Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When Doubt Finds You, Do What You Love.


What a troublesome little word to accompany an equally troublesome emotion. It’s something we all experience; we doubt the weatherman when he says it’s going to rain on Tuesday, or we doubt the extravagant tales of that one friend who everyone knows likes to embellish. Sometimes we doubt spiritual or moral ideas we grew up being told were truth.

Most of all, I think we doubt ourselves. 
I experience feelings of self-doubt on a pretty regular basis.  Are my dreams too ambitious? Am I kidding myself? Do I really have what it takes? Why can’t I just be happy with what I have?
These questions find me often, and I’m fairly certain they find their way to most people who have ambitious goals and dreams.  
Ambition can be terrifying because it creates room for failure, and the last thing anyone wants to do is fail.

As you may know, I started up a photography business late in 2012. I was living in Germany, and the lack of competition there had my business flourishing quickly and unexpectedly. I returned to the US in early 2013 and quickly discovered that apparently every other person on the planet had a photography business of their own, and were willing to charge less and do more than I knew I could to support myself and my family. Feelings of self-doubt began to manifest, causing me to question my talents, my choices, my purpose.    

At the end of a long week that didn’t go as planned, I picked up my Nikon F2 which had not been touched in some time, loaded it up with some film and decided, quite randomly, to go for a walk. It was below freezing outside with slick layer of ice coating most of the sidewalks, and the area just around my apartment building is not the most picturesque for photo taking to begin with.  Still, I was curious to test out my new light meter and actually struggled to remember the last time I took photos simply because I genuinely wanted to.

I was freezing by the end of it, but I spent about an hour alone outside, just me and my camera.
It wasn’t just fun - it was invigorating. Refreshing. Wonderful.  I returned to my apartment feeling inspired and engaged. The pictures didn’t even turn out that well! It didn’t matter. The time helped me remember what I loved to do and why I loved to do it.  

The blog world is heavily populated by entrepreneurs, which is part of the reason I love blogging so very much. Hopefully there are a few reading this who can relate. It doesn’t matter if you are a photographer, or a writer, a fashion or graphic designer, a florist, an artist. You are a creative, and you’ve chosen your field because you love to create!  Paint. Sketch. Write. Design - it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re doing it for you and no one else.

When doubt finds you, do what you love and remember why you love it.   

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