Raise of hands, anyone out there ever felt like an imposter in your career? Your life? Had self doubt about your talent? Or your dreams of pursuing a creative career? Or fill in the blank? (Absolutely everyone on planet earth raises hand.) Yep thought so. You're not alone, everyone feels this way at some capacity at one time or another. Us creatives definitely not excluded.
My journey with confidence in life and my creativity.
When I was little I was incredibly shy. So shy that in 3rd grade my teacher thought I was deaf because I ignored her when she spoke to me because I was too shy to answer. It bothered me a lot. I thought the out going kids in school were so cool and so disappointed in myself that I just couldn't be like them over night. But that's just not how it works!
I took ballet from the age of 3 through college. I am 100% sure this helped to boost my confidence. You at least look really confident with good posture! :) I think my shyness has also always been more about speaking, so ballet suited me as you dance as a part of the group. I definitely never wanted to be in the lime light though!
In school I was the shy girl that never said much and when it came to do presentations in front of the class my voice shook and I probably turned as red as a tomato. But I kept at it and put myself in uncomfortable situations because I wanted to overcome my shyness. And it finally did for the most part now as an adult, but it took time and naturally just growing up and out of the shyness. I still consider myself reserved but by no means at all shy anymore. Thank goodness!!!
Imposter syndrome is just the worst and can hit you at any and all times of your career. It seems there is always something that you can feel bad about. That you don't deserve your success, you're not talented enough or what ever else you tell yourself. But I think it's comforting to know that everyone goes through this and you're not alone. It's incredibly difficult to never compare your artwork or success to others but one should try to practice. You can never be someone else because you can only be YOU. (Ugh cheesy I know, but so very true.)
Tips for boosting your creative confidence:
Practice your craft. I know it's incredibly cliche but practice does make perfect. (I don't believe in perfect, but you know, chose enough.) By constantly practicing your craft you will feel more and more confident with you artwork. It will feel more and more like a complete extension of yourself and this should fill you with so much pride.
Put yourself out there. Even if it makes you feel a little bit uncomfortable keep pushing yourself to try new things, meet new people, send that email, call that person, show your face on social media, talk on video, take that job, and what not. The more you push yourself to do new things and put yourself out there the more comfortable and confident you will feel. And it doesn't have to be huge steps, just take small baby steps trying new things and build momentum from there.
Learn to accept compliments! This is a biggy. Stop apologizing for your artwork not being good enough or not pretty enough or not finished enough. If you get a compliment say at least a simple "thank you." The person complimenting you gave the compliment for a reason and there is no better feeling than seeing your compliment appreciated. So please say thanks!
Practice gratitude. You might find yourself feeling like an imposter in your career, like you're not talented enough or not successful enough but we all have these thoughts from time to time (no matter the amount of talent or success one achieves.) It's important to be grateful for the talent that you possess at the moment and know that you are constantly developing as an artist. It's also important to celebrate the small successes you achieve along your journey as a creative. Did you learn a new skill or technique, land a fun commission or receive a glowing compliment on Instagram. Celebrate it!
Surround yourself with a support team of cheerleaders! This can be anything from supportive family and friends, to other creative friends or just supportive internet friends. Having people to turn to in your same situation is so very comforting, especially when you're in a creative rut or business just isn't going as smoothly as you'd like. It's great to have a place to vent. It's also great to have people to share your wins with who can cheer you on and celebrate your successes with you.
I would love to invite you all to join my private Facebook group EmmaKisstina Insiders for aspiring Illustrators and Surface Pattern Designers. Every week we openly share our creative and business struggles as well as celebrate our wins together. I'm so very proud of how open, warm and supportive this group is becoming and we would you to be a part of it.
See you there!