figuring it out

Since my last post, I have spent a bit of time listening to and reading Danielle LaPorte and Wayne Dyer.  I find them inspiring because they give me permission to ask for what I want; do it gently, but without apology; and to resist the constant yearning to please everyone.  They remind me that I get to do this my way.

It has occurred to me a number of times over the years that I need constant approval.  Phew, that was hard to say out loud.  Perhaps all bloggers are a little like this.  Perhaps not.  But the act of sharing, posting, and linking is all very odd when I think too much about it.  Partly, I do it because I enjoy recording the moments of our lives that could otherwise get lost in the folds; partly, I do it to ward off the feeling of isolation and the crazy that comes with being cooped up with 2 (sometimes 4) kids under 4; and, for the last  part, I do it because I need to hear “Good job!”  “You inspire me!” and, the big one, “You should!  It doesn’t seem to matter how many touching emails come my way, I always remember the people who said nothing.  When there is silence, I hear “You shouldn’t”  or “I don’t have anything nice to say, so I won’t say anything…maybe she’ll get the hint”.   I often marvel at other artists’ confidence and wonder if they fight the same twisted battle.  I silently admire their work, assuming they hear, often enough, how great their work is.  But do they hear their own fears echoing in the quiet like I do?

I won’t please everyone with my pictures. I am quite sure I could always know more about f stops and lighting and photoshop.   What I find beautiful or meaningful, others may find silly, pointless, or odd.  For a people pleaser, this is complete and utter torture, even though I know it is  irrational.  I do it in many aspects of my life.   I show my softness, but hide the rough edges.  Sometimes I wish I could soften those edges instead of hide them, but it is who I am.  They are the culmination of my experiences; my battles; my victories; my lessons; my wounds.

This isn’t about getting more compliments or comments; nor is it just about the task of starting and succeeding at my own photography business.  It is about declaration; me declaring that I am good enough, qualified, smart enough, and worthy.  It is about me realizing I come from a long line of entrepreneurs, artists, warriors, creatives, collectors, writers, farmers, whiskey makers, and risk takers and they are in my corner.  It is about me finally turning an attentive ear to the whispers and cheers coming from the shadows of others who are all too familiar with the obnoxious voices who talk nasty to us.  It is about taking back what has been stolen by self doubt, reluctance, and incorrect priorities.  It is about showing  my children what living with sincerity is instead of just talking as though it is a far off dream, only meant for the elite others.  It is about being scared of looking foolish, failing and criticism, but doing it anyway.   It is about taking all of that hurt and fear and doubt; all of that excitement, anticipation, and brainstorming; and doing good rather than evil.

 

Launch and learn , Bitches.

 

e.

P.S.  I hearby declare that I will tell those fierce, creative, inspiring, warrior women blazing a path just how wonderful I think they are.  Maybe you’d like to join me and break the silent admiration.  Let it be known.

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25 Comments

  1. Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm by Candace | Permalink

    Wonderfully put! As a photographer, it is the utmost compliment if not everyone is pleased with your photos. A photo should make some love and others despise.

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm by erin | Permalink

      Exactly!
      “If you’re not generating some resistance, you’re probably not fully stepping out” DL
      Like whoa.
      e.

  2. Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm by Amberlea | Permalink

    Oh, damn, Erin, how do you do it?! How do you always write so beautiful what I struggle to say. I feel exactly the same way. I try and try to just do things for the sake of doing it, but gaddam, I want that gold star. And when I write a post from my heart and get no comments, I also feel that I must be boring people, or no one cares; just my thoughts echoing into nothingness… It is encouraging to read inspiring words (from the LaPortes, Dyers, and Ellenbergers of the world) that give us permission to live our own lives, and recognize that if we don’t, we’ve done ourselves a disservice. Forge on, Erin! Forge on! You are an inspiration to me! xo

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm by erin | Permalink

      I am always amazed that you could ever doubt yourself.
      Yes! The gold star. That is it. Maybe it goes back to school that has conditioned us to feel like we haven’t accomplished anything until someone puts the damn star beside our name!
      e.

  3. Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm by mel | Permalink

    This. this is spot on.
    This. this is also why I love to comment on your blog (and all bloggers who I admire) to just be one voice of many who are believing in you – ‘human’ as you are – to be able to make beauty with this one wild and precious life!
    Glad you’re leaning towards the ‘right’ voices to step forward in confidence (we all face these battles)!
    xx
    mel
    needle and nest design

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm by erin | Permalink

      I am such a fool to believe I am the only one who needs to hear it.
      We’re all tender hearts.
      You’re another that I just can’t believe doubts herself…if only I could paint and create like you do…
      oh my.
      e.

