Dear self, I'm proud of you

When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back or a high five? Taking pride in your work, in what you love, or in what you believe can often be a challenge when you’re plagued by self-doubt. When you see yourself working hard for years, but not reaping the benefits of said hard work, you might think you’re still not enough. Or even when you succeed and you still feel inadequate—impostor syndrome, anyone?

While there are probably several issues there to unpack—from perfectionism to one’s struggles with self-worth—it’s always good to remember that should we be lucky enough to be able to pursue the things we love and to be able to create, we do it because it’s the only way we can express ourselves and how we see the world. 

In case you need words of kindness or reminders when you particularly don’t feel all that confident or proud, we hope you get a bit of it in these Common Room works from our makers. Hey, they’ve been where you are.

Your path doesn't have to look like anyone else's

Comparing yourself or your life to others is something almost everyone has done. With social media platforms, it’s become even more prevalent, as you tend to compare your life to somebody’s highlight reel. This often leads to feelings of frustration and low self-esteem, both of which don’t help when it comes to achieving what you want. 

Ceryl Tubungan, who is one of the founders of the Attic Yarn and Craftery, didn’t follow the path of going corporate after college. Instead, she picked up her old, beloved hobby of crocheting and founded a business with her sister and mom

Yana Ofrasio knew from a very young age that you could live doing something creative. In our previous interview with the full-time visual artist and natural dyer, she talks about how people used to tell her that there’s no money in art. “I never thought of it that way because going into it, money is not really my goal in life. So what if there’s no money there, as long as I’m happy and it keeps me fulfilled, money will follow. I’m not sure if a lot of people will agree, but kanya-kanya naman tayong diskarte.”

We all have our own paths and beliefs to guide us to our goals and in case you need a reminder, you can get it here. 

You too, will shine in your own time

As much as we all have different paths to take toward our dreams, we also have different timelines. Some take longer than others. It took PopJunkLove 15 years and many bazaars and pop-ups to be able to set up the first Common Room PH brick-and-mortar shop. Some luckily get their big break right after college. Others might find their second career at mid-life

Studio Habil started in 2013 as a side hustle for Marvz Conti. He had a day job and, he shares in his previous Meet the Maker interview, it took around 3 to 4 years before he decided to go full time with it. “Nakita ko yung future niya and possibilities that it can grow into a bigger business din.” With moss terrariums and moss art being more niche products, the start was a bit rocky but Marvz pushed on (and encouraged by Common Room mother hens, Roma and Maan) because his pieces were very unique. It didn’t hurt that there was a resurgence for all things local and handmade at the time. 

“Our success won’t happen overnight so if you take your time and then go through every season of your creative process that’s when you’ll know if you need to grow or fail. And from that you’ll learn how to stand up on your own two feet.” Marvz adds. When you feel like all you’ve experienced are troughs and none of the peaks, keep in mind that we all have our own timelines when we do get our time to shine. 

Pin it where you can see it. 

Empowered women empower women

Getting to our goals (or sometimes just getting through the day) doesn’t have to mean making others feel small so we can feel big. 

Female makers and entrepreneurs especially need to be more empowered and find a support system as they face more roadblocks and challenges compared to their male counterparts. We have a few examples on how female Common Room makers do it, here.

If you also need a reminder when it comes to tearing down the patriarchy, check these After Thursday stickers

Create today

They say self-doubt is the worst enemy of creativity. We don’t doubt it. Self-doubt is the voice in your head that nags and asks, “Can I do it? Am I just wasting time? Am I even good enough?” It can be crippling and stop you from creating things. This decal sticker sums it up, create today. Better to keep that in mind when the negative thoughts come in. And when you turn it into a daily reminder, then it's more, create every day. 

Visual artist and illustrator, Jill Arteche, sees how the practice of creating daily–in her case, drawing—helped her find her art style. In college, a teacher required her and her classmates to draw daily. “He said we can draw anything and it came to a point when I was just drawing phone chargers, bottles of paint, random stuff,” Jill recalls. “I didn’t really see the point of it until I started to see consistencies in them. And then it was just a matter of finding out which ones you want to retain and which ones you want to eliminate and then developing from there.”

Marvz Conti also sees the benefit of creating daily. “Show up every day, even when you don’t feel like working. Even the little things that you’ll do, it will still add up to a bigger picture.” Showing up every day is a good battlecry, too. If you’ve got other motivational words of wisdom in mind, you can even write your own (lettering video, here) or have somebody write one for you with some flourish (custom digital calligraphy service, here).  Whatever helps you to keep pushing and to take pride in what you do, hold on to it. The occasional pat on the back you give yourself should help, too.