The battle for self-belief
Working in the creative industries inevitably involves rejection and doubt. But those are also the elements that can lead to greatness, writes Richard Holman
If you’re a creative person, perhaps someone who makes a living from their imagination, there’s a good chance you were first inspired to pick up a pen, a camera, a paintbrush by looking at some of the best work in your chosen medium. You encountered the greats, you were moved by their masterpieces, and you decided to have a go yourself. It’s how most of us get started.
But there’s an awkward problem with this path to creative expression: against the best work in your genre, your own efforts can come up short. Before long you may find yourself beside a pile of screwed-up paper or a ripped-up canvas, your head in your hands, cursing the day you ever had the gall to believe you could actually do this.
Alongside having the tools and the space and the inspiration to make work, it’s commonly held that we need another essential ingredient: self-belief. Without faith in ourselves, how on earth are we to navigate the travails entailed in bringing an idea into being?