At the end of 2016, I wrote in my journal what my visions and goals were for the upcoming year. I was feeling frustrated after 3 semesters in community college, and felt unsatisfied to say the least. College felt like this aimless path leading no where- I had no idea what I was doing or where I'd end up. A degree in Business sounded fitting- surely I'd find some success that way- but that seemed light years away. Meanwhile, ambition and eagerness to dive head first into my passion of photography was building up in me, and school felt like it was only getting in the way. More and more, I found myself wanting to break up with college classes and go my own way. Along with working my full time job at the coffee shop, I knew I couldn't put the time and effort that I wanted into my dream of starting a photography business- so I decided not to enroll in classes for the following year.... under the condition that I worked my butt off to see how far I could get with my goals in 2017. I was ready to spend all my time and energy turning my passion into a career so that I'd never have to go back again.
January of 2017 rolled around and I began photographing any friend that would let me. I had this new found motivation, this open road to chase my dream with nothing holding me back. I was journaling a lot and reading- & I came across an article that has stuck with me ever since. The article read, "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.."
It reminded me of the saying "Great things never came from comfort zones," but this one really put it into an action perspective for me. I found the little voice in my head constantly reminding me, "Get uncomfortable. Do the dang thing." That sentence stuck with me and constantly showed up in my mind throughout my first year. It's some of the truest words I could (still) ever live by.
Within a week of reading that article, a friend who knew about me starting up my business asked me to shoot her wedding. I was blown away. My initial thought was, "ME?! She knows I've never done this before right?" And thennnnn, I remembered the article. After reading it, I had wrote this in my journal-
"I know I was meant to read this because I want to achieve a lot this year in photography. Ill remember it when I'm given the opportunity to do something I've never done and feel nervous about it. "
You can probably guess what my next thought was. "... I HAVE to do this." I knew it could potentially be the best decision I ever made. And it was. I was offered my first two weddings in that month alone - January!!! Which ended up BOTH being 5 months away in June- a week apart. I knew I had plenty of time to prepare and that I was going to work incredibly hard to be confident going into those weddings. And I did it.
With those photos, I made amazing connections, built a website, improved my social medias, put my business on google, and displayed my work at my first vendor show.... Getting uncomfortable forced me to GROW in all of the best ways, and looking back, it was the best decision I could have made for my business. I photographed 3 weddings total my first year in 2017, and I enrolled in an 8 course, extremely thorough, online academy for wedding photographers. I was so excited to continue my education, but in a way that was entirely focused on my specific career. That academy was the defining step in my journey towards calling myself a wedding photographer and a professional in the industry. I navigated the academy for the next two years while also tending to my fast growing business. I went from photographing 3 weddings in a year, to photographing an average of 3 weddings a month in 2019.
I studied, I networked, I planned, I executed, and I achieved one of my biggest dreams in May of 2019. After pouring my heart and soul into it, I was finally able to quit my job at the coffee shop and go full time with my wedding photography business! This accomplishment was so emotional for me, it almost didn't seem real! (Until I didn't have to wake up for the 5am shift anymore, lol.) It showed me that hard work DOES pay off, and that all of those late nights editing and long hours spent putting in the work weren't for nothing.
"The fear of starting out kills more dreams than failure ever will."
This post isn't meant to scream, "Look at me!" But I know that anyone can benefit from this mindset in their life, and I'm so passionate about encouraging others to chase their dream too - even if it means going against the grain a little. Sometimes we need to be reminded to reach out of our comfort zone. Do something you've never done or have been scared to do... Always take an opportunity to learn and grow. Reach out and talk to people in order to grow your network... take a class you have always wanted to take.. learn a skill that interests you.. expand your horizons because there is always more... So shoot for more. I highly doubt you could regret it.
I felt that it was so important to share the tiny, most simple sentence that changed the game for me because I know it could potentially do the same for others as well who take it seriously.
Here's the 7 tips the article listed to help you start feeling comfortable with being uncomfortable..
1. START- Half the battle is won when you just show up.
2. DON'T QUIT- Things will get difficult but remember why you started and push forward.
3. PUSH YOURSELF PAST YOUR COMFORT ZONE
4. EMBRACE THE SUCK- You are building your mental and physical toughness points. If you suck at first, it'll make for a great story when you're winning.
5. BE AROUND LIKE MINDED PEOPLE- Create your support network
6. RECOGNIZE YOUR IMPROVEMENTS- Track your improvements and revel in it!
7. RINSE AND REPEAT
check out the exact article I read HERE.