How to Boost Your Confidence as a Creative Perfectionist

High-achieving perfectionists are often multi-passionate creatives. Believe me, I know. I’ve always believed that creating requires you to disclose, and show...

High-achieving perfectionists are often multi-passionate creatives. Believe me, I know. I’ve always believed that creating requires you to disclose, and show a secret part of your yourself, of your soul. That this part is forever connected with anything that you’ve created.

Wouldn’t you say that putting a secret part of yourself out into the world, for everyone to see, might make even the most confident person a little insecure? Not to mention high-achieving perfectionists who’d rather not show anything at all, then present something less than perfect to the world?

Perfectionists or not, we all carry with us the weight of what we think others expect of us.

We all carry a heavy suitcase of beliefs, everywhere we go. We hold beliefs about everything and everyone, including ourselves. When it comes to those beliefs, we have an endless list of how we think we’re supposed to be. Often, though, those beliefs are not true. But that’s difficult to grasp, because we hardly ever question what we believe in. Beliefs that aren’t true are often called limiting beliefs, and perhaps you have heard of them before. They are so called because they limit you, either in your doing, your thinking, or even in your being.

A classical example of a limiting belief is when we hold onto a way of doing something simply because that’s the way we’ve always done it or were taught how to do it, like the belief that you need formal training or innate talent to call yourself an artist.

If we start questioning that kind of beliefs, most of them will not survive. In a larger setting, this is also called questioning the status quo. I have found this to be one of the ways to find more confidence in many areas of my life – as a writer, coach, woman, and also as an entrepreneur.

Question everything

So my first advice is to question everything. That’s the best way to uncover your limiting beliefs and to let go of them. When it comes to confidence, we have a lot of them. A prime example for creative people is the “I’ll never be good enough” belief.

But there are many others. All of them helping to lower your self esteem and keep you from fully expressing yourself. Whenever your inner critic talks you down, or whenever a thought about you not being good enough or creative enough pops into your mind, question that thought.

Why wouldn’t you be good enough?
Is what that voice is saying to you really true?
What is the truth here?

Like-minded entourage

A confidence booster that always does it for me is to surround myself with like-minded people.

If I don’t feel confident about my writing, I’ll surround myself with writers who know my pains and insecurities, and who share them with me. If I’m not sure about any aspect of my life (not just the creative parts of me), I’ll try to surround myself with people who I share that aspect of my life with. Guaranteed confidence booster, especially if followed by the mantra: If they can to it, so can I.

Show your talent

Another option, albeit a more daring one, is to show your talents to others.

As a writer, that means publishing your words, or sharing them aloud or in a writer’s group, as a painter or another visual creative, that might be to exhibit your work or try to sell it.

Whatever your creative field is, there’s something tangible that you can create and that others can see. Show it to them. In most cases, you’ll understand that things are really much better than you think they are, and that your creative work is worth it.

how to boost your confidence as a creative perfectionist

Nothing is ever perfect

A big one for me was to realise that nothing is ever perfect. As a high-achieving perfectionist who loved to always be in control, being creative – although it was my calling and inner nature – was difficult for a long time.

Being creative requires that you let go of control, that you surrender to your creativity. Not an easy task for me! But I was able to slowly let go of having everything the way I thought I needed it to be by:

  • putting myself out there,
  • surrounding myself with like-minded people,
  • and questioning my beliefs about myself and my creative skills.

As a result, I accepted that things were what they were, that creativity is magickal and, although uncontrollable, that we can cultivate it, that what I created, as long as I did my best, was good just the way it was.

The person you need to convince is you

This brings me to my final and most important point. In most cases, boosting your confidence when it comes to your creative skills only requires you to convince yourself that you are a creative person.

Everyone else around you already knows, and doesn’t question what you are capable of doing or what you’re creating. In most cases, you’re the one that doesn’t believe.

So:

  • start by introducing yourself as the artist that you are,
  • write a bio of yourself, or an elevator pitch, and test it out on people,
  • see how they react,
  • use those reactions to convince yourself that yes, indeed, you are creating beautiful and worthy things!

The more you practice, the more it will become real to you.

The more you’ll realize that being an artist is a mindset, way of life in which you decide to show a little part of your soul – however imperfect – to the world.

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