‘Am I good enough?’ is a question many photographers and creatives, in general, ask themselves. Consciously or unconsciously. It’s nausea you are feeling, the sleepless nights before a wedding, the nervously checking of all your todo’s, the jumpy feeling that you might have right before you leave for the shoot.
Some photographers with many years of experience tell me they still have it. Especially when the season starts again and you enjoyed a welcome break. The root of all those feelings usually comes down to:
Am I good enough?
When you realize that is what is at the root of it, many photographers already breathe a sigh of relief. They know from their experience that they are good enough. They have countered all the weather and light and people circumstances that you can think of and they are confident they can face whatever awaits them.
So why do we feel those slightly uncomfortable feelings?
Think of it this way, whenever you feel uncomfortable feelings you are denying your desire. Your desire is to create the most beautiful images for your clients, your desire is to create art, your desire is to create priceless memories. And by thinking “I am not good enough” and consequently being nervous you are actually denying this desire.
You could also submerge yourself in your desire and picture yourself creating those beautiful images. Fantasize how much fun the shoot will be and how you would have the best day ever, socializing with your clients, creating art, catching the best moments.
However, we have never trained ourselves to do that. Instead, we are trained to resist uncomfortable feelings. Numb them with distractions. Let’s eat that chocolate cake or turn on the television.
Why is it important to accept your uncomfortable feelings?
When you start being aware of your feelings and accept them for what they are, you can stop acting upon it.
Some photographers get really depressed from those uncomfortable feelings each time they have a shoot. While some even quit their passion or only do shoots where they control all the circumstances or add in other boundaries for themselves. Lastly, some become rigid in how they do their shoots because they know that works and that is comfortable and slowly lose that spark of creativity and their passion.
3 Simple (not easy) steps to accept and change your feelings.
Whenever you notice behavior from yourself that you feel is not the behavior that you would like (for example feeling really nervous) take the following steps.
1. Give yourself some space to observe what is happening within you.
Ask yourself “why am I nervous” and let the answer come. It is always there. If your mind is racing with thoughts on todo’s and grocery lists focus on your breathing to let the answer come from within.
2. Accept whatever comes.
Breath through it. Observe that it doesn’t hurt you. Don’t classify it as good or bad; just let it be. Remind yourself that it’s safe and normal to feel your emotions. And that is what it is: thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
3. Care for yourself.
Speak positive affirmations that are true to you. For example, you can replace the initial unconscious thought of “I am not good enough” with “I have done this before and my clients loved the result, I am going to do even better today.” Feel your spirit rise.
Go out, create. You are a creator.