I love this photo when I think of second guessing yourself. It often feels like a fog rolling over the mountains. The mountains are the dreams you’re going after. One moment you can see them with such clarity, and the next moment you wonder where they’ve gone. Were they ever there?
Brian and I arrived home during the wee hours of the morning after being in NY the last four days.
We went strong from morning to night on a new Sony Artisans of Imagery project. It was a rich time on several levels. I can’t say enough about how much good Sony is planning for the photography community, whether you are a pro photographer or aspiring.
Before we flew home, we had an AWESOME meeting with the web designers who created Rachel Ray’s website. We brainstormed for a few hours on a number of dynamic ways I could continue to help you grow in your picture taking. I’m so excited to see how this unfolds for all of us!
I find myself in a mode of “going for it”.
But there are traps of second guessing yourself everywhere! This territory is unfamiliar, and my end goals and dreams may seem impossible. But I keep telling myself that the only way to figure any of this out is to just start; roll up my sleeves, pick up the phone, get on a plane and ask as many questions as possible. And then at the end of the day, I get to look at Brian with insecurity in my eyes and say “Did I do okay?” He smiles.
Sometimes I worry if I’m going in the right direction.
Do you ever do that? It’s one of the ultimate traps of second guessing yourself. You think these dreams are what you want, but then you second guess yourself. You accuse yourself of being selfish even.
Brian said something the other day in regards to all this wondering or should I say worrying of mine. He said, “If we find ourselves not feeling good about what we’re doing, how it affects our family, how it affects our daily life, then we can stop. But let’s not stop before we even tried. Who knows, we may like it.”
His words brought a lot of comfort and also impact.
It’s like the truth hit me straight on. The truth is that we so often segway any route to finding our dream b/c we’ve already convinced ourselves of how bad our dreams will be for us and those we love. But if you think about that, isn’t that thought process weird? Doesn’t that seem the opposite of what you believe? Why would we dream of doing things that would hurt ourselves and those we love.
Claudia Black wrote, “Trust in yourself. Your perceptions are often far more accurate than you are willing to believe.”
Could it be that our dreams are whispers, utterances, coming from deep within–trying to call us back–remind us of why we were made, what we were made for, and how incredibly dynamic we are? Could it be?
Each one of us carries dreams. And I would venture to say that each one of us feels like some of our dreams are downright impossible. Can I share a few quotes that fed my soul this week–when I felt like running away from dreams instead of running with them?
“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” –Agnes De Mille
“We cannot escape fear. We can only transform it…
into a companion that accompanies us on all our exciting adventures…Take a risk a day–one small or bold stroke that will make you feel great once you have done it.” –Susan Jeffers
These quotes helped me pat myself on the back instead of put myself down. They help me overcome the traps of second guessing yourself. It’s so easy to take a risk and wonder why you did that? How could you be so silly, you think. That’s why I have to continue to refuel myself with the truth–truth in all sorts of forms. One of my favorite forms is the The Artist’s Way book. (that’s where I found these wonderful quotes)
Is Second Guessing Yourself Part of the Process?
I don’t think there is a way to escape the second guess yourself madness. But I want to share two exercises from the The Artist’s Way with you. If you find yourself resonating with today’s post, consider these exercises. Julia Cameron’s words are italicized, and then I’ve added a few of my own thoughts too.
Exercise #1: Clearing
Throw out or give away five ratty pieces of clothing. (To me this is an exercise in clearing space in your head, your self image, your creative subconscious space. By getting rid of “five ratty pieces of clothing” you are letting go of the past. You are letting go of an image that you carry of yourself that is comfortable but keeping you from growing, risking. Consider what you may find in yourself if a few ratty pieces of clothing were finally gone. I know it’s abstract, but fueling our creative spirit for picture taking isn’t always about holding the camera.)
Exercise #2: Creation
Now that you’ve cleared out some of the old and made room for the new…Bake something (or cook something)…Creativity does not have to always involve capital-A art. Very often, the act of cooking something can help you cook something up in another creative mode. When I am stymied as a writer, I make soups and pies.
To my dearest blog readers (whom I treasure more than words can say–that’s YOU), if you find that you’ve forgot how to dream, I want you to especially try these exercises. If you struggle with second guessing yourself, you’re in good company.
The world is counting on you to keep running after your dreams, even when you’re second guessing yourself. Does your heart need more encouragement, I’ve collected all my favorite Overcoming Fear posts in one spot for you. CLICK HERE.
p.s. I love your feedback on yesterday’s post: Finding the BEST Light in Your Setting! I’m going to reconnect with the kiddos and then try to post some answers/thoughts to your lighting questions over the next couple days. Now to get rid of some old ratty clothes and BAKE something! Hey, if you want, take a picture of the clothes you get rid of and/or what you end up cooking! Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!