Self-doubt + fear of failure can be some of the most crippling things when it comes to running a successful photography business.
Can you relate? How often do you find yourself comparing yourself and how you are doing to the next photographer? Do you find yourself feeling resentful + upset – that you should be farther along in your business? Or maybe you want to do something to uplevel your business but you fear that you’ll probably mess it up so why even bother? I know I’ve been there and done that all too often along my journey over the last decade and a half with my business. You are definitely not alone. But you also don’t have to let it hold you back forever. What if I were to tell you that you can ABSOLUTELY be as successful with your business as you want to be? Is that self-doubt kicking in again? Haha. Stop letting your inner critic get in your way and follow these 6 tips to get over self-doubt so you can take your business to the next level!
1. Pay attention to your thoughts.
Your thoughts are very powerful. Whatever you are thinking or believing, you will search for evidence to prove yourself right. (Even when we don’t want to be right). So if you continue to tell yourself that you are cursed and that this is your worst year in business yet, guess what is going to happen? You will find all the evidence to support that. (ie, “See? I knew that client was going to ghost me and never book! This has been the story of my life right now!”). These results aren’t magically happening though. When you are thinking, “I’m cursed to have a bad year” you will likely feel very pessimistic, and when you are feeling this way you are likely NOT going to want to take action or may be hesitant to follow up on that new client or put yourself out there more because you think it’s pointless. And when you aren’t attempting new ideas + actions, you most definitely won’t find the results you are after.
Try on new thoughts such as “Bring it! I was made for this!” or “My goals are inevitable if I don’t quit” and see what happens! (Note: make sure these thoughts are believable though. You can’t just manifest your way into success, you have to truly believe your way there to make it happen!
2. Process Your Feelings
It sucks to feel fear or shame or embarrassment. And as humans, we want to do absolutely ANYTHING ELSE to avoid it. Drink away that last-minute cancelation. Vent to your colleague about how your client should have listened to you with outfit suggestions + your timeline. Binge-watch the latest Bachelor in Paradise episode instead of editing the session where you just weren’t on your A-game. Do absolutely anything BUT work on that big idea you have to propel your business to the next level. Can you relate? But if you just took the time to sit with your feelings and allow them, you’d realize that nothing bad actually happens. It’s just a vibration in your body. And the better you are able to process your emotions (ie, feel the fear), the easier it becomes and the more likely you are to challenge yourself + do the things that propel you and your photography business forward.
3. Stay in Your Lane.
There are absolutely ZERO good reasons to compare yourself to others. Their journey is not YOUR journey. Comparing yourself it’s not going to motivate you to do better usually…it’s more likely to hinder you as you will likely feel lesser than others. That’s definitely not going to get the ball rollin’ toward your goals. Remember, your journey is different. Your life is different. You have different attributes than they do. Focus on you and what makes you unique + amazing – what makes you stand out. There is no race to the finish line. Focus instead on all the ways you can continue to add value to your client’s lives and watch your business grow!
4. Remember Your Why.
A lot of times your WHY will get lost in the chaos of trying to build a business. You get shiny object syndrome and start chasing down all the potential areas that “could” grow your business. But then you are spread thin. Doing things that don’t fulfill you. Not showing up as your best self in your business. When you remember your why + keep coming back to it, your motivation + drive will increase + you will be able to focus in on the things that truly matter + that will get you toward your goals.
5. Take Inventory of Your Past Successes.
It can be so easy to focus on all the things that seem to be going wrong and how very far you may feel like you are from reaching your goals. But stop focusing on the gap and instead focus on all the gains you’ve made. You’ve likely made some HUGE strides and you just tossed those wins aside as you continue on to check the next thing off the list. Stop that! Look back at the last year, the last 5 years, or even 10 (depending on how long you’ve been in the business) and I bet you’ve had some serious WOW! wins. Take a moment to do this inventory so you can boost your self-esteem as you continue forward.
6. Take Small Steps Forward.
It doesn’t need to be a big giant leap forward. When you think too big or do too many things, you usually get overwhelmed and quit. That self-doubt kicks into full gear because it’s just too much! Instead, focus on the small things. The little forward movements. What is one small thing that you could do today that will move you forward toward your goals? Maybe it’s making a phone call or an email. RSVPing to a networking event. Saying hello to a stranger (who could potentially turn into a client or connection). Or maybe it’s writing that blog post (ehem…THIS blog post. Lol) that you’ve been putting off for a month now. (oops!) When you do the little things daily, it builds up your confidence. The more self-confidence that you create in yourself, the more risk you are willing to take (despite fear) and the more likely you will be winning and thriving in your photography business.
And lastly, a bonus tip – don’t give up if you have one small setback. That self-doubt kills dreams. You don’t reach your dreams trying one thing. It takes lots of trial + error. Lots of failures to finally reach success. Your goals and dreams are inevitable if you don’t quit. So kick that self-doubt to the curb and watch yourself create the dream business you’ve always wanted.
Are you on the struggle bus with self-doubt? Are you feeling like you want to quit but want to give it one last try?
Sign up for a FREE phone consultation with me, your personal certified life coach, and we will chat more about how 1:1 coaching will help you work specifically with you + your obstacles!
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