One of the tricks of creativity is the believing in yourself trick. You have to believe in yourself order to create amazing work. But how do you believe in yourself until you’ve done the work? Are you delusional?
It’s a little bit of a left foot right foot thing. You believe in yourself for a minute. For some random reason. A waft of air blows in with some believing in yourself perfume on it. You happen to look great that day. Someone else believes in you. Then, with that energy, you do something wonderful. So you believe in yourself a little more. You decide to believe in yourself always. You gain confidence. You succeed, you learn, you grow, you get more confident.
Then you fail. You beat yourself up for failing. You doubt yourself. You start second guessing. You lie on the couch eating Halo. But at some point while you are plummeting you remember all creativity requires failure. You pat yourself on the back for knowing that. And you pick yourself up. Again. Fall seven times get up eight. And you remember that you are resilient. And you believe in yourself, and specifically you find yourself believing in your willingness and strength.
And now you have new pain to create from. Pain plus time equals comedy. So you get grateful for the pain.
But still you are broken. And then something happens. Maybe you watch something inspiring. Make someone laugh. Get an idea you are curious about. You get inspired to try again. And before you know it you get caught up in the work. You forget not to believe in yourself. It’s partly that. You forget to doubt.
Believing in yourself is a natural state of being. But we live in an unnatural world.
And why is it more imperative to deal with this if you identify as female? Why is it that gender identified as male humans, aka boys, seem to believe in themselves more? Not sure. Besides systemic misogyny of course.
In comedy clubs you see guys get off stage saying they killed. When they didn’t. You’re like I was in the room. I saw the set. i heard the laughs. You were fine. You did not kill. And you see chicks get off stage having done well. Lovely sets. Filled with doubts. Maybe they should quite comedy after all. Been there myself.
So there’s a gender gap in believing in yourself.
I once read that even a single tree outside a young girl’s window will increase her self confidence by like a trillion per cent. Ok google the number, I forget what it really was. But it was big. Huge. The size of a sequoia. I’ve wondered ever since why that might be. Did it have to do with stability? With learning patience from the tree? Did it have to do with the myriad life forms that a tree houses? The color green? Or is there some Freudian phallic reason?
Then on a walk today, through my tree filled Los Angeles neighborhood, spring blooms blooming, new green leaves showing off their genius, this thought popped into my head: a tree doesn’t have to learn to believe in itself.
A tree just does believe in itself. A tree is. A tree goes about being a tree without ever wondering am I a good tree? A thin tree? A perfect tree?
As a girl I did have a tree out my window. I don’t remember what kind. When it died my parents replaced it with three birch trees. I remember they seemed so slight compared to the big tree that was gone. But slowly they gathered size. They formed a group. They became themselves, firmly rooted. Their slow moving drama taught me patience. It was happening. Even though you could never see it happening. Year by year they were getting stronger. Though there was never a day I could see it. I learned the limitations of seeing. I learned faith. My imagination played while my eyes danced around the leaves. Did it help my confidence? No idea. Maybe. They loved each other these trees. They loved themselves. They loved me. I could feel that. I really could. They were there for me. Whatever sorrows I brought to them, they swayed in understanding. The rustled with sympathy. They stood solid with compassion. They never believed in themselves less for it either. Or each other.
Believe comes from words meaning to hold dear. Or more simply, to love.
Then, as a so called adult, I had an olive tree in my very own backyard. I loved it so. And I noticed that it loved the tree in my neighbors’ backyard. These two trees leaned towards each other. I mean it really looked like they were kissing. When I started getting orbs in my photos (long story I’ll tell you later) there were many many around these two love bird trees.
It was a very transitional time for me. A time when I was getting ready to make a huge leap in my life. I didn’t really know it. I couldn’t see what was ahead. But in retrospect, now I do see it. Watching these trees filled me with some sort of courage. The courage to be. The courage to love myself. The courage to believe in myself more better longer harder.
Today on my walk I saw these two. Loving each other. And in total confidence of being themselves. Trees have self esteem. And they are aligned with nature. But since we are not trees but overly sensitive humans sometimes we need to work on it. Channel your trees. Root yourselves in love. Believe in yourself. Here’s how. Or reach out and we can work together on it.