Pursuing your passion is a love hate endeavor because there will be days where you feel like packing it all up and going home, and then there are the moments that make the struggle all worth it.
Whether it be making a photograph you're proud of, or finally booking a job, I'm sure that those you who are currently in the midst of this journey can agree with me that this is a bittersweet journey. I've always shared with you guys how hard this photography journey has been, but I never say what exactly has been hard. I'm talking about being financially stable, finding my niche in a giant pool of hundreds of other photographers, and the destructive cycle of tearing your work down to rebuild it. All those things plus the bonus that you have no idea if what you're doing is the on right track or not, and I had wanted to give up a million times.
But as hard as all of that was, nothing was harder than conquering my mind.
In the beginning, the hardest thing for me was not the financial difficulties or lack of bookings, it was my self. I was constantly beating myself up about my work and how "I'm not good enough." It was hard to be motivated and believe in myself when I was also the little voice in my head reminding me of what I lacked. I am now a strong advocate of self-love and female empowerment because it is deeply personal to me. I know exactly what it feels like to feel devalued and invisible. I was constantly ragging on my own work and I pushed myself because I had something to prove. I thought that the more I created, the more I silenced the voice in my head that told me I sucked. It was an incredibly unhealthy cycle of destruction and production, rinse and repeat. The hardest part about insecurity is that I couldn't differentiate at the time that it was another voice telling me this, it was just something I simply believed about myself.
I think the turning point for me was 4 years ago, when I finally told myself, "I'm not doing this anymore."
One of my good friends, David Ngo, ran a behavior design blog at the time and reading about behavior design made me realize that things could be different. I could change my behavior, my detrimental thought patterns, for the better. For those of you guys who is hearing about behavior design for the first time, it's a system of thinking and doing that helps create behavior change within yourself and others. I scratched the surface and personally applied it to consciously build good habits and get rid of bad ones.
David Ngo is my friend from Stanford who's co-authoring a book on how to do Behavior Design with the leading expert BJ Fogg, himself. (So legitttt.) I followed David's blog (this is his new one) for a year and applied his tips to my own life. Slowly but surely my confidence grew because I was taking intentional steps to control my thought patterns. My work became better too. I really do believe that in order to become a better photographer or to become better at anything you pursue, you have to grow personally. Grow yourself and your work will grow, it's as simple as that. I can believe and push for this because it has worked for me. I can honestly say that learning behavior design applied to personal habits was the first step to becoming the me I am today. I am a more in tuned, self aware and intentional individual because I took the first step to conquering my mind.
On May 5th I'll be attending David's one-day Masterclass on Behavior Design in Las Vegas, NV. (Join me!)
Now, I want to do a deeper dive directly into the behavior change system itself. This masterclass will be focused on learning behavior design to enhance your career, product, and projects. If you're endeavoring on this route of freelancing and pursuing your passion, the first thing you need to do is to learn to build strong habits because at the end of the day, your business depends on you.
I'll be attending to enhance my professional skill set so that I can serve my clients and you all in an even more valuable and unique way.
Contrary to the belief of getting the best gear "what is the best lens or flash to get to be a better photographer," I really believe that the crux of career building starts with your personality. Invest in your mind, it's worth it. This class will equip you with the skills to navigate through life's mental obstacles. Please message me if you guys have any questions about this one-day class. You will get to meet me too and we can learn together!
See you guys there ;)
Enroll to the class HERE.
Find out more about David's Behavior design work here.
Read his latest Behavioral Design post here, "3 tips to stop hitting snoozing."