How to cultivate the confidence you need to do what you love

Making the leap from your current work to doing what you love can seem kind of scary. How do you cultivate the confidence you need to make it happen?

Watch this short video with me and Screw Work Let's Play Head Coach, Selina Barker, where we reveal a surprising truth about confidence:

What about you?

What do you feel you need more confidence for before you can start getting paid to play?

Leave a comment and let us know!


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  • Antonina Andreeva

    Love the energy between you two!

  • Antonina Andreeva

    oops meant to finish with, can't wait for the announcement! Yay!

  • Cillabella

    Hello!  Yesterday I received my end of appointment notification at my job where I have faithfully been putting in hours for the past 26 years.  I've been very very scared about the financial consequences, knowing that for a while I won't have much of an income, even though I know that this is what I have to do at this point in my life.  And I've found a trick to defeat the fear: instead of thinking of the risks involved, I just think about all the FUN stuff I am going to do at last.  It's going to be so enthusing that I won't be wanting to stop! and then the fear just subsides. I know at last I will be in the right place creating what I've always wanted to create (creative communities) and this gives me tons of energy, whereas when I let the fear take over, it saps my energy and brings me down. So I FOCUS ON THE FUN.

  • Julie Cumberland1

    Great guys, thanks for the video, a lovely light breeze blown through.  BC obviously agrees with Selena 🙂

  • Emma Capell

    I won't let myself get really good at what I love. As soon as I think I am closing in on doing something well I let myself be distracted and go scan elsewhere. Any suggestions appreciated!

  • Emma P

    Thanks for the insight that there's no cliff jumping necessary, good to hear.

    I need more confidence to chase people I contact but who don't respond, without immediately accepting that they aren't interested in my business proposition. And I need more confidence to not take anything personally. I bet I'm not alone in this....!

  • Hey!  love that you're making these little videos in bite-size chunks!

    I would love to get my work printed and put it up for sale on the internet or in an actual shop, but I have no idea if anyone would actually buy my work! That's what I'd need more confidence for.

  • me

    Hi I would like strategies on dealing with my body language when confronting people who are aggressive. Are there any courses or classes you would recommend for women? Thanks for the video I found it v helpful  in that I can find my own path down the cliff e.g. glide down if I wish. 

  • ShaunaThinksFunny

    Hi, Cillabella! 😀 Focusing on the fun seems like such a WONDERFUL strategy! I know about focusing on the big, noble message and the lives we can change, the money we can make, and the freedom we can have. Hadn't thought of thinking about the fun! Thanks for sharing! 😀

     Emma, I think it would be great for you to do something that was mentioned in the video about imagining what you'll HAVE TO do to make your newest endeavor work. Also, you may be a Scanner like John has spoken of, a person with many passions. What do you think?

    Lauren, never know but to try, I think. As long as you don't go in *expecting* people to not buy so that you sabotage yourself, I think going for it would be an excellent idea! I hope you go for it and wish you the best! 😀

    As for me, I was just thinking of confidence yesterday - so funny! 🙂 The stuff I lack confidence in is my ability to keep up with demand for my work, make Exceptional customer love, WOW my clients with my design and copy rousing work, and stand my ground when someone challenges the concept of my business. The concept being that I help quirky individuals love themselves, their quirk and their businesses - through quirk championing (similar to life coaching) and branding. It's a tad embarrassing to talk about quirkyness with random strangers on the street or, worse, other biz owners who may think it's a silly idea. I want my business to be FUN and creative and smart but I also have this need to be takeseriousable which I wish I didn't have. It's a tug of war. I want to be more open and proud of what I do - something that I want for my clients. At least I'm a few steps ahead of some others who would pay to get where I've grown and whom I would LOVE to help get here. I'm really looking forward to making my biz a happy biz and me a happy, quirky individual! 🙂

  • Selina Barker

    Is this Cillabella of the 30DC? That must be you! Oh wow, what an incredible attitude to be able to walk into that space of unknown with and YOU ARE RIGHT, it CAN be fun. I've seen so many people find themselves without the security net they thought full-time employment was for them, only to discover that when you are the one in charge of making your money, doing what you love, you have more security than ever. oh Cillabella - I can't wait to see you discover that. There will be scary moments for sure but you'll ride them out ; ) x S

  • Selina Barker

    You have to find a way to keep at it and push through that. Try microblocking (there's a section on it in the book) - it's a key tool on all our programmes and really works to push through those tricky bits where we tend to run off. Also, ask a supportive friend to hold you to account - make a weekly appointment to check in.

  • Selina Barker

    Oh good lord, Shauna, PLEASE sign up to the next 30DC - would love to play with you on this! Wow, sounds fantastic - tweet me your website link @selinabarker . That desire to be taken seriously - you know when you're fully committed to what you believe in and don't give a monkies about what anyone else thinks and you let that be known (in a fun rather than aggressive way!) then you are taken seriously (I bet you already are) without having to put on a grey suit and a serious face x S

  • Selina Barker

    Ooh no, I'm afraid I don't know of any to recommend. Yes glide your way down - now THAT"s a way to do it!

