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All Talent, No Confidence - A Sad Inspiration

What can you do when you're blessed with talent, and cursed with self doubt?

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Written by DeletedUser

I have a teenage cousin, Lily, who is a multi-medium artist, regionally ranked violist, and competitive swimmer/tennis player. Her room is wallpapered with drawings and scattered with trophies from various competition wins. Even her parents are surprised by her diverse talents - she's excelled at any artistic/athletic venture she's attempted.

But despite all her talent, Lily suffers from crippling self-doubt. She berates herself for not being smart enough to get better grades. She's concerned that she's not quite good enough to get an athletic scholarship and that she's just wasting her time - she's already quite swimming because of this. She's afraid that she wont be able to succeed in an artistic field.....she really wishes that she were smarter at something useful like math or science. And she worries, as most teenage girls do, about not being pretty or thin. She's become increasingly unhappy in the last few years.

To be honest, I don't quite know how to help her.

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Photo of An Old Friend

Has she mentioned which area of the artistic field she is most interested in? Can you help her identify this (based on her creative style) and then help her talk to an active professional within this field?
Does she doubt of her technical skills or her imagination? They are two distinctive concepts.

I think she needs an external and experienced person to comment objectively on her creative artworks, and to give her confidence by telling their own story, how they also doubted at times in the past.

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DeletedUser

Hello Old Friend (hah!). As an extremely NOT artistic person, I have a pinpointing her creative style or interest. To be honest, she seems to be doing all sorts of different things from sketching, oil painting, crafting, and fashion just to name a few. I agree that she should talk to an active professional in the field. Right now, I feel her her biggest worry is that the talents she has (in art, music, and athletics) are not transferable to a future profession. She's discouraged because her environment places a strong emphasis in traditional academics as opposed to more creative talents.

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