Have you ever wanted to go back to a former version of yourself and give her a bitch-slap? I have! Sometimes I still do!
I’ve known that I’m in the midst of a transition phase of my photography journey for some time now and although it feels like a slow process, I believe it’s a necessary one.
When I started out in Photography back in 2007, I treated it more as a hobby than a business. It was a hobby because I had no real goals, no real ambition and to large degree I had no real NEED to do any of it. All I knew was that I wanted to spend my time doing something creative and photography was my chosen medium.
The Great Pretender
When I think of that time, I wish I could go back to that novice version of myself and slap some sense into her! What was she doing? Phaffing around pretending to be a photographer, pretending to be in business, pretending that she had a purpose. When in reality, she was clueless with no real conviction. Completely and utterly clueless. Wasting time. Wasting money. Wasting energy.
It’s only in recent years that I’ve come to realise why that part of my journey happened in the first place, and what impact it has on my journey now.
The main reason that the my aimless years existed in the first place, is because I never questioned myself. I never asked myself what I really want for my career, my business, my life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a feather floating in the wind, reacting to the ebb and flow of the currents that sweep me along.
Make the Decision
In the past 4 years, I’ve woken up to the fact that the life you want doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen and the first step in making anything happen is making a decision.
Sometimes though, making a decision is easier said than done. For me at least it is. I mean, how stupid does that sound? Not being able to make a decision. But if I think about it, it’s a character theme that I’ve carried around with me since school. Being indecisive was just part of who I was and I used it as an excuse for inaction regularly.
I’ve come to realise though, that change, growth and success can’t happen, until a decision has been made. When I realised this, I felt the earth move. Seriously, this was ground breaking stuff.
I recently read Tony Robbins’ book ‘Awaken The Giant Within‘. In there, he says:
A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no new action, you haven’t truly decided.
This hit a nerve.
I’ve committed to commit more often.
Wake Up to Awareness
This weekend I started reading another really great book – ‘The Art of Work’ by Jeff Goins.
Whoooaaaa! I felt the need to check my brain for probes. Has this guy been spying on my thoughts and brain patterns?
I’m only a couple of chapters in, but the first section that covers Awareness, and how this impacts your ability to discover and thus DECIDE to follow your calling was a powerful one.
So the point of this post is this:
I’m grateful for my new found awareness. I’m grateful for my new found commitment to find and follow my bliss, (which, by the way has to do with fine art photography and portraiture and a few other things that I’m still trying to define). I’m grateful for the journey that’s brought me to this place. I’m grateful for the endless possibilities that lay before me.
Fail Your Way Forward
In the words of Jeff Goin from his ‘7 Signs You’ve Found Your Calling’ punchlist,
You have to fail your way in the right direction before you find it.
I love this idea. It says to me that you have to be doing something on your chosen path, and failing is just an accepted part of the journey.
I’ve been feeling vulnerable lately about the fact that I failed at my 365 personal photo project. I also noticed that since I stopped creating my work on a regular basis, I lost momentum with the act of creating. This week I chose to make the time to create again. I failed at first and re-did several aspects of this image over and over again. I felt like a failure, because it didn’t just come together easily. But now I realise that the struggle is part of the process. The act of creating is the win.
Now, when I compare the photographer I am today versus the photographer I was when I started, I can appreciate my former short-comings. I can connect the dots through the decisions I’ve made along the way, as a result of the awareness I’ve gained of my own desires for this life, and I can look forward to the photographer I’m destined to be. Man, that get’s me excited! I can’t wait to meet that girl!
So perhaps, rather than wishing I could bitch-slap the clueless photographer I used to be, I should give her a helping hand and thank her for being the catalyst for me deciding to shine my own light!
I leave you with this quote, and the revelation I had last week…
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
~ Marianne Williamson
Tell me, are you ever tempted to bitch-slap your former self? If you look back at her, can you see the progress you’ve made? How have the decisions you’ve made for your life lead to where you are today?