Episode 09: The Two Skills Every Creative Needs

Join me this week as I share the two skills every Creative needs to have, and to continue to cultivate.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The two skills every Creative needs: self-efficacy and emotional resilience
  • The difference between self-efficacy and confidence
  • The best way to build emotional resilience

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Let’s become a generation of creative women who are examples for the people in our lives of what it looks like to prioritize our work (AND recognize our impact).

x, Jen

Full episode transcript below:

Welcome to today's episode, the two skills every creative needs.  I believe that everything you need to be a successful creative, however, you might define that, boils down to a combination of two skills. And today I'm going to share them with you, and tell you how to develop them, and why they matter. 

The two qualities- I'm going to use qualities and skills here interchangeably, because I think these fall under both- are self efficacy and emotional resilience. Combining self-efficacy and emotional resilience means that you believe you can do something- that it's possible for you- and you know how to tolerate the frustration and the other emotions that come up as you're working towards your goal or your project. 

I think it's safe to say that no human is innately born with these two qualities. They need to be developed, cultivated, and nurtured. 

I work on these two qualities in my practice with my clients and also personally. In my experience, these two are really critical to making the idea that you're currently thinking about a real thing. 

 If you're wondering why this matters. I want to tell you that in order to accomplish or create something, we first need to believe we are someone who can do it. And then we need to have, or develop, the internal capacity, the emotional resilience to show up and keep showing up, sometimes for a while, or longer than we think we should have to. Until it all comes together. Our part. And any of the other things that need to happen outside of us.   

And then once it happens, you know, that magical moment that we're working towards where things click into place, and it's like a real thing, we need to be able to lean on these two skills to keep it going, to keep cultivating it, to keep expanding on it, or growing as a human. And, or just expanding to have this thing in our life. Sometimes that is challenging. 

You know, we get to this point where we get the thing that we've been working towards, and sometimes we can really freak out about it because we've been working towards it for so long or we're used to not having it, or we're more used to not having it, I should say, that having it can freak you out, can freak out your nervous system. So once you get there, you're still going to be relying on self-efficacy and emotional resilience to keep it, to have it, to actually allow it in your life. 

  So let's explore these two concepts.   I think of self-efficacy, simply as, believing you can do something and then it's possible for you.   We'll get nerdy for a minute and I'm going to share a direct quote from a study  about self-efficacy.  

Self-efficacy is quote "an individual's belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments". That's like a wordy and science-y way of saying that you believe that you can actually create what you're working towards. And that's a quote from a study by Alfred Bandura. 

 Additionally self-efficacy quote "reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one's own motivation, behavior, and social environment". So this means that you believe that you're capable of doing it, and then also you believe that you can shape your own behavior and your motivation and other things that are happening outside of you to make it happen, too. 

 So that is all a fancy way of saying, simply that you believe that, while you may not yet have the necessary skill set or knowledge, that you believe you are someone who can do it, have it, or figure it out. 

I think self-efficacy is more important than confidence. Which confidence relies on feeling self-assured. And that's a good thing. Many people are hung up on not feeling confident enough. I don't even know what that means, just sidebar. And I don't know that some of us will ever feel confident enough. Confidence seems like a moving target to me. But self-efficacy is a skill and a quality that can be developed. 

We just need a seed of the belief that we can do it and we can build on it over time. 

  The second quality we're talking about today is emotional resilience. Emotional resilience is not about avoiding difficulties in life. It is how you deal with the difficulties, which includes negative emotions, failure, crises, and more. 

We're going to get nerdy again for a second, so stick with me. 

A definition of emotional resilience is, "the art of living that is entwined with self-belief, self-compassion, and enhanced cognition. It is the way through which we empower ourselves to perceive adversities as temporary and keep evolving through the pain and sufferings". And that's a study by H E Murano. 

Emotional resilience looks like: I get bounced off track, and then I bounced back on track. Not necessarily easily or immediately, but more that you have the belief about yourself that when you fall off track, or when you fall off the horse, whatever metaphor you want to use here, you get back up. You process the experience, you feel the feels, and then you get back to it. 

 A great way to build our emotional resilience muscle is by stacking up failure. 

Many of us are terrified of failure, for a lot of reasons,  some of it is societal, also what we make it mean about ourselves. But failure is necessary, normal, and it gets us where we want to go.   

Think about babies, they fail all the time. They try to grip things, try to sit, crawl, stand, and walk. They fell down a thousand times. They never once tell themselves, well, I guess I'm just not someone who can stand up, so I should just give up now. No way. They fall down, learn something, try it slightly differently, do it at least a hundred more times, and finally they stand up! And then they build on that skill and they begin walking. 

We all have this innate desire. The innate need to grow, evolve and change. That doesn't stop in adulthood. In fact, it only stops when we become more scared of the failures. Then we are of not continuing to grow. I'm going to repeat that. It only stops when we become more scared of the failures, then we are of not continuing to grow. 

And let me just say failure is not inherently bad or scary, and it doesn't actually mean anything about us. It's like an experiment that we ran to see what would happen. And then we get feedback and we get to change our approach, or we may change one variable, and then try again. 

So, I don't want you to be afraid of failure. I know that, you know, kind of naturally most of us are, but begin to work with that within yourself. Begin to cultivate a curiosity around failure and maybe even some openness to failure can be a way, and often is the way, of getting what you want, of creating what you want. 

One way to see where you might be afraid of failure is to look at what you aren't doing and why. Because most likely you're not doing the things, you know you 'should' be doing -and I say should there as in should be doing because you know that that's going to get you where you want to go- because you don't want to fail. 

Not doing the things that, you know you have a hunch about doing, is problematic. Because most of the time, the very best way to learn is to willingly fail. And have that strong emotional resilience muscle so you bounce back up and keep going. 

Okay. There it is. I just shared the biggest secret ever with you. 

I bet, if you look for it, you can find evidence in your past that you have used self-efficacy and emotional resilience to create what you currently have. And you need to continue to cultivate these qualities if you want to create what you're currently daydreaming about.   

I hope this episode helps you find these qualities inside of yourself right now. You have them.  And inspires you to continue to cultivate and develop them in pursuit of your evolution as a human, and to aid you in creating everything you dream about doing. Everything you dream about becoming. It's all available to you. 

  I'm so glad you were here and that we get to walk our paths together. See you next time. Same time, same place. Bye. For now.  

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