Doubts and Insecurities
In the last 5 months, I have run the full spectrum of Doubts and insecurities. Starting in April when I was convinced that I was the best photographer (and writer) on the planet. Of course, back in April I was not working and had plenty of sleep and time.
To where I am now where the time, I have to devote to my personal dream has dwindled to a few snatched moments. Normally like when typing this, late at night. This leaves me full of “I am not good enough,” I can’t do this. I should pack up my gear and sell it and just do anything but be creative in any meaningful manner.
I won’t though, not because I have anything special about my make up. Quite simply because I can’t.
Let me give you an example. I have a range of posts that I prepared earlier in the year dealing with the technical aspects of photography. I thought that having been doing this for over 40 years I might have something to share. They sit there waiting for their day in the sun. Never posted one yet.
The simple reason is that when I compare my posts to other similar posts, they just don’t seem good enough. They were at the time I wrote them why not now? It’s the comparison that is the problem.
When you start to compare yourself with other people that’s where the issues start. I guarantee that you will find people producing better work. There is no doubt about it, this is a fact. No matter how much you learn or develop there will always be people better than you. They will run faster than you. Know more than you, have better personalities than you. Be more engaged with the fairer sex than you.
You could use these people to look up to and develop towards, but you won’t. What will happen is you will say they are so much better than me how can I possibly be as good as them. Actually, you will never be as good as them while you think like this.
Let’s look at this a different way. If you enjoy what you do it shouldn’t matter but it does. I enjoy writing, no good at it. I just do it because it helps to get some ideas down before I forget them, I will continue doing this because I enjoy it.
The same with my photography. The number of times I have sat and thought this is it! It’s all over! I can’t do this anymore. Yet I go on, I try to get better. I study masters like Ansel Adams and more recently Joe Cornish. I try to see how I could improve to their level, in fact, to be better than them.
Then the doubts creep in. My work isn’t as good as theirs?
These doubts are born from a lack of confidence, brought on by comparison of your work against other peoples. Why is my work not performing as well as others who do exactly the same thing? The question is why you find this important. Are you producing your work for you or for a mass audience?
If it is for you then again, it shouldn’t matter in so far as much you have a gauge to see where you are that’s all. Nothing else but a gauge. For mass consumption is a little different because you have to have some way of getting business in and then comparison becomes part of the job. At this stage, you have to develop a thick skin and learn to live with it.
Once your work is out there it will be criticized. Pored over, analyzed and generally pulled apart and some people will not be as kind as you had hoped. How important the work is to you will determine how much it hurts. Not to mention the time spent preparing the work.
Sorry if you have read this far and expecting some confidence boosters, I don’t have any. You can look on YouTube and find loads of videos that say things far better than I can.
The reason why is that as I sit here having worked on this piece, I now feel the doubts spreading in. Does it say what I want it to say? Is it good enough? Will people be interested in what I have to say? Should I post it or just hit delete. Could I have done more, or have I done to much? They are always there tugging at the fringes. Saying you’re not good enough.
Well, it’s good enough for me and that’s all that really counts at the end of the day.
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