Intro by Skip Cohen
If you’ve met Sarah Petty or followed her for even the shortest amount of time, then you already know the level of sincerity in everything she talks about. Sarah walks the talk and so often I find her insight incredibly valuable.
This post is from her Joy of Marketing blog and it hits home on so many levels. I’ve repeatedly written about the importance of keeping the “negators” in your life on a short leash, so you can stay focused on your dreams.
Yet somehow they manage to catch us off-guard and in all honesty, it hurts. They don’t understand the dreams we’re chasing and trying to build. In the end, it’s often that little piece of doubt in front of us that becomes a mountain of indecision.
I know this post is a little longer than usual but trust me and read it to the end. Sarah expresses the challenges so well, because she’s lived them. Her sincerity comes from experience…and she ALWAYS walks the talk!
“Nobody will ever pay that much for photography.”
“You’re not even a real photographer.”
“You’ll never be able to run a photography business and raise kids.”
Resistance is normal. It comes from you, from others in your inner circle, from random comments and from social media. These cutting judgmental comments from people you know, from yourself, or even strangers can really get you down, especially when they’re about your photography business.
If you don’t find a way to rise above them, they can drag you and your photography business down. I think about people who I admire and respect and I know they would never comment something snarky on someone else’s Instagram account.
I love how Brené Brown says, “If you’re not in the arena also getting your butt kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Why do we let those comments bother us? Because truly, if you look at it, the more successful people are, the more people they have bullying and attacking them.
I was raised before social media, and I think I would’ve loved it because I was always taking pictures and wanting to be involved in everything. But because it was later when social media really came into my life and I had little kids, I was pretty private. I felt like I didn’t need to put my life out on the internet and I wanted to live my life privately.
As social media grew, I felt like everybody was being so performative out there. People were only showing how great their family was or how awesome their husband and kids were. So I didn’t want to come off as fake or perceived as being fake by only showing the good stuff about my life. So, I just stayed quiet.
As my photography business started growing, I started my second company where I coach photographers all around the world. And the only way to reach them is Facebook ads. I don’t run ads for my own photography business, but my coaching business requires me to do Facebook ads.
Facebook ads are expensive and they keep going up and I realized that if I want to get exposure and reach more people and have more influence, I need to start putting things online.
It’s still hard for me to think about why people want to know what I’m doing in my off time. But as I’ve gotten more used to it, I realized it’s a conversation. But when I started doing it, I was very uncomfortable. I remember my mentor saying,
“Look, you’ve got to find your voice sooner or later in social media, and so why not do it while you have a smaller following? Because likely nobody really cares and your true friends are going to hang out with you. And if your message doesn’t resonate with others, then let’s have an abundance philosophy and send them on their way to find the person that can motivate and inspire and help them.”
So, when I got going, I really had to set my ego aside and I just started doing what I thought I was supposed to do.
We have a saying in our community that we all live by “ Imperfect action beats perfect inaction”.
You’re not going to start something like that and be perfect at it. Taking imperfect action is how I grew my business so fast, and I really embraced that. So, I started putting myself out there.
What I’ve learned through my years of doing a lot of personal development is that a lot of the reasons we judge others is because we’re judging ourselves so harshly. The things that you judge others for, if you’re being judgmental, you’re hard on yourself about.
So, the first step is to identify the self-judgment and give yourself some grace. What does this mean to you? Why is there so much resistance? Why do we feel like the people that love us are trying to pull us down?
What I really just want you to see is that you’ve been conditioned to live the life that you’re living based on who your parents were, what jobs they had, and generations of beliefs were poured into us when we were little bitty kids. It’s conditioned us to live the life that we are living.
I want you to know that you have the power to do anything you want in your life.
Here are some action steps to help.
1. Realize when you’re unconsciously walking through your life. You’re not feeling things, you’re not experiencing things, or you’re numbing things with Netflix and social media. It’s a choice every single day to pick yourself up and to decide that you’re meant for more.
For us, photographers, it’s like having our cameras on program mode, where all of the decisions are made for us. It sets the aperture and the shutter speed and all of the settings, so that we don’t need to think. But what if you changed your camera to manual mode, where you had to make all the decisions?
And you may make some wrong choices, and the images may not turn out, but you’re going to look at them and you’ll learn. So, when you’re going through life unconsciously, ask yourself, “What do I need to do in my life to take my control back?”
2. Surround yourself with people who are in the arena. They’re learning, they’re feeling, they’re getting beat up, but they’re falling and they’re standing back up, and they’re learning to love the journey.
That journey is actually really fun because you get better at it. Your friends and family mean well, but many of them don’t get it, and that’s okay. They want to live a safe, comfortable life, and they want to keep you safe and comfortable.
There is so much more comfort going into the arena with a group rather than alone.
So ask yourself, who are you surrounding yourself with?
3. Pick the right inputs in your life. Did you ever see the documentary about the guy who ate McDonald’s for a month straight? He felt terrible. He gained weight, lost motivation and was overall miserable. A guy who was happy and healthy, and then just because of what he put into his body, he went into depression and had negative energy.
I want you to think about it. Think about the food you’re putting into your body, how much water are you drinking, and if you are getting any exercise.
Don’t Let the Universe Pull You Down
Are you doing things and putting things in your body that are going to give you the energy you want to put out in the market? So, you can be positive instead of being on the downward spiral?
But also the non-physical things. What voices are you listening to?
Those are inputs too. The universe is going to want to pull us down.
The people who love us want to keep us safe, it’s true, and we can still love them.
The key is for you to identify that you don’t want to live on that safe side of playing a small game when you’re meant for more.
When you’re committed to education, to growth, to expanding your capabilities, to getting rid of the head trash and investing in systems to help you do that, you are changing your future. You’re changing your outcome, and you’re growing as a person, so your comfort zone gets bigger. It’s a choice.
Make the decision right now that you aren’t going to let the resistance from others, from the universe and even from yourself pull you down.