The 3 Keys to Conquering Self-Doubt in Your Creative Work

Imagine…you’ve generated an award winning idea for a Novel. The idea seems almost too good to be true and you can’t wait to show the world. You play the moment when you turn the idea into a reality over and over in your head, as if you can already taste it. In your mind there is no way you can fail.

And then reality hits…

You realize the pain staking amount of work you will need to put in to manifest that idea into the real world. You have your doubts, but that doesn’t stop you because you have confidence in yourself. You know your idea is up there with the best, so you get started.

Everything is peachy and perfect until you reach the half way point and think to yourself,

“Wait a second…this isn’t how I imagined it would turn out, is this idea really worth the effort?”

This moment is pivotal, the moment you begin to doubt yourself is when things can really take a turn for the worse.

Will you convince yourself that your idea sucks and quit? Or will you keep going and see it through till the finish?

What if your idea was actually award winning worthy?

What if you complete your Novel and become the next J.K. Rowling?

Yes, there is a possibility that your Novel does not turn out as well as you thought it would, but so what? Maybe this was just the beginning of something more, something much grander.

Perfectionism and self-doubt can be crippling when it comes to getting creative work done. At times, we may judge ourselves too hard or set the bar too high. This can kill our productivity or even ruin a perfectly good idea from being brought to life. And it doesn’t have to be something as huge as a Novel, even perfectly good blog posts are often thrown away because we convince ourselves that they aren’t good enough.

But what can we do to prevent this situation from happening?

The 3 keys to conquering self-doubt

1. Resilience

You need the resilience to see your ideas through to the end.

If you felt confident about your idea when it was still in your head, chances are your idea is really not that bad. It may not turn out exactly how you imagined, but if you complete what you set out to do from the beginning you will spark inner growth. On the other hand, giving up half way will create a bad habit that only stunt your growth.

Once you create the habit of finishing what you started, your creative projects will snow ball and your self-doubt will dwindle. If possible, it is best to judge the finished product and tweak it until it reaches a level you are comfortable with. If you give up before it’s finished then you could be throwing away a masterpiece without even knowing it.

2. Self-acceptance

Okay so you have the resilience to finish your work, now you need to accept and love your work.

The ability to accept whatever comes out of you is priceless. Sometimes we produce great work, and sometimes we produce not so great work. But we can’t be so harsh towards ourselves when we produce not so great work. We have to be kind towards ourselves and practice self-forgiveness. Love your work and you will go far.

Be proud. Accept your creation and love it with all of your heart. If you wrote one Novel then you can do it again. This time with the knowledge and the confidence that you need to make something even better.

It’s okay to have high standards, it just means you have that much more work to do until you are satisfied. Accept your work, both good and bad. Whether or not you choose to release your work to the world is up to you. But you never know, your creation may help someone out there, somewhere..

3. The big picture

So now you have resilience and self-acceptance, the last piece of the puzzle is to look at the big picture.

Look at the end goal. Whatever the reason you began your creative work in the first place.

Now if you are serious about your creative work then you need to be willing to invest time. For bloggers, each article that you complete is one step closer to your goal. Every step that you take means growth.

Same thing for any creative venture. If you are a musician who is just starting out then you will need to complete one song at a time. If you keep your eye on the end goal then you should have the motivation to keep going. Keep your resilience and finish your work, show your self doubt who’s boss! Accept your work, both good and bad, and then focus on the big picture…the end goal. Keep growing and don’t give up!


Through my own struggles I got the urge to create this blog post, though I almost gave up half way through LOL.

Care to share your own tips for defeating self-doubt? Leave a comment below!

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