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This week has been another busy, but as always, exciting week. Atlas' next issue is at the printers and will be on it's way to shops in just a few days time; nothing could be more exciting! I also attended a meet up on Tuesday with fellow creatives in Cornwall. My friend, Anna, who designed my logo's and runs the blog "The Cornish Life" and "By Rosanna" organised for us to all have brunch in Truro. It was basically just a chance for us all to meet and chat about work, being creative and life in Cornwall. It was a really lovely morning, and I met even more inspiring people who base themselves in this beautiful part of the world.
We chatted about various things, but one topic that came up was the competitiveness within our industries, and what can sometimes feel like hostility. Competition can be rife in any industry. Whether it's creative, academic, or business. No matter what you do, you'll come across competition. I don't think that being competitive is necessarily a bad thing at all; it pushes you to better and challenge yourself. Whether you're competitive with other people in your industry, or with yourself, it's good. However, when it comes to looking at what other people do within your industry, I prefer to call it admiration rather than competitiveness.
Thankfully, one thing that came up when we got chatting was that, down in Cornwall at least, competition isn't quite as bad. Whether it just happens to be with the people I've met I don't know, but one things for sure is that my friends are always willing to help each other out. I'd admit that most of my closest friends work in similar fields to me. They're either bloggers, photographers, or run a creative business of some kind. Some people might find that strange: why would you be friends with your competition? But that's just the thing; you can be, and you should be.
When you stop competing with one another, and help each other out, life becomes SO much easier. The negativity goes, the hostility goes and the benefits just keep rolling in. One perfect example of this is referrals. A lovely friend of mine, Lizzie Churchill, a wedding and portrait photographer based in Falmouth (yes, just like me!) recently messaged me to say that she had referred one of her client to me. This lady in question wanted Lizzie to photograph her wedding day, but Lizzie was already booked. So what did she do? Suggested me. And I can tell you without any hesitation that if it had been the other way around, and I couldn't work that wedding, I'd have sent it onto Lizzie.
It doesn't just end at referrals though. No one has the answers to everything, and sometimes you will be having a really bad day and really feel a need to talk to someone who "just gets it." That's where having friends who are in the same industry as you becomes so beneficial. You can bounce ideas off each other, give each other tips and tricks, or let one another know about big things coming up. It's so important to build a happy and friendly community of likeminded people around you!
So here's to no more jealousy. No more bad mouthing other creatives behind our backs. No more not helping others. Here's to kindness, caring and sharing. (I made a rhyme!)
On a completely separate note, the images from this post were taken on a foggy, gloomy, and wet day down at Durgan beach. I hope you'll agree with me that even when it rains (ok fine, pours) in Cornwall, it's still absolutely beautiful.
Ok, I don't mean literally naked. What I mean to say is: do I need to take photos of myself wearing minimal clothing to prove that I'm "fit?" It's totally unavoidable these days; you log onto Instagram and BAM there's a girl with a six pack, wearing nothing but a bra top, tiny gym shorts, who's perfectly tanned, and you guessed it: she's into fitness. She blogs about it, she writes about it, maybe she even makes a living out of it.
I'm not trying to say that doing that is wrong: you've got a great body, of course you want to show it off! But where does that leave the rest of us, who might be really fit, eat super healthy, train hard, but don't quite want to take such revealing photos of themselves all the time? I don't know about you, but the huge pressure I feel to "prove" to the online world that I'm fit is immense. I love to workout, I love to eat clean, I love to feel good about myself, and I love knowing that my boyfriend thinks I'm attractive. What I don't love is how often I find myself feeling self conscious about the fact that I don't often post photos of my six pack (disclaimer: there isn't one.) Am I only, truly, healthy and fit when I can confidently post a photo of an incredible six pack? I've posted photos on my Instagram account before of my progress, but did that make me feel good about myself? Honestly... most of the time I was ended up spending more time worrying that people would look at them and judge my new found confidence. You can't win!
Now, I'm not suggesting that all these amazingly fit, really attractive girls should stop posting photos of their incredible bodies (oh my goodness, please don't, I have so much admiration!) but what I'm trying to say it, can't there be some balance? One person who I've seen take this on really well is one of my favourite fitness bloggers: Zanna Van Dijk. She's young, super tall, and really, really fit. She shows off her great bod, but she writes very truthfully about the fact that she isn't perfect; and that reassures me. It shows that you can be fit, feel good about yourself, whilst not being 100% perfect.
[video width="568" height="320" mp4="http://www.oliviablogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/boxing.mp4"][/video]
The good news is that I feel fit and strong. I've never actually felt so good about what my body can do! The video above shows that (thanks to my PT Steve for filming!) I've got a few things I still want to sort out (like actually be able to lift that 60KG deadlift properly without passing out because I'm not breathing), and I definitely have body conformation goals... and that's ok! I'm just not sure I'll be posting on Instagram about my six pack all the time.
Anyway, I'm definitely rambling, but this has been on my mind. What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel pressure to prove to the world that you're fit? I'd love to know!