How to stop self-loathing and like what you make
For some people being proud of what they do is a no brainer. They’ll gladly show the world what they can do without even a second of doubt. Then there’s the rest of us who hate the vast majority of what we make. The ones who suffer with anxiety and wonder “what if everyone hates it?” The ones who roll their eyes at the phrase “put yourself out there” and trash their work before any other eyes can catch a glimpse. How do you get over that self-loathing?
It’s not easy, but it is possible.
Make something new everyday.
We all know that practice supposedly makes perfect, but how often do we actually mindfully practice? Make something new everyday. It doesn’t have to big or for any specific purpose. Just create something.
Review your work
I had someone tell me that in order to beat your beast you have to beat your best. Taking time to review what you’ve done properly and how you’ve gotten better can be a fantastic boost. The key isn’t to compare yourself to others, but to see how far you in your own work have come.
Learn to accept a compliment
I hate receiving compliments. They usually make me want to go all Jessica Jones on someone, push them up against a wall, and yell “LIAR!” straight in their face. But I don’t. Slowly, I’ve learned not to protest and to simply offer a short “Thank you.” It’s that simple. Thank. You. And the conversation moves on. Better yet when that inferiority complex peaks over your shoulder use those nice compliments against it.
Talk about your work the way you would talk about a friend
Think of one of your close friends. What is it that you like about them? Why are you two friends? Did you mention anything critical? No…at least I really hope you didn’t. You noted the things you enjoy about them, right? Sure maybe they’re a little loud or you don’t particularly care for the way they dress, but hey! That’s your friend!
Look at your project and describe it like it’s gained a personality and become your closest mate.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
You have to start somewhere. You have to progress. You have to give yourself room to grow. It’s great to have standards and deadlines, but they need to be realistic. Someone who’s just picking up a stylus and opening their digital art pad for the first time probably won’t end their night being hailed as the next Stan Lee. As Charlie Chaplin said “That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.” Life’s a learning process and we have to at least try to accept that.[bctt tweet=”“That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.” -Charlie Chaplin”]
I know. IknowIknowIknow. You’re thinking ‘this is the same thing as putting yourself out there, traitor.’ Yeah, it is. But there will be a time when you’re ready to. Don’t wait. Take that split second of confidence and make the most of it. Chances are someone else will appreciate it.
Seriously, they will.