I'm not the best, I reminded myself as I quietly refrained from telling a friend I am into photography and could photograph her daughter.
I'm not the best, I chanted once more as I scrolled through my Instagram feed and stared in wonder of photograph after photograph with editing I could only dream of modeling.
"I'm not the best", I said quietly to a bridesmaid as I fumbled with posing the wedding party.
How long have I been telling myself this? How did this chant turn into my mantra?
How long have you been telling yourself the same thing?
As I've grown in the vast and sometimes daunting world of photography, I've been told countless times that a photographer must exude confidence in order to truly do her job to the best of her abilities. To be top notch, you must believe the highest notch exemplifies you as a person.
...But I never felt top notch.
In fact, it felt prideful to even regard myself as a "Big Kahuna".
I've had to learn something...and maybe you do too. I had to learn that confidence is about taking steps that might frighten your entire being and send a shiver up your spine...but it's about taking what you got and seeking to improve while allowing yourself room to grow.
"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
I'm learning you will always succeed if you have no goal. Failure isn't because you are without ability; rather, failure should show you that part of your plan needs to be tweaked- not burnt to a crisp and to scar your emotional state.
So I stopped chanting like I was some sort of village priest.
I stopped holding back because really, I was being a hinderance to myself.
I started using my talents to bless others.
I started trying new ideas...even if they seemed silly in my mind.
I planted confidence in my heart, even though I couldn't see its affects.
And slowly, ever so quietly, the small seed began to grow.
It's still growing.
I am making mistakes. There are days I look at a photo and see ten different ways this photo is "bad". But you know, for ten ways that photo looks wrong to me, there's now five reasons why it's my favorite photo.
Today, I'm taking a new step out, looking for a new spot to plant another seed of confidence.
I'm starting this blog.
Because even though there are like more blogs than stars out there, the universe could always handle one more.
And maybe, like some stars do, maybe these thoughts will land in some black hole thanks to my lack of proper grammar and forgetfulness with oxford commas. Yet, I'm allowing myself to set my sails, and determine my course.
I'm sailing away from the harbor.