Creativity and confidence

When I look back at my life so far, it always strikes me that the only person really holding me back has ever been myself. When we are in the midst of the everyday events, we find so many things to blame for our insecurities. Lack of time, too much work, the necessity to earn one’s living, family responsibilities, location, politics, lack of support from family and friends – I doubt that any of that has had a real, tangible impact on my creativity, at least not in a negative way. If anything, those experiences tend to provide us with the very material for our art. Limitations are what forces artists – and humans in general – to create, and to create better, more intricate art.
I haven’t lived in an environment that forbids creativity. I have never been tortured, threatened, beaten or worse for my art. All I have ever had to do was to create and then to let it out into the world, and that’s the part that I have often found tricky.
I have always wondered at those lucky artists who seem to have unlimited supplies of confidence. Where do they get it from? Why aren’t they being eaten alive by self-doubt? It doesn’t have anything to do with age, or success, or the way they were brought up – some of them are young, at the very beginning stage of their creative journey, and have had as many or as few knockbacks as the rest of us. It isn’t about self-belief either. Maybe it has something to do with the fear of being – judged? no, that wouldn’t be too bad – but faced with indifference? They say that the opposite of love is not hatred but indifference.
Whenever I have taken a step towards what they call engaging with my audience, I have had a positive experience. And sometimes I do get into this amazing, very Russian, state of ‘to hell with it, come what may’ when I feel that no matter what feedback I may get, I would still retain my self-belief and a sense of identity. In those moments I wonder why I have held myself back for so long. Maybe it’s a positive thing after all. Maybe some part of me senses when the time is right, when my skin is thick and my creativity is ripe. Maybe I can relax into this desire to be a hermit for a while, until the next time I feel ready to open up.

Author: Maia Nikitina

Writer, reviewer, blogger.

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