“You can do anything! Believe in yourself. Have faith in yourself.” As well-intentioned as these phrases are, they’ve basically become platitudes at this point, their meaning diminished due to overuse. It’s a shame, though, because the message at the core of such phrases is actually vitally important. Creatives, especially, can benefit from taking this message to heart, because building faith in yourself can help improve your creativity.
How building faith in yourself can improve your creativity
When you have faith in yourself, you:
- Don’t compare yourself to others. You know that you are good enough just the way you are, and you don’t have to be like someone else.
- Don’t make decisions based on what other people want or think. You aren’t worried about pleasing others. You focus on creative work that is meaningful to you.
- Are not afraid of failure. Having faith in yourself means knowing that even if you fail, you will get back up again, learn from your mistakes, and persevere.
For all these reasons, people who have faith in themselves are willing to take creative risks. Consequently, they create more, they push their boundaries, and they stretch their creative muscles in a way that people full of fear and insecurity will never do.
10 ways to build faith in yourself
How can you build faith in yourself so you can improve your creativity? These 10 strategies might help.
Know your strengths.
What are you good at? Sometimes, it’s so easy for us to see our weaknesses that we fail to acknowledge our strengths. But everyone is good at something. Knowing what you’re good at will give you a confidence boost, to be sure, but it can also help guide your creative work (i.e. you can do work that more closely aligns with your strengths, or at least, you can leverage those strengths to help you overcome your weaknesses).
Identify times you have overcome hardship.
As I mentioned above, people that have faith in themselves have confidence in their ability to get through a trial. As you reflect on the trials you’ve gone through in your life and how you handled them, you’ll realize just how capable you are, and you’ll realize that you can handle hard things. This will give you faith to take bigger steps creatively.
Spend your time deliberately.
When you spend time doing the things you love, or that are most important to you, you will build confidence in your ability to create the life you want. Make sure you are being deliberate about how you spend your time; it can help you build faith in yourself and in the direction you are taking in your life.
Stick to your plans.
Can you trust yourself to do what you say you will? When you make plans, stick to them. Follow through on your commitments. Building faith in yourself means believing that you will do the things you need to do. The more evidence you give yourself that you are able and willing to do that, the easier it will be to build that self-confidence.
Similarly, building integrity can also help you grow faith in yourself. People with integrity align their lives with their values, and live true to themselves. They are honest with themselves and with others. The more integrity you have, the more you will be able to trust that you are living a purposeful life, and you will have more confidence to take creative action.
Trust your gut.
Each of us has an inner voice, but we don’t always listen to it. Intuition is powerful. And your inner voice always has your best interests at heart. That inner voice is always going to tell you the truth, and try to persuade you to live as the truest version of yourself. Because of this, your inner voice will bring out your creative side. Trust your intuition. Listen to your gut. As you do, and as you act on those feelings, you’ll realize the power of that inner voice, and you will develop more faith in yourself.
I mentioned earlier that people who have faith in themselves don’t compare themselves to others. In today’s world, that is no small feat. When we are constantly bombarded with the best, brightest, most picture-perfect moments of others’ lives on social media, comparing comes naturally. But the more you compare yourself to others, the harder it will be to build faith in yourself.
Affirmations can be powerful tools for changing your thinking and building more positive beliefs. You can also use them to build faith in yourself. Tell yourself the messages you need to hear. Tell yourself that you are capable, worthy, deserving, fearless, perfectly imperfect, and happy. Write affirmations that apply to your life and to your creative goals. Repeat them to yourself often.
Leverage your wins and learn from your mistakes.
If you want to build faith in yourself, leverage your wins and learn from your failures/mistakes. Leveraging your wins helps you feel motivated, inspired, and capable of moving forward and going after your goals. Learning from your mistakes helps you build resilience and helps you avoid making costly or harmful mistakes in the future. As you learn to do this, you’ll build faith in your abilities to make the most of both good and bad moments. You’ll see that everything you do has a purpose, no matter how it turns out. And that will push you to take more steps creatively.
Take care of yourself.
We all need to be taken care of. While it’s nice to be taken care of by others, the person you need most is you. You need to be able to trust that you can and will take care of yourself when things get rough—when you are tired, overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, hungry, etc. If you don’t believe that you will take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, creativity will likely feel like too big of a risk. It will feel unsafe. You need to know that someone is always in your corner. Be your own best cheerleader. Take time to check in with yourself and practice real self care.
Building faith in yourself has the power to improve your creativity. Give it a try. Bet on yourself. Show yourself what you can really do. As you develop that self-assurance, you’ll feel more confident as you step into the unsure waters of creativity.
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