If you're in my Facebook Group, you'll have seen that this week I shared a survey. The basis of this survey was simple: to understand your worries, and figure out how I can help you more.
To say it was a success would be an understatement, because I truly feel like I know you better than I ever could have before. So thank you all for being so open and so honest with me about your fears, and showing me how I can help you.
There were a few recurring themes:
1. You all desire creative freedom
2. You all desire increased income
3. You all suffer with self confidence.
That last one really hit me hard, because I struggle with self confidence too. Self confidence is incredibly difficult to find, especially in the era of social media, when you're constantly bombarded with the successes of everyone we follow!
Over the years, I've learnt a thing or two about confidence, so hopefully these tips will help you to feel a bit more confident in yourself, and your work.
Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy
You've heard it before, but I'll repeat it, because it's so so so true. Comparing yourself and your work to someone else is a one way ticket to feeling crap! So instead of comparing yourself and beating yourself up about "how you're not good enough," turn that comparison on it's head. USE IT.
Whenever you see an image, or someone "doing better than you," take a minute and ask yourself why you're feeling like that. Is it the image you're feeling jealous of? Clearly you've identified something in that persons work that you like, that you feel drawn to. So rather than put yourself down, analyse it. How have they shot that image? What work went into getting them to that point? Is there anything that you can take from what you're seeing, and apply it to your own work?
When you analyse your jealousy in this way, it frees you up. It helps you to grow, and learn. No more jealousy, it becomes inspiration!
Know That Everyone Started Off As A Beginner
I think its really easy to forget that, at some point, everyone you admire was a beginner. Paolo Roversi was a beginner. Henri Cartier Bresson was a beginner. Richard Phibbs was a beginner. Each one of these photographers (that I personally admire) will have started out by taking AWFUL photos. They had to start somewhere and learn from that point on.
The difference between them and a lot of other very successful artists, is that they pushed through. They kept going. They kept learning, and proving to themselves that they could improve.
I guarantee you that the photographers you admire are STILL always learning and pushing themselves further.
Everyone is More Concerned With Themselves Than They are With You
Sounds harsh, but no one really cares about what you're doing. Everyone is more worried about their lives, their work, and what they are doing. You could look at this in a negative way, but honestly I think its great, because it means that we can power on through. We can make mistakes, and no one is likely to notice. You can shoot something, and not love it, and no one else but you will care.
When you're feeling intimidated by "what other people think" please remember that most of the time, they really don't care.