The best exercise I found to improve how I talk to my inner critic (it will take 10 minutes)

There are 3 parts to it.

On a piece of paper, write down

  1. What is the inner critic conversation you are having about yourself? What does it say?
  2. What is the immediate response you give?
  3. What is the ignored wisdom that you should be listening to instead?

The last part is the magic. 

For example,

  1. Inner critic: I really suck at drawing. If I can’t draw, then I’m worthless.
  2. Immediate response:I should just quit like how my parents tell me to. Just focus on my real job.
  3. Ignored wisdom: the only way to improve at anything is to keep practicing. If I want to get better at drawing, then I am required to draw more. Drawing poorly is also part of the process.

Keep doing this every day and you’ll learn to rethink the way you talk with your inner critic. 

A Good Kind of Failing

If you gave yourself a chance to try something you haven’t done before, what would happen? 

There are really only 2 possible outcomes:

  1. You try something you haven’t done before 
  2. You don’t try at all

The first one gives way for growth and learning (whether you win or lose it doesn’t matter because it’s within the short run).

On the other hand, the result of the second option is nothing. Nothing changes, nothing happens.

So the question remains. 

What would you do if you gave yourself a chance to try something you haven’t done before?

You Are Your Biggest Critic

Go figure. 

And so, what about it?

We have 2 choices.

  1. We stay being the critic of our own lives, robbing ourselves of any kind words we could offer, or—
  2. We can learn to be our own biggest fans. Learn how to accept ourselves of our shortcomings, be aware of our strengths and weaknesses, and offer ourselves words of encouragement every now and then

Living a life through criticism is hard. Learning to flip the script and choose the latter is also hard. But when you are in your 20’s and easily see 70+ years ahead of you, suddenly learning to become your own biggest fan seems like a no-brainer.

To Those Who Are In Need of Self Care

And no I do not mean bubble baths, aromatherapy, or taking yourself out on a coffee date.

When I refer to self care, I mean it in the sense where you take care of yourself.

I mean that nobody can take care of you better than yourself. 

Or moreso that nobody will take care of you better than yourself. 

You are in control of your own well being. 

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.

Get Over Perfectionism: How to post your design work on social media without feeling self-conscious about it

In 2017, I wanted to be an illustrator. I was drawing a lot in my sketchbook, and I was hearing a lot of people around me say they wanted to share more of their work on social media. The thought of posting my work on Instagram was always on my mind, however I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I was worried my work wasn’t good enough. 

Now let’s stop right there and break things down. There are a few simple questions to ask yourself when you’re having this seemingly mundane conversation in your head. 

If you’re stuck saying, “I’m worried my work isn’t good enough”—who exactly is saying that? Who exactly put that question into your mind? Good enough for who? 

If you’re someone who gets stuck at “my work isn’t good enough” and you want to change that, I hope you keep on reading. 

Let’s circle back to the 3 questions. Who exactly says your work isn’t good enough? Who is putting a line of insecurity through your head? Who are you trying to be good enough for? Who comes to mind? 

For a long time, the “person” who was giving me feelings of insecurity and doubt was a mix of my mom who always made a push for more, and some random uncle who made fun of my drawings one time when I was maybe 8.

My mom was constantly telling me that my work could be better.  That random uncle made me feel like my drawings were dumb. 

It took me 2 years later to sit down and answer these simple questions. I’ve made a mental switch since then. 

Again, who has told you in the past that your work isn’t good enough? Who puts the feeling of inadequacy through your mind? Who are you trying to be “good enough” for? 

If you’ve been telling yourself that your work isn’t good enough every time you’re about to hit that “Share” button on Instagram, Behance, your blog, or any other public space, I hope this helps. 

Iteration Is Queen: Why You Shouldn’t Give Up After Your First Try

When I made my first plate of scrambled eggs as a kid, it sucked (I still ate it though). 

It took time to learn that I had to add oil, salt, pepper, and cook at the right heat level. 

It took even longer for me to figure out that I could add different toppings to my scrambled eggs. 

We all go through basic iteration to improve at certain skills. 

While your first time trying something new might suck, you can always try again and do better. 

The first time you do anything is going to suck

I remember my first drawing in art class. It was a pear, an apple, and some grapes.

At 8 years old, I needed help blending colours of the fruits. It was my first time trying to blend 3 colours together (red, orange, and yellow), and it wasn’t the best.

That is to be expected from an 8 year old.

However, even 20-something year olds need time to sharpen new skills, especially when it’s their first time trying.

It’s okay for us to suck at something when we first begin.