fear

Admiration and Accolades

The Road to Success is ALWAYS under Construction.jpg

It’s been almost a year since I left my full time corporate gig and took the exhilarating leap into full time entrepreneurship.  It’s been one hell of a ride so far, filled with lots of ups and downs. It’s like being on the world’s longest, highest and fastest roller coaster, it’s a ride that NEVER ends but I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s exciting, frustrating and challenging all at once.

I remember all of the admiration and accolades I received from people when I told people what I was going to do or tell them now what I do for a living; it was overwhelming at times. All the “I’m so proud of you for doing this” or “I wish I had the guts to do that”  or “You are so brave for going out on your own, I could never do that”.  These are all wonderful words to hear from the people around you but they fade quickly into the background and you’re left with just your thoughts and ideas, making plans on how to take your business to the next level.  I find myself often wondering: “what in the actual fuck have I just done?”  And as those thoughts creep in I start thinking about what I do for a living; I get paid to do something I love!  I am my own boss!  I make my own hours and not to mention the freedom it affords me and those negative thoughts slowly begin to creep back out again.

It can sometimes be a looooong and lonely journey, this highway called entrepreneurship. It feels like what I imagine a junkie may feel like when they take that first hit.  The highs are just incredible, like you are soaring and the sky’s the limit but the lows (which a lot of people DONT TALK ABOUT) are really low sometimes.   Constantly struggling with your thoughts and insecurities and worries of how the fuck am I going to do this??

Well believe me if you don’t push through these lows and there will be many of them, it will swallow you AND your business right up like neither of you existed! The key is to keep on going and think outside the box.  Try NOT to let those negative thoughts creep inside your head and take over your mind. You MUST try to remain positive at all times!

How do you do that, you may ask?? Well, you can start by surrounding yourself with the right people. People who will be there to help pick you up and offer encouragement when you are experiencing these lows.  A supportive team of family, friends and mentors will be an integral part and key to your success. Don’t listen to the haters and the negative noise that may surround you from time to time, it will only drag you down.

Entrepreneurship is NOT for the faint of heart or the easily discouraged. If this is something you want, you MUST persevere and keep on keepin’ on. Don’t give up or give into those feelings of fear, don’t let them take over your mind.

Remember your “WHY” and keep going!!

Putting Yourself Out There - Showing Your Work

For me this was one of my biggest struggles when I was first starting out as a photographer and believe me it was an ongoing inner battle, I was nervous!  What will other people think of my work? Will they say it sucks? Will they like it?

I was THAT guy who would only show my work to friends and family and of course the feedback was always good, which in hindsight was more of a hindrance than help when I look back on it now.  Showing your work to your family and friends is one thing, they are not going to tell you your work sucks are they? They are going to say the things they think you want to hear which doesn’t benefit you in any way, shape or form.

It’s very tough to put yourself out there, seemingly on display and sharing your work with a bunch of strangers. You feel vulnerable, naked and alone!  After all, this is something you created from scratch you put your heart and soul into this. Everybody is a critic, everyone has something to say. It takes a lot of courage. You are worried about being judged, what will everyone say about you’re work, I get it! You are going to get deflated and knocked down but you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and grab your camera and make more photographs.

You have to reach way down within and find the courage to get your work seen.  Get as many eyes on it as possible!  That way you find out what you need to work on and know which areas you need to improve.  There will always be areas you can improve on even after years of being a photographer and just as in regular life you are NEVER EVER finished learning.

One of my past photography teachers reached out to me recently and we were talking and he said: “…as artists, we thrive on encouragement. It's like the tide, when it's in it feels good and when it’s out, it can be damn lonely!” His words rang in my head for days afterwards. This really struck a chord in me and if you are reading this right now, you know who you are. Thank you for all your words of encouragement as of late, they mean a lot to me.

So people don’t give up!  Keep consistently putting your work out there. Yes, it is definitely not an easy thing to do but it IS necessary!

 

Photo courtesy of Linda Langerak

Feel The Fear.... And Do It Anyway

I know for a fact my fears have prevented me from doing things.  When I look back on it, I wish I had simply thrown caution to the wind and done them.  So often in my life I have been scared to do something or try something new for fear of failure or any number of other ridiculous reasons.  I know have missed out on opportunities, lost out on jobs all because I let my fears get the better of me. I know I can’t go back and reclaim the things I have lost out on but I can stop my fears from causing me to lose out again in the future.

I am finding as I grow older and when I look back in retrospect, this has happened on more occasions that I care to admit to.  This is probably because when we are younger we don’t really know fear.  We don’t consider that we may fail or think about the consequences of our actions.  In this regard I am envious of young people.  Perhaps as adults we just need to try to find and embrace that fearlessness again.

Sometimes, as scary as it might be, you just have to leap before you look and see what’s down at the bottom when you land. As we have heard so often, there is no reward without risk. I know fear is an incredibly powerful thing and at times it can be paralyzing but perhaps if you are able to figure out how to flip it on its ear and use it to your advantage, the benefits can be life altering. I mean really, what’s the worst thing that can happen to you? Failure? Well you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again.

Now I know these words are easy to say from behind a computer screen but I am also going to put my best foot forward and take a running leap and see where I land, with my photography, my business and life in general.  So if you are so inclined to join me on this journey of conquering your fears, embrace it, feel it BUT don’t let it overpower you. It’s not easy nor is it going to be but who said anything would be easy? The real fear is NOT trying! Fear can be a paralyzer or a motivator, which one will it be for you?

 

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Change - Why Are We So Scared Of It?

Nobody ever said it would be easy, but they also say nothing worth having comes without a fight! Sometimes we need to make changes in order to attain the things we want.

Change is a very difficult thing for us to deal with. We as humans are inherently creatures of habit and most find that change can turn our worlds upside down. Most people don’t deal with change very well. I think part of the resistance to change and probably the biggest component is FEAR. The fear of the unknown scares us to death. The fear of shattering our comfortable little world and existence we have built for ourselves or cocooned ourselves in.

I myself am guilty of this reluctance to embrace change, as I am sure many of you may be as well. I am here to go on record and say, it’s time to break this spell I am under. No more letting fear paralyze me into staying in my comfort zone. It’s time to do this in all aspects of my life: work, art, relationships and everything in between. I am going to start embracing change and doing the things that will take me out of my comfort zone. Good things can come from this and I urge you to join me in this rebellion. No more being in a box! Step outside and see what kind of things can open up for you! Open your mind and embrace it!

Next time you are presented with an opportunity or something out of the ordinary, take it upon yourself to give it a shot. You will be happy you did and you never know what may come of stepping outside your comfort zone. Remember the old adage, nothing ventured…nothing gained.

Image courtesy of arttherapyblog.com