“It’s worse to spend your life on the outside looking in, wondering what if, than it is to try and dare greatly and risk the chance of failure. DARE GREATLY; get in the arena and try.”” –Brene Brown
I never wanted to work for myself.
I had solid plans for my 401K, my good benefits and my Pension. But like everything in the last 8 years, it all started with Pookah.
About 6 years ago, I bought a Canon T3. Only because some of my favorite bloggers at the time ( Jennifer and Veronica and Mimi )had Canons. I had no plans to be great. Just good enough to take better photos of Pookah to put up on my blog and that place called Instagram.
People told me they loved my photos, the internets asked me for advice on Instagram. I wrote posts, I led a Facebook group for photographers. I released a course on Instagram. I shared my life through photography, taught people about instagram and photography and I have loved watching them have that aha moment.
But I felt like an imposter. Or maybe just someone who was just trying really hard not to be one.
If I am being honest ( and I have decided to be very honest here), I didn’t feel like I could do this full time. I didn’t feel like I was GOOD ENOUGH. And I really didn’t want to fail and fall flat on my face for the world to see.
It was a running theme in my life: I wasn’t a great writer, so I didn’t tell my “real life” friends that I had a blog. I wasn’t good enough to be a photographer, so I hid behind the fact that I don’t really like to take photos of people other than family and close friends. I didn’t have over 100K followers on Instagram so I wasn’t good enough to sell an Instagram course. Even though I had spoken at a conference on Instagram and Photography, won an Iris award for it Instagram, wrote posts for other websites about both, given advice, and HELPED people, I didn’t feel like I was good enough.
I have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into this new life of mine. I didn’t want to dare greatly and fail in front of the world. I didn’t want to get in the arena you might say. I was content to be in the crowd, watching everyone else. I’m only here because Pookah’s need for me for greater than my fear of failure and C Dub( who really doesn’t involve himself in anything blog related) asked me what I was waiting for. ( Which was like a dare…and I can’t resist a dare).
I love watching my friends be great. But I never thought of anything I do as ME being great. Just me, being me.
So I was truly shocked as Jennifer( so much irony there) call my name for Photography of the Year at the Iris Awards.
Even as I walked up to accept the award, even as I fumbled my way through a speech( I still have no clue what I said), even after TAYE DIGGS wished me congratulations WHILE RUBBING MY ARM...
I didn’t really…get it.
I looked out on the audience and realized that my PEERS thought I was worthy of this life I had chosen.
Why didn’t I?
But that’s what happens when you suffer from imposter syndrome. You don’t truly believe you are worthy on the inside even though you say the right words and spout the right platitudes to everyone but yourself.
But something has been in the works this year and culminated at Mom 2 this year….
Somewhere between my session on Instagram and unexpectedly winning the Iris Award, I realized to quote Brandi Riley: I deserve this friends!
All of my manifestations came true:
I am enough.
I anticipated abundance and it is here.
I MANIFESTED the life that I wanted and I am living it.
I worked HARD to get here. THIS is what I am supposed to do. I BELONG here and I deserve a seat at this table.
In her Keynote, Brene Brown said,
“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are: it requires you to be who you are.”
Well that’s that.
Let me go be me.