Friday, November 2, 2012

Rebuilding Confidence

Last weekend I taught my first creative workshop, “A Papery Adventure,” at Pacific Grove Art Center, and although my past experience includes conducting many training classes and seminars in the corporate world and guest speaking and volunteering in local schools, last Saturday was my first experience leading participants (over the elementary age!) into the creative realm.  Being a “newbie” in our local art community, I was very concerned about attracting a respectable number of attendees.  Although I felt confident about the actual teaching process, some doubt was admittedly creeping in about the value of my artistic contribution and its attractiveness to an audience.  I ended up filling five of the eight spots (after one cancellation.)  Some of the attendees were admittedly friends of mine, and although I am always deeply grateful for the support of friends in both my personal and professional lives, I initially believed I couldn’t consider my event truly successful unless I drew a larger number of people who didn’t know me and didn’t feel any sense of obligation to support me.  As I encountered this faltering confidence, a warm-up exercise at a past healing art retreat came to mind.    
The directive was to quickly create a simple collage out of construction paper torn into shapes and pieces.  The collage was to represent either a part of our body or an emotion that presented a challenge.  After collaging, we wrote questions in our non-dominant hand as if we were addressing our chosen subject and answered in our dominant hand as if we were the subject itself.  I chose “confidence” as my subject since mine has certainly been shaken off its foundation twice in the past couple years.
Here’s my simple collage called “Confidence Broken” and its accompanying dialogue…
How can I rebuild you and strengthen you?
Follow your heart and intuition as guides.  Explore possibilities.  Seek opportunities for growth.
How can I nurture you?
Have faith in your vision and abilities to express that vision.  Honor your creativity.  Remember you are “good enough.”
After reviewing this exercise and reflecting on its relevance to last weekend’s workshop, I'm working on bolstering my confidence and embracing a sense of accomplishment.  The first workshop was an opportunity to share some of my creative vision with others, hopefully motivating them to further pursue their own creative exploration.  What I found most rewarding was witnessing how each person interpreted the ideas and techniques I shared into their own unique and wonderful designs.  It felt exciting to set forth a little ripple in the creative pond!  I realized that ripple was my success, not the number of participants.
As I prepare to teach a second workshop at Bella’s Studio in a couple weeks, I'll remember the above “dialogue” with my confidence and focus on making another ripple!
What are some of your best methods for rebuilding confidence?