I’ve noticed that a lot of creatives struggle with the idea of self-promotion because you regard a lot of it as a bit arrogant, pushy and too ‘salesy’.
I also hear of a lot of people having difficulty with motivation and productivity because you see a lot of other people’s great work around you, and feel frustrated with the competition. As well as slowing down your own creative productivity, this can threaten your sense of self worth and hamper promotion even further.
We need to tackle what lies at the root of these barriers to confident self promotion, which is self doubt.
I’ll show you six quick ways to overcome self doubt so that you can continue to feel good about yourself, your brand and your work, and ultimately become more productive, particularly when it comes to promoting yourself.
Acknowledge past successes
Write down ten real instances in the past when you doubted yourself, but ended up succeeding. This can be when you felt doubtful about yourself in any kind of situation, be it before a class presentation, meeting someone new, exhibiting your work, or even taking a long journey somewhere. Make these as varied as possible.
Having concrete evidence in writing of times when you succeeded in the face of self doubt will give you real confidence when it comes to dealing with future challenges. This includes feeling confident about developing your work and showcasing it.
Disprove doubtful thoughts
Draw up a simple table of two columns. The left side is headed ‘Doubtful Thought‘ and the right side: ‘Not True Because…‘. Fill the left column with five to ten doubts you currently have about yourself and your creative work. For example you might say you are afraid to start writing a blog because you are not an interesting writer.
You then write a statement in the other column that proves this thought to be wrong, such as: ‘I am an interesting talker, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to write interestingly’. This will re-align your thoughts and get you thinking rationally.
Keep an event journal
Again, get your notebook out, and at the end of a day write down everything, silly and serious, that you got through without difficulty. This could be in driving into town and back safely or talking to a client on the phone confidently. Then write down everything that didn’t go so well.
Stand back and look at what you achieved and what you didn’t do so well. You will inevitably see that when stacked against each other, you achieved much more than where you didn’t, and this will boost you greatly.
Celebrate daily successes
When you find that a situation in which you doubted yourself turns out to be a success, don’t ignore it. Make sure you acknowledge and celebrate what you have achieved. If you win a client, go out and celebrate, or watch your favourite film. Rewarding yourself for successes, no matter how small, will embed a sense of confidence into you and break up the self doubt within.
Talk to your supporters
If you feel doubtful about something, it’s a good idea to call on other people who see you in a more objective light. Speak to people who can support you, give you some praise and support the work you do. The Internet is a great place to find such people, and you will find more and more supporters through building up relationships with people through being active on social media sites, forums and blogs.
Take action and challenge yourself
There is no better eliminator of self doubt than taking action that disproves your initial self doubt. Always be searching for things that you regard as challenging, but that are obtainable. If you take little steps in doing things that take a bit of courage but are manageable, this is the route to feeling good about what you can achieve.
If you take a step that doesn’t result in success, try something a little less challenging first, before moving up a level again once more. Taking action in this way in everything you do is the route to self confidence and success in self promotion.
Do any of you have any comments or further ideas?