I have something to say.
I am enough.
I bring something unique to the table.
My work matters.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Actually, I really can’t say it enough. Those of us who answer creativity’s call know that making a living through our art has its ups and downs. This is why it’s so important we are mentally strong, able to protect our hearts and minds from the criticism that accompanies the life of a creator. We need to be our own biggest advocates and to do that, our belief in ourselves needs to be unshakable. Knowing our value is critical. There are a few things I personally practice that has helped me stay in a safe headspace and continue to be a strong support system for myself. I’m going to share them with you because these simple practices have made such a big difference for me and I think they have the power to do the same for you.
- POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS –
I like to start every day with an affirmation, one that will help me challenge and overcome my self-sabotage and negative thoughts. In doing so, I can put myself into a positive headspace and really start living my life authentically. Affirmations can feel a little forced if you’re new to them, but I am a firm believer in their power. I’m confident that incorporating them into your daily routine will help change the way you think for the better. How we speak to ourselves is so important.
Think about some positive affirmations that would help you start your day on the right track. What phrases would you benefit from reading during a creative block or a rut? What would help you bounce back after receiving a rejection? Pick a few phrases that really resonate with you and repeat them every morning when you wake up. Write them on post-its and post them all around your living space. Set them as reminders in your phone for specific times of the day. Find ways to naturally fit them into your daily rhythm and watch your headspace change for the better.
2. KNOW YOUR OWN WORTH –
Positive self-talk can extend beyond affirmations. I’ve talked in previous posts about the vulnerability that comes with creating, because sometimes we need to dig deep and share parts of ourselves that we might prefer to protect. This kind of vulnerability comes with risks – people might not like what we create, our truth may not translate and people might not understand. It is easy to say and harder to do, but it’s so important to learn to let it roll off your back. Know your own worth and you’ll find yourself less affected by naysayers. If people hate your art, oh well! You have to commit or else your work is boring. I challenge you to take the risk. My acting instructor used to say “Fuck it”. To this day, that is still one of my favorite affirmations.
3. EMBRACE YOUR WHOLE SELF –
An important part of knowing your own worth is accepting yourself, wholeheartedly. I’m weird and proud of it! As creatives, it’s our job to lean into our quirks and “weirdness” because that’s what produces interesting art. How, you ask? Maybe with a series of work that highlights your “weirdness” and “uniqueness”? People don’t want to see the same art or work over and over again. In fact, the reason so many people are successful is because they are different! They portray an aspect of originality in their work, which makes their art unique. It’s important to stay true to yourself and your work and by doing just that, you may give someone the inspiration they needed to do the same.
All of your ideas and creative thoughts are unique, which means you bring something special to the world that no one else can. You have the incredible ability to create something that no one else has ever seen or even thought of. Do you ever really stop to think about that? Recognize that you have the power to share your unique perspective with the world. Revel in that. Embrace it. Perfection is impossible to achieve, and if you think about it, it’s boring. Don’t get hung up on perfection. Instead, be Bravely Original!
But let’s be real. Negative thoughts and self-talk happen. It’s important to acknowledge that and recognize that it’s totally normal. But we have the power to choose to let our positive thoughts and inner voice speak LOUDER. It’s a conscious choice to make this shift. By doing so over time, the volume of your negative self-talk will reduce as you train that muscle in your brain to focus on thoughts that will serve you and your creative aspirations. Know your self-worth. Love your quirks and imperfections. Use these simple practices to keep yourself grounded in confidence. YOU are your biggest advocate. Your uniqueness and your quirks are what make interesting art.