Confidence is hard to find because it is not something that exists on its own. It is something that has to be developed.

In our early life, confidence comes easy. We do not have any limits because we do not understand the physical boundaries of the universe nor the social constructs of society. And, if we are fortunate we have cheerleaders. We touch hot stoves. We leap off sofas. We work on an ollie repeatedly until we get it. Our parents congratulate our first simple words. Our grandparents push us to try new foods. Our friends egg us on to hit the jump one more time. We push ourselves out of naivete, out curiosity, out of ambition and out of the encouragement of others to mature and get better.

The opportunities are endless in early life. We will become the next Shaun White. We will master the Sommelier’s level four. We will write the next To Kill a Mockingbird. We literally can do anything.

Then something happens.

We learn to fear. We get hard introductions to gravity. We get laughed at for our crude drawings. We get told our writing is not good because of technical conventions. We start to experience the ease of being comfortable and rarely venture beyond the simple tastes we were able to develop in early childhood. We get stuck and our confidence falters.

How much better would our ability become if we got back up after the fall and did it again? How much more refined might our skills become if we pressed on through the practice? How much more nuanced might our taste be if we continued to explore the unknown? How much stronger would we be as a person if we ignored the external and internal critic?

How much further could we have gone if only we had continued to expand our confidence?


There is a near daily question of, “Are you an artist?”. 

In my gut and my heart, I know that I am, but the distance to my head has not yet been fully traversed and the distance to my hand feels like an eon away. I rarely give a confident “YES, I am a writer and a film producer.” 

I need to start saying so. 

That will create some level of accountability for me.

I also need to start acting like it. 

My regular musings have refined my ability to write but as a dear friend correctly pointed out, they are only for myself. I fail my own criteria of an artist by hiding behind my screen and never allowing the words to see the light of day and more particularly the assessing eye of an audience. New perspective for myself and for the masses will never be possible if I continue on the trajectory of personal work for personal sake.

It is time to start being an artist instead of just making art.