Fear. A word that makes us cringe and wince at the very thought of it. Each of us have our own fears, our own insecurities, our own things that hold us back. And for each of us, it affects us in very, very different ways.
Yesterday I had the chance to go into New York City to hear Justin and Mary Marantz speak on the “What’s next tour” which, if you haven’t gone, they have 3 stops left in Nashville, Indianapolis, and Kansas City….and I would HIGHLY recommend that you go. Not only if you are a photographer, but if you are a business person in general, or even just someone who needs a little kick in the rear to be pushed towards reaching their dreams.
I’ve heard Justin and Mary speak many times and they are always, always good. Always inspirational. Always funny. Always perfect with their rises and crescendo’s. But yesterday was different. Because yesterday I sat in my chair, visibly shaking, feeling like I was about to have a panic attack. yesterday was different because it struck a chord in my heart like none of their other talks have before. Yesterday was different because, for the first time in my life, I realized that in the last 2 years I have fallen victim to this industry that I am in…the expectations, the idea that I have to run my business a certain way or know certain people in order to become “big”, the pressure to conform to what everyone else is doing if I want to get where they are. And I realized that somewhere along the way, the very part of me that I always took pride in…my resilience, my desire to break the mold, my drive….had been lost. And it had been lost to the one thing that I always prided myself in defying. Fear.
At the end of the day I came home with a notebook full of ideas and quotes but, ultimately, I left that workshop with a heavy, sinking feeling knowing some of the steps I had to take in order to reclaim my life, my joy, my desire, my dreams, and my goals. It was a sobering feeling, knowing that it was not going to be an easy journey, but my soul felt alive for the first time in a long time. I felt like I was finally going back to the person I used to be…full of life, full of hope, full of energy….and the person that I want to be. And it all started with naming some of my fears and taking practical, tangible steps towards slaying those fears and getting to work to conquer those things that have been holding me back.
And today, I challenge you to do the same. Ask yourself what it is that you really want in life. What were the things you had hoped for your life as a small child before you learned how to fear? What are your hopes and dreams that you are so afraid to go after because of the fear that holds you back?
A few quotes that really struck me during the workshop:
“Failure says ‘I can’t’, but it can’t compete with ‘I did”
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”
“The reason other people have what you want is often because they are the ones who asked”
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for”
“How is ‘safe’ working out for you?”
“Whether you go big or go small, someone will always criticize…so you might as well go big”
“Before you consider the criticism, consider the critic”
“Stop thinking of your dreams as opportunities, but as obligations”
“You will grow infinitely faster when yours aren’t the only hands building your business”
Friends, today I encourage you to name some of your fears. Name some of your dreams. Say them both out loud. And decide in yourself (and tell someone else!) that you won’t be stopped. You can’t be stopped. And that your destiny is determined by the choices to make to follow your heart or not.