Wow. Let’s just not try and sugar-coat the title, shall we? Grab your scuba gear, we’re going deep.
Over the past few months I have been trying to take some time to relax while still taking time to push myself as we gear up for this next year of business. What that really means, is that we sleep in on Saturdays and I spend hours reading books about business and creativity curled up on the couch. #glamorous
But in these moments, there are these thoughts that creep in. These thoughts that don’t bring inspiration, but that bring discouragement. They bring fear. And insecurity.
Comparison sucks. Can we just be honest about it? Because every time I compare myself, my business, or my photos to someone else we both end up losing. Me and the person I am comparing myself to. We both lose. Nobody wins. Because comparison isolates.
But I recently met with 2 different brides. We went to coffee and chatted about their weddings. And they both told me the reasons why they chose me, and it got me thinking…
I don’t need to be everyone’s favorite.
Hear me. And REALLY listen. You don’t need to be everyone’s favorite. Because not everyone’s opinion of you matters. Because we live in a big world, and there are plenty of clients, and plenty of creatives to go around.
As my business has grown, we now receive multiple inquires a week from brides and clients looking for a photographer. Each time, I am so excited. Honestly, I feel like I won’t ever get over the feeling of opening that initial e-mail. It’s exhilarating. However, as we get more and more inquires and book more and more, we also have some clients who don’t book us.
Sometimes, we are out of their budget. Other times, they find another photographer that they book before meeting with us. And sometimes, I never hear back from them. Just cricket sounds from the other side of the computer.
I used to get really discouraged when a bride chose someone else. I felt like I must be doing something wrong. I must not be a good enough photographer. I must be unqualified. Sometimes I would see who the bride booked on her social media account and feel like, I need to do what they are doing. I must re-evaluate everything. #midlifecrisis
But those comparison thoughts. Those self-doubt thoughts. Those emotional, discouraging, LAAAAAME thoughts. Those thoughts aren’t gonna determine how I feel about myself. How I feel about my business. And how I choose to create.
Comparison will suck the life out of us if we let it. Especially as creatives. It will cause us to look at everyone else’s work and to decide suddenly that we are horrible. We never will win. Comparison will cause us to be islands. It causes us to think that supporting other people will mean we aren’t good enough. It will cause us to not look at other creatives for inspiration, but we will instead look to others and sink into a hole of self-doubt.
Marriage Analogy. Because I love marriage, and I love analogies. I don’t need to be everyone’s favorite. I don’t need everyone to think I would be the best wife. I only need to be Kyle’s favorite. Because he’s the one who I’m married to.
Same goes in my business. And same goes in my friendships. I am not going to photography everyone’s wedding, and I can’t have 27,000 best friends. Because there is only one of me. And cloning scares me…
So what does this mean in regards to my business? How am I learning how to battle comparison? How am I resolving to celebrate the creatives around me?
By realizing that the brides I get to work with chose me for a reason. They chose me because I am their favorite. And there will continue to be people who love what I do, and how I create. So I will work hard to give them photos that they love and that make them light up. To make them be proud of their decision to book me. And I will continue to push myself to grow into a better photographer each year than I was the year prior.
And to know that the other people are rocking it out also. So when one of my photographer friends posts a blog of her work, I want to encourage her. To tell her my favorite things about it. Because she has clients who adore her. And I can celebrate the things about her work that are different from mine. I can even realize that there are things to learn from everyone around me, but that doesn’t discount who I am and what I’m doing.
Can I challenge you? Instead of looking at other people’s businesses or…bodies….or houses….or families….or wardrobes…or marriages….or possessions…or vacation photos…and comparing ourselves to what they have. Let’s resolve to celebrate with them. To be so proud that they can do the things they love. And admire the things they are able to create. To know that they are rocking it out, and that doesn’t make you or I any less valuable, talented, beautiful, or worthy.
You are someone’s favorite.