Isn't it strange how we have so much more faith in others than we do in ourselves (I'm always reassuring friends and family who doubt their abilities and choices – I have complete faith in them!).
I'd always wanted to do self-led work alongside commissions but I was worried that I wouldn't know what to paint, that people wouldn't like my own artwork, that I wouldn't 'find my style'. . .
In the end I just decided to go for it: it doesn't matter where you start as long as you begin.
I've found doing a challenge, entering competitions and choosing a theme for my work really helpful. It focuses my ideas and helps me feel connected to a wider artistic community.
The main thing is to trust your instincts. Don't rely on feedback from others (although lovely comments on social media are always a boost). Your gut feeling is usually the right one!