If you ask us what we're driven by in the creative industry, it's the novelty, uncertainty and versatility. We're not going to lie - it's also the fast pace and ever-evolving environment that motivates us and we're sure most of you creatives feel the same way. The learning and hustle never seems to stop. Having said that, we're aware that most of us in this field are susceptible to experiencing the imposter syndrome - feeling doubtful and insecure about our own work. This feeling can overwhelm us and make us lose sight of what we are working for. We're no experts, but all of us are familiar with that feeling. Existing in the same community, we think that it's important to lift each other up in times like these. This letter is essentially a reminder for ourselves, and for you, our fellow creatives.
Imposter syndrome happens to the best of us, and this letter is proof that we're in this together. It's okay to be critical with our own work and compare ourselves with others to set benchmarks. But what most of us forget to do is recognise and credit ourselves for our own success. In an industry that values speed and output, it's easy to feel like you're constantly not enough; like your achievements are due to ‘sheer luck'. Even the most talented - Albert Einstein - experience this. As creatives, we have to remember that we're not pitting ourselves against each other, even if it feels that way sometimes. The very person that you've placed on the pedestal might just be feeling the same things.
There's a fine line between being critical and being doubtful about your work. The former comes from a place of self-improvement whilst the latter comes from a place of fear. There's always room for improvement with every piece of work that we do, especially in the creative industry. Believing in your own work can inspire others to do the same. Self-doubt is contagious - but so is confidence. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses; help others see the value in your work but also be open to criticism at the same time.
Every idea has the chance to be a great idea – you will never know until you give it a go. If you have a vision, then try your best to help others see it. To quote Wayne Gretzky (or Michael Scott), “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." The worst that could happen is that you get rejected. But think of it this way: every rejection is a step closer to understanding what the client wants. So don't let the fear of rejection get in the way of what could be a great idea.
Sometimes, self-doubt comes from a place of distress. In these moments, you find yourself asking “Is this the right thing to do?" What's more important than being a yes-man is having a set of principles that guide you on your journey as a creative. We have more control than we think. At work, setting boundaries and learning to communicate them shape your experience significantly. It also encourages people whom you work with to do the same, creating a conducive environment that allows for open communication. We all work better when our minds are healthier so don't be afraid to take charge of your own wellbeing.
Are you holding back your thoughts because you didn't think you were deserving of expressing them? Are you always agreeing with the majority because you think your perspective isn't valid? We all do that sometimes, and we always end up regretting it. Our individuality is something that nobody can take away from us. It's original and authentic, which is what makes every great creative project. Putting a piece of ourselves into the work that we do is what makes it meaningful and extraordinary. If you think there's nothing you can offer, think again.
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