“It’s crazy to me how much I care about everybody’s opinion… I care so much about what they think about me, you would not believe it, while equally really giving no shit about what they think. It’s this crazy balance. I never let somebody else’s opinion matter more than mine of myself.”

– Gary Vaynerchuk

Stop. Just stop comparing yourself. This message is for myself more than anyone else! Believe me, this is HARD. For the first time in 7 years of being in business, I feel like for more than a second, I’ve stopped comparing myself. Let me elaborate… I feel like I’ve done a lot to hone my craft. I’ve worked for free, I’ve shot for other photographers, I’ve bought books, I’ve attended webinars, I’ve spent countless hours on Pinterest and Facebook analyzing images taken by my idols pining for my work to look like theirs. Sound familiar? The internet is a cruel world sometimes. Oh, and let’s not get started on Instagram.

It’s time to stop comparing yourself. It’s time to start trusting yourself. It’s time to put your craft to work. You’ve studied, you’ve honed, you’re putting in the hard work and it’s time to give yourself some credit.

It’s time to unfollow the people who don’t build you up. And it’s time to START following those that make you feel good and inspired. I follow food bloggers, painters, calligraphers and florists. Motivational speakers, marketing gurus, and inspiring female entrepreneurs. All types of artists that inspire me in different ways. I listen to music while approaching photoshoots so I’m not in my head about the podcast I listened to for an hour. I get out of my head and into a creative zone. If you haven’t read (or hey!) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I highly recommend it and her podcast.

Start doing. Go DO the shoot you’ve been dreaming of, ASK for the sale, TAKE the leap.

These are all really hard things to do – but that’s the point. No good thing came easy. And what if you fail? You learn something, move on and do it better next time.

Go on a walk and put down your phone. Man, this is hard to do sometimes. Go read a book! Zach and I know that when we’re in a creative rut and just need a break, a 20-30 minute walk rejuvenates our motivation to get shit done and crush our goals. We end up dreaming up big ideas and getting crazy motivated. It’s a WEIRD thing that happens. And it’s not a magical formula, it’s a freaking walk on the levee.

Stop focusing on everyone else. They aren’t paying your bills and they certainly aren’t filling your cup.

Care less about what people think and own your mistakes, BUT also do things that implore them to love you! This is the crazy balance Gary talks about in the quote above. Why are you doing what you’re doing and how can you leverage it to take you further? Ultimately, this is what will fill you to create a place of content versus complacency. Your confidence that you can deliver matters more to your client and more to your heart than anything else. It’s not being cocky, it’s knowing that you have value but also being grateful that you’re able to provide that value.

Gratitude, always. Let go of your ego and just be thankful and confident.

Join me on Instagram to hear me talk more about this. I know this just skims the surface, but maybe..just maybe, it’ll give you the push you need to quit comparing and to start loving yourself and owning who you are.

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