2 things to stop apologizing for: 

  1. The way you’re feeling (ex. “Sorry for feeling sad, I just want to talk”) 
  2. “Bothering” others. If you need something from someone else, just ask firmly and be considerate. 

Apologizing isn’t your enemy, but it can get in the way of developing your self-confidence. 


A former over-apologizer

Shy and confident language

I’m just a kid who grew up in the suburbs of Scarborough-Agincourt. 

I’m just a girl who works in a little family-owned hole-in-the-wall food stall. 

This “I’m just a—“ language is downplaying yourself. 

The words you use and how you say it counts. 

I grew up in the suburbs of Scarborough-Agincourt. 

I work in a family-owned hole-in-the-wall food stall. 

Now it’s more direct and confident. 

How do you build creative confidence?

I’ll answer with an observation from a different kind of environment.

Over the years at our family restaurant, I’ve met lots of people who cook. The one thing I see in common with all of them is this:
They all have their own way of cooking the “right” way.

They might disagree with you.
They might even offer their own way as the superior way.

I guess this is the thing they say about having too many cooks in the kitchen.

If there’s one thing you take away from this post, it’s this.

You have your way of doing things. Be confident about it, but also be open to hearing how it’s done by others. Defeat stubbornism. That is the way to being more confident at your craft.

Are You Confusing Progress Work With Your Self Esteem?

I used to fear sharing my work with others because I knew people would judge me if I showed up with unfinished work. 

I would hide until I thought I was done (but “done” really meant whenever I was subjectively happy with it). There was a big part of me that was uncomfortable sharing progress work, but I think it had a lot more to do with my own self-confidence than the work I was doing. I was scared of what other people would think.

Somewhere along the way, I learned that sharing progress is everything. And instead of seeing work as unfinished and ugly, it’s actually part of a much bigger and important picture.

The Design Process

For every project in school, they put us through a process commonly referred to as “design thinking”

We talk about the steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test

But what does it really entail? I’ve broken down the process into more casual terms:

  1. What’s this problem that you’re facing? How can we help make things better?
  2. So here’s what the problem might be…
  3. We’ve got some things in mind that might work, but we’ll have to test them
  4. The solution we have is in it’s rough stages, but through testing in it’s real context we’ll likely be able to make it better
  5. Now that it’s been put to the test, we can make these specific adjustments to improve the experience for next time

Not to mention the invisible extra steps:

  1. We are doubting this will work
  2. We can’t think of any better ideas anymore
  3. We really hope this works out

Emotions may vary throughout the process.

How I Let Go Of My Shy Side

I was a quiet, shy kid for the majority of my lifespan. I rarely raised my hand in class, didn’t really know how to talk to relatives or strangers, was pretty silent in many conversations, lacked the confidence in myself for a lot of topics in school, mostly STEM, because the other kids were so much better.

The only thing I knew I was pretty confident at was art (and definitely not the performing theatre kind).

On one hand, you could say that people like us “grow” out of our own shyness and general discomfort, but I think what happened instead was that I decided to go after my strengths rather than try to surround myself in an environment where I would need to work twice as hard to be in the same place as everybody else AND not enjoy the subject matter.

Letting go of my shyness and un-confidence was less of a shedding, and more of just directing my energy towards what I was actually good at instead of what I wasn’t good at.

How to Let Go Of Self Doubt

What I saw in the second cohort of the Habit Factory was that self-doubt can be addressed rather quickly. With the workshops being 14 days long, it was surprising to see creative confidence levels in our members grow so much.

Now that doesn’t mean all it takes is 14 days to squander all traces of self doubt and insecurity (that takes consistent addressing over a longer period of time).

What I want to say though, is that it’s possible to get over personal hurdles.

“I’ll never get there.” is something that can be overcome, but not without the proper work.

If the goal is to let go of self doubt so that we could replace it with confidence, we need to make the effort to feed confidence with assurance, positivity, and time.