Fear has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.  One could argue that fear is meant to protect us, but I would argue that not all fear is created equal. Yes, fear has a way of protecting us, but it also has a way of keeping us small.

I’m not talking about primal fear.  Primal fear is the kind of fear that keeps us safe when our lives are at risk.  I’m talking about what I’ll call emotional fear.  Emotional fear is the internal thought that questions your worthiness and ability to perform.  They are the thoughts that keep you from asking for the raise because you’re afraid to hear the word NO and it will mean that you are unworthy — or writing the blog post because you’re afraid of what people will think {guilty} Emotional fears are often rooted in subconscious beliefs and are personal insecurities disguised as fear.  

The first time I experienced this was when I was having a panic attack 4 hours before my flight to Seattle when I moved across the country in 2013.  At the time I was terrified that I was making a huge mistake.  The 20-something me knew that I should move, that I should at least give it a try, but the little girl in me was terrified.  I remember my Mom asking me what I needed and I looked at her teary eyed and said, “I need you to make a decision for me.” and she looked at me and said “I can’t do that for you.” That’s when I realized that I had to stand on my own two feet, face my fears, and own who I was. 

Never let fear be a deciding factor.

From that point on I’ve always told myself to never let fear be a deciding factor…{unless you’re being chased by a tiger of course, then run}.   Instead fear has become a point for pause and reflection for me to check in with myself and make sure that I was staying true to myself and my values and not listening to my ego.   

Over the course of my adulthood I’ve constantly battled my own ego, subconscious beliefs, and insecurities.  Every time I think I’ve kicked them to the curb, they sneak up on me when I least expect it. You can bet your bottom dollar they came up when I decided to leave my corporate job, start a new brand, and spend more time writing and creating for my blog, which is what I am actually writing about. So keep reading.

I’ve always wanted to build something of my own, so several years ago I started a blog.  It started out as a place where I would share recipes and travel food guides. Albeit, it wasn’t robustly populated {I worked on it when I was energized to}, but it was the creative outlet that I needed at the time. 

Over the past year it has become more front of mind as I’ve become more inspired to create and share my own ideas within the fashion, food, wellness and travel spaces — and that’s when the fears came up. 

Sometimes you have to look fear in the eye and say, “thank you, next”.

This past week I noticed it most when I wanted to post something related to fashion or when I would use the word blogger, or blogging in reference to myself.  It all had to do with a fear of perception and what I have to offer.  

There are so many, very talented, women in an already saturated space creating beautiful content that it seemed like a lost cause even posting outfit inspiration.