groups on the web, which exists solely for critiquing each other’s work. There is also a group for dealing with clients, a group for branding, and one for prop swapping.
Just having people in your corner, cheering you on – will boost your confidence a million times.