Jan 20, 2022
As someone who works with many different artists, I see too many who don’t trust themselves. It shows up in subtle ways and usually manifests as feelings of helplessness and inadequacy. Much of this struggle can be attributed to the fact that they don’t trust the unique voice inside of them. Or they are completely unaware that this voice exists in the first place. On this episode, I want to challenge how you think about your confidence as an artist. I want you to feel empowered to create again. Don’t waste another second weighed down by self-doubt!
Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. It would be great if there was a book that told us how to be successful in any situation, but it seems to be missing from Amazon’s library. I know, I’ve looked. Sometimes self-confidence as an artist means trusting yourself enough to start the process even when you don’t know how to succeed or even finish. The truth is you DON’T need to know all the ins and outs of something before you try it. The only way to know is to DO! That is why it’s so crucial to develop your self-confidence. You need to trust yourself to “figure it out”! Practically, that just means figuring out what your "next best step" is in the process. By doing that, you create a result that can be measured and assessed. Now use that result to determine what worked, what didn’t, and then plan your subsequent "next best step". Rinse, wash, repeat until what you’re working on is finished! That may seem like an oversimplification, but what is painting except making one mark after the other? Self-confidence is the same way. It’s an ever-strengthening foundation that creates its own upward spiral. The more we have faith in ourselves, the more we will accomplish because we won’t let anyone or anything (including us) stand in our way.
Asking for feedback in creative spaces is a beautiful collaborative tool that can help you refine your artwork. However, have you ever asked for feedback already knowing what the answer is going to be? My guess is that when this happens you don’t ask for feedback because you need an answer, you ask because you don’t trust your own voice or opinion. You know exactly what your "next best step" is or even that the painting is done, but you still need external validation because somewhere along the way you believed the lie that you weren’t enough. That someone else has to have the answer because there is no way you possibly could. When we constantly outsource validation to those around us we train ourselves to distrust our own ideas and intuition. We can’t find authenticity in our artwork if we only trust other people’s voices instead of our own. Know this in your soul, friend: Your voice is trustworthy and you are enough.
Human existence is a juxtaposition of beauty and pain. Sometimes it’s easy to get so distracted by the darkness that we forget to shine our light. A big part of having self-confidence as an artist is a willingness to share yourself and your art with the world. When you intentionally hide yourself and your art, it prevents you from accessing your truth and discovering your voice. The deeper part of yourself that says, “THIS is who I am." If you are someone who feels like they don’t have a voice and struggles with authenticity, ask yourself, "Am I holding back?" "Is a fear of rejection and failure keeping me from discovering all that I am and that I can be?" My encouragement for fellow artists stuck in this place is to live life to the fullest. Keep creating even if you never see the impact. Keep pushing, growing, evolving, and becoming until your very last breath. You only get one chance to live, so don’t wait.