Helping growing creatives produce their best work through mindset, personal development and productivity tactics.

Three More Ways To Build Your Confidence As A Creative



Confidence is a skill that can be learned. Why I believe this to be true, because I was never a confident person. 

Despite performing in front of a variety of audiences growing up (I played the guitar in front of hundreds, entered Karate tournaments and danced in talent shows) right before a performance I wanted to turn around and quit. Why? I was nervous, scared, adrenaline running at it’s max. I didn’t feel well-rehearsed, what if I made a mistake? All sorts of things my mind would make up. 

When I started my freelancing in illustration and design the same feeling of wanting to turn around is still prevalent right before a client call. 

“Do I really have to do this?” Is what usually runs around in my mind.

 “I don’t feel like I know everything” is another. 

This week’s post is a follow up from last week’s “Three ways to build confidence as a creative” and I want to continue to share methods and mindsets that have helped me get over the fear of rejection, fear of failure and as a result become a confident creative. 

I would love to share three more ways to build confidence as a creative so you too, believe you have something valuable to offer. 

1. Expect Rejection

This tip is weird. And I know some probably are thinking “wait, what? Why not think of the best possible outcome?” 

Asking yourself “what would rejection look like?” can be used to your advantage. You painted the picture of the less desired result, now add that to your strategy. Change, adapt and improvise. Go through the process so you can pick up something new after it’s been said and done. 

Being confident is a lot about being aware. If the client doesn’t accept your proposal for whatever reason, you need to at the least leave, knowing you did all that you could. 

It could be I’m just over analysing, but knowing what the worse can happen helps my understanding of the situation, which in effect creates less disappoint. How this relates to being becoming more confident is exactly that—less disappointment. You’re now allowed to focus on your strengths and do your best work without the fear of rejection lurking around. 

2. Never Stop Practicing

What would your skills look like 10 years from now if you stopped practicing right after graduating? 

There is going to be self-doubt in the beginning because there’s a myriad of professional designers and illustrators out there. And there is going to be self-doubt when you learn new things. But that self-doubt is part of the learning process. The more you experience the skill you want to build, the better you’ll become. 

Confidence is a result of practicing a skill over time.

The more you practice, the more you step out of your comfort zone, that’s a new level of confidence being acquired each time. 

And you can’t become confident if you do not practice—daily.

Whether this next line inspires you or not, I hope it’s the former…

You’re not going to become confident overnight.

It’s going to take time, it’s going to take a lot of practice as I mentioned. But set your expectations and work. 

3. Remain A Student

To clarify, I don’t mean stay in school and rack up loads of debt. I’m coming in with this tip from the context of a student and a master. Which means this is the best time to bring up Bruce Lee! He exudes confidence. 

Not to turn this into an entire topic on Bruce Lee (even though I would) a lot of his teachings go beyond martial arts. And it’s why I believe one of the ways to becoming confident is your “constant hunger” for learning—staying in the mindset of a student.

A master signifies an end point. A student signifies the need to learn.

Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning

—Bruce Lee

This approach will lead to becoming a more confident creative. The intensity to learn, the constant questioning, the curiosity—you’re never settling. 

A creative person’s quest for satisfaction never stops. 

It’s about racking up those experience points once again and reaching a new level. Who are you inspired by? You can learn to be like them, but you can never be them Your own confidence will emanate when you stand your ground and truly believe in your own values. Adapt, build, grow—be like water. 

Remain a student. Always observe and learn. 

This will probably dilute the whole blog post, but I still suffer from lack of confidence. And I don’t even know if there’s such thing as going in 100% confident. But can you improve? Yes, of course. 

But at least, if you practice you can be confident when you need to be. 



Hope this extension to last week’s post has been useful to you. I’m interested to also know what has helped you become more a more confident creative? Let me know by tweeting at me @jaytenart

I appreciate you for reading. 

’Til next time!