3 things I tell myself when I doubt my work

Creativity can be a fickle friend — especially when it’s for hire. When I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it, suddenly that blank screen is mocking me, sending me into a spiral of self doubt. Here are 3 things I tell myself to overcome creative self doubt.

You were hired for a reason.

Sometimes I look at the inspiration board and goals for a project and think there is no possible way I can live up to them. Everyone else does way better work than I do.

But then I remind myself: my client didn’t hire anyone else. She hired me. I don’t have anything to prove to her — she already loves my work! After all, that’s why she’s paying me, right?

So then I take a deep breath and just focus on doing my thing. Have a little fun with it. Turn off the world around me and just get lost in the project. I can do this.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Truthfully, the worst that can happen is my client hates my work. And you know what? That doesn’t really happen. They may not love the first mockup — and that’s OK. It is a process, after all.

No one is going to say, “You’re the worst designer ever and I can’t believe I hired you!” And if they do? They probably weren’t the best fit to begin with.

In creative work, even a “I don’t like it” is progress. It helps you identify the right direction and changes to make.

You have to start somewhere.

When I’m stuck, I force myself to just do something to get started. Open a blank document. Mess up the page a little. Type out some words and just play around with fonts.

The creative process is, well, a process. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to start somewhere.

You can do it. I know you can.