Are Your Doubts Stopping You?

What if it’s not any good?

What if something goes wrong? 

What if we don’t get any sales?

What if we get a bad review? 

The hypothetical scenarios are endless.

Sure, lots of things can happen and we won’t have the answers to every single possibility out there. 

But never going past the What If questions won’t get us very far. 

Go past your doubts.

See what’s on the other side.

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. 

Get Over Artist Doubt

When I used to do design commissions, I remember I would always put myself over my clients. Meaning, I would always listen to my inner critic first before hearing what my clients would say about the work.

If I thought it sucked, I thought the client thought it sucked too.  If I thought it was really good, I thought the client thought it was really good too.  Turns out that’s not how things really work.

How I got over my artist doubt was by asking these simple questions to myself: 

  1. Who is the work for?
  2. And does it meet their expectations? 

When we reframe our thinking into these 2 questions, we stop thinking about whether or not we like the work we’ve created. Instead, we focus on the client instead. 

By shutting down your artist doubt, you start to see how your work is actually perceived by others. 

3 Sentences That Helped me Creatively

  1. Something that helped me start writing everyday was the realization that I didn’t need to create a masterpiece every single time, because getting the essence of the work down is a lot faster and a lot more meaningful than adding fine details to please yourself.

2. Turning from the need to edit till perfection, into, what’s the best I can say today, right now? was the difference I needed to try more and doubt less.

3. Putting words on a page isn’t hard, but fighting against your personal belief of what’s “good enough” is.

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.

The Kind Of Day It Will be Today

Is it self doubt season, or is it all in our heads?

Is it just me, or is it everybody else too?

Our own off-day might be someone else’s good day, so we can’t go off on the assumption that our reality is everyone else’s too.

Feelings can be shared, but they’re mostly our own.

Doubts, insecurities, fears are all our own too. Perceive reality with care.

Is It Too Late?

Feeling like you’re too late always makes for a convenient excuse to hide.

The truth is, nothing happens when we’re late.

And, maybe this whole time thing is made up too.

As the days pass, time doesn’t get increasingly more aware of the pressures it puts on the people of the world. Time just is.

Us being late is the least of time’s worries.

Rather, us being late is something we decided on our own.

So before you lock yourself out, it’s worth crossing over to the other side even if it’s just for a short while (just to see if it’s really too late).

I Don’t Think It’s Good Enough

What does good enough mean? Who exactly are we trying to please? Where do our efforts matter most?

Throughout his career, Pablo Picasso produced around 50,000 pieces of work throughout his 92 year lifetime. That’s enough for 543.5 pieces of work per year. 

Yet sometimes we hold back from doing 1, because self-doubt says it’s not good enough.

If we’re trying to get to good, maybe it’s worth trying to bypass “not good enough” by finishing it anyways.