My own experience bears this out: you can achieve almost anything you feel you can achieve
in life – even if you don’t have much faith in your own abilities.
Abilities and skills you can acquire. Confidence, courage, well, that’s another story.
Lack of self-confidence, “is one of the great problems besetting people today.” according to Norman Vincent Peale.
And that was like, what, 80 years ago he said that? Has much changed? Me thinks not.
He makes reference to a survey of college students indicating that for 75 percent of them, confidence
was the thing most lacking in their life.
No one knows this more than I do. No one was more afraid, lost and burdened with the stress of life than I.
Recently over supper with friends we were recounting our early 20’s (we’re all in our 50’s now,
healthier, wealthier and wiser…)
I told our friends about how petrified I was when I was 21.
Working full time in a darkroom.
Loving it, good at it. But ready for change and ready to start a new job photographing school photos for a
large national company.
That first year shooting was horrible. I was in a constant state of panic. Anxious and petrified.
I had anxiety attacks that were unrelenting.
This went on, full bore, for a whole year. Ugh….awful time it was.
It took me one whole year of photographing hundreds and thousands of students to finally,
FINALLY get a handle on it.
In the second year I started to get a sense a confidence. I started a new skill set in those early years.
But I still had a long way to go. I was still anxiety ridden. Just not as much.
“Imagine if you would have been stuck in that prison the rest of your life?” was a comment someone told me.
“Yes, ugh!! I always look back at those years and wonder what would have happened had I let the fears and anxieties rule me.
Rule my destiny.
What if I would have embraced it and made it my closest friend, my dearest ally?
What problems would have and could have arose? What medications would I have chosen to eventually fight that
Crazy stuff when I think about it.
“The blows of life, the accumulation of difficulties, the multiplication of problems tend to sap
energy and leave you spent and discouraged,” Peale says.
In such situations, “it is easy to lose track of your abilities and powers” – but by re-appraising your personal assets, you can convince yourself that “you are less defeated than you think you are.”
Part of me is glad I went through all those times. They made me who I am today.
But I persisted. I did not let myself get defeated.
Easy? Not for a second. Worth it? What do you think?
I grew because I persisted. I faced the fears and moved ahead in spite of them. I created goals.
I studied and fed my mind a constant flow of books, seminars and new ideas. I pushed hard.
I fought the demons that tried so hard to rule me.
And you can too. Be true to yourself.
Be fearless my friend.
Yours in photography and success,
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