Outside of interviews and finger painting, very few people would describe themselves as creative without prompting. As humans are naturally creative, it can seem weird to define yourself by a word that could apply to most people.
This can make it difficult to feel like you’re being properly creative, especially when your job requires it. With such an airy definition, the idea of being creative is open to interpretation – making it a minefield of self doubt. That in mind, let us help you neutralise this minefield, with the power of a fact-based pep talk.
The poster child for inconvenient work experience, imposter syndrome is common in the often wildly subjective creative industry. Imposter syndrome essentially steals your self-awareness of your own talents – which is extra difficult when you’re aware of others’ talents.
Ironically, the blessing of imposter syndrome is that we’ve labelled it – and awareness breeds familiarity. So long as you’re aware that your attitude can be influenced by this phenomenon, you’re halfway clear of it, because you know you’re psychologically conditioned to not know how badass you are.
Unless you’re Elon Musk or a new, hip clone of Albert Einstein, people usually aren’t expecting miracles from you. Should you do good work? Well, yeah, of course you should. Are you going to do work that lives up to your expectations every time? Well, without being a major mood killer, probably not.
And no, this isn’t because you’re putting out straight garbage. It’s because the person with the most unreasonable expectations for yourself can often – and super unfortunately – be you. Wanting to make everything perfect – or even just a little better – is a positive trait, but only in the right doses. Learning where to draw the line with projects is a lifelong experiment, but it’s one that will leave you much more satisfied in the long run.
Putting work into any project requires blood, sweat and tears – and importantly, these three things take time to make. Spending countless hours on one thing makes it easy to skew your perspective on it – especially if it matters to you.
What’s important to keep in mind is that nobody who comes across whatever you’ve been working on will scrutinise it like you do. Now, that doesn’t mean you should jumble together whatever – but remembering you can be your own worst enemy is important. Sure, the nature of subjectivity means the odds are not everyone will adore it – but even then, they’re sure to notice the work that has gone into it.