I have been procrastinating this one, because I am experiencing this very thing. Imposter syndrome. We, as creatives, have all felt it.
Whether it’s when to actually call yourself a photographer, or when you’re allowed to start charging money, or when you’re allowed to call yourself a pro. Or probably every time you raise your prices, you probably feel a little bit like “ooh, who do I think I am charging that?”
Okay, so imagine these are my thoughts: “I think I’ll start a photography podcast. I have been doing this for 10 years. I know things that people want to learn. I have so many fun and helpful tips to share with the world. I’m… entertaining enough.”
But wait…. I am not a millionaire. I’m not what most would consider wildly successful or popular. I don’t even have thousands of followers on any social media platform. How could I possibly think that I have anything to share that anyone would want to listen to? My photography isn’t even that good. No one ever likes it on instagram, so it must suck. I must be terrible at this. There are a million photography podcasts already. No one will want to listen to me. I’m just gonna give up.
How stupid does that sound?
The thing about imposter syndrome is who really gives a shit. Like, What’s the worst that could happen?Cherish Harper
Tip #1: WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
So maybe it’s that someone calls you out as the imposter that you are!
“You don’t even know how to use off camera flash and you are calling yourself a professional photographer? SHAME SHAME SHAME ON YOU!”
1. That’s probably not going to happen.
2. Does this person’s opinion matter? It shouldn’t because you should be filling your world with humans who love and support and think that you are just the fucking greatest thing in the whole world and only those opinions matter.
3. People are assholes. There will always be a few of them. They are the people who are too lazy, too jealous, and too obsessed with what everyone else is doing to ever make anything of themselves, so they talk shit on the internet.
TIP #2: FLOOD YOURSELF WITH ALL THE POSITIVE COMMENTS YOU’VE GOTTEN
Get a new opinion from someone who does matter, like your actual clients. Or scroll through all of the amazing uplifting comments you have gotten from everyone else. That dude who doubted you can suck a butt.
You can also think, “Are they someone who’s jealous and butthurt about how good you are?” Probably. “Are they saying those things because they have some sort of ridiculous insecurities in themselves that they’re dealing with?” Probably!
The things that people say to drag you down show so much more about them than they do about you.
Words don’t have to have that much power over you. And if they do, block those bitches and focus on every good comment you’ve ever gotten instead of letting that ONE nasty one rule in your mind.
Especially when you have people your clients who are more than willing to pay good money to work with you because in their eyes, you know what the fuck you’re doing. They trust you, your skills, and your knowledge.
External validation, is it something you really need? No one is going to be loved by everyone.
TIP #3 TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK
The social media system feeds into this need to be liked that we have with all their stupid Likes, shares, etc. But those things aren’t accurate measurements of success.
So let’s break this system. You can change lives and no one ever said it has to be done by the millions. You have just enough influence. Even if only one person cares what you have to say, it’s enough.
Taking a break to find inspiration in the real world will never be something you regret.
TIP #4: TRY A NEW SET OF EYES ON
Look at yourself through the eyes of someone who just adores you. Someone who thinks that you are the greatest photographer in the world. You can conquer anything that you put your mind to. You are a badass bitch. For me, it’s my husband.
TIP #5: STOP COMPARING
Break it down: What about this person’s work makes me feel like an imposter. Why? Can I learn how to do that thing? Do I even want to take the time to learn that thing well enough to be good at it?
Learn to say, “Good for them!”. We can’t all be great at everything.
Use other’s work to get inspired instead.
Remember that you are living a real life and comparing it to someone’s curated highlight reel.
Practice celebrating other’s achievements, we can allll make it
If they can do it, so can you.
Tip #6 YOUR MENTAL ILLNESS OR NEURODIVERGENCE DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T
Your mental illness, or disability is a bump in the road, but not a block. I suffer from depression, anxiety, chronic pain, panic attacks, PTSD, and ADHD. Pobody’s Nerfect. You have amazing things to share with this world, and you can do it just as you are.
TIP #7 YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE BEST
Recognize it’s okay to still be learning.
I just want everyone to know. I’m not claiming to be an expert in anything that I talk about. On this podcast. There are many, many, many, many ways to do everything that I’ll talk about here. But That’s not why you’re listening to it.
You’re not listening to me because you think I am a world renowned, incredibly wealthy and successful photographer. You’re listening to me because maybe I’m just like you. Or maybe a couple of steps ahead of you. Maybe I went a little bit of a different direction than you and learned something just a little bit different. Maybe I watched a few different YouTube videos and read a few different books.
I might have some tips and tricks. For you that you’ve never heard before. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling yourself a professional photographer and still learning every single day. There’s nothing wrong with sharing while you are still learning. I do it. I’m still learning every single day and once I learn new things, I think Oh gourd, I can’t believe I was going on my merry way through my career without that information or without that skill this whole time.
Some of the things I share with you, you will already know. Some will be new. As long as it’s valuable to you, that’s all that matters.
You are capable of amazing things. Follow your heart, and show all of us what you can do, and don’t let the opinions of losers put you down.
I love you, and you can fucking do this.
The Podcast: Linktr.ee/focusffs
Facebook: Cherish Harper Photography
Photography or Mentoring: www.cherishharper.com
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