I realise that when I’m out of creativity, it is mostly because I lack confidence. Whether it’s a sluggish day, or a particularly stressful one because of client’s feedback, I find that my creativity level is closely linked to my confidence level.
My mind gets stuck because it seems like whatever I am designing is only worthy of the trash bin. My designs do not look nice. Am I even a designer? Should I start looking for an admin job instead? But wait — look at that nice design you did a few days ago. Maybe that was a lucky hit. There are days like today when my self-esteem chooses to take a rain check on me.
So what do I do when I feel unsure of myself and my skills? I go and look for inspiration and motivation to boost my self-esteem back to healthy levels!
Different people have different ways of getting inspired. Some people go for walks, some exercise, some read, others look at other awe-inspiring artworks. And yet others sleep to feel better.
My way of getting a confidence boost is to read up on quotes about creativity and passion, particularly if it’s about a struggle and a triumph. Since I am not an expert on creativity and confidence, I have specially invited a few people to share some inspiring quotes on creativity and life.
Without further ado, let’s invite the first speaker to the stage, please!
I will add in some comments after they have shared their piece.
Christopher Robin: “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
:’) You are your worse enemy. Give yourself more credit, nice one!
Vincent Van Gogh: “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
YAS Vince, paint away your fear and self-doubt! No one is born a master, even Vincent had to start from somewhere. Thank you Mr Van Gough, you may take your leave now. GOOD BYE. YES. GOOD BYE. No, I did not call you a good boy. BYE. (I think he’s a little hard of hearing.. not sure why though.)
Ira Glass: “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap.
For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this.
And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ms. Maya Angelou: “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.”
Breaking the myth that you can use up your creative juice, on the contrary, you need to start using it before you can get a refill of fresh new creativity! Still water goes stale, or something like that.
Mr Thomas Edison: “Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration. I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them.”
This has to be one of my favourite quotes! Everyone makes mistakes, don’t compare your lowest moments to someone’s highlight reel. It’s what you do after your mistake that makes the difference.
Now that you are feeling a tad bit more encouraged and confident, get back to work because you have the solution that is just waiting to be released in your mind. Keep working and exercise that creative muscle.
And if you make a mistake, know that failure is not fatal. It is only- oh sorry, Mr Thomas Edison, you have something to add on? Sure, why don’t you do the closing statement?
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”