So I said on my Twitter that there are 2 kinds of confidence I aspire to acquire someday:
And these would be ideal, right? Especially for anyone working in any creative field: knowing what you're doing, and liking what you're doing - these are two levels of confidence that I'd LOVE to exude.
I'd love to free myself of the constant self doubt and imposter syndrome that plagues every artistic decision I make. I could probably increase my productivity if my brain wouldn't scream "YOU'RE NOT GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO, YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO MAKE IT AS AN ARTIST, AND EVERYBODY'S GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT A FRAUD YOU ARE" at me every time I sat down to create something.
But there is no easy fix solution to sending these kinds of thoughts to the shadow realm. And that's why there aren't just 2 types of confidence - in fact, the kind of confidence I arm myself with often looks more like this:
'Cause here's a little secret: nobody knows what they're doing. Everyone is just pretending that they do until we all figure it out.
And that's okay!
If you watch this video, How to be confident by Anna Akana, she talks about the power of faking it 'till you make it, explaining that literally mimicking the physical behavior of confident people can actually increase a person's confidence.
The main tactic that Akana shares is all about power posing: adjusting your posture and position to physically take up more space.
Now I know that the psychology of power posing has been discredited as several social psychology studies have shown that the original study by Amy Cuddy was flawed. And it does seem a little too good to be true that mimicking the classic Wonder Woman pose for 1 minute could boost your hormone levels and thus increase self-confidence.
But even if the pseudoscience behind power posing doesn't affect the chemical psychology of your brain - don't you still look like you're taking up space?
Isn't it enough to pretend like you know what you're doing and thereby make people around you think that you know what you're doing?
I should also add that this doubly important for women and minorities, and shout out to all women of color out there, because we have been raised to believe that we are inferior to everyone else in our industry, even when we are more than qualified for the job. It's advice that I've been given by women in comics and illustration that I will repeat for you here: channel your inner cocky white man on the internet who gives his input on areas of expertise that he definitely does not have, and fake it, fake it, fake it.
That being said, it can be uncomfortable to bring any attention to yourself, even if you do achieve a level of confidence where you do know what you're doing and you like what you're doing. Promoting yourself or posting anything online where you know that complete strangers might engage with you, or, even worse, where your peers can pass judgement on you, is the most daunting aspect of creating online content.
In this case, there is a third kind of confidence that I am happy to weaponize myself with when I need it: it's "who gives a fuck" confidence.
Who gives a fuck! Who! Is it you? Maybe it is.
Maybe you do give a fuck. Just a little of a fuck - a fucklet, if you will.
That's okay! You can still act like you don't give a fuck, and use your fuckless attitude to share what you have to show to the world.
And like I said - and others will always say - nobody actually knows what they're doing right now. Nobody actually has everything figured out, and everybody is scrambling around trying out different things until maybe they do.
The important thing is that you do keep trying, and making shit, and getting other people to see the shit that you make.
'Cause if you work hard and work worth doing, eventually, you might like your own shit too.