Mindset Is The Most Important Muscle To Exercise
You will self-sabotage often, question your abilities and your decisions often and all of this will test your confidence and belief in yourself and your business. How you navigate these self-sabotaging behaviours, questions and decisions will determine how much you really want this, because the thoughts you’ll have can sometimes be brutal.
- “You have no idea what you’re doing”
- “You’re not a real photographer”
- “Just do another shoot for free, then you’re work will be good enough for people to pay you”
- “You’ve changed your direction/style/plan again – you’re wasting your time”
- “You’re procrastinating too much”
- “You should have thought it through more”
- “Just do one more course and then you can call yourself a photographer”
- “Maybe photography should just be a hobby for you – you’re not creative enough”
- “You’ve missed your opportunity, the market is too saturated for you to succeed”
- “It’s easier for other people because they’re better than you”
- “You’re are a complete failure”
At the start these thoughts will be whispers in the back of your mind which you’ll mute under the guise of giving yourself grace and patience for being new to business. Time continues to pass, and as more time passes and business isn’t growing as much as you’d hoped as quickly as you’d hoped, the grace and patience you once held for yourself will turn into frustration and disappointment and those negative and self-sabotaging thoughts will become more brutal, more cruel and much louder than just whispers. Indeed by December of 2021 the sound will become so loud that you’ll lose not only your creative spark, but also the belief you had in yourself that you could actually make this business work.
You could easily give up, but in defiance of succumbing to that, you start to claw back memories of the many wonderfully beautiful moments you’ve experienced so far. You’ll remember how good it felt every single time you learned a new photographic technique or editing skill. You’ll feel so proud of yourself to see how your portfolio has progressed. You’ll remember the elation, pride and joy every time you create a beautiful gallery for your clients and the emails you receive back from them telling you how happy they are with the images. You’ll remember the excitement of seeing your work on the pages of your clients social media pages and websites. You’ll remember the feeling of receiving your test prints in the mail on a large scale and being in awe of what you’ve created. You’ll remember that no job you’ve ever had working for other people has ever given you such a sense of purpose, passion, pride, determination and motivation. These memories are what will get you back up on your feet and get you back to the business of building your business and strengthening your resolve to have faith in yourself again and to keep moving forward with confidence, belief and purpose. You will come to realise that the reason you have a stronger, more resilient mindset, is because of your business, and this is why I believe more than ever that mindset is the most important muscle to exercise.
“It takes a dream to get started, desire to keep going, and determination to finish.”
– Eddie Harris, Jr.
Each of the seven essays reflecting on my first year in business will be released every day in the lead up to my business birthday on the 7th March 2022 and can be found via my journal page.