I’ve been thinking a lot about self-confidence today. When I started building my business as a self-taught graphic designer over two years ago, I doubted myself ALL. THE. TIME. Am I good enough? Why would anyone pay me that much? Will I ever make a real living doing this? My skills aren’t refined enough to call myself a REAL artist. Those were the thoughts that swirled around in my head every day.
But, after a few months of that, I hit this point where I was EXHAUSTED from all the self-doubt. I was tired of rating myself on someone else’s scale. Making MY potential/worth about what THEY thought (they being everyone else in the entire world.)
So I did something crazy out of sheer desperation: I DECIDED I was confident. I decided I was a designer. And an artist. And a write. And whatever else I might DECIDE I wanted to be. I just chose confidence over doubt because it felt less exhausting (and at the very least it was a change of pace.)
And the SUPER crazy part of it is… it worked.
I didn’t quite believe it at first, but I just kept choosing it over and over. When I submitted a design proposal. When I created a product. When I posted a photo of my lettering. I took whatever effort I would have spent on doubting myself and I chose instead to just… NOT. I don’t mean to simplify it, but it’s true.
If you sit around and wait for confidence to arrive, you’ll always be waiting. BUT, if instead, you realize that you can literally grant it to yourself, that you can simply DECIDE you’re good enough, right now, today, regardless of what you do or do not know… it will change your behavior. And once your behavior changes, people will RESPOND to you differently, and when people respond to you differently, suddenly that confidence that you chose will start to feel real. There are still times that I doubt myself and there always will be. But now the difference is that those times are moments, just blips on a radar compared to the rest of the time that I’m creating or writing or building. And all that other time, that’s spent DECIDING that I’m an artist, not doubting it. Remember, it CAN be this simple: you are what you DECIDE to be.