Creatives (which we all are) have a special relationship with self-love and confidence. We need to bring ourselves to every piece we create! We put ourselves into our art and that takes confidence. And it takes confidence to make decisions in the creative process (something we work on in my Intro to Intuitive Painting Course). Follow along for 5 creative ways to look after yourself.
There will always be things that get in the way on the path to achieving self love and confidence; it’s just how the journey goes. We each have years of negative experiences to move through and positive experiences to reinforce. But breaking through those limiting beliefs and constructs instilled in us from our upbringing and past experiences (whatever they might be), is how you get to that comfy, cozy place we call unwavering self-love.
To help you along the way, I’m sharing 5 ways being an artist has taught me to practice self-love. I hope you consider these suggestions as you’re walking your own path to self-love and blooming confidence.
1. Treat Yourself Like A Guest
A golden rule of self-love that I always try to follow is to speak to myself just like I would talk to someone I love. Would I tell my best friend any of the negative self-talk thoughts I tell myself (I’m not good enough, I need to be perfect, etc.)? Of course not! I would tell her that she can do anything she sets her mind to. THIS is the energy you want to approach yourself with.
Think of treating yourself like you would a guest. Most people prioritize giving love and care to their families, friends, pets, and homes, but how many extend the same level of love and care to themselves?
To combat this, I take myself on an inspiration date. This could be a walk in nature or making an extra yummy lunch that I get to eat without rushing (or looking at my phone). I carve out this time to absorb the world around me, to be in my bubble, and to harvest inspiration from the unexpected, all while taking time just for me.
2. Loving Yourself is NOT Selfish
Reminder: Looking after yourself is not selfish but selflessly necessary.
This is probably the hardest lesson women, especially mothers, face on their self-love journey. When you’re constantly putting others above yourself, stepping back and devoting intentional time to yourself can feel wrong. It seems counterintuitive but giving yourself permission to care for yourself nourishes the mind, body, and soul. And that intentional self-love radiates all around you.
I often run out of gas…like literally. The gas stations where I live are 20 minutes away from my house, and I often rush from place to place and never stop until the light goes off. Many a time I’ve coasted into the gas station. This annoying habit-turned-lesson never fails to remind me that I need to schedule consistent time for myself. If I don’t put it in the calendar, it doesn’t exist. So pencil in that dedicated self-care time, no matter what it looks like.
3. Be Present and Mindful
Let’s be honest: This is a lifelong practice. Mindful living – aka being fully present in your experience without judgment – redirects your focus so you can live more freely and authentically. For one, deliberately calling your attention to the present moment offers relief from any rumination of thoughts that drain your self-confidence (over and over and over again, you’re replaying that awkward moment). Being in the present moment takes you out of your head, so you can listen to your heart.
Life is made up of moments. Being present reminds you that if you miss these moments, you’re missing your life.
So, how do you tap into the present? I love using watercolor as a way to drop into awareness. My YouTube video on how to make an abstract watercolor is perfect for this—watch the colors blend and bloom over the page and slowly carve out a story. Being present with the page as you follow your intuition is powerful and doubles as intentional self-care time.
4. Release Self-Doubt
Everyone faces self-doubt, but it’s especially true for artists and other creatives who can get caught up in comparing themselves to others. Habitually leaning on self-doubt only leads to a lack of confidence, creativity, and all the other wonderful things that make us unique.
Ultimately, you are the one who shapes your view of yourself, just as an artist determines the look and feel of a final piece.
To release self-doubt and step into a place of love and confidence, it’s important to keep tabs on it. Take notice when and why those comparisons or feelings of not being “good enough” pop up. Notice the habit (this is just a habit, not the truth) and choose a different outcome.
Everyone is perfectly imperfect! And we’re all at different seasons in our lives, so there’s no need to compare. Practicing non-judgment, kindness, and gratitude are amazing tools to help you out of this habit. I also have a free watercolor gratitude practice you can do whenever you find yourself judging or comparing yourself to others. It’s beginner-friendly and beautifully blends mindfulness with creative self-care.
5. Build Confidence One Step at a Time
Building confidence is easier said than done—but that’s why we’re taking small steps here. Self-confidence is a necessary ingredient for creativity. This belief in ourselves and our abilities keeps us passionate and inspired. Nothing can stop you when you have the confidence to create your own art in your own way.
Having confidence in yourself matters outside of your artistic work, too. It sounds silly but when you believe in yourself, you can do literally anything. The possibilities are endless, and you’re in total control.
A not-so-lofty idea for building self-confidence is to simply dress for yourself. Self love and confidence, for me, are tied so closely to self-expression. The watercolors I make are self-expressive, but they also take a lot of time lol. Going shopping in your own closet, however, is easy and refreshing. I love to mix patterns and colors while getting dressed, just like I’m making a painting. Next time you step into your closet, just have fun and see where your intuition lands.
So there you have it friends, my creative’s guide to embracing self-love and confidence. Which of these tips did you resonate with the most? I know from experience how powerful looking after yourself can be.
For more things like this (and watercolor freebies for your self-care practice) subscribe to my newsletter! If you want to grow your artistic confidence and dive deeper into creative self-care, feel free to explore my online and in-person watercolor classes.