"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Brene Brown
Yesterday morning I was in one of my business groups online. I was catching up on the latest work that was posted on the feed by incredibly talented photographers from all over the world. The space is meant to help and share each others work and assist each other with questions whether it’s on post-production, print houses or general inquiries. Every day there is mind-blowing work being posted and this particular morning I was feeling rather inadequate while scrolling through the latest updates. I could feel self-doubt and anxiety creep in to my stomach and chest. The little voice in my head was desperately saying, “I want to be THAT good. How the heck did they do that!? How long is it going to take for me to be THAT amazing? How long will it take me to be THAT admired? How long will it take me to be considered an artist?, etc.”
I could feel myself spiralling under my own pressure and expectations when I suddenly remembered one of my favourite quotes from a photographer I love out of California- Jasmine Star. "Give yourself grace.” Those words vibrated through every part of me when I first heard her say it on one of her CreativeLive webinars back in May.
Give yourself grace. Be generous with your thoughts and be kind with yourself. You are doing the best you can right now with what you have. BE where you are right now. BE where your breath is, where your heart is. (Put your hands over your heart and listen) BE here and realize that you can't leap a year forward without the hard-work, the experience, the triumphs, the learning-curve of failing and trying. You cannot wish and will the future in to this exact moment. You can’t wish the skills you have yet been set up to learn. You have to DO the work and take it day by day and surely if you keep pushing yourself and try new things- you will grow.
Honestly, in times of doubt I will go through a photographers instagram feed (someone I admire) and scroll back to when their style was different or play witness to their evolution. I will look back to how they too evolved over time and not just magically one day woke up incredibly talented. It's the "reality check" and removes that voice in my head that says that they have something special that I don't. Not true. They put in the time and I am still working to catch up and surely there are people who are behind you thinking the same thing when they see your work. Perspective is a beautiful thing. So don't run away in the beginning, DO the work, hold on and give yourself grace. When I look back at my work 5 years ago its INSANE how much I have grown. Even a year ago... Don't give up before the miracle. Imagine if we all gave up in the beginning?
So the next time you feel like giving up or the next time you feel yourself shrouded with anxiety, fear, or just so overwhelmed by not being where you want to be- take a breath and say, "give yourself grace, (name.)" Extend the same kindness and love to yourself that you would give your best friend and do what you need to do to "reality check" the emotion. Be kind and generous with your words and remember that you don't need all of the answers and experience you wish to have right now. It will come if you keep seeking it out. Be patient and enjoy the process.
to love & grace,