Learning to value yourself is a lesson that is not easy for most people. Today I had a friend request on Twitter from an amazing photographer and author. First of all, my first reaction was, “Why would someone of his caliber even bother wanting to follow me?” Then I logged onto his profile and saw the most fantastic photographs from all over the world, but instead of marveling at his talent, I felt inadequate and small. At that moment I was ready to just give up on myself because I felt, “What’s the point, I’ll never even be in his league.” But as my wise friend Janet always used to tell me when I started comparing myself to others and coming up short, “Stop looking over the fence at other people’s yards.” I have to remember, I just started back with photography, after many years of just using a point and shoot camera. That negative thinking would prevent many people from writing, blogging, playing tennis, skiing, or anything if they compared themselves to the pros. I must realize that my work has value and I am a valuable person. Even if I don’t make a red cent on my pictures or my writing, it is a creative outlet for me and I must remember that I am valuable.
Sometimes, you have to be your own cheerleader. For the past two days I have fallen into the depression and hopelessness trap. That does not happen too often because of the amount of gratitude I have regarding my physical state compared to a year ago. But I get overwhelmed with all the steps involved in growing my blog. Today it came to a head, and all the old tapes started playing in my head, telling me I am a loser, and what are you doing this for, and who would even want to read your blog anyway–and on and on. But sometimes all it takes is a little hope and your attitude can turn around in an instant. I know that God is leading me someplace, but sometimes I don’t listen to the signs. It is no coincidence that I have gotten back into photography again, after all these years. My biggest problem is that I don’t believe in myself and I am always waiting for validation from others. In addition, when things get too difficult I just give up. I know from all my readings that you will never achieve anything if you don’t persevere. It all comes back to belief in yourself and not listening to the old negative voices in your own head from your childhood. I, for one, was told from an early age that I was “stupid” every day of my life by my father, until I believed it. As a result I lacked the self confidence to pursue a career in art, which is what I wanted. When you have no confidence, you never think you are good enough and go through your life settling. Granted, I did o.k. for myself, but at my stage in life I must start taking chances and trying to shed that inferiority I felt my whole life because I listened and, most importantly believed, the negativity from my parents. It is time to believe in myself, no matter if nobody else does. Yes if you don’t have a cheerleader (and lots of us don’t) you have to be your own.