Does this sound familiar?
You want to start painting. You’ve always loved expressing yourself through colour and you feel it in your heart that this is going to be a lot of fun.
You think to yourself, perhaps even other people might like your work. You feel warm inside, painting really speaks to you.
But almost as quickly as the thought popped into your head, all of the very rational reasons why it will never work come flooding in.
So you hang up your ideas of putting paint to paper and file it for ‘someday.’
I know the feeling.
Self-doubt is one of the biggest creative hurdles makers face.
It takes a heck of a lot of courage to actually produce something with your hands.
To have an idea, to buy supplies, to put time away to produce a product and then to share it in the world is a giant achievement and you deserve a pat on the back.
There are so many brilliant ideas that never come to fruition because of self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a dream killer and it takes route in so many insidious ways.
You may doubt whether you have the skills to make clothing? Whether anyone would actually pay for your ceramics? What people will think when they know crochet is your passion?
These doubts seem like genuine, rational reasons not to do something.
They seem mired in doing what’s best for other people but really, it’s your fear of not being enough sneaking through.
But you don’t have to believe in those doubts.
You can hear your fears and decide to take action anyway.
It’s a big move, but I know you can do it.
I know you can do it because I've done it myself. It’s why you’re reading this post.
Self-doubt plagued the early days of Maker Academy. I sat on the idea of creating a community for makers where they could get practical marketing skills to build their business for years before I took action.
I sat on the idea of creating a community for makers where they could get practical marketing skills to build their business for years before I took action.
One day I had the courage to tell Elliot about it, and he immediately fell in love with the idea. He was so excited about it that I knew I could do it. And I knew that it would be even better to have his brilliant mind the other half of this business.
Now, the road was rocky. It took months to launch, and we’re feeling our way through but since we’ve taken affirmative action self-doubt has taken a back seat.
Here are some practical steps you can take to overcome self-doubt
Feel the fear, and do it anyway
I know that feeling ‘not good enough’ is pretty horrible but feelings wash over you. They come and go. Acknowledge that thought, really understand it, and take action anyway.
Every time you take a step towards your creative pursuits, you’re strengthening your self-belief muscles.
Ask someone you love what they think
Ask your friend if she thinks you’re crazy for wanting to paint mountains or make dolls. I’m willing to bet my best friend on it that they’ll have your back.
Now, if you have a BBF that is really doubtful you can do it, ask yourself what their motivations are for thinking that? It could be that they have a dream they haven’t pursued but are jealous.
The chances are though that your best friend will be your biggest cheerleader and help you believe in yourself.
Self-doubt is a completely natural part of life and while it may never go away, you don’t have to let it cripple you.
The world needs thinkers and creators. We all need your idea.
So please, can you do us a favour and make that dream happen?
What dream would you chase if you had no doubt? Let us know in the comments!