Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If It Scares You It Might Be A Good Thing To Try

I had the wonderful and frightening opportunity of doing something new this week.   At the beginning of this year, as we sipped our Christmas mugs filled with sparkling cider, I challenged myself to take advantage of any opportunity I get, to do something new and out of the ordinary.  As a stay at home mom of five, I can sometimes feel like a prisoner in a jail of my own making, guarded by a little army that I created myself.  Its good most days, but it gets really hard to deal with when I see other people growing and changing and I feel like I'm withering without the light of a new idea, experience, or thought even.

The majority of my new experiences thus far have been along the lines of trying hot peppers with my Habit Burger or slacklining in the front yard, but this week I actually did something that pushed my limits.  Due to scheduling, I was coerced into covering a bridal photoshoot for one of our clients.  I know it doesn't sound too scary but for someone that has only shot as a second shooter or for family and friends, the idea of doing a shoot for a real paying client without even an assistant scared the pants off of me.

I wasn't so much worried about my ability to take photos (if I had I wouldn't have done it) but I knew I would have to put on the whole "photographer" show and that so isn't me.  I am not a showboat and I'm not terribly confidant about being in charge, but I knew I had to fake all that to build trust between me and the bride so that we could get the best photos possible.  Ahh!  Pressure.

I prepared as much as I could have before the day of the shoot and was feeling pretty good about it despite that forecast of rain and lightening storms (Did I mention that the photo shoot was on top of a mountain ski resort?  Ahh!  More pressure.).  Still the anxiety wanted to creep in like a cold breeze against a door.  I knew it was there but I tried not to pay any attention to it.  That would only feed it and give it power.  I started to think about positive things as I traveled up the winding mountain road.  A friend of mine had paid me a compliment that week and it had really affected me.  It wasn't much but just what I needed that day.  "You are so beautiful," she had said, "I don't think you even realize how beautiful you are and when you smile, the world is yours."

The world is mine!  I could do anything.  The smallest thought of that compliment filled me with confidence.  But then I noticed that I subconsciously wouldn't give that beautiful idea more than a seconds thought.  "Why?"  I wondered.  It was a great thought.  Why don't I just focus on those words and take them in and let the words fill me with what I need.  I started to do just that and then quickly realized why I wouldn't allow it before.

Have you ever wondered why brains work the way they do?  Like why my brain would take such a lovely thought and start tearing it apart and doubting every stitch of it?  That is what my subconscious was protecting me from.  From my own degrading self.  As I started to contemplate what my friend had stated, I quickly thought of all the reasons why it didn't hold water.  "She doesn't know me that well."  "She has no idea if the world bows to me just because I smile."  "Most of the time, people think I'm just a pretty face that doesn't have anything else to offer."  "I'm pretty sure I'm the most boring person in the world and I only smile simply because I have nothing else to offer."

I had to push those thoughts quickly from my mind as I started to notice the anxiety building up and my heart beating faster.  I reset my brain and focused again, just for a moment, on the positive words, and then left it at that and went to work.

And the shoot was flawless!  The clouds came and went with out leaving a drop of rain.  The bride was the best person to work with and I had done something new.  Something that proved that I was more than just a mother of five, but that I could create beautiful new art all by myself.


But now that it's over I go back to my subconscious mind and wonder why would we be wired like that.  To distrust even the best parts of us.  I recently found out a friend of mine has been battling bulimia for years and has only now started a blog to help her fight the battle.  As I read her entries describing the hurtful inner voice that tells her she's ugly and fat, it sounds too familiar.   Why must we as women carry around such a hurtful inner voice.  Even the most positive of people (me included) have it there somewhere.  We just push it away so that it doesn't control us, but it's there just the same.    Please let's just be nice to each other and know that even the nice things we do can be twisted and turned ugly.  And absolutely, lets please not put anymore mean thoughts out there guys.

Be strong and try to trust the good!  We really are awesome!  We just need to believe in ourselves.
 That's all!  Oh and try new things!  It's invigorating!

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