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5 Secrets to Build Your Creative Confidence

Imagine waking up and having the self-love to take action on your work, confidently and without any doubts. Being able to instantly turn off those thoughts of impostor syndrome telling you you’re just not good enough. If we are truly in love with what we do and in love with our own skills and capabilities there is no limit to what we can achieve.

Not all of us are born confident but it’s definitely a skill that you can improve over time with enough steady practice. Below are some tips that have helped me grow my own creative and business confidence.

1 - Start collecting a “Brag Document”

Start a google doc called your Brag Document. Here you’re going to collect

  • Achievements in your creative work
  • Milestones in your business
  • Awards and accolades
  • Exceptionally kind comments someone has said about you or your work
  • Positive testimonials and client feedback
  • Goals you’ve achieved

Add to this document whenever you achieve a win or learn something new. Reread it whenever you need a confidence boost or are feeling down about yourself or your work.

I love reading mine before pitching and quoting a client. It really makes me understand the value my skills and work bring to the relationship - and it makes it easier for me to price confidently.

2 - Work on your technical skills

If you feel you’re weak in a certain area - say, hand lettering or drawing the human figure. Go online and search Youtube, Skillshare and other educational platforms for courses to help you improve those skills.

Instead of avoiding the things you’re not good at, start making work that features them. Practice! Create a daily routine to work on that skill for a minimum of 15 minutes. Put a checkmark on a calendar each day you do it and try not to break the chain for 30 days.

Need inspiration? Participate in Creative Challenges put on by other artists on Instagram. Little steps build up over time and soon you’ll find yourself looking back and being amazed at how far you’ve come with your skills.

3 - Map your timeline and rework old pieces to see your growth

Sit down and think of your creative career, from education to current day. Where can you plot turning points? Have you made significant progress somewhere? Can you replicate that again? 

Keep this timeline with your Brag Document or draw it and pin it to your wall. A daily reminder of where you’ve been and where you’re going. 

Take one of your older artworks and redraw it with the goal of improving it. You’ll be so surprised to see how much your skills have levelled up since you first created it. 

4 - Take action outside of your comfort zone

“There is no growth from staying within comfort zones.” We have to force ourselves to get uncomfortable to level up in our lives. 

Story time - I was never a confident driver. I preferred public transit, biking and letting my husband drive. I’d even get anxious at night if I knew I had to drive the next day. Then I took a leap and forced myself to drive solo for 5 hours to a comic con in another city. I drove around unfamiliar streets, on highways, at night, in rural and city areas. I returned to Toronto with complete confidence in my driving skills, and at 42 finally thought of myself as a driver.

Imagine something you’re nervous about. How can you take tiny, or big, steps towards overcoming that?

Maybe it’s speaking in front of a crowd. Maybe it’s hosting a live drawing session. Maybe it’s just reaching out for advice from someone you admire?

Doing something that makes you uncomfortable allows you to check it off in your mind. You move past it, find out it wasn’t as bad as you thought. Someday you may be able to confidently look back and laugh at how silly it was that you were scared of it in the first place.

5 - Flip failures into learning opportunities

Did you lose confidence because you took a chance and then failed at something? Maybe it’s time to flip your mindset about failures.

Take another look at what happened. What did you learn from it? What would you change next time you’re in that situation? How could you approach it differently?

Our best growth comes from seeing where we went wrong, learning from it, and charging forward with the knowledge our mistakes give us.

Love yourself enough to take chances, put yourself out there and build that creative confidence!

You’ve got this!

Xoxo Alana

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