My biggest challenge as a designer who wanted to share content with the world

*Hint: It wasn’t with visuals or aesthetics. I had that part down for the most part. 

It was with my insecurities. 

The hardest part of the entire process was with my thought processes. 

Me. 

“It’s not good enough.” 

“i don’t think this will get enough likes.” 

“I haven’t made it perfect yet so I’m not going to share it.” *Forgets about it and never ends up posting anything*

“Sillybanana1101 thought my art was dumb on the last post. Should I even continue?”

It sounds kind of silly, but this was my world in 2019. 

Thankfully, everything turned around with a few tweaks to the way I thought about myself that same year. 

Interested in turning your world around? Want to change the way you deal with your inner critic and win in the longterm? 

We’re running a new workshop at The Habit Factory that addresses your problems around making content as a creative. 

Join us on the other side and sign up for our email list here: https://mailchi.mp/6988bd0c81c7/content-workshop

Can’t wait to see you there. 

Self-Confidence is a Key Asset for Successful Creatives. Here’s 3 Reasons Why: 

1. When you are confident, you will stop using time to second-guess yourself. 

Being in the creative industry is a game of ideas and execution. If you spend time second-guessing yourself, then progress will be slow.

2. You’ll know that your work is good enough and worth sharing.

This was one of the biggest hurdles for me, because I used to think that the “bar” for sharing my work was when *I* thought it was good enough. Hint: turns out that’s not how the pros do it. 

3. You’ll be able to see the true value of your work (and not sell yourself short).

Know what you bring to the table and why others will want it

I get it.

Trying to make it as a creative is hard. 

The journey to self-confidence is hard. 

Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. 

Self-confidence is one of the core assets we try to build up with creatives who join our Habit Factory workshops (which you can check out here).

Self-confidence is the most important asset to build as a creative. Here’s 3 reasons why

1. You will stop using time to second-guess yourself. 

Being in the creative industry is a game of doing and action. If I spent my last 2 years in second-guessing mode, I would not have been able to build up my parents’ business for them.

2. You’ll know that your work is good enough and worth sharing.

This was one of the biggest hurdles for me, because I used to think that the “bar” for sharing my work was when I thought it was good enough for my own standards. Turns out that’s not how the pros do it. 

3. You’ll be able to see the true value of your work (and not sell yourself short).

Listen.

Trying to make it as a creative is hard. 

The journey to self-confidence is hard. 

Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. 

Self-confidence is one of the core assets we try to build up with everyone who joins us at The Habit Factory (which you can check out here).

Start intentionally building on your self-confidence, and you’ll make a positive impact on many facets of your life.

I was 10 when I started to feel embarrassed about my artwork

He made fun of my drawing.

And that was my turning point. 

Yeah, I’m a sensitive kid. 

Fast forward 12 years, I was 22. 

Tired from holding myself back, I found a relatively safe space to share my art. 

It was unbelievably liberating. 

I realized, sharing my work was not to be feared.

I can’t believe it took me so long, but I guess that’s life. 

Now I try to do the same for others with the work we do at Habit Factory. 

Most people just need a safe space where they could be themselves and create whatever they want without feeling weird about it. 

I’ll never forget the time when a customer made me cry

It was the morning and we were serving breakfast. 

I was a few weeks into the job.

I took a middle-aged lady’s order. 

The order went into the kitchen. 

Cool. Only, it was not.

When the food came back out, she took off her sunglasses in exasperation. 

“You gave me the wrong noodle.” 

She continues, “Why didn’t you ask me for my noodle preference?”

At the point in my life, I didn’t know I had to ask anybody for their noodle preference. I was confused, tired, and embarrassed.

She continues to bring on the heat and I continue to take every word to heart. 

“Are you new here?”

“Why are you here if you don’t listen to your customers?”

“Why don’t you do things right the first time?”

“You should go home if you can’t even do this job”

She goes on and on until we remake her food. 

I went to the washroom and cried after that. A good, emotional, 15 minute sob-fest with full swollen reddish eyes. 

What I learned from all of that is this.

I still had a lot to learn if a middle-aged lady could emotionally throw me down like that. 

One of the hardest things about creative work is getting over your own imposter

My imposter runs rampant. In fact, she’s here with me right now as I write this post. 

She doesn’t think I’m qualified to share this.

She doesn’t believe I have the credentials or the audience to be successful.

Time and time again, I have my moments of doubt.

I don’t know everything, but I do have a hunch and it’s this—when we create, we cannot give into the imposter. 

We can acknowledge that the imposter is there, but we can’t give into what they preach.

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.

Using Negative Space in Everyday Conversation

We all know what negative space is—the blank air space used in an image. It’s the space that has nothing show, yet gives more focus to the object being presented. 

Taking this art term back to reality, I never knew how powerful negative space could be in conversation until I started working customer service at our restaurant. 

Here’s a real conversation I had with a customer once: 

Customer: If I don’t take the free soup, can I get an extra drink? 

Me: No, because the price of the soup and the price of the drink are not the same.

We wouldn’t be able to maintain a profitable business if *insert extra reasons here*

Customer: (confused and disheartened) 

Here’s the same conversation with negative space applied:

Customer: If I don’t take the free soup, can I get an extra drink? 

Me: No. 

*silence* 

Customer: Okay that’s fine with me. 

By saying less, we appear more firm in our answers. It’s a trick I picked up because I was worried I was too much of a people-pleaser. 

Why I Decided to Go By My Strengths

I used to stress out about the skills I wasn’t good at,

Like how all the other design kids would know how to use the 3D rendering programs,

Or how another crowd would create the coolest things in the shops,

Also the ones who could tame the whole Adobe suite.

I was stuck in the middle, and couldn’t bring myself to excel at any of them.

But I realized, I didn’t have to be good at all of them. In fact, it would be easier to find what I actually had a natural interest in instead of forcing myself to learn things I didn’t want to learn.

So I put time into writing, and presenting, and branding.

Just by making the switch, I slowly stopped stressing out about what I thought I was supposed to be 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.