I faced a big fear today.
So in my goals for 2017, one was to be brave every single day and be prepared to embrace failure. Because if you not failing every day then you will never have the opportunity to succeed because it means you are not trying.
One thing that scares the absolute crap out of me is having my photo taken. There is something inside me and it's a long-standing battle with myself that says 'you are not worthy of being seen' And so my beautiful contribution to the world is my photographs and I hope my writing.
However, this fear is becoming a massive block. It's stopping me from being fully authentic and open in what I do. Someone said the other day who I have networked with for a while 'Ami, I don't know what you look like' that's not ok for this day and age where being seen is what builds trust.
But why the shame? I am not sure. And it is shame. I am ashamed of how I look. In fact so much so I don't bother. I have horses, a dog, an amazing family, awesome job. I just tell myself it's ok that you don't like yourself because you have lots of other incredible things that you do love. This past year though I have realised that self-confidence is everything. Feeling good about yourself is the basis for every other part of your life. It's not vanity, a label I have defensively thrown out at other people previously but self-love and acceptance. To say here I am world this is me.
I have always hated having my picture taken, I would recoil at the image of myself. Spotty skin, teeth that I hate and where I get super nervous I pull the chandler photo face from friends. This is all totally ridiculous. When I bring these things up the people who know and love me they don't see these things. They see me the person who they love. So maybe it's time I started seeing myself that way.
Maybe it's time that I started showing me to the world, stop being ashamed and start making myself vulnerable in the biggest scariest way possible right now. Because this block is holding me back.
So this morning I have sat for half an hour trying to take a self-portrait. I am not very good at this (yet) because it's something I have never even attempted. Trying to get the focus right is time consuming and then what the hell do I do? Do I try and do one of those cool pulling my hair back looking down and smiling poses that the seasoned self-portrait people seem to have in abundance. No that's not going to happen, just one photo where I don't look like chandler from friends, just one photo I kind of like and shows me.
40 attempts later...... and we have this one. It's not in focus properly and not great composition and I could have chosen a better spot for light. But hey I did it. I showed up and here I am, no make up, not long back from the horses and feeling desperately uncomfortable. But I did it.
So how can I improve on this? I can try for one self-portrait a week until I get more comfortable and then spend some money on having some proper personal brand photos taken so I can be seen and my clients have a face they can relate too or I hope so anyway!
Today I gave myself permission to be visible.