By Naomi Taylor
Confidence can be a positive and negative thing. It’s something we all have and something we all channel in various ways. I for one can come across as confident in talking to others about daily life, but when it comes to my work my confidence level diminishes. I am loud and can be the class clown but I sometimes wonder whether this is over compensation to cover up the fact that I don’t believe in my abilities as a creative.
I will ask for help and advice from mentors but before they even look at what I have done, I tell them that it is rubbish and that they won’t like it. Some have picked up on this and told me that ‘you’re at SCA, you can’t be rubbish’, and even though I agree with that some what, I still think that it may not be entirely true. After all we don’t often get accepted into the school because of our quality of work. However knowing that I was sponsored by many in the industry to come to SCA, there must be something I’m doing right, right?
I know I am not alone, being such a close knit group at SCA, you pick up on others who also lack self-esteem and I’m sure others have it worse. Let’s admit it – it’s hard to believe in yourself when there are people doing a lot better than you brief after brief. I can’t believe people who say they aren’t bothered about producing the best work out of their peers, it’s natural. The fact is some just keep fighting in order to do it and others let it get to them.
A fellow penguin told me that we should think of us as all sitting on an ascending curve. The majority of us are a 1/3 of the way up and there are some 2/3 of the way up and maybe more. Those of us on the lower end will catch up to those on the higher end of the scale quicker than the higher scaled individuals will reach the top. Eventually it will all balance out and we should in theory all end up in the same region. I can see the logic of this and have noticed the truth in it.
My advice to anyone at SCA now and in the future is that you need to just believe in you, don’t try and compete with others, only yourself. It’s completely normal that others reach greatness quicker, it’t not that you never will, it’s just that it may take longer to get there. Constantly worrying about other peoples performance isn’t going to help yours and thinking you are rubbish isn’t going to attract potential employers. Challenge yourself and yourself only.
Someone in the industry who I admire a great deal told me the other day that ‘Creatives always lack confidence in their work, its normal and it never goes away’. Hearing this helped especially coming from someone as established as this. You should always strive to have done better, if you think what you are doing is the best work that has ever existed, then that possesses issues all in itself.
Just do you, compete with yourself and know that you will make it no matter how many long and windy roads you have to travel on to get there.