So I kinda wanted to call this post something like "Seeing Yourself The Way Other See You" but I figured that was kinda long and a little too vague, so I went with 'Giving Yourself Credit'. Today I wanted to talk about an idea that I've had written down for a long time, and I have kept adding more and more excellent points as they've dawned on me and as I have experienced them.
I wanted to talk about giving ourselves credit today, as I think it's easy enough to forget about a lot of this stuff. This topic also kinda feels like a Your Weekly Reminder topic, so maybe I'll do a drawing on this theme too.
Several months ago now, I was sitting in the living room with one of my housemates. I think I was in my pyjamas, and I was likely painting or working away at something at the table. She happened to pipe up about my hair - it had fallen into loose curls/waves after a few days, and she asked me how I got my hair to be like that. She said it was exactly how she tried to do hers, and it never worked.
What's funny is that, probably, all I had done that day was roll out of bed and brush it a bit. It was remnants of some curling-tonged style a few days prior (I don't wash my hair daily) and it was in the category of nothing-special-but-acceptable-enough-to-stay-as-it-is. It was a fleeting conversation, but it was the first time that I realised that I wanted to write about this. We forget that there is a lot of things that people think are great about us, but that doesn't register with ourselves. We need to give ourselves credit.
It was around the same time that we were working on a Self Promotion project at uni - creating something small and potentially mailable to 'advertise' yourself to agents or design agencies, etc. Some examples were things to hand out at design festivals, or a CD to send to agencies, or some kind of charming piece of packaging design that advertises yourself. I was realising that the little idea for this blog post that I had jotted down was pretty important for this.
A piece of self promotion was not going to help you at all if you were super modest and didn't give yourself credit. I realised that to make a half decent job of this project (which obviously I hate now anyway, because that's life) I had to look at myself through the eyes of others, and realise all the good things about myself that maybe weren't blindingly apparent to myself, especially when we are almost taught not to acknowledge them. We need to gives ourselves credit.
Just a few weeks ago, I added another point to the list, and I finally decided to write this blog post up. I was reading through "Grow Your Handmade Business" by Kari Chapin (which has been a great read so far) and following along with some of the exercises in it. One of them was to make a list of everything you're good at. Here was another reason to realise that we're good - how are we supposed to succeed at what we really exel at, if we're not even acknowledging it? Why are we wasting time worrying about being good enough, if we're not fully realising what it is that we are doing well?
We need to give ourselves credit. Not just for our own happiness but actively to progress as creatives. take some time to figure out what you need credit for, or tell someone who is doing great stuff what they deserve credit for.