9 Oct 2015

Creative Self-Doubt (and Birds)

I don't feel like I've talked much about life recently, which has been quite frankly crazy.  I went through a phase last year of feeling really low because I felt like nothing I was doing was amounting to anything; a standard creative person existential crisis.  I was trying to put effort into various projects, but then feeling demoralised because of my lack of confidence in my own abilities and inevitably lost all motivation, ending up doing very little and further strengthening this vicious circle of self-doubt.

Fast forward to February this year where I was offered the opportunity to do a regular photography job and I was honestly terrified.  I didn't think I was good enough and the thought of having to talk to strangers after having spent so long on my own for a lot of the time, was rather daunting.
The problem that comes with any creative pursuit is self-doubt.  You are constantly judging in minute detail, every single thing that you do.  There are so many things that run through your mind and you are always going to be your own worst critic.  

I did however pluck up the courage to accept and to say it was out of my comfort zone is a total understatement.  I spent the first few jobs completely riddled with anxiety.  Fast forward again to now and this work has become routine.  Whilst it often throws up new challenges, I can say with certainty that it has increased confidence in myself and in general, exponentially.  It has increased so much that I have started accepting other jobs too, so I am now busier than ever.  It has helped me work more on my illustration pieces and has left me wanting to improve my skills, rather than thinking I will never be good enough, so why bother.

The only person standing in your way is you.

If there is to be any moral to this rambling post, it is the above.  Don't let your own insecurities stop you from embracing the new and sometimes scary things that may come your way, because you never know what good may come from them.  It took me long enough to realise this.

Now to explain why this post is full of pictures of birds.  In this post I said how I wanted to share some more of my photography and photo editing experiments, so here are some lovely birds who fluttered around me and Kyle as we had cups of tea in Trelissick Gardens, whilst holidaying in Cornwall.  There is also probably some bird analogy that can link with the moral of this post somewhere...but I'm not going to try and force one!



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8 comments

  1. I don't know why, but back when I was 17 and was offered my first proper photography job I wasn't nervous at all but if I were to go into the same position now I think I would be terrified! So weird.
    Being self judging and nit picky at your own photography isn't a bad thing though I feel - there is always room for improvement and I rarely take a photo I'm 100% happy with despite having done it for 10 years. My Mam always says I'm over critical of myself but I say shes just saying that because she's my Mam! haha
    I'm lucky it's not often I do proper photography for others anymore just snaps for the blog so I get less stress to be perfect haha.
    My gosh I'm rambling. Stunning bird photos by the way - that is my favorite type of photography!

    Danielle xo
    www.underlandtowonderland.com

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    1. Oh yeah I through myself in to so much more when I was younger. I don't know whether it is because I'd love to make a success of it now, that there feels like there is more resting on it all and therefore am way more critical of myself?
      Yeah it has its benefits, just need the right balance though. Your photography is gorgeous!!
      Haha! Nooo, it's great getting comments like this.
      Thanks so much x

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  2. Feeling confident in yourself is really difficult, especially about things that you're creating. It's so personal, somehow! It's great to hear that you made it through those first nerve-wrecking jobs and that it's become easier, though. You really are a fantastic photographer (I wish I could be half as good as you!)!

    Mimmi xx
    Muted Mornings

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    1. Yeah it always feels like if someone is critical of what you do, then it is a criticism of yourself - even though this isn't the case. Thank you so much, that's very sweet of you to say x

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  3. Well done Anya! It can be so hard to put yourself out of your comfort zone and it is something I also struggle with. You're photography is lovely so you're employer is one lucky duck!

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    1. Thanks so much Sam, that means a lot x

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  4. I really needed this today :) I'm currently experiencing the "creative person existential crisis" right now, and I know that the only thing standing in my way is me. I'm going to come back and read this again when I'm feeling like I'm falling into a rut. I recently joined a Roller Derby fresh meat program because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone...I'm loving it so far and I can tell it's really going to build up my confidence in myself.

    Congratulation on your photography gig!!! Also, I adore these photos :)

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  5. I think it's only natural to be critical of something we produce ourselves, after all in some ways it represents us as people and it represents what we can do. I guess brains can't resist convincing us that others' opinions might be based on things like the photos we can take and other creative things.

    I know I always doubt my photos, but at the same time, the day when I look at some and I think "these are alright!" - that feeling is worth critiquing the rest.

    Once you start to give yourself credit and let yourself give you credit, it's easy to feel less pressured, I think. Not that I'm one for giving credit.

    I think these bird photos are beautiful!

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