Tackling creative self-doubt

We can be our own worst critics.We envision a lofty ideal for what a creative is. So lofty a vision that even current successful creatives may not live up to it, let alone ourselves.

It’s good to have ideals. Closing the gap between reality and the ideal is where the challenge and the joy are. But how do you rise to the challenge?

One predictor of success is having an ideal that challenges us but at the same time is so meaningful we can’t help trying.

But our mind (or someone else for that matter ) still can accuse us of being a fraud for not living up to our ideal from time to time. What to do?

Here’s what to bear in mind.

What really is a “creative”?

A “creative” according to the Cambridge dictionary: A person whose job involves producing original ideas or doing artistic work

Does it matter how much you earn from said original ideas or artistic work?

Nope. A job with little remuneration is still a job. It ceases to be a job if you quit. A creative creates. That’s it. So don’t beat yourself about not being adequately compensated for your efforts or not being as good as you would like. Things needn’t stay that way though.

Work of art, art of work

Here’s an alternative view on things:You may be an intern right now. At this stage it’s not about pay. It’s all about getting your foot in the door, gaining knowledge and experience. This is the best time to make mistakes too. They are less unforgivable than when you are well established and have all eyes on you.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Scott Adams

Pay your dues as you would in a traditional job. Learn the ropes, get confident enough to warrant that promotion, that salary increase. Think climbing the ladder. Constantly improving strategically.

The flip side to the coin

I have noticed that many creatives have a disdain for the business side. It’s only natural. We love our craft, that’s why we’re so involved in it, but the business side, not so much. However these are two sides to the same coin.You want to get better at both your craft and the business side to optimize your success.

Unless we are a creative within a company, we alone steer the ship. That means we’re responsible not only for the talent, but also the marketing, promoting, selling.

There is of course a wealth of information on the business side of things out there. If that sounds intimidating. start simple.

Think of your most pressing questions, then go about finding the answers. Here’s a starting point.

What is your goal? Are you after a lifestyle? How much do you have to earn to support it? How many projects does that translate into? What is a non negotiable about that vision and what can you leave out?

Don’t be afraid to have a clear vision. It’s necessary so you can come up with steps to make it a reality.

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.


We live in the entrepreneur age. Never has it been easier to work for ourselves, create, publish, showcase and sell all by ourselves. But if we are to stand out and actually make it work financially, it stands to reason we have to be a student of both our craft and the business side of our craft.

Makes sense?

Reflect, redefine, rise!


Singer, songwriter, content creator, author. Enamored with all things creative. #HustleSustainably #MakeHasteSlowly
Posts created 80

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