Friday, September 20, 2013

Fearless Friday: Pride

*this post is text heavy and is also slightly redundant at certain points*


I have a fear of pride or of being perceived as vain.

I remember being so proud of myself as a child. I would write every week and then read all of my stories in front of the class. Not once did I think that I wasn't good.

It's funny to look back on these moments and remember how proud you were of everything you accomplished as a child, but as you grew up, you learned to live by everyone else's expectations rather than your own. You began to feel envious of people who were better at certain things than you and you slowly began to feel resentment towards yourself. And these feelings follow us throughout our life.

Self-doubt has become a social norm. We have learned to set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and to seek approval from our peers for everything that we do. We no longer believe that our best is good enough. We always want to be better than that person. We don't strive to be our own best, we strive to be other's best and we lose our sense of self-worth.

We are taught that if we don't meet these expectations set in front of us, then we will not succeed. But we fail to realize that everyone is at a different stage in their lives. People can be going through the exact same situation and feel a completely different range of emotions.

I take a lot of pictures and most people don't understand why and I don't expect them to. I take pictures for myself. I don't take pictures to be the "best", I take pictures to be my best. Photography is my way of looking back. For me, pictures are memories. They allow me to hold onto past experiences without letting them hold me back from making future ones.

I constantly feel the need to document my life because even the seemingly insignificant moments can evoke the most powerful emotions. I love that I can look at photos and remember the exact moment in time. I can remember exactly what I was thinking, feeling and doing when the picture was taken. And maybe in that moment, life wasn't particularly great, but I can look back and know that that person in that picture survived. She moved forward.

I don't own a very nice camera. It's not a DSLR Canon or Nikon (although I am saving up). And a lot of the times I use the flash directly from my camera *gasp* because my camera's settings aren't the greatest and sometimes the pictures come out fuzzy/blurry. None of that keeps me from being happy with the moments I have captured.

I am proud of what I have created. I'm proud of how much I have grown in the past year as a photographer and a person. And I am no longer scared of being proud of the pictures I have taken.

And even though photography has become such an important aspect of my life, I've never treated it as more than a hobby to my peers because I'm scared to admit just how important it has become to me. I'll catch myself praising a picture I took and then veer off and insult myself in the same breath. This isn't because I don't believe that the pictures I take are good or that I personally don't believe in myself, it's because I'm too scared of what other people will think.

What if they think I'm just awful? They probably laugh at me behind my back.  

The truth is, I don't take these photographs for anyone else's approval, praise, or criticism. No one else's opinions matter except my own. And if I am proud of the work I have done or the things that I have accomplished then that is all the reassurance I need. I'm not saying that criticism is a bad thing, I'm just saying that I don't let it take away from my own opinion and I don't let it cloud my judgment.

I don't claim to be the best at anything, but that doesn't mean I can't be proud or feel accomplished with myself.

I'm moving past this fear. I no longer feel the need to be insecure about what I do and I'm allowing myself to feel that sense of pride. There is no sense in living life taking everything that everyone else says or believes personally. Ultimately in the end, it matters what I think of myself.

4 comments:

  1. I loved this post a lot, I guess we're on the same stage and page at the moment. It feels like I could say this: "I constantly feel the need to document my life because even the seemingly insignificant moments can evoke the most powerful emotions." So true! I can't explain and don't even try to explain to others why I have this constant need to take photos and document stuff.
    You're right: do it for yourself, don't compare and don't expect anything from everyone else! I have to remind it myself, too.

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    1. Thank you :) Glad to hear that you could relate!

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  2. Wow-I just came across your blog and I cant believe how much I relate to this post! I go through the same feelings of worrying far too much about what people think and feeling that I don't measure up in comparison to others. Especially in regards to photography and blogging. This is a great reminder and encouragement that when we feel like this, all we really need to remember is that we are doing it because its what we love and what makes us happy and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks! Glad I came across your blog-you have a new follower! (:

    http://never-endingsummer.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you that's so awesome. I'm so glad you could relate. :)

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