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Build Your Confidence Through Creativity


Abstract art of creative tools from guitars to pencils to books and computers
Creativity Builds Confidence

Have you ever experienced that surge of confidence that comes with creating something you're truly proud of, only to be met with a wave of anxiety and shyness when faced with sharing it with others? I've definitely been there. If you're looking to build that resilience, and more importantly, that confidence in sharing your creative expressions without worrying about how it's received then read on ...


How Can You Build Your Confidence Through Creativity?


So, you can check my website for more about me, but here's a bit of a personal look, I guess... I've been fortunate to have tried my hand at a number of fields over the years, from art to writing, acting to filmmaking, music to YouTube... There probably isn't a lot that I haven't tried or been interested in trying. I enjoy all areas of creativity. Until the age of 9 I grew up in Birmingham, UK. I was a shy and introspective child, grappling with the fallout of family drama that often left me feeling isolated, even around friends. Our home life was to put it politely, quite tumultuous. Creativity was very much my escape, and I'd often use art or writing to create whole worlds or stories that I could jump into. I loved school. I had loads of friends, and always felt pretty comfortable participating in class. I was even on the girl's football team. Family drama issues seemed to twist the hands of fate, and we ended up moving to what seemed like the middle of nowhere in the heart of rural Ireland.


I didn't want to move. I missed my friends. I missed my school. I missed the corner shop that we'd visit on our way home and used to buy tiptops from. We'd moved from a place where we had everything at our fingertips to literally the middle of nowhere, where there was 1 taxi cab for the whole county, there were no buses and your nearest shop was 4 miles away. We didn't own a car.


We were enrolled in the village school that had, like, all-in-all maybe 30 kids and 3 teachers. I thought they spoke funny until they said we spoke funny. I vaguely remember my first day at the school. I sat rigid and dreading whenever the teacher asked me a question. Break times, I had my new classmates vigorously interrogate me about where I was from, why I moved to Ireland then ask me to say random words so they could mimic me. Looking back, they were harmless and just very nosy kids, but for the first few weeks, I absolutely hated the school. I hated the people. I hated Ireland. I wanted to move back to England. The one consolation was that we moved there just in time for the summer holidays to start and in Ireland they lasted 3 months. So I didn't have to deal with annoying nosy kids who made fun of my accent for a whole 3 months. I spent that summer playing video games with my younger brother or by myself in my room either drawing or writing or recording songs off the radio (on cassette). Then we went back to school and I managed to make a couple of friends and slowly fall into the rhythm of it all I guess but still...


Moving from 'everything-at-your-disposal' Birmingham to the 'out-in-the-sticks' countryside of Ireland it was definitely a shock to the system.


Even though I grew to love Ireland and formed lasting friendships, some of which endure to this day, and excelled academically, I never quite shook the feeling of not quite fitting in and always being the shy, quiet one around people. Creativity, once again, became where I felt my most authentic self. Art served as my refuge until I delved into the behind-the-scenes aspects of film and TV production. Exploring the craft of scriptwriting, I quickly developed a passion for it, setting my heart on becoming a screenwriter from the age of 13. I delved into various genres, from drama to fantasy to thrillers, unsure if writing itself or the art of filmmaking had become my first real love.


I actually can't remember what age I began to play guitar but whether it was music, drawing, writing, or immersing myself in the world of film, creativity provided me with a sanctuary from those times I just felt like a total misfit.


Returning to Birmingham, I found myself grappling with a newfound sense of self-awareness. While making friends came easily to me, I found myself repeating that same pattern as when I first moved to Ireland. I returned to Birmingham with this hybrid accent and folk would often ask me where I was from to which they'd be left with the same confused expression when I told them I was from Birmingham. 'So you're Irish?' Nope. 'But you moved to Ireland?' Yep. 'Are you Australian?' No ... I had one of my old work managers ask me that the first time I met him.


I had my own ambitions but when it came to friends or meeting people I assumed the role of the quiet, supportive companion, never fully stepping into the spotlight. I was always apprehensive about telling people my hobbies or interests and most people even to this day probably don't realise just how creative I am. It wasn't until I began acting and embarked on a journey into filmmaking that I truly started to discover my confidence. Now, you might think, "Well, I had aspirations of becoming a screenwriter, so it all makes sense...". Surprisingly, I never aspired to be an actress. In fact, when I first started, I doubted my abilities and even bombed a couple of auditions. However, something within me urged me to carry on with it. I soon realised that acting was not only a way to refine my scriptwriting skills but also an opportunity to meet likeminded and multi creative people. The early days at least. As I explored the more professional realm of filmmaking, I gradually realised that the reality didn't quite align with my initial hopes and ideals. Unfortunately, I saw many individuals in the industry pursued both acting and filmmaking primarily for the hopes of fame and fortune, rather than genuine creative expression.


I could go on but you're here to learn how to build your confidence through creativity so I'll try and get to the point ...


It wasn't until last year that I made a conscious decision to focus on myself and establish my identity beyond the confines of others' expectations.


