THE POWER OF THE PODCAST Listen to a fresh perspective to quieten your inner critic.
Podcasts offer us a fresh way of looking at things, encouraging us to challenge negative ways of thinking. Through them, we can nd new ways to be creative and
consider options that we've never even dreamed of
Sylvia Plath once wrote: “The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.” And, over 60 years later, her observation is more relevant than ever. Whether you’re in awe of others’ photography on Instagram, or wowed by the craft projects posted on Facebook, the simple act of scrolling through your phone can leave you unsure of your own abilities. But surprisingly, the way to gain creative con dence isn’t necessarily to step away from your screen. Instead, it can be learning how to use your phone as a portable self-help tool, via the humble podcast.
Podcasts are essentially audio shows that you can download straight to your phone, covering anything and everything from comedy and politics to mindfulness and self-improvement. Entertaining and informing in an instantly accessible way, it’s no surprise that they’re such a fast-growing medium, especially amongst the creative and wellbeing community. With today’s hectic lifestyles, taking time out to work on self-development often isn’t an option. But by plugging in to podcasts while you’re commuting, cooking dinner or at the gym, you can easily tap into a wealth of con dence-boosting, creative inspiration in a way that doesn’t feel time-consuming or overwhelming.
It was recognising this that led photographer, writer and creative coach Sara Tasker – also known as Me and Orla – to start her own podcast, Hashtag Authentic.
“I'd been listening to a lot of podcasts during car journeys, and loved how they allowed me to enjoy long-form content again. I’ve rarely got time to read an in-depth article these days, but can happily listen to someone explore a subject in a podcast for 30 minutes.”
“Dreams do come true. But only when you demand it.” Tiany Han
For Sara, Hashtag Authentic also gives her the opportunity to discuss certain topics on a deeper level than she can in blog posts. Observing that creatives are “often the quiet ones, struggling with self-doubt,” Sara’s podcasts talk to makers, entrepreneurs and small businesses owners who are guring out the answers. Covering all areas of creative life, they o er practical strategies and solutions via engaging conversations.
“My podcast audience will often say it’s like I’m sat next to them having a chat, which is exactly what I want,” explains Sara. And, it’s easy to see how listening to your peers discussing subjects such as ‘Following your creative instincts’ and ‘Avoiding the comparison trap’ in a friendly tone, connects and inspires con dence more readily than a lengthy blog post would.
After featuring on Sara’s ‘Managing self doubt’ episode, coach and mentor Sas Petherick experienced rst-hand the huge impact podcasts can have on
people’s lives. In fact, Sas was so overwhelmed by the response from listeners that she decided to launch her own podcast, Courage and Spice (which debuted in September), focusing speci cally on self-doubt.
A self-confessed 'self-doubt nerd', Sas delved further into this subject as part of her master’s degree in coaching and mentoring.
“My dissertation was a qualitative study into the experience of self-doubt, and my coaching practice is all about helping women navigate through it and cultivate self-belief.” Combining her level of expertise in this area with a heartfelt approach, each episode of Courage and Spice
feels like a coaching session in itself. Sas is particularly excited for listeners to hear her interview with Professor Tom Schuller, author of The Paula Principle.
“Self-doubt is both a personal experience, and, for women particularly, reinforced and perpetuated by our culture. This episode looks at where these two aspects intersect, exploring why women tend to work below their level of competence.”
Giving an authoritative, informed viewpoint on why we behave the way we do, podcasts such as Sas’s not only make us realise we aren’t alone, but they also help us understand why we think the way we do.
For Sas, podcasts o er fresh ways of looking at something: "The ‘secret sauce’ is when we apply the ideas that we’ve heard to our own lives, taking new actions that help us to access new possibilities and choices.” Once we’ve opened our minds to those choices, we can also use podcasts to re up our creativity.
Ti any Han, a writer, speaker and coach, launched her podcast, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, in 2014. Motivating listeners by sharing the stories of successful creatives, her podcast arose from a craving for more inspiring conversations. Returning to work after maternity leave, Ti any noticed that she kept having amazing conversations with creative friends about their businesses.
"I increasingly found myself saying, ‘I wish I could record this talk and share it with my clients and students.’ So, I decided to do just that!”
One of Ti any’s most popular shows
THE ‘SECRET SAUCE’ IS WHEN WE APPLY THE IDEAS WE'VE HEARD TO OUR OWN LIVES AND ACCESS NEW CHOICES.
features Lisa Congdon, an artist and illustrator who didn’t start on her creative career path until her thirties. (Read more from Lisa on page 72.) Discussing passion projects, they talk about the vulnerability of sharing less-than-perfect work, how to get into an experimental mindset and what it’s like to get comfortable with discomfort.
“Everyone is always curious to hear the backstory behind these projects, and how they can get started with their own,” explains Ti any. “And, by learning that someone you admire faces the same doubts and fears as you do, you realise that you don't have to let them stop you.”
Taking inspiration from tales of artistic bravery and creativity is nothing new. After all, as Ti any points out, “storytelling has always been an important part of our lives.” But, what podcasts do is open up our social circle, giving us the opportunity to hear from people at all stages of their career, and from all walks of life.
“As smartphones have become ubiquitous, people now have access to millions of stories in
PODCASTS OPEN UP OUR SOCIAL CIRCLE, GIVING US THE CHANCE TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE.
their pockets! It’s magical,” Ti any enthuses.
In the same way that a counselling session can do the world of good (be it with a professional or a good friend over a glass of wine), so can the right podcast. And, if self-doubt really is the worst enemy of creativity, don’t worry – there’s a podcast for that, too.
“All social media allows us to connect with others and realise how much we have in common, but there’s something powerful in hearing another human speak it aloud,” says Sara.
PLUG IN, LISTEN UP Looking for more creative inspiration? Then pop along to our blog where you can nd ve more of our favourite podcasts.
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