I usually find myself writing these sort of inspirational posts when I am full of energy and passion but just like everyone else I am not dismissed from the feeling of letting go and giving up. I really believe you can summarize being fiercely passionate about something when you count your successes yet you still feel there is this giant mountain to walk up because you are no where close to reaching you hearts desired goals.
Today is the day I need to remind myself of these things. I know when I feel sluggish I need to be that person in my life that lifts me out of that rut. It is always that much easier to throw in the towel (or camera in this case) and give up but here it is the 6 things I try and still try to tell myself when I feel ready to give up.
1. You really have nothing to lose because we all end up in the same place at the end.
I know I kind of started off with the most morbid of them all. I said to my sister the other day (in one of our so very interesting conversations) "Who cares, do what you have to do, no one makes it out alive". It is the sad truth but alas it is the truth.
When you think of it this way; there is no chance that a single person living on this earth won't eventually meet their end. You realize just how much the little things don't matter. Life is short and we don't know the future so when we go out there and put our souls into our passion we really have nothing to lose.
Just that simple little thought has already made me appreciate the life that I have ten times more and also has me realize that my troubles in the grand scheme of this universe don't actually matter.
Just live your life the best you can, create when you can and be happy.
2. You are alive and you have a voice.
We may have similar stories or similar backgrounds or we may be the polar opposite of each other. It doesn't matter because we all have stories to tell. Even when you feel like no one else on this earth knows your pain or your struggles I guarantee there will be someone out there who can relate. That being said we all see the world with our own eyes. No one other person can tell your story. No one other person see's the world the way you do.
When I am being compared to other artists I remind myself of this. I remind myself that my art comes from my soul. It is the way I see the world and the way I express how I feel on the inside. Every experience in my life has turned me into the person I am today. That is the same for my photography. My photography is not one simple influence but the influences of my life and every experience I have had.
Just remember you have a story to tell. It's somewhere in you. Even if you don't know what it is yet. Tell your story through your art and don't be afraid to show the world your soul.
3. What you do could change someone else's life.
It is scientifically proven that "giving" makes us the happiest. Can you believe it? Something so simple. There have been art, photographs, articles, books and people who have literately changed my life. You could be one of those people for someone else.
I had a very recent experience where two amazing industry artists did two simple (separate) things and it changed my life for the better. They don't know that such a simple act of kindness and sharing their words and opinions with me made me that much more confident about myself and my art.
Your art could inspire another person to pick up their camera or paint brush again. We have a lot of power to do good that we don't even know about because we are so fixated on the negative or the little things.
When we step outside ourselves and our comfort zones there is a lot of good that we can spread. So tell your story it might change someone's life for the better.
4. If you give up the naysayers win. NEVER let them win!
Sometimes this one can fuel me for months. When we give up we send a message to every person who has ever put us down, told us we wouldn't succeed, tried to scare us, bullied us, laughed at us etc. We send the message that their hate and their negativity was right. Hate and negativity is never ever right.
Giving up is like handing over your entire happiness to the people who didn't believe in you. Isn't that awful? I understand that sometimes there are situations where you have to move on from something but this I call "moving into a different direction". This is rather letting go of something for your personal internal reasons. I'm no talking about that here. I am talking about letting the negativity flood your mind that you feel forced to give up.
I know you have probably read articles before that talk about how Oprah was told she would never be on television, or how Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination. Imagine these people just gave up because of someone else's negativity?
Many times the naysayers are people who are filled with self doubt and are dealing with their own insecurities. When they start in on you it makes them feel better. Be nice, and say thanks but no thanks. Distance yourself and don't let them win. Keep on trucking.
5. Pursuing your passions can enrich your life and help you to have no regrets.
Head over to this article immediately. This is the 'Top ten regrets of the dying'
Take note of the very first thing that is on the list ' I never pursued my dreams and aspirations'.
You don't want to be that person at the end of your life wondering what would have happened if you had only just followed your heart and your dreams. Taking control now and following your dreams and not giving up can make your life better now. You will at least know that at the end you tried your hardest.
I completely understand that sometimes this life can be difficult. We do need to pay the bills, eat and shelter ourselves and sometimes our dreams don't allow for those things to be obtained easily. I am not saying that we need to quit our paying jobs but what I am saying is try to do both. Try to find a balance that works for you. Your dream could be the thing that ends up working for you in the end.
6. Do it because it makes you happy!
You know that feeling you get when you are creating? That feeling you get when a new idea enters your brain and you obsess over how to make it come to life? That is the feeling of pure joy.
When I am standing with my camera in my hands gazing upon the floral backdrop of my Secret Garden series looking at a model turned mythical queen I am happy. Nothing else in the world matters in that moment.
Taking pictures is what makes me happy. Spray painting until I almost pass out and accidentally hot gluing my fingers together while crafting makes me happy. If I was to stop taking pictures today there would be a big void to fill in my life and in my heart.
Giving up is the opposite of happiness.
No matter how dark the road gets just know you are not alone. I feel your pain. I understand it. Just don't stop. Keep your head up high and walk through that darkness. It is always darkest before the dawn. xx