“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” Jessica Hische
Do you ever wonder how much of life is actively choosing certain paths and how much is luck or random? Of course, in looking backwards, it’s easy to identify a crossroads here and there. (If I’d gone to a different grad school, would I have met my husband or my best friend? If I hadn’t attended that one infant Gymboree class, would I have me the dear friend who eventually guided me to almost all of my mom friends?)
I have been thinking about my personal “destiny,” for lack of a better word. Specifically in relation to photography. It’s obvious now to me and to you that I light up inside because of this passion, this new viewfinder to the world. The question that comes to me often is, “how much of this am I supposed to make happen and how much should I let unfold in its own time?”
I love capturing images and sharing them. Period. I don’t need to derive income from my passion, and yet sharing my photography with others is what forges the connections. That appreciation helps fuel me. And let’s be real… most success is measured in sales these days. Demand for my prints or services implies that I’m doing something that resonates with others and is meaningful.
So I spent an entire day (rare time alone!) opening an Etsy shop but I have yet to sell anything there. I printed and framed a few photos for display in a coffee shop nearby but same story there (though the employees tell me almost every time I’m there how much they love looking at them – payment in itself to me). I am “getting out there” and taking pictures for friends. I toot my own horn a bit by blogging about it and I even made a Facebook Page solely for my photography and photography-related news.
I did all this because I refused to let the fear of failure hold me back from potential success. I finally figured out that I fear success more than I fear failure. I’m already doing what I love so who cares if my little experiment is deemed “a failure?” I have read enough accidental success stories to know that sometimes things work out for the best just by doing what you love most. Of course I want to experience all the fullness of life that I can. I don’t want to hide from anything that would be fun and good and joy-filled. But what will my life become if there really is a commercial market for my prints? Or where would the time come from if I did become successful enough to charge more than a couple hundred bucks for what ends up being 10-15 hours of my time? That’s scary stuff! Let me be clear: I love photography and I love that there is so much to learn that I can study it my entire life and still learn more. I am happy where I am, but if I could do more and be more, that’d be wonderful too.
All the fears hold us back, and keep us from experiencing the fullness of our lives. Along with worry, fear is one of the the greatest of evils.
But when we overcome the fear of using our own voice — of expressing the beauty of this life — really sharing and touching the lives of those we love with it, we live an immortal life. We transcend so many of the other small fears, and we’re able to create a legacy of goodness and light for the world.
I know that I am seeking connection and validation and community. That’s the same reason behind this blog.
What do you think? Do you let fear of failure or success hold you back from what you may be called to do?
Today’s post is part of a brave blogging link-up for students in the How To Build a Blog You Truly Love e-course. Hope you’ll visit them to see and support what everyone is sharing – and feel free to jump in, too!