Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash
your future self is there to help you become more courageous. can you ask for help?
let me tell you a story.
There are days when I feel defeated. I don’t know what I am doing, but I know that I have my eyes on my north star. This is the impact I want to have in my own life, which will then be of service to the small world around me and maybe even reach the greater world.
I have always believed in focusing on my impact over a specific job title or career track. I want to help as many people as possible find their voice, know that it matters and use it to help them own their vision and share it to serve the world around them.
This has been the same goal for many years.
But, I am also very human. I have difficult days. Running a business comes with challenging moments. While there are the days when I can work remotely (on the beach) or from home, there are also days when it is overwhelming to manage the daily activities of running any business.
But I do this work because I deeply believe that when we find our voice, we find the power (and the courage) to rewrite our story and decide how we will share it with the world.
And it is these stories that impact how we show up in our personal and professional lives and how we engage with our customers.
on my most difficult days, I summon the courage of my future self. This is the woman I want to be and the woman I am aspiring to be like. She is the woman I cannot yet fully know or see. She is always changing and always shifting, but I know she exists.
When this moment seems difficult, I summon her courage. I know that if I try just a little bit, she will step in and support me.
So, can you ask your future self to stand beside you? Can you look back at who you were a year ago and remember who you are now?
This self gives me hope because she reminds me that we will always change and evolve. Sometimes those changes serve us and sometimes they derail us, but we always have the ability to reset and create a different future.
Keep going dear creative. I want to see your brilliance.
Your Future Self
Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash
You have everything you need to start.
Let me tell you a story.
Last year, I wanted to start blogging consistently. I researched my blogging niche. I made lists of all the topics I wanted to discuss on my blog. I even “tested the market” to see if people in my network would be interested in the subject. Although my friends said “yes”,I still continued researching. I compiled websites and documents for days, and I still did more research.
It took me many months before I actually committed and started blogging regularly. So, I am sharing this story because I want you to know that you are not alone. We’ve all been there. We know we need to start something, but for some reason we don’t.
Here’s what I discovered during my blogging research:
- I did not start because I thought I had to write a certain type of blog in order to find readers.
- I did not start because I was waiting for the “right time” to start my blog. There was always some work challenge that needed my attention first.
- I didn’t start because I had convinced myself that there was a “right time.”
There is no right time to start your creative career.
I realized that there is no right time.
Start now. Pick the next thing. Do you need to send an email? Do you have an email address? Send the email. Do you need to create a WordPress account? Do you have a working wifi connection? Do you have a computer? Create that account.Do you need to call that advisor to help you figure out how to get your company back on track? Call the advisor. Send them a text. Ask them to tell you when the best time is for them to talk.
I’m writing this because one of the things I’ve discovered that has made all the difference in my creative career is what David Kadavy calls “the heart to start.”
Can you give yourself permission to start?
Trusting your creative voice and giving yourself permission to start isn’t usually a question of resources. It’s often a conversation about creative confidence. Most of the tools I mentioned above are things many of us have. You can go to a remote village in the far corners of the world and find a wifi connection, even it is somewhat weak.
Usually, we’re struggling to find the courage to start.
Usually, we’re struggling to find the courage to start, the willingness to put aside the fear of judgment, ridicule, the comments from the haters. And sometimes, like myself, we are more afraid of the greatness that could ensue. Someone could start reading your blog. Some of the comments could be cheering you on. Imagine that? Imagine how that would look and feel.
There’s a narrative that says you have to have it all figured out in order to move forward. I don’t know how it got started or who started it because it is very dangerous.
It does not account for the fact that most of us do not need to have everything figured out in order to do the next thing. And most of the time we can not see the thing after that if we don’t take one small step.
What if it all worked out?
And often, that one step becomes two steps and then there’s the ripple effect. For every action of ours, there’s a reaction. We fear the negative reactions, but what about the positive reactions? What about the person who needs your work, and lets you know just how much they need it in the comments section.
What about thinking about what could happen if it all worked out?
The word perfect (as a verb) means “to improve through making.”So, you can only get better at your craft if you just keep making. When we focus so much on the end result, we rob ourselves of what we might discover in the process. We rob ourselves of the true gift.
I did say that you have what you need to get started. But you might feel like you don’t have what you need to follow through. Guess what? You can’t know that yet. You won’t know that yet.
Just start. Then see what happens. You have everything you need.
I hope you keep going. I want to see your brilliance.
Your Future Self
I want to talk to you about confidence.
This month, I’m exploring the theme of creative confidence.
But before I talk about creative confidence, I have to talk about confidence.
We tell ourselves to just be confident. We are also surrounded by media that encourages us to do the same. From teen magazines to women-centered blogs, I see lists everywhere.
After a while, I became annoyed with these “top 10 lists for more confidence.” The message wasn’t wrong, but I found that the way to get there always seemed vague and uninspiring. I was supposed to stare at myself in the mirror, push my shoulders back and realize my innate power.
This definition never served me.
Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash
What is creative confidence?
I thought confidence had everything to do with how good you felt about yourself. In school, the confident girls had clear skin, straight teeth, nice clothes and a walk that announced them before they entered the room.
I thought confidence was something innate. Some of us had it, and others would have to struggle all our lives to embody it.
Creative Confidence Is Linked To Creative Failure
What if confidence is directly related to failure?
What if confidence has everything to do with your ability to trust yourself when everything is going well and when everything falls apart?
You must confide in yourself to become more confident in your work.
Confidence is defined as the ability to rely on oneself. It is also defined as trustworthy.
Confidence comes from the root word confide, which means “to trust someone for safekeeping.”
- What if, our creative confidence is deeply rooted in our ability to trust our creative work?
- What if that trust can only come from becoming our best confidant and being able to confide in ourselves?
I trust my friends because I know I can confide in them. I can tell them the things that I’m excited about, as well as the things I’m scared of.
They represent my tribe because I can trust them with the things I tell them. They have shown themselves to be reliable when it comes to listening and safeguarding my truths. They will be honest with me and not just tell me the things I want to hear.
But when I looked at my own ability to confide in myself, I had to ask these same questions:
- Can you truly confide in yourself?
- Can you speak kindly to yourself?
- Can you listen and make myself tea when your current self shows up crying on the doorstep of your future self?
- Can you be honest with yourself about my creative work?
- Can you praise my work when and notice where you need to improve?
- Can you be my best creative confidant?
My best confidante does not just tell me what I want to hear. She also tells me hard truths about my work.
How can you apply this to creative confidence?
1. You become reliable when you show up over and over again. Are you showing up for your work? Are you practicing it? Are you giving it the attention it deserves?
2. You become reliable when you can acknowledge the ways in which your work works and where it needs work.
3. You become more confident when you trust in your ability. You cannot trust in your creative ability if you are not creating a body of work. It is only in creating a lot that you can start to see your patterns, your creative weaknesses, and strengths.
In 2019, I feel more creatively confident because I have come to trust my voice and my ability and confide in myself.
When we encourage people to let go of fear and become more confident so they can put their work out there, we are doing them a disservice.
I’d suggest that we think of things differently. Let’s start encouraging people to carry fear and lack of confidence with them as they do the work, understanding that they will become more confident when they become their greatest creative confidante.
Keep going. I want to see your brilliance.
Your Future Self