Yesterday, in Part 1 of 10 Tips to Boost Confidence, we learned that it takes time to become the artist we strive to be, that success does not come easy or overnight, but that it blossoms over time. Nevertheless, as we work towards success, obstacles will be faced and often times ordinary struggles will be felt. Instead of surrendering, we must confidently battle through to accomplish the goals we set out to achieve. Ultimately, becoming the successful artist we designed ourselves to be. Last time, we also briefly outlined the 10 tips to boost confidence, but today, we are going to identify a deeper understanding for each tip that will encourage us to build up our defense for the obstacles ahead.
1. GET CURIOUS.
You were made to create and you know it. The path to real art is adventure and adventure begins in curiosity. What if...' needs to become your new mantra. As that happens, new things will be created with your own hands and your confidence in your perspective will organically grow. Self-assurance is born when you feel free in your creativity.”
2. RESIST THE URGE TO COMPARE YOUR WORK WITH OTHERS.
Creatives are notorious for looking at other people's work. On great days, this is inspiring and helpful and fun. On rough days, it is torture. For me, comparison often erodes into envy and envy does nothing but rot my real creativity. My advice or an easy confidence boost: stop comparing and start creating out of who you are.
3. CELEBRATE SOMEONE ELSE WHEN THEY INSPIRE YOU.
The best antidote to envy is gratitude. Believe it or not, being thankful that someone else created something and celebrating it is about the best thing you can do for your soul. It opens up rather than shuts down. And, if it becomes your habit, it will grow your own need to create something new to contribute with your colleagues. It also creates good karma, and there's nothing like someone else celebrating you to build your own confidence.
4. TAKE A HARD LOOK AT YOUR NUMBERS.
Although numbers are the scariest (for many of us) to look at, knowing objectively how you're doing with revenue, expenses, cash and profit can do wonders for your confidence. In fact, without objective metrics you're left with little to feel confident about. Even if your bank account isn't all good news, at least it's real and reality is what you can stand firm in and move forward from. It certainly beats burying your head in the sand.
5. BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF.
If you find yourself feeling impatient with your career or overly judgmental on yourself -- like you ”˜should' be further along in your craft or your business (or in life) -- consider giving yourself a break. No one likes being ”˜should' on anyway. Instead, take a deep breath and look back at all you know now that you didn't know before. Write down what comes to mind and celebrate that. Watch your confidence germinate right before your eyes.
6. ASK A FRIEND FOR A REALITY CHECK.
If you're not feeling confident, sometimes you need some outside perspective. Rather than making stuff up in your head, find a trusted friend (someone who really loves you... not just someone who wants you to feel better) to give you a dose of reality. Open your heart up to this trusted colleague and build from what they tell you. In the building, your confidence will bloom.”
7. PURGE THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD.
If you're like most creatives, you have voices in your head telling you stuff. I know I do. That part is normal. The trick is to not feel crazy about the voices but to be aware of them and to tell them what to do. When you're awake to the positive voices and can turn down the volume on negative ones, you'll feel strong.
8. CHOOSE WHO INFLUENCES YOU.
At least for me, the voices don't end in my head. Sometimes I have people in my life that just don't help me feel confident. They might be old friends but, for whatever reason, they no longer leave me feeling confident in whom I have become. If you can relate to that, especially if they are colleagues, my advice is to talk directly with them and request they engage you in a more affirming way. If you aren't close enough to take a risk like that, I'd encourage you to cut those voices out of your life. This may sound harsh, but if people aren't giving life, my experience is they are taking it away. Choose your influences carefully or they will be chosen for you. Your business will thank you for it.
9. DON'T TRY TO PLEASE EVERYONE.
As a self-professed people pleaser, this lesson is a tough one for me to really live out. I sometimes believe if I just work harder, everyone will be happy and I'll feel confident in that place. Truth is, people-pleasing is a fool's bet and a guaranteed fail for me personally. My job as a creative is to please my stakeholders and be ruthlessly committed to that end. Nothing more.
10. “TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE.”-SHAKESPEARE
Like it or not, the life you're living is your best shot at an amazing life, personally and professionally. The more you lean into it, especially when you don't want to, the more you'll discover a rhythm and possibility of becoming who you were made to be and doing what only you were made to do. Engage that with all your soul and strength and you'll be left, in time, more confident than you ever thought possible.
When I was in college, I had a friend who was a professional photographer. The first time I went to her home, I walked in to find stunning photographs of her children on the walls.
There was a huge canvas in their living room and a creative photo display in the main hallway. I remember being so moved by the beauty of those images, thinking to myself, “I want to create images like this!” I bought myself a DSLR as a graduation present, learned photography from online courses and started my photography business about a year later.