Confidence in my work and in myself was something I struggled with for a long time. Fast forward to today, where confidence plays a big role in the work I do (it has to), and I know just how important it is to have. Dare I say confidence is required to be successful?
If you weren’t able to join me live, don’t you worry! You did miss out on the live fun, but I’m still sharing my top tips and takeaways with you below. And, lucky for you, I recorded the live chat….so grab a fresh cup of coffee and let’s talk confidence.
1. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Protect your mental space and be careful what you consume, who you follow on social media, and how much time you spend mindlessly scrolling on social media. Does it make you feel good? Or make you jealous? Pay. Attention. Comparison is oftentimes not in our awareness, so paying attention to how you feel after you look at someone else’s work is key. If it makes you feel crappy, even in the slightest, UNFOLLOW THEM. Seek inspiration, not comparison.
2. Education all day, every day.
Knowledge is power. We have all heard this before, and I’m going to pound it into the ground. Knowledge = power. And that power leads to more self-confidence. Never, EVER stop learning from others. As soon as you think you know it all, you’re the dumbest one in the room (sorry, not sorry). That is why when I started offering education, I wanted to create a space that was safe, warm, and nurturing (without the smelly classroom + yawn-inducing teacher). But it filled challenges so you can really think about your thinking about your life + your business + what it means to be successful.
3. Look for inspiration outside of the wedding world.
The more I fill my mind with inspiring things from outside of the wedding world, the more creative and inspired I am. Rather than trying to “find inspiration” from another wedding photographer (i.e. make my work look like other people’s work), I look to other forms of art or styles of photography. This leads to more fulfillment and happiness as an artist.
4. Do things you love. Just for fun.
More fun in life = more fulfillment = less pressure on your business to define your worth. Damn. Short, sweet and to the point. HAVE FUN. We’re so serious all the time, and for what? Do more things that make you happy and let that inner child out. Go down the slide with your kiddos at the park, call up your girlfriend and go to a Soulcycle class, dance around your house naked! Whatever this looks like for you, just have fun.
5. Your worth is not defined by how many clients you have, how much money you are getting paid, or how busy you are.
Wowza. I wish I knew this 10 years ago when I started. But the truth is, the more confidence you have in yourself in life, the less pressure you put on yourself for your work to define your worthiness. See a theme? Tying your worth to your success and expecting good results is like tying a cinderblock to your leg in a swimming pool and expecting to stay afloat. Ain’t gonna work. So, stop it. Focus on how you make your clients FEEL, what the money you make allows you to do more of, and how you spend your free time.
6. Your client’s happiness is the point.
I used to get SO wrapped up in what I could produce and what my work looks like above all else. Somewhere along the way, though, a shift happened inside me. I realized that my goal is to beautifully capture what is happening in front of me, to tell my client’s actual story, to capture all the little moments that make up the greater story. Not to create imagery that makes me look good or that will get a thousand likes on Instagram. When I connect to the true intention of what my role/job is, there is less pressure on me to create something that is not truthful or is different than what is happening in front of me.
7. You are enough. I am enough.
Telling myself this is a daily practice for me. I do daily check-ins to make sure I am speaking to myself kindly and reminding myself that I am already enough, exactly where and how I am. When I start going down the path of negativity or comparison, I try to catch myself in the moment and consciously snap out of it.
8. Art is subjective.
We all see art differently. As much as we as photographers don’t want to think about it happening, you may have a client one day that isn’t happy. This does not mean you or your work are terrible. It means their view of art is different. Do what you can as a business owner to make your client happy. Eat a tub of ice cream or a big glass of wine to get you through it. But know it is literally impossible to make everyone happy all the time.
9. Do your best, and let the rest go.
We are photographing people and it is HARD WORK to try and get people to open up and show their true selves in a session, all while having every image appear flattering. We do our best. But some people may not even have an accurate view of themselves. We can’t help this. We do our best and that is all we can do.
10. Do not let your work define who you are.
This may sound extreme, but you must protect yourself. As passionate business owners, it is tempting to make our work our everything because we love it so dang much. But nurture other parts of yourself and create some boundaries around who you are as a business owner and who you are as a person. They are not equal, and shouldn’t be equal.
Girl, I really hope you walk away from reading this or watching the video with a nugget of info to apply to your life. My hope for you is you feel confident in your work and confident in yourself. It’s powerful stuff.
We’re in this together, sister!
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