Take a minute to consider the last success you had.
Now, try and remember the last thing you read/heard/saw that someone else did that was really cool/great/successful.
Which one was easier for you to recall, yours or the others?
There’s a great chance that you easily or more readily remember the success of a peer on Facebook or a well known blogger that you follow (my case is Joey L and all of his incredible work on his blog, and this other local photographer I know who I heard got a book deal). Personally, I forget things like: we’ve been steadily picking up more and more work, we are doing a community night and exhibition show on May 22nd (Everything Edmonton – go buy tickets!), and Thomas is currently doing great work in Uganda doing documentary photo and video on our behalf.
So back to the photographer insecurity thing. Let me know if these are some of the processes that go on in your mind when you hear about other people and what they’re doing.[wc_testimonial by=”your confused brain” url=”” position=”center”]*said outwardly* Aw, that fantastic news! That’s really great for them…
*internally* …damn it! I haven’t done something cool like that yet, I wonder if I can? Oh great, now I feel like a shitty person for caring mostly about my own success instead of being happy for them…[/wc_testimonial]
In addition to causing you to question your ability to be a good person, other people’s successful stuff blasted out through facebook, twitter, and other social media causes our own lives to appear pale in comparison to others. This can make you feel defeated – ie. “I wonder if I can”.
Photographer’s Self-doubt should be a diagnosable condition like Runner’s Knee or Tennis Elbow. Yes, self doubt is a mainstay for photographers. It can help you keep pushing to make new things – better than the last project/photo you just completed. Sometimes that self-doubt can get out of control and can end up being a crippling blow to your confidence. Confidence is integral to selling yourself (and sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning) so how can we deal with the feeling of not being good enough?
Three realizations you can repeat to yourself in times of jealousy and self-doubt.
1. Everyone tweaks how their successes are represented in social media. (That’s not to say the other person is a liar or didn’t actually earn their success, but you’re only seeing the one success and not the hundred other times they failed miserably to get to that point.)
2. Everyone sucked at one time
3. There’s always going to be someone better than me. Our mantra is “don’t be better, be different”. To be clearer, we’ve revised that to mean “be different in a way that’s true to us and plays on our own strengths and interests.”
Remind yourself of how awesome your wins are, no matter how small. Share that with the world.
What was your last win? Share it in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.