Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What are you scared of? I don't mean spiders or dark alleys. I mean what do you fear or what are the stories you tell yourself?

If you don't know where you should be heading next in life, I think the best advice I could give you is to do exactly what your scared of doing.

I've been taking pictures for about six years. Fashion pictures, landscape pictures, posed pictures, candid pictures, nighttime pictures, early morning pictures. I've read 100's of posts on photography and taken photography courses. I LOVE capturing beautiful images and freezing joy. Just like that...that joyful moment will be there forever, for me to look at time and time again. 

Over the years I would think what should I do? Outside of being a mother and homemaker my soul still yearned for something else. Something that is mine, that makes other people feel joy and that I can call a career. So in that time frame I started: a baby store, designed a planner, another clothing store and designed art prints. All were fine. But the entire time I always had this nagging voice: "Why don't you become a photographer?". Then other people I knew would see my pictures and ask me the same. And an ever louder voice would say "No, that scares the shit out of you and your pictures aren't that great anyway. Who do you think you are to make money taking pictures of people"

So I ignored it.

Then as I started other ventures I felt unfulfilled. Bored. Unbothered. But guess what I was still doing? Taking pictures. Learning more about photography.

Recently I decided that maybe what scares me most is exactly what I should be doing. Maybe I'll just throw a bone out and then no one will want pictures taken and then I can say "Ok God, well I tried...so there!" Except, people were so gracious. And interested. They showed up, dressed up and took me seriously. 

I've gotten the privilege to shoot their families. Freeze joy. Capture beautiful relationships. 

I would race home beaming from ear to ear (literally) after a photoshoot. My heart pounds and I feel exhilaration and I think, this is crazy. But crazy good.

I barely kiss my family when I get home since I rush to the computer and get started editing. The privilege of getting to freeze these moments in time for people is a feeling that's unmatched. 

Every shoot I do I'm scared. I show up an hour before just to perfect my camera settings and scout locations. But then the family get's there and the magic happens. To know that I've created something beautiful for them makes me so happy. To also know that I've conquered a huge fear of mine is truly an amazing feeling.

Personal growth in this short time has happened for me. Because for some reason when you do what your scared to do, everything else that used to scare you scares you a little bit less.

Will this be a career? I sure hope so. Maybe it will be a really slow process and I'm ok with that. Or maybe it will lead to something else I've never even dreamed. The most important step was starting. Pushing past my many insecurities and just...starting.

Tell me, when you are on the outside looking in for somebody that you care about. How often do they not do what you know they should because they are scared? Scared to leave a relationship, scared to start a business, scared to leave their comfort zone. 

When something scares my two year old I encourage her to face it. I want her not to be fearless, but to not marginalize her possibilities due to the inability to act in the face of fear.

The story we tell ourselves is usually very unkind and succeeds in making us believe that we are not capable of the very things that will make us great. Make a list of the possibilities of a life you want to live if fear didn't exist. Start crossing off the list today. 

Nothing great ever came from comfort zones.

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