April 16, 2015
So, here I am. Newly married, living in a foreign country, one of the two Americans I know of in my area, skipping a university degree and jumping straight into running a business. And I feel out of my depth. A lot. None of those things listed are negatives, but with the realization that I’m running a business with really no skill at all, comes an almost constant struggle against doubt. What the heck am I doing?? I mean, really??
I’m not the most patient person when it comes to my personal goals. I’d rather start something and be the world’s best *blank* in 2 weeks time than work at it for months on end and see slow progress. It’s not realistic, I know. Success takes time. I am learning to be content with where I’m at and to stop comparing myself to everyone else that seems to be more successful than I am. Because, to be honest, it’s draining!
I recently watched the inspirational wedding photographer, Jasmine Star, speak at the OC Photo Summit and she got me thinking (okay, it was a Youtube video from 2014. Not the real thing, but still awesome!!). What are my goals? What is my measure of success? Why am I doubting myself?
At this present moment in time, it’s hard for me to admit, but I believe I measure my success by these 3 things:
1. How many Facebook likes I have
2. How many Instagram followers I have
3. How many likes and comments I have on my social media updates
I mean… that’s kind of sad isn’t it?! But I think that’s pretty spot-on most of the time. And why am I doubting myself? Because I am comparing myself to photographers who have more followers, more likes and more comments on Facebook, Instagram, Google +… literally anything!! If they have more fans than I do, I can pretty much guarantee you I will be comparing myself to them. Why do those things matter!? Do I still have happy clients? Yes! Do I still have more bookings than I ever thought I’d have by this point? Yes! Do I still have a life outside of my business? Yes! Do I still have a thriving marriage? Yes! Am I happy and doing what I love? Yes! These are successes.
So, I would like to commit to changing my measures of success:
1. I stop comparing myself to others
2. I get to work full time as a wedding and portrait photographer
3. I get to travel with my work
4. I earn enough financially so that my husband, Joel, can quit his current job and fully pursue his music career
5. I am loving God and loving people
If I reach any of these goals (hopefully all of these goals!) then I know I am succeeding. Makes my first list seem pretty petty doesn’t it? Well, that’s because IT IS!! If you’re struggling with doubt maybe you need to re-evaluate what you’re measuring your success by too. I’d encourage you to write down what you honestly feel you measure your success by today, and what you want to measure your success by tomorrow. Don’t give in to your doubts that you’re not smart enough or talented enough. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and run full sprint towards our goals and our dreams. No one is stopping you, but you. No one is stopping me, but me.
* If you’d like to watch the video of Jasmine Star speaking at the OC Photo Summit 2014 click, here.