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Six Ways to Deal with Self-Doubt and Fear of Rejection

One thing that can hold us back from success as Creatives is the Fear of Rejection. Even the most confident-seeming Artists and Creators out there feel these fears sometimes. As Creatives, we need to be vulnerable when we create and put our work out there… that is what speaks to people.

Here are six ways to deal with self-doubt and fear of rejection:

1. Realize NOT everyone is going to support the work you’re doing right now… if they do, it is perhaps not really Art. Art can challenge and provoke, and not everyone will understand. And some will not even like it (Gasp 😊). It's truly okay. Find your fans and nurture them. Talk about or write about your work so that others are more likely to understand. Learn how to communicate what you are doing, to yourself and others. But realize that your work is your work, and while you can take advice and critique to learn and grow as an Artist, this is YOUR work. Stay true to YOUR mission, your vision.

2. Keep taking the next step, each a small risk. Sometimes we get advice to take risks and go out of our comfort zones. For many artists, especially those who might be on the more sensitive side, this can backfire. There is a great line, said over and over in the funny movie, “What About Bob?” and that is “Baby Steps”. Yes, it is important to take that next step, that next risk, but it doesn’t have to be a huge scary thing. Map out a plan of baby steps to get to your Big Risky thing and you will be prepared for it – it won't feel like such a huge leap. It will just be your next step -and you are more likely to succeed.

3. If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again What is your reaction when something doesn’t go as you hoped or as expected (notice I don’t use the word fail – this is a word we should wipe from our vocabulary)? We often allow some disappointment to get us so down we want to give up. And perhaps sometimes, we are looking for a way to give up so we don’t have to be vulnerable and try, try again, only to risk disappointment again. We are here, on this Earth, to experience some discomfort and challenge – it’s how we learn and grow. See if you can feel the sadness or disappointment you have experienced- don’t ignore it. Be with it and perhaps you can get to the point where you can laugh about it. Though it may feel “big” to you right now, your disappointment is small in the big scheme of things. Realize that what you have to share is more important than your disappointments. We wouldn’t be here, as Artists, if we didn’t have a need to share something with the world and it’s so important that we do share, in some way. I cannot think of anything more important. It’s sounds so cliché but don’t give up. Rest and re-group after disappointment, maybe, but get up and keep going. If you are struggling for a long time to get up and get going, find a trusted friend or counselor to help.

4. Give yourself what you seek from others They say if you want love from another, learn to love yourself.

As a Creative you would like others to honor your ideas, yes? Do YOU honor your ideas? If not, likely others also will not. If you want to be understood as an Artist, seek to listen and understand yourself. There are numerous ways to work on this. Journal. Meditate and write down ideas that come up. Find a mirror and talk about your work to yourself. Listen to yourself, deeply and consistently. Make it a practice. Be your own best fan!

5. Show Up, and Work There is perhaps NOTHING that can bring us up from being down than action. Get in that studio and create, dance, sing. Get to that typewriter and write. It doesn’t really matter what you create, play or write. Work is the best cure for your fears. If you have some anxiety around getting back to work (blank paper, canvas etc), you will need to re-discover a sense of Play. Just simple play. Perhaps there is something new coming and you need to experiment for a while. That’s all you need to start. Take the pressure OFF. You do not have to create a masterpiece every time.

6. Share your fears and doubts with others Finding a tribe of other Creatives who struggle with the same issues as you do, can be such a gift. We all need a safe space to share our challenges and discoveries and celebrations. That’s why we created Thrive Creative Community!

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