Thursday, April 17, 2014

Growing Confidence

I wrote my first blog post late at night on January 3, 2012. I was self-conscious and nervous about putting myself and my writing out there. I almost showed no one. After an angst-ridden night, I selected a handful of my closest, dearest, will-love-me-no-matter-what friends, added my parents, and created a Facebook group I called Inner Circle. I sent the blog link to the Inner Circle and tried not to hyperventilate.

Eight days later, I started an Introduction to Photography class. In the post I wrote about it, you can read my nervousness and lack of confidence in every line. What do I have to offer? Won't everyone else be better than I? What if they laugh at me? What if I can't do it? Am I too old to learn new tricks? What on earth makes me think I can be creative?

Gull - Flotsam of the Mind

A little voice in my head still wonders those things, but my confidence in myself and my work has grown. It grows every day. Strangers read my blog, and I invite them to do so. I've joined online photography communities and put my work there for others to see. I've even taken family photos for friends (and was delighted to see them return to me on holiday cards).

Positive comments help my confidence, especially if from an artist whose work I admire. But those comments are not the reason for my growing confidence. My confidence grows as my ability grows.

Every day, I read words written by better writers than I and view photos by better photographers. Rather than beat myself up because my work doesn't measure up, I watch and learn. I'm inspired. I keep writing, I keep taking photos, and I keep editing it all.

I show up and do the work because it's important to me. I keep at it. I plug away. I read articles, take classes, and ask questions. Lots of questions. I'm so excited for the opportunity to gain more knowledge that I've stopped being afraid I'll look stupid.

Confidence building is hard work. Compliments alone won't do it because I have my own standards. I always know that there is so much more to know, and that creates self-doubt. So I keep showing up. I show up to do the work of learning. The more I learn, the more I'll know. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, just think of the places I'll go.

*     *     *

It's writing prompt day in my group of bloggers, and the question was: "What's growing in your life now?" See if others took this literally or figuratively by heading to Centering Down. Follow the blue frog icon at the bottom of that post to follow links to other writing prompt posts.

4 comments:

  1. This is so odd to read because I always thought you were so incredibly confident. That said, it's good to know that I'm not the only one who asks these questions and tries to overcome the doubts in my head. You are fabulous. I know this from experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you have this mistaken impression because every time I get nervous, I message a good friend who replies with the word "brave" to encourage me. Thanks, good friend. :)

      Delete
  2. I love how you end this. We keep showing up to do the work. We stop worrying about looking stupid. All because the work of creating is important and we can't wait to learn more. Exactly. Thanks for naming this. I'm so glad you keep at it day after day. I love seeing your pictures and reading your words. And thanks for linking up today!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Farm Trina thinks you kick ass.

    ReplyDelete