Just before year’s end, I always like to take a long hard look at what it is I have done with my photography (and what I haven’t done with my photography). Usually this is tough because I really don’t have something in place as to judge how my year went. Most photographers would go by amount of money that came into their business, others might go by how many people followed them on social media, some might go by what was said about their work during the year, some might go by customer satisfaction, and for others any combination of the things I mentioned and any other things I probably didn’t mention. I sometimes judge my success/failure (or perceived success/failure) on what my friends, acquaintances, and social media says, or sometimes don’t say, about my work as a gauge of how my year went.
Whilst I was in the beginning stages of trying to evaluate how my year went, I stumbled upon something in my Pinterest feed (Shameless Plug Alert: Follow me at jreidphoto) that made me pause for a few moments.
Immediately, I stopped thinking about how I was going to judge the successfulness of this year and started thinking about what things and opportunities I probably could have done during this year, if I were not afraid; the missed opportunities. While the word afraid is usually defined as feeling fear and/or anxiety, I think this definition is more appropriate, “Worried that something undesirable will occur or be done”. I realized, from reading and re-reading the quote, that there are so many things I wanna do with my photography but I am afraid; afraid of that people might not care about my work, afraid of approaching people and asking if they would like to work with me, afraid that I might not win a photo competition, afraid of asking for a particular price point because of the fear of losing their business, and sometimes afraid of taking on a photo request for the fear of failing to deliver and losing either their respect and/or friendship. Sometimes I often wondered what would be the result if I hadn’t let my fear be an obstacle in my path, and wondered about the reward that could have been attached to that opportunity.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have had some successful moments this year with my photography, and there were opportunities that I was able to partake in; but when evaluating the year as a whole, I think about those opportunities that I could’ve taken advantage of or opportunities I could’ve created if only I paid no attention to fear (or at the very least, done it afraid), that could have been added to my 2012 collection of successes.
So with the last few hours in this year 2012 and with a brand new year ahead of us, I will take steps (small ones at first) to do some of things that I might be afraid of doing; and perhaps to see if these would lead to bigger and better opportunities. I might have to do these things while being afraid, but at the least, I will do. What would I do if I weren’t afraid? Stay tuned (to the blog) to find out what I will be doing as I make attempts to put this thing called fear behind me.
[JRP ’12] <— *yeah, you won’t see this year in my signature, so say farewell to it, :p