Some people are born with an unshakable belief in themselves. My partner tells a story of when his band was starting out. He decided he wanted to be represented by one of the best agencies in Sydney at the time. For a band at his level (even though in his own mind they were one step away from Wembley stadium) this was a pretty out of left field proposition and a highly unlikely one to get across the line. But as one of these types with unshakable self-confidence, he fronted up and said he wasn’t leaving until he got to speak to said manager. Sure enough, he waited about in the waiting room until he got a chance to speak to the person and with unwavering confidence told his story that theirs was the next big band and given that fact should certainly be on the agency’s books. And wouldn’t you know it in not that much time he jumped through a few more hoops and actually managed to secure the representation of this agency. This saw his band supporting major local and international acts and touring extensively. It wasn’t quite Wembly stadium but his utter brazenness got them much further ahead than they otherwise would have been.
I’m in awe when I hear his story because I can’t even begin to point out how many places in his story I would have retreated home with sweaty palms and my tail between my legs. Because unlike my partner, I wasn’t born with that unshakable faith in myself. With that said, I have recorded two albums, toured around Australia, played at festivals, made films that have been showed internationally, directed plays, acted, had my own radio show and been relatively prolific in leading a reasonably fulfilling creative life. I also run my own business, have created e-courses, workshop programs and spoken at international conferences.
So how does it work if you aren’t born with an unshakable confidence? It involves a little faking it until you make it and some shifts in perspective. For me, when I’m faced with the relentless forging forward and feel the next no, rejection or near miss will mark the end I flash forward to the nursing home. I imagine the life I want to be remembering and the alternative to forging ahead is usually unacceptable. To not express my creativity and not share it with other people is a lot harder than facing the fears in stepping out and sharing it. It is all about feeling that fear and going for it anyway. They say that life is motivated by two things: love or fear. I want my love of creativity, of the arts, of playing music to outweigh my fear of rejection, inadequacy, lack and being less than. Sometimes we just have to make a commitment and say “It’s not comfortable but I’m going to do it anyway”. Because can you live with the alternative?
So if you want to make art, share it with the world and make a move towards creating your best creative life but you feel like you don’t have the kind of outgoing and self-confident personality to pull it off, don’t worry, a lot of us don’t. But please don’t let that stop you from sharing your story with the world. Let your love of the arts and creativity drive your decision to keep forging ahead.