Either you or someone you know probably suffers from bouts of self-esteem issues, which can really ruin a person’s perspective on things in the long run. Most of us are here as writers and/or visual artists in some capacity, so many of us have had to deal with a “crisis of confidence” in our lives, and for some it’s down-right debilitating.
I’m posting this for two reasons:
1.) I’m definitely one of those people who suffer from a lack of confidence, especially working professionally in the field of visual arts, which has always been a cut-throat industry and saturated with criticism.
2.) I’ve had a few people ask me in the past how I get through a typical season where my self-esteem is at an all-time low, I doubt my skills and work greatly, which generally causes me to question my own self value.
All this being said, these are, of course, my own opinions/suggestions and aren’t in any particular order of importance. Some of these may seem basic, but how often do you actually employ these suggestions?
Confidence comes from doing.I’d say one of the most important points to consider, especially because it is the most underrated. But essentially, the more you do, the better you become at it, and the more confident you feel.
Don’t compare yourself to others.A pitfall many of us tend to slip into, and certainly one of the more detrimental ways of sabotaging any future self-esteem, but it still remains that if you measure yourself against others, you’ll never be satisfied.
Just Show Up!90% of success is you just showing up to wherever you’re supposed to be (work, school, family, etc), because sometimes the hardest thing to do every day is to move in the right direction.
Celebrate your accomplishments.Another underrated point. Actually celebrating what you’ve done establishes a level of value, no matter how large or small. Take a moment to appreciate the fruits of your labor.
Learn something new.Who doesn’t want to know something they didn’t know before? Yeah well, it’s also amazing how many people don’t bother. But, whenever you add a level of capability to your tools, it builds confidence and also adds value to you professionally.
Exercise.: I’m a big believer in this point, as I’ve tried to keep up with exercise & Yoga routines for many years, since it really does help to boost confidence and just general mood. Physiological and psychological health is so important.
Get proper rest.Easier said than done for sure, but it still doesn’t dismiss it as being an important part of facilitating your confidence level. While I generally do get a good amount of sleep, it can be rather fractured, meaning I wake up a few times during the night and may never hit a deep sleep. For others, however, insomnia is the cause, but that subject goes beyond the scope of this article. But, if you can get proper rest, than do it.
Eliminate Negative PeopleThis can be such a flesh-eating disease, and something I’ve had to really keep in check over the years because, depending on your social environment (online or IRL), it can really pull you down like gravity and weigh heavily. Realistically, like 90% of people really don’t care who you are or what you’re doing anyway, so it’s not worth your time to allow such negative influences to keep you from moving forward. Simple answer? Cut them out and move on.
Help Others.This point should probably be #1 because there is no better feeling (generally) than helping others in any capacity you can, thereby passing on the positive energy. To quote marketing guru Zig Zigler: “You can get everything you want out of life by helping others to get everything they want out of life.”
Do away with “limiting beliefs”I put this last, and while many struggle with this one as well, it’s certainly not the least important. Basically this is telling yourself you "can’t" do something because you’re “too old”, “too uneducated”, “too poor”, etc. It's all in your head.
So there it is. Hopefully the previous points helped you to gain a new perspective on things, and definitely feel free to comment or add your own suggestions that maybe have helped you through self-esteem/confidence issues.