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.
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?
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