Yes I know you have probably heard this topic lots of times, especially as everyone and his uncle appear to be mentors or life coaches right now....however just stay with me!
I'm not going to ramble on and on about the latest buzz words or try to tell you things that are basically just common sense, that's not the angle I'm coming from with this post....promise!
What I want to get across is that we creatives really do need to start believing in ourselves and our products, we have to know our worth, especially if we are trying to make a living from it.
As a creative person who sells her work I always dread the questions "How much is it?" especially as what I do is bespoke it's harder to give an exact price when I'm asked.
I have forever struggled with the topic of money, it makes me feel uncomfortable which is unfortunate when I require it to pay my bills! Maybe it stems from my early childhood and remembering my family having very little, or from my crazy years as a drunken teen maxing my credit cards out on booze and clothes then working three jobs to try and keep up with the repayments! For what ever reason I have a very strange relationship with money, or maybe it's not money I have the problem with but in fact...myself!
Many creatives I know have very little confidence, me included....consequently I have been known to suffer big black creative blocks and times of depression.
Believing in ourselves isn't the easiest thing but it's very necessary if we want to achieve our dreams. Like lots of others I too have followed, subscribed, attended and purchased a heap of self help and business mentoring. Sometimes they help and sometimes they don't, it literally depends where I'm at.
I did read a fantastic book last year called Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved the concept of ideas floating around in the universe until they find their owner and that sometimes if you take too long to acknowledge them they'll move on to someone else...ever get that? That moment when you see the idea you've had in your head but not quite been ready for and then it appears in front of you but with someone else declaring "Look at my new invention/product/service". Yep, it's happened to me on numerous occasions and every time I kick myself for being too scared to take a chance.
Another book I'm currently reading and love is She Means Business by Carrie Green. It's a really positive read and full of fantastic tasks to use and implement into your every day life in order to "become a wildly successful entrepreneur". I'm only half way through but already I can see places in which I've been going wrong and how I can make the changes in order to better myself.
Sorry I'm going a little off track...
So lack of confidence, why is that something we struggle with especially when everyone around us is telling us that our product/service is fantastic, that what we offer is so different and unique. Why do we continue to listen to that doubting Thomas in our own head? I don't have the answer so if you do please be so kind as to send it over in an email ;)
Why do we belittle our talents?
I used to say "I make cards" when asked what it is that I do..no wonder I'd get the "ooh that's nice" obligatory response before they move on to ask someone else. When asked now the same question I reply "I design wedding stationery", when actually what I should say if I was confident enough would be "I'm a multi award winning wedding stationery designer, stylist, shop owner and all round creative wonder woman...(OK that last bit may be a little bit too much but you get the idea).
I'm not the only one who does it. Prime example just this week I had a lovely message off a lady who would like to show me her items and talk about renting a display in my shop. Her message read "I make pebble pictures"...NO, no she does not! Yes her pictures have pebbles in them but what she does in fact make is art work! Go check out the wonderfully creative Tweet Tweet Designs by Abby who I am really looking forward to meeting this week and seeing her work up close!
I could give you a hundred more examples because sadly many of the people I know just don't understand how good they are but instead I'd like to be positive and encourage you all to take some steps in the right direction because there are things we can do and ways in which we can help ourselves.
We need to make a conscious effort to believe in our abilities and talents.
STOP looking around at what everyone else is doing and STOP comparing because that can really knock your confidence!
If you don't already then you need to surround yourself with other creative people because you are much more likely to be productive when in the company of others who inspire you...it ALWAYS helps me!
Be YOU....no one else can do it better!
*Quotes taken from google images
Pictures by Mrs Jutson Photography