  4. Posted November 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm by Mariah | Permalink

    Erin,
    I too hear disapproval and `not good enough` in the silence. I sometimes despise my need for approval, but even more than approval I seek acknowlegement. If you hate my work, think I`m ridiculous, off-beat, disagree with my opinions, whatever it may be, at least say SOMETHING. Keep writing, keep photographing. I have been a silent admirer for quite some time. :)

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm by erin | Permalink

      Thank you my dear :)
      warmly,
      e.

  5. Posted November 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm by Lisa | Permalink

    Thanks for this. This is exactly how I feel so much of the time! I will send an email to a friend about something, and if I hear nothing back I start thinking that person is mad at me, or something happened, when it is probably that they are just busy right now and aren’t able to respond! Funny thing is, it also works with commenting on blog posts. Many times I don’t comment because although I loved what was said, I think the blogger will think my comment is silly or I don’t have anything profound to offer. As I get ready to leave the corporate world and relocate my family across the country and start my own business some days I am wracked by that insecurity, no one will want my service, I don’t know what I’m doing, yadda, yadda, yadda. The one thing I have noticed is that these voices get amplified when I am sleep deprived and am not eating well, so I have to remind myself to take care. I take some comfort that I’m not alone in this – we truly are our own worst enemies!

    • Posted November 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm by erin | Permalink

      Glad I could help you feel a little less lonely 😉
      What is your new business venture?
      I wish you well!
      e.

  6. Posted November 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm by Heather | Permalink

    Reading your truth-full post. Looking at a quote posted near my computer –
    “To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

  7. Posted November 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm by Joe kelly | Permalink

    You’re a spirit of unimaginable potential. It’s good to nurture other peoples confidence , while knowing your confidence is not a product of other peoples encouragement. it’s win win. Go with it.

  8. Posted November 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm by Hannah | Permalink

    Oh, this is so spot on. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, actually. Silence always rings loudly of “not good enough” to me. I’ve been trying to learn how to find myself, my work enough. It’s hard. It’s a process. Thanks for writing this, and thanks for your lovely comment. I think I’ll follow your lead and spread the love.

  9. Posted November 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm by Lynnette | Permalink

    I don’t always comment because I honestly sit there after looking/reading your work and think. “yep, she nailed it” and said it so much better or captured it so well that I just don’t have anything to add. Just like this post I have nothing else to add just “yep she nailed it again.” =)

    • Posted November 3, 2012 at 8:17 am by erin | Permalink

      Oh dear, it wasn’t to imply that everyone should comment to make me feel better or explain themselves. I hope I didn’t com eoff all wrong…
      Thank you for your kindness.
      Warmly,
      E.

      • Posted November 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm by Lynnette | Permalink

        oh goodness no! I didn’t feel that way. I just wanted you to know how much I relate with your work. How you form your thoughts so well and I always feel satisfied with your description and it never needs more. You are amazing Erin. Keep being you. =)

  10. Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm by Danielle | Permalink

    Thank you for writing this out loud. Why is it that we’re so quick to remember the silences? I need to move beyond that, as much as anyone can.

    “Launch and learn, bitches” is my new favourite sentence.

  11. Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm by christine m. | Permalink

    Hi again! I want to wish you well on your new venture… but i sure would love it if you still had time for Fawned Fridays! is there a way to access one of posts that featured a craft i want to try?

    • Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:51 am by erin | Permalink

      I love fawned Fridays too, though they are a bit time consuming!
      You will find a link to all fawned Fridays in my right hand side bar.
      Thanks!

  12. Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm by victoria harvey | Permalink

    Like to say you are on the right track,we must be are self,,we will fail at times has we perfect the craft we seek after..l just bought my first dslr..l am very happy and scared at the same time,,but l will keep trying till l conqerer…the unknown,and letting me be me!!l will learn from others,forever being a student..and when l have understood the unknown ,,l will pass it on to the next creative soul..’stay in your truth’…can not wait to see where your photography takes you….

  13. Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:07 am by Lynda | Permalink

    You are doing a great job here with your blog. Stay the course. Or not-do what makes your brain waves feel comfortable and pleases those to whom you answer. In my case, that’s just me; in yours, there may be others but stay true to your heart and let the world be damned. You take a really good picture, I think so keep at it. I’ll keep sewing if you keep snapping !~! Happy Holidays.

    • Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:36 am by erin | Permalink

      Thank you for the kind words:)
      Warmly,
      e.

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