It’s in your head.
And it won’t get out.
That little voice only you can hear.
Yet it’s loud and clear.
You’re not good enough.
You can’t do it.
You’re an imposter.
And you’re about to be found out.
We’ve all been there. Now how do we get out?
How do we become more confident?
That’s what we’re going to look into today.
Welcome to Episode 50- yes, I said 50– of Navigating the Fustercluck—a podcast full of snackable insights to help you navigate the bittersweet world of creativity & marketing.
My name is Wegs, like eggs with a W, joining you from Deaf Mule Studios in Dallas.
Thanks again for making our first 50 episodes such a success. The initial goal was to do 52 shows. A year’s worth. And now we’re almost there. And not only did we become an iTunes New & Noteworthy selection, you’ve given us over 100 5-star reviews. And we appreciate it. If you’ve found Navigating the Fustercluck to be helpful, please share it. As we share insights on the relationship between creativity and confidence. How do we quiet our inner-critic? That little voice inside our head. As Winston Churchill said…
And don’t you already have enough real obstacles to overcome?
As IDEO’s Tom and David Kelley state in their book Creative Confidence:
Creativity, far from requiring rare gifts and skulls, depends on what you believe you can do with the talents and skills you already have.
According to Tanner Christensen…Many of us who have a powerful creative drive refuse to let it become more than just a few occasional day dreams not because we lack creative capabilities, but because we lack the creative confidence necessary to do the work. We think to ourselves: “I can’t write a novel, I’m not a writer” or similar thoughts. The result is that we end up fulfilling the prophecy. We don’t feel like a writer, so we don’t write, which ensures that we don’t become a writer.
Fear of Being Judged
If the scribbling, singing, dancing kindergartner symbolizes unfettered creative expression, the awkward teenager represents the opposite: someone who cares—deeply—about what other people think. It takes only a few years to develop that fear of judgment, but it stays with us throughout our adult lives, often constraining our careers. Most of us accept that when we are learning, say, to ski, others will see us fall down until practice pays off. But we can’t risk our business-world ego in the same way. As a result, we self-edit, killing potentially creative ideas because we’re afraid our bosses or peers will see us fail. We stick to “safe” solutions or suggestions. We hang back, allowing others to take risks. But you can’t be creative if you are constantly censoring yourself.
Growing OUT of Creativity
I love this notion that comes from a quote from Sir Ken Robinson, whose popular TED Talk you may want to check out.
We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it.
The problem is…
No one is going to pay much attention to the person who has no confidence in himself. That’s what fashion maven, Tim Gunn says.
The Chicken or the Egg
Are self-confident people more successful? Or do successful people become more self-confident?
In this chicken-or-the-egg argument, one thing is certain: every study conducted in the past 50 years on self-confidence and success has proven that the two are at least related. That is, self-confident people are more successful in all areas of life. And successful people have a high level of self-confidence.
One thing I know from personal experience is that self-confidence is a muscle you can exercise & grow. And what it gives you is worth working on it.
3 Things Self-Confidence Gives You
1) Self-Confidence Helps You Make the Right Decisions
When you are self-confident, you choose yourself. Most people who lack self-confidence love to please people. They don’t choose themselves. Because they don’t, they make the wrong decisions.
The more you make the right decisions aligned with your deepest desires and your core values, the faster you will achieve your goals.
2) Self-confidence Makes You Productive
You need to be productive and manage your time wisely. Eliminate all the unnecessary activities. You can’t do this effectively without self-confidence.
Without self-confidence, you will spend time on activities that don’t help you achieve your goals.
The surprising thing is this action is done unconsciously. You don’t realize you’re doing it. I’ve realized when I don’t feel confident in my ability to achieve a goal, I waste time. I procrastinate. I do mechanical tasks like checking my emails instead of focusing on the creative task I want to do.
When you are self-confident — confident in your abilities, you are super productive.
3) Self-Confidence Helps You Aim for Things You Only Dream About
The higher level of self-confidence you have, the higher you aim.
On the flipside, avoid being overconfident.
It causes you to prepare poorly.
To stop stretching.
Too fall into bad habits.
And to rely on charm over competence.
Building Your Confidence
OK, here’s the heart of the matter. The reason most of you are listening in.
According to Harvard, confidence is NOT a personality trait; it is an expectation of a positive outcome.
Here are some hurdles to avoid:
- Setting unreasonable goals. Aim high but don’t be unreasonable. Shoot for small wins that grow to larger wins. Winners think both big & small.
- Spiking the Ball to Early. Go step-by-step. Just because you win one game doesn’t mean you’ve won the championship. Don’t over-inflate your ego, just to plummet when it gets popped.
- Trying to Do It Yourself. Not trusting your teammates means you don’t trust yourself. Which leads to the next point…
- Don’t Blame Others. When you don’t take responsibility you start to believe that circumstances are out of your control.
- Don’t defend yourself if you’re not being attacked.
- Neglecting to Anticipate Setbacks. Confidence involves a dose of reality. Blind optimism leads to train wrecks. So check yourself before you wreck yourself.
- Pride comes before the fall. You can’t just feel confident, you have to be prepared.
Public Speaking & Confidence
Public Speaking and confidence go hand-in-hand. Here are some things you can do to win people’s confidence and subsequently grow your confidence. After all, confidence begets confidence.
- The Box. Don’t over-exaggerate your gestures. Keep them in a box just past your shoulders down to your waist. Otherwise, you look like a con man.
- Holding the Ball.Gesture like you’re holding a basketball with both hands. It makes you look like all the answers are at your fingertips.
- Pyramid Hands. Don’t over do it, but holding your hands in a prayer-like position keeps your hands and fingers from flailing about.
- Wide Stance. Watch old Beatles clips of John Lennon standing in a wide, strong stance. It makes you look solid as a rock.
- Palms Up. This position is open and inviting.
- Palms Down. A classic Obama gesture. Makes you look like you’re keeping things calm and in control.
Again, confidence begets confidence. It multiplies itself. And just holding your body in certain ways like these can help you control yourself and the room.
And don’t forget…practice, practice, practice…
Time to Take a Short Breather… (EXHALE.)
…We’re here at Deaf Mule Studios to remind everyone that this is Navigating the Fustercluck. And I’m your host, Wegs. And this episode has been all about confidence. And here’s a final thought…
A huge light-bulb moment for me personally has been noticing that I need both periods of self-confidence and self-doubt to produce my best work.
That thought comes from Alice Boyes, Ph.D., author, The Healthy Mind Toolkit.
It reminds us that we are emotional beings. Walking paradoxes with competing emotions. You may never conquer your nervousness, but you can overcome it by growing the confidence of both yourself and your team.
Well, that about wraps up our 50th, yes 50th, episode of Navigating the Fustercluck.
Here from Deaf Mule Studios, I’m your host, Wegs, like eggs with a W, and thanks again for listening in and supporting us. 50 episodes! Amazing. And humbling. If there’s anything you’d like to hear us cover, please feel free to reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or NavigatingTheFustercluck.com, where you can find transcripts to this and all 50 of our episodes. Finally, remember, we’re all in this together. Let’s be kind and help those struggling with their confidence. Here’s to you. Here’s to the future.