Creative Confidence_Ashwin Chacko

Often as creative we are our own worst enemies. We tear ourselves down and undervalue both ourselves and our work. What we believe about ourselves is what we will project and then in time we will become. This causes a domino effect that affects the output of our work as well as our ability to earn a living. If we want to thrive we need to be confident. Confident people attract other people. 

You value is not it what you do but who you are.

Often we assume that people are just born confident and others aren’t. Here’s the good news confidence is not something you are born with, it comes from an understand of who you are and your value. It is a skill that can be learned. Much like muscle memory the more you do it the more natural it will become. 

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Have you ever had a conversation along these lines with yourself? 

Me: Oh wow her work looks amazing 

My Doubt: Yeah it does and yours will never look like that. 

Me: I think I will, I’ve seen the progress over the last few months. 

My Doubt: Sure if you call a snails pace progress. It’s only been a decade and those 20 somethings are tic tocking their way to success and you’re still slogging 

Me: But I… 

My Doubt: You are not good at business 

Me: I’m never going to make it 

If you pay particular attention to the words we tell ourselves often we will find that it isn’t truly our own voice but the voice of a sibling, parent, guardian, teacher that has subconsciously been embedded into our heads. By allowing them into that space you’ve given them permission to be that critical voice. 

The first step is to become more self aware of who’s voice that is. Often what they say is not meant to hurt us but it has created a mental block. By acknowledging it you now have the ability to let that go and move forward. 

For me it’s the voice of my dad telling me I’m not good at business, I love my dad and we are very close, when he said with the best of intentions, hoping to protect me from failure. But by allowing that voice to become my critic it prevented me from pursuing a deeper understand of what it means to run a business. And though I’m still not great at math, when I looked at the people and business that truly thrived they were based on a creative model. 

As a creative you are a problem solver, which puts you in the unique position to thrive as a business. Confidence come from knowing your value. If you don’t value yourself no one else will. James Victorie says “The things that made you weird as a kid are the source of your character and creative powers.”

The things that made you weird as a kid are the source of your character and power. - James Victorie

Embrace your flaws, own them. Often we are afraid to stand out, we just want to be normal to fit in, our whole education system has trained us to become a replaceable part in the machine of life. 

I love what Chris Do says “Normal is Average.” 

Normal equals average - Chris Do

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be average, I’d rather be whacko.

So how do you begin to build that confidence and own those flaws?

Make a list of this: 

What make you tick?

What makes me tick?

For me it’s storytelling, it’s encouraging others, old skool rap, adventure sports, fashion, caps 

What do I look like?

What do I look like?

As many of you know I earned my moniker whacko chacko from the quirky clothes I wore in high school. I was made fun of for my darker skin colour but now I’m proud of it. I have a gap in my teeth but it make my smile unique. 

What is my history?

What is my history?

I’m Indian, but I grew up in an international boarding school, so that makes me a 3rd culture kid. I’ve moved around a lot and that gives me a very unique perspective on the world. I can draw from may cultures as it still feels authentic because that was my experience.

What are my skills?

What are my skills?

Illustration, design, lettering, drawing, teaching 

What makes me weird/different?

Embrace the weird

When I combine the facts above and start putting them together it begins to create a unique picture and story. 

The question is are you the hero in your story? Or are you living someone else’s life. Embrace who you are what’s unique about you and you will become the confident creative you were meant to be.