For the past year, I’ve been in an exploratory phase of my life and beside discovering new hobbies, I pushed to expand my passion in painting. It’s been a rewarding process, and I’ve found a lot of growth in this season of exploration. But I can also tell you that there were many bumps along this road.
Embarking on a new project feels always exciting – the spark of an idea, the possibility of new discoveries. It’s why many of us choose to create. But it can also be kind of scary. When you’re pushing yourself to grow and step beyond your comfort zones, sometimes the ground feels a little shaky. My inner critic, hand in hand with the impostor syndrome, came out strong and ready to fight.
Psychologists define Imposter Syndrome as the persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. That any day soon, the world will point fingers and laugh directly in your face; how could you ever be qualified to do what you do? Suddenly you feel the world is staring at you. At your work. Thinking, “she’s not a real artist! He’s not a qualified musician! Those photographs aren’t even taken by a real photographer!”
My fears started creeping in and self doubt started tapping on my shoulder. Am I good enough? And if not, does it even matter? Is this a waste of time? Waste of resources?
Some days felt far more frustrating than rewarding, but then I wondered. What if I wasn’t creating? What would I do with my hands? My hands were made to create. I have thoughts and ideas that need to be expressed, a voice that needs to be heard. Like it or not, self doubt is part of the process for any creative, but the important thing to remember is we are doing what we were made to do.
There’s no easy way around fear. When it comes down to it, I think the best strategy is to just show up. Do the work. Face it head on, and push straight through it. You are on this journey because your creativity has gotten you this far. Continue to expose yourself. Embrace your humbleness.
And yes, be able to answer, confidently, in saying, “I am an artist.”