I can teach you a lot.
I can teach you how to attract better clients, charge higher prices and set up smoother systems and processes that support your success.
I can even teach you how to make a mean roast lamb.
But one thing I can’t teach you is how to become confident. That, my gorgeous boss lady, is an inside job. The good news? Everything you need to become a confident creative is already within you.
I know that is very woo-woo, and I can practically hear you complaining sarcastically, “Gee thanks, Anna. That’s so helpful.”
But you should know by now that I only ever speak the truth. And while I can’t gift you with what you need to suddenly become more confident, I can gently walk you through how to unlock that confidence yourself from within.
‘Cos it is a process, yo. I might have been born with the ingredients inside me to become confident, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always been confident. And when people ask, “Hey Anna, how did you become so confident?” the irony is that it was after my ex-husband had an affair and left me five-months pregnant with a toddler to take care of that everything happened.
That’s when I became confident.
Not your typical confidence building scenario, huh? … Umm, no.
And I do not recommend trying this at home.
But the thing is, once I hit absolute rock bottom, with zero confident, self-esteem and self-worth, I had no choice but to build myself back up again.
I started small. Reading books, listening to podcasts and practicing confidence-building activities daily, like it was a muscle I was building and growing. Then I moved onto the big things, like showing my work, turning up in my business and forcing myself to try new stuff.
I put myself out there, showing up as the imperfect lady I am … and people connected with me. In fact, people’s positive reactions to my work, my knowledge and my words gave me an ego boost.
They celebrated the fact that I wasn’t rehearsed or polished and praised me for being authentic and real.
Sure, there were (multiple) stuff-ups along the way.
But … I survived.
‘Cos once you have been through something like a horrific marriage breakdown and having a baby on your own, failing at a FB live seems pretty trivial.
That being said, I have no doubt you have had to weather many storms in your life. Storms that have proven your resilience and strength, right?
And you didn’t die.
So when you put it into perspective, showing up in your business isn’t very scary is it?
Just like building your confidence is simply a matter of practice.
But where should you start? Don’t worry, lady, I’ve got you.
Here are my tips for practicing confidence.
Five ways to channel your inner Beyoncé
1. Let go of limiting beliefs and embrace imperfection instead. A lot of women have the very limiting belief that everything needs to be perfect before trying something new. If you were to wait until the perfect day, for the perfect hair, for the perfect light to do your first Facebook live, then you’d be waiting forever. Instead choose to be imperfect and do it now. People love imperfect people because it gives them permission to be themselves. There is a reason why you like me more than other creative mentors right? ‘Cos I am unapologetically me.
2. Figure out how you learn confidence best. Everyone learns differently. And everyone learns confidence differently. Is it about mantras and meditation for you? Journaling and reading books? Talking to someone? For me, reading books about dealing with fear and resilience helped me immensely. If you’re the same, two of fave books are: Fearless living and Miracles Now.
3. Get some perspective. Think about how resilient and strong you have been in your personal life. You have overcome a lot of intense stuff, right? So why is the fear of what a stranger will think or say about your design work paralysing you? Put it into perspective. As Kate James says in her book, “There is no better way to develop grit and achieve your goals than the practice of failure. Your ability to cultivate resilience relies on your ability to fail.”
4. Let go of imposter syndrome. Focus on your highlight reel and realise your inner critic can be a real bitch sometimes. But that doesn’t make her right! Instead, look at the facts. Read testimonials, take stock of everything you have overcome in your life, think about how much work you have put into becoming who you are and repeat to yourself: “I am grateful for opportunities, but I also know I deserve them”.
5. Only follow people who make you feel amazing. For a long time, I struggled to show up in my business because of my weight. I believed the hype on Instagram and thought people wouldn’t want to work with me if they knew the ‘true’ me. But … guess what? They still fricken did! If you’re interested, you can read more about my journey here. These days, I follow people like Tess Holiday who embrace their bodies. Unfollow anyone who makes you feel like shit. Only follow people who lift you up.