In my first few years of freelancing and creating professionally, I felt trapped. No matter if business was doing good or bad, I was always shrouded in constant fear that everything would come crumbling down. Over the past 9 years, I’ve tried countless different things to address this anxiety. Here are the top 3 things that have consistently healed my paranoia, and increased my confidence as a creator. (P.S. I have a special announcement just for my readers at the end of this article, read til the end for it)
1. Self-Reflection Ever since reading Simon Sinek’s Start with Why in college, I’ve become hell-bent on figuring out what my purpose is. One thing I would constantly beat myself up for is not knowing my exact purpose. The thing is, I realized the anxiety of finding my purpose often inhibits the capacity which I can serve in the present.
“The anxiety trap is dangerous when you attempt to become more confident. The cure to anxiety is curiosity.” - Dan Koe
None of us are born knowing our purpose. And that’s okay. Our purpose is found through checking in with ourselves, our curiosities, and the things that excite us. This can be done through writing in a journal, speaking to others, or even to ourselves. “One of the best things we can do is learn to have conversations with ourselves.” -Jay Shetty, Former Monk, School of Greatness Sometimes, when I'm feeling like I need clarity, I will just turn on my phone camera or voice memos, hit record, and just talk about whatever is going through my mind. By taking the jumble of thoughts in our brain and putting it onto paper, video, or any material, we not only find clarity in our purpose, we also become more confident in the things we produce. If knowing our purpose is important, being present in the journey is just as important to finding it.
2. Movement As a creator who is technically their own boss, I often fall prey to procrastination and laziness. Some days I just feel like I have less energy, and it can be easy to just lay there and not do anything. This tendency dramatically decreases whenever I make time for this on my calendar: movement. Whether it’s going to the gym, or just walking a couple steps— even the smallest movements can refresh you with energy and confidence. I know when you’re at zero, it can be hard to want to do anything, let alone gym or walk. Here are 3 things I do to help get myself moving: 1.) Small, Enjoyable Steps Whether it’s the mall you want to walk around, a nice park, or a dance studio, make the place appealing so you look forward to going there. Make the first step forward as easy as possible, and your momentum will snowball from there. 2.) Envision the Future Think about how good you’re going to feel, and how much confidence you’re going to gain by going. 3.) Accountability Schedule it into your calendar app, invite a friend to go with you, and pay for it upfront so you have to go if you don’t want to waste your money. I bought a gym membership 3 months ago, and having paying $25 each month to have access to it has helped me go as frequently as I can, to get my money’s worth. “To take the action despite how you feel about it is what catalyzes the state change. “Runners will tell you that whenever they finish the run, they’re always glad they did it.” - Rich Roll, Endurance Athlete
3. Changing My Environments I always bring this quote up because I believe it, as do the greatest people I know: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Roan, Entrepreneur One of the fastest ways to gain rapid confidence is by curating ALL your environments:
Social environment: People you want to be more like
Physical environment: Places you want to live in
Digital environment: Ideas that will elevate you.
When I wanted to pursue a creative career, I moved to LA to be closer to more creators. When I wanted to learn Chinese, I chose to study abroad for 4 months. When I wanted to become a better creator, I watched videos only on the topics I could find joy and learn from, and unsubscribed from videos I didn’t find helpful. Every place we go, person we met, and video we watch becomes a part of us. We are a product of our environment. When you invest your time, money and attention into surrounding yourself with what you want to become, you will grow exponentially faster than you would on your own. Over the past 9 years, there have been 3 foundations that have helped me navigate the anxieties of being a creative professional:
Self-Reflection: talk with yourself.
Movement: mood follows action.
Changing Environments: you are what you surround yourself with.
If you made it this far, I want to invite you to something special:
something that will combine all aspects of what we talked about today. On April 24-May 1 2024, I am partnering up with my friend Russ @sweetcinematix to host a Creator Trip to Bali, Indonesia. Here is the landing page if you want to sign up, or learn more. We can only take 24 people, and the first 8 to sign up get early bird pricing. If you have any questions regarding the trip, feel free to reply to this email or msg me at email@example.com. I want to hear about how we can make this trip the most worth it for you. Thanks for reading friend, Kai