Hello everyone, I hope your year is off to a great start! I spent the last few months rethinking the subject matter for this creative endeavor and I am back with some great things planned ahead! I have been working on a Vlogging studio in my basement that I will share with you all soon and I plan to offer more free content through YouTube throughout the year. That brings me to today’s topic! I want to talk about what I struggle with most, and that is self-confidence! Why is self-confidence so important? As a perfectionist, I often compare myself to other artists, question my work, and lose self-confidence in the process. Even worse I do this more in my personal life.
What about you? Do you find yourself struggling with self-confidence? Chances are you do it in some aspect of your life. We all get caught up in our own heads with overthinking about our lives, our looks, our abilities, and our work. I know for a fact that self-confidence as a freelancer is what will make or break your success in business. I have found myself many times in the past failing in those areas over and over. But, I have found that when I am in a place where my self-confidence is high, I can accomplish almost anything. Today I will share my thoughts on how to understand and improve the way you think about yourself and your work!
I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence as a kid because I was bullied in elementary school for having a lisp. Over time I learned that acting tuff rather than crying in those moments of despair made the bullies go away. Over the years I was able to maintain that toughness in public, but in private it was and is still the hardest thing I continue to overcome.
In my career as a commercial photographer I have learned to jump in and take chances, my self-confidence level is higher because of how many years I have been doing what I do. However, as I shift into new areas like vlogging and podcasting I have noticed my fears have become centered around a lack of self-confidence in some areas, primarily with my insecurities in front of the camera. As a photographer, my job has always taken place behind the camera as a coach helping my subjects let go of their own insecurities in front of the lens as I try and capture their true beauty.
Why is self-confidence important for success?
You have created a beautiful body of work and are excited to share it with the world but right before you post something on social media you start questioning if it is good enough. That little voice in your head begins down the path of telling you why it isn’t, why you are not talented enough, or how no one will like your work. That lack of self-love has just caused you to second-guess yourself in a bad way. Why is confidence important for success?
In my opinion, confidence may be the most important aspect of our thoughts that relates to our overall happiness in life. Having a positive attitude toward who you are, how you look, or your skills and abilities will make you much happier in life than anything outside of your own control. Being comfortable in your own skin and believing in yourself will offer more joy in every aspect of your life. And, it won’t cost you anything other than maintaining a positive mindset.
So why is it that we often can not get our thoughts to align in a positive manner? Why is this seemingly simple idea so difficult for many of us? In order to answer that we need to look back into our own past and understand what happened to us that shifted our confidence in the first place. Most likely it started from a very early age.
How is self-confidence developed?
When we are infants we have no understanding of failure or success, we rely on our parents to instill within us the values and morals to become our best selves. As we begin learning language and experiencing human interaction we start making connections to how we feel when things happen to us. Negative things and positive things may make mindful connections that we associate with our own psyche as we grow.
We are the outcome of who we spend most of our time growing up around, our influences, and how we internalize positive or traumatic experiences along the way. If past memories made us feel good about ourselves we likely are confident because of how that helped us to develop the self-talk in our heads. If those memories had a negative reaction we likely have developed negative self-talk. If we lack self-confidence we can change our thoughts through positive self-talk but it requires personal work, strength, and kindness toward ourselves.
How can you grow a positive mindset?
A positive mindset is something you have to feed and nurture. Over time if you aren’t careful and aware, you may find yourself derailed by that negative voice in your head. Sometimes when you find yourself off course you will have to work hard to filter out any negative self-talk. Many times that is easier said than done.
Have you ever felt like no matter what you do you will never be able to achieve the degree of status that you hope for? Have you ever questioned your ability to succeed? Do you ever feel as if you don’t look good enough, aren’t talented enough, don’t have the ability to make enough money, or be included among those you admire?
Developing self-compassion, positive self-talk, and feeling confident within ourselves is the key to not only a better life personally but also in business. With social media showcasing so many interesting and creative talents and achievements it is easy to get lost in your own head of negative self-talk. The worst thing we do is to compare ourselves to others, especially those we admire, and then negatively address our own worth. Our value to the world is unique and it should be judged on our own behalf as just that, UNIQUE!
Here are 10 things you can do right now to help improve your self-confidence!
- Stop comparing yourself to others and start believing in all that you are!
- Remember that most people on social media only share their best moments, they are not perfect so stop thinking they are!
- Write down the negative talk words you are using in your head. Find positive words to replace them with and take action.
- Bring humor into your thinking when wallowing in your own self-pity. Laughter is golden for change.
- Get quiet, breathe deeply, and really think about how you are treating yourself. Are you being dramatic? What is it costing you?
- Look at every negative thought as an opportunity to grow into something better and make it happen!
- Share your thoughts with someone you trust who you know can lift you up NOT tear you down.
- Write down all of your negative feelings, and notice how those thoughts are not helping your growth. Replace them with positive replacements.
- And of course, there is always sleep, exercise, healthy food, and meditation.
- When you say something negative in your mind add “but______” finishing it with something positive. For example, “I will never be able to look as good as her on camera BUT I know I have something great to offer my audience!
How does a positive mindset about ourselves help us in our own success? It allows us to focus on the things we love and put our energy into those things that we do best. It allows us to make mistakes knowing we can learn to do and be better from those mistakes. It allows us to be uncomfortable yet not paralyzed by fear. It makes us more resilient, more motivated, and more authentic.
As business owners, it offers us a way to see our own value and worth. Confidence will help us to stand up for what we deserve to be paid. It will allow us to speak clearly and directly to our clients honestly and authentically. It will help us to obtain our desires and grow as individuals in a positive manner. And it will allow us to show the world what our purpose in life is because of the power it instills within us.
In life when we feel confident we will be more willing to take risks, develop positive relationships, and work toward achieving goals that are important to our growth both personally and in our careers. It is absolutely essential when we are down in life. Having faith in ourselves will help us strive to reach our goals and take action to achieve them.
So how will you grow your confidence? The next time you notice your doubting or hating on yourself stop and think. Why are you beating yourself up? Are you comparing yourself to someone else? What can you bring to the table? Make changes to your self-talk that will make things happen in a positive way. Life is too short to waste time hating who you are, the kinder you are the happier you will be. You are important and you have value to offer the world! I am not saying it is easy but know more than anything you are not alone. Learn to love yourself and all those around you will love you more because you will be living your true authentic self in the process!
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