Throughout my life, I've struggled with the concept of labels. Whether it was identifying as an artist, a writer, or an actress, none of these labels seemed to cover the entirety of who I am. Even my sexuality, as a gay woman, felt like a small facet of my identity. Creativity is all about expansiveness and endless possibilities after all so labelling it just seems to be limiting. It was in this quest for self-definition that I felt more comfortable with the term "All Round Creative".


Just like many of my creative pursuits, I've also held numerous day jobs over the years. However, unlike my current role in marketing, most of these positions felt mundane, monotonous, and soul-crushing. Everything from cleaning to retail, painting & decorating to fast food, waitressing to bar work, and majority warehouse operative roles ... sometimes a day job and a Saturday job ... it's a reality that resonates with many indie actors and filmmakers, who often find themselves balancing their creative passions with the necessity of day-to-day work.


Amidst the throes of monotony and the looming dread of being stuck in these mundane jobs for the rest of my life, I found myself growing increasingly desperate for other avenues and ways to leverage my skills for monetary gain beyond acting. So I researched ways to showcase and monetize my talents. For about a year, I juggled freelance work alongside my acting and day job. I took on commissions for art pieces, wrote various pieces, and even secured one of my highest paying gigs, writing a meditation script.


Acting and filmmaking also began to feel a little monotonous and unfulfilling for me for the simple fact that it felt like people were trying to please the audience and it got very clinical I guess. I fell in love with filmmaking as a teen because I wanted to write stories and film seemed to encompass it all; art (visual), music (score) and writing.


Despite encountering creative blocks and setbacks along the way, I've carried with me a valuable lesson that has proven indispensable in my current role in marketing. Lets face it, marketing is the art of putting yourself out there and with that there's a certain level of uncertainty that you have to get comfortable with and that is avoiding expectation. It's the quickest way to gaining more confidence in what you put out there. Of course you also want to make sure you're putting things of value out there too so make sure it's of value to you first. Going back to the labelling and identifying part it's all about authenticity. Get comfortable with you. Like what you do and if you are putting your work out there to achieve success, figure out what that success looks like for you.


Remember also success often requires playing the long game, maintaining consistency, and persevering in efforts to earn recognition. Just as much as your creative passion is a craft, confidence is a craft and genuinely they really do go hand in hand! So always be open to bettering your craft.


Here are a list of some strategies that helped me:


Mindset Shifts

Everything is an opportunity for growth. Even rejection! Yes I've sent off scripts that were rejected. I bombed auditions. I played a music gig where I forgot the lyrics, messed up a chord and went red faced. You can either allow those setbacks to completely put you off trying again or use them as a way to do and be better.


Affirmations & Meditation

It's all-too-easy to speak negatively about ourselves. I think it's important to learn to stop those self berating thoughts and realise that everyone starts from somewhere and everyone has good or bad days. I've found that I tend to meditate while listening to music or while walking. You can listen to guided meditations or do whatever you need to but it's important to find time to just switch off.


Little Steps

I can't emphasise the importance enough of breaking down the bigger goals! Yes it's great to wish for mega, life-changing things but it can also become frustrating and disappointing when those big dreamy things don't happen immediately. Breaking down bigger tasks and goals into little steps helps us feel more in control and also those little steps add up and in some cases they add up pretty quick.


Resilience

In the words of Sia, you've gotta have an elastic heart. Knocks, blocks, blows and blasts, unfortunately everyone will experience them. The best way to bounce back is to the good old self care routine and realising that other folk are entitled to their opinions but they don't have to be yours. The more setbacks you deal with and overcome become the markers and reminders to you to say look how far you've come. Look at all that shit you overcame. You can overcome this. You will get back on your feet.


Positive Self-Image

We all have those days where we catch sight of ourselves and think we look like Gollum. I have really crooked teeth and a twitch in my left eye. I also walk wonky at times ... point being, we can be our own worst critics when it comes to how we look. Positive self-image comes with how well you look after yourself. Bare minimum should be brush your teeth, shower, deo for the B.O. and wear clean clothes. When you feel clean you will look clean. I can't emphasise personal hygiene enough. This also extends to your home, clean surroundings are much more beneficial to your physical and mental health. So if you think you look like shite, have a shower or a bath. Think your room or house needs cleaning. Clean it. The act of cleaning is also a quick route to meditation by the way. Then when you go out and about, just know that if you're worrying about how you look, more than likely everyone around you is worrying about how they look too. Seriously we're hard wired that way. Animal courtship behaviour affects humans as well.


There you go!


If you're a creative then drop a comment with what you do or if you're on YouTube subscribe, tag me @leahsolmaz and say hello


Happy to support creatives!


And you know if you liked this blog then why not pass it along the socials, drop a comment below if you found this helpful. If you'd like to keep up to date with all of my blog posts consider subscribing to the emailing list (bottom of the page). No fee. Completely free. You're welcome to find me on Twitter, Pinterest or subscribe to my YouTube channel. The social bar should be at the header of the website. That's it I think. Stay awesome, stay classy, be kind!

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