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Join The Creative Kindness Revolution!

We live in (supposedly!) democratic times. The internet (and social media) have given us a voice many of us might never have had, a way to broadcast our views and introduce ourselves to people we may never have previously encountered. What a wonderful opportunity to make friends and influence people! Thanks internet!

It’s interesting, though that so many of us (especially the creative us) are so reluctant to back ourselves and proudly share our work.

Why, when we’ve been given the opportunity to speak are we a bit frightened to step up? There are lots of reasons, I think, but most of them can be filed under FEAR. Ugh.

Fear looms large when we’re taking a punt, exposing our work or ideas to people we might or might not know.

What if they don’t like it? What if they think I copied them? What if my work/idea is not good enough? What if they say mean stuff about it/me? What if I am kidding myself? What if I am going to be exposed for the fraud that I secretly think I might be?!

Shudder. Perhaps you’ve ‘what if-ed’ like this at one time or another? I know that I have.

The things we secretly say to ourselves in these ‘what-if’ moments are often WAY WORSE than the things others might share about us and our work.

Start standing up to yourself and replacing those fearful ‘what-ifs’ with some more supportive self-talk and you’re on the road to creative confidence (and a happier, less anxious life!)

Have the courage to say good things about your own work OUT LOUD and you’re instantly kicking goals. Maybe you don’t 100% believe the good things you are touting out loud JUST YET, but learning to say them and accept compliments from yourself is half the battle won.

Not only are you reframing your own view when you do this, you’re taking the pressure off the people you’re interacting with too. It’s not up to other people to prop you up and urge you on (although, of course, we love that too!) It’s MUCH better to back yourself from the get-go, stop talking your work down and let others respond to the things you are doing in a more equitable way – without the emotional baggage of making sure you’re okay.

As the late Sister Corita Kent – genius printmaker, nun and LA Immaculate Heart College art teacher and chair (circa 1960s) says – ‘Don’t belittle yourself. Be Big yourself!’

Be Bigging is infectious. There’s nothing more inspiring that talking to someone about their work from a positive opening stance. You’re operating from a much more delighted, adventurous perspective! It’s also super-affirming and heartening to see people back themselves and talk proudly about what they are doing. Spread that stuff around!

Much better to say ‘I made this thing. It took a while, but I’m really pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m looking forward to working on my next project because this one was really satisfying and motivating. I like it!’ (Or whatever your kind-to-you truth is.)

Better that than: ‘Do you really like it? I’m not sure…. That bit is a bit wonky. I think Blah-Blah’s work is much better. Are you sure it’s okay? Really?! I’m really not sure, myself… Ugh’

That’s a much more excruciating, alienating exchange, right? Let’s not choose that.

You are doing YOURSELF and the world a huge favour by choosing to speak positively and with humanity about yourself and your work. Let’s not conform to the culture of criticism and trot out that unhelpful ‘are you sure I’m good enough?’ piffle.

Instead, let’s be part of a creative kindness revolution.

Let’s know that everything we do is an important step in our creative process and creative lives. Talking nicely to ourselves and taking consistent courageous steps towards a more positive self-view are key.

Not only does a gentle, brave approach benefit us emotionally and creatively, others notice our ace-to-us behavior and it sparks the beginnings of a creative kindness revolution!

As the aforementioned Sister Corita says ‘Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.’

So let yourself off the hook: Love yourself. Like your work. Talk about your creative projects. Inspire others. Back yourself. Join the creative kindness revolution.

Five steps to a build creative confidence (and be part of the creative kindness revolution!)

  1. Watch your negative self-talk – replace every snarky thing you say to yourself with something kinder.
  2. Remember that there are no mistakes – you learn from every part of the process, so embrace the things that didn’t go the way you expected
  3. If you’re feeling a bit fearful of sharing your work, combat nerves with a mini-meditation. You could try the Smiling Mind app. I like that one a lot.
  4. Rewrite the script and talk about yourself and your work in more glowing terms to others. Positivity is catching.
  5. Find a creative gang to share your insecurities and triumphs with. Facebook is a great place to find supportive online groups (start your own, if you fancy!) or meet up in real life for the bonus feature of hugs and shared pots of tea!

Do you struggle with talking about your creative work?

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The Good Stuff
Unfinished Business
It Doesn’t Mean They Hate You
You Don’t Have To Win Everybody Over
Ten Things You Don’t Know You’ll Miss When Your Kid Leaves Home
The Social Club
Twelve Things You Might Like To Watch (Or Rewatch) On TV
Why Slowing Down Is The New Speeding Up
Have Your Pie And Eat It Too!

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  • Cindy
    June 20, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Thank you for putting this out there! The Creative Kindness Revolution – just beautiful.

  • Pia
    October 20, 2015 at 1:16 AM

    To date – this is my favourite post of yours.
    It is SO on the money.

    Everything you talk about
    * our fears
    * hesitation
    * “Be Big” ourselves? Pure mastery by the delectable Sister Corita Kent
    * being happy with ‘less than perfection’
    * 5 steps for a tangible Creative Kindness Revolution.

    Steven Pressfield who wrote “The War of Art” talks about ‘Resistance’ and just what a negative force it is in our Creative endeavours. Everything you speak of reiterates his philosophy of fighting past this negative influence/voice and just keep Creating. Don’t stop making and don’t stop sharing your Creativity with the world.

    Can you imagine a world where
    – Van Gogh just burned all his works before taking his own life
    – Jane Austen followed her family pressures to marry rather than her own desire to write
    – Eiko Ishioka had listened to her Father and stayed away from Graphic Design which eventually led to her incredible career in Art Direction/Costume Design (“Mirror Mirror”)?

    Thank you for such a powerful and empowering piece of writing.

    • Meet Me At Mikes
      October 20, 2015 at 8:46 AM

      I love Steven Pressfield – BE A PRO!!!! Yes! x

    • Fleur
      October 21, 2015 at 11:56 PM

      Loved reading this Pip! I think we all need to be reminded to be kind to ourselves at times. The creative kindness revolution – yes!!!! x

  • Claire Atkins
    October 19, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Good on you Pip! What a ripper!
    I’m doing the Artist’s Way again at the moment and this really resonates. x

  • Therese
    October 15, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Thank you so very much for this lovely post, Pip! I’m new to your blog, and this very first post I’ve read has absolutely nailed the way I feel most of the time. Having been in the fashion industry as a designer for 20+ years I crashed and burned a few years ago. I started a little blog a year or so ago, then self doubt set in and I wavered and almost gave up. I started again recently and am starting to wobble a bit again, so thanks for this gee-up. I feel a bit better now!

  • Kristie
    October 15, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    Thanks Pip, Awesome read, so true. I’m going to print this out too and gently remind myself. It’s taken me a really, really long time to be able to say I am an artist, I am a creative…. And even now there are times when that other voice goes huh, who are you kidding….
    Today I’m saying yes to the creative kindness revolution. YES! Big time. Thanks for being ace! and Yes to supporting all creatives.

  • Chasethesuncreative
    October 15, 2015 at 8:27 AM

    this is brilliant Pip and sometime I have experienced…hence it taking until I am in my 30s and finally taking the leap, embracing my style & imperfections and have never been happier! I have decided I want to create a workshop where this is a big part of it. wabi-sabi, the art of imperfection and being Kind to yourself and following your heart come what may ?? so thank you amazing woman, as always an inspiration x

  • Sarina
    October 15, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    Pip, this is a really lovely post and I’ve printed it out so that I can read it whenever I’m feeling like you described (which is way too often btw). Thank you!

  • Nadia
    October 15, 2015 at 7:26 AM

    This is 100% something I struggle with, the it’s not good enough/ no one will want it ect… I have made a stack of treasures to unleash onto the world but I am still too shy to do it yet. I know it’s silly and I’m working on it and I had the same battle with my writing, so thankyou for your post, everything does always start with me, if I don’t talk about it positively why would other people! And at the end of the day being creative makes me really happy!!! Xx

  • Kelly
    October 14, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    Oh I love this pip, thank you! Just what I need to hear right now x

  • Adele
    October 14, 2015 at 7:24 PM

    Oh! I like this a lot! Such a great post Pip, and very timely. I’m currently in a bit of a slump even though I’ve been making and putting my makes out there for a number of years now, the confidence still ebbs and flows. That inner voice can be quite a biatch at times 😉

  • Melissa Gaggiano
    October 14, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Yep! I find myself almost apologising to the world for being a creative maker. I think it has been drummed into me at an early age that being an artist is bad. Silly isn’t it?

  • raylee syrch
    October 14, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    thanks Pip, great advice!

  • Gayle
    October 14, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    I decided that I would establish a photo album of my yarn projects and fill it with the photos of projects completed and in progress. I have had nothing but appreciative comments for sharing ( which I have tried hard to just happily accept) AND I have had comments that others are inspired to create themselves – that really makes me happy and connected through the joy of making.

    Lovely post Pip – I really enjoy your thoughts on the creative process and sharing.

  • Kate
    October 14, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    I really like this post Pip, thank you for writing it.
    Although I’m not so far along my creative journey that I’m exposing my creations to strangers, or even many family and friends, I’m going to start by actually finishing off all the unfinished projects I have. I’m going to finish them and say “It’s finished and I’m happy with it.” Most of them are unfinished because the perfectionist in me says if they are’t finished then it’s ok if they aren’t perfect, there is still time to “fix” them, no more, finished to a point where I am happy is good enough, perfection doesn’t exist.

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