  • Selina Barker

    Well Lauren, the player way is to write, share it (blog is a good way to start or print your own book on Blurb) and take it from there. When I started blogging I didn't show ANYONE at first. I was crippled with embarassment. I still get the pangs sometimes when I send a Juicy Tuesday out (check them out on - by keeping at it and not chickening out my confidence grew as people began to engage and enjoy what I was writing. You share to FIND your audience, NOT to decide whether you're good enough. Go for it!

  • Brigitte Gleissner

    Yes, yes, yes, show the steps please. I think what helps a lot to gain more confidence is some reassurance which steps will create the most leverage in the beginning. It all can be quite confusing when you're starting out.

    My cliff is that I know my research business is a shadow career chosen many years ago because I needed to make money quick and then became a trap. Since I have family to provide for, I can't cut down drastically on expenses. So I am trying to be very mindful which research projects to take on that don't burn me out too much. I'm feeling queasy in my stomach because it is a difficult thing to juggle.

  • Selena, thanks for all that! I appreciate the appreciation. 😀

    I'm actually hoping to REALLY launch my biz next month, so I won't wait for the 30 Challenge for that in particular. It looks fab though and I may get in it for something else.

    Other projects I have are a graphic novel called Mom's Guide to Pleasing a Woman (which I intend to do with NaNoWriMo next month); a how to and inspirational manual called Work Your Quirk!: How to brand your quirks for fun and profit (will start next month, hopefully); and another book called The Quirky Individual's Guide to Success and Happiness. I'm excited about them - just gotta figure out how to DO them. ^__^

  • David Horning

    Selina and John, you lighten my life.  I so much enjoyed the 30 DC, one year ago this month.  I've followed through on some things, dropped some ideas and improved on others.  I constantly read your blog and all your solid advise.

    There is fear jumping off the cliff and I really like the idea of walking my way down -- one step at a time.  I think sometimes I pause to catch the magnificent view and forget that the only way I'm getting down this criff is to take another step.

    Keep up the great work -- you are providing a wonderful service.

  • Alexandra

    My cliff comes in the form of a confidence issue surrounding the sales side of my current project. Yeah I got to grips with putting a basic website together; I have just mastered twitter, blogging &facebook. I have managed to persuade 3 bands to sign up to my agency BUT when it comes to picking up the phone to hotels abroad to try and place my bands I just hit a wall. I am totally scared of what seems to be an essential step in my paid to play process. I so don't want to fall at the first hurdle because coming in a close second to jumping off that cliff is. Ever finding a way down at all. I have really enjoyed the support your videos and book have given me so far.
    Alexandra from Whiterooms Entertainment 🙂

  • Afmattinson

    Whoops meant NEVER finding a way down - still to master my iPhone !

  • Hey Alexandra, what is the worst thing that can happen if you just give yourself the aim to call one a day no matter what it feels like. Sometimes we are sitting in a comfort zone and all kinds of things are popping up. Just do it - I promise you won't die 🙂 I had the same when starting to get sponsors on board for my adventures, I was coming up with excuses why not do it but for 29 days I told myself, let's just do and see what happens...I can always go back to being afraid about it. Once I started it was like training a muscle and it becomes easier. Good luck. x ands (

  • Thanks for the post John, can only agree - first had the big thing of wanting of being adventurer (you may remember our first encounter Selina) - man I tell the wall was big. Then I just started doing little things over the weekend while going to work week-days and look where I am know, done 2 sponsored amazing adventures. I am still hitting walls, but there is just another learning curve behind. 

  • Afmattinson

    Thanks Nadine for your brilliant advice. With that guarantee that the phone call won't result in sudden death, I will aim for 1 a day for 29 days. Hope your adventures are going well xx

  • Andrea

     You might find it helpful to have a confident answer to 'What do you do?'  It's like putting on your working clothes and cloak of invincibility.

    And become comfortable with working to your natural rhythm instead of the Clock of Conformity.  You can get so much more done when you do.

  • CTheArtist

    Nice one John and Selina! v. challenging. 'Jumping off a cliff' is exactly what it feels like in making that career move from where you are right now!  The taking manageable steps is encouraging realistic advice...  It's that salary paycheck that pays the bills that keeps one firmly in place where they presently are and it is those inspiring people that are doing courageous, creative and innovative things with their lives and inspiring/sharing with us how they do this and manage to pay their way as well, that inspire the rest of us to start to take those steps and make a start in that exciting creative direction, using our deepest and best skills to benefit others that we have been apprehensive to reveal....looking forward to your next inspiring posts.

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  • Thanks Selina!  I like the sound of that!  

    I have got a blog at the moment and post my artwork there; it seems to go down well with my friends and family, so maybe printing it *is* the next step... I can already feel some kind of a plan forming! Thank you 😀