I have something to confess….
I have always LOVED blogging and writing. It’s something that I’ve always done and always enjoyed – and writing has always come easy to me. But these past few months, since launching this new blog for AGP, I have struggled many times to fill a page with my words or (once I’ve filled the page) to hit the publish button.
And what I’ve realized is this: I’ve been letting a fear of imperfection hold me back. And then, the kicker is that I feel even more imperfect for failing to stick to my weekly blogging schedule! Crazy!
How often do you let a fear of imperfection hold you back? From taking that next big leap? From doing something that excites you? From hitting publish on a post?
I see it all the time with women who are interested in booking a portrait session, but feel they need to lose those extra 10 pounds first, etc etc. I see it from the photographers I mentor who are terrified to put themselves out there because they are constantly comparing themselves to others and feeling like they just aren’t good enough.
The thing is – the fact that we aren’t perfect is what makes us awesome! Our imperfections and the things we struggle through, they often become our biggest strengths:
Example 1: When I became a mom, I felt SO imperfect. I struggled with how I had changed (inside and out), and it resulted in me avoiding getting into photos with my children for years. But those imperfections that I thought I had, the fears, the lack of confidence….it’s exactly what has driven me to do what I do today – it’s driven me to focus on photographing other women who feel the way that I feel. My personal journey and fears around getting in front of the camera allow me to connect with my clients on a deeper level, because I understand exactly how scary it can be to step in front of my lens and open yourself up to the possibility that you truly are beautiful….and I’m not afraid to talk about it. One of my biggest secrets and biggest “imperfections” (that I held inside for so long), has led me to my greatest passion and to specializing in a field of photography that I never would have otherwise discovered. And now, I get to come into the studio each day and work with women who lack self worth, or who struggle to really see themselves the way that the world sees them, or who struggle to brand themselves in an authentic way for their business…and I get to be a part of their healing, transformation, and growth. What a gift this has been, to both myself and to the women I work with.
Example 2: When my husband and I started our photography business 8 years ago – you guessed it – we STRUGGLED. As you might expect, at first we struggled mostly with the technical parts of gear and lighting and taking good photos….but what no one saw back then (because, again, we wanted to hide our imperfections) was that behind the scenes we struggled even more with marketing and growing our business and being profitable. We knew nothing about running a business when we started. On the outside, we wanted to appear like we had it all together for those first couple of years in business, but we had many many failures behind the scenes. We almost quit multiple times. We had months that were really difficult, both financially and emotionally. Growing our business to where we are today has been the hardest and best thing we’ve ever done. And now, 8 years later, we are thriving and growing and supporting our family solely through photography, and we’re so thankful to do something that we love everyday. We would NEVER be where we are today if we hadn’t pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones, and experienced failures, and pushed through self doubt. And now, today, we get to teach and mentor other photographers on how to grow their businesses – but it’s only because we struggle(d) through our imperfections and are willing to share them that we’re in this amazing place where we get to help others grow their own businesses and pursue their passions. Helping others grow is truly one of the most rewarding parts of our business.
What if, instead of trying to hide our imperfections and failures – we shared them with the world and embraced them as a way to connect with other people in a more authentic way? Because our imperfections, our struggles, our failures – they can be our biggest gifts….not only to ourselves, but to the world.
So – here’s to not letting my perfectionism stop me from showing up on this blog twice a week….and today, I challenge you to share one of your own struggles or imperfections [read: gifts] with the world.