Creating requires confidence—and life can rob you of confidence. If you’ve lost a little confidence over time what can you do to restore it? Let’s take a look!
First of all, how does that confidence get robbed? Well, a teacher can choose you as the person she wants to humiliate in her third grade class and she can succeed in making you feel humiliated. How much confidence is stolen from you in that excruciating year? How many other robberies occur in childhood and adulthood? Over time, how much confidence remains? If you’ve been robbed of confidence, that will manifest itself as an inability to conceive of and follow through on creative projects, a tendency to procrastinate, a fear of messes and a fear of the unknown, and other creativity killers.
Consider the following. A painter opens his email and is thrilled to find a note from a gallery owner who appears to own a nice gallery in a faraway city. The note explains that the gallery owner has visited the painter’s website, loves the painter’s work, but can’t find the painter’s prices posted. What, the gallery owner wonders, are the artist’s prices?
This question sends the artist into a tizzy, as he has no idea if his prices are perhaps ridiculously high or, quite possibly, perhaps ridiculously low (which is why he has avoided posting them on his site). He stews about the matter for several days, feeling his usual lack of confidence grow exponentially. Finally he visits his best friend, a successful artist with a great deal of confidence. “What should I do?” the painter cries. “I know I’m blowing this opportunity by not replying, but I don’t know what to say!”
His friend shakes his head and laughs. “Get me the gallery’s phone number,” he says. The painter does that. His friend picks up the phone, dials, and says, “I represent Jack Sprat. You emailed him about his prices. We are setting new prices this year and would love your input. His recent works, the ones you saw on his site, are each two feet by three feet. How would you consider pricing them?” The painter watched as his friend listens, occasionally nods, and finally says, “Thanks! We’ll follow up on that in a day or two.”
When his friend hangs up, the painter almost leaps on him. “What did he say?” he cries. “That he would be inclined to charge $4800 retail,” his friend replies, “and that he would like to try out two of your paintings, the blue one and the red one.” The painter is beside himself with joy. Then, suddenly, he exclaims, “How did you DO that? You just picked up the phone and called!” At this, his friend shakes his head. “Jack,” he says, “how could you NOT do that?”
If you’ve lost a good bit of confidence, there are many ways to rebuild it. Let’s chat about those ways in my next post!
Have you ever thought about becoming a life coach or creativity coach as a way to supplement your income as an artist? You might quite enjoy that! Take a peek at my online class for prospective coaches, which right now is sporting an early bird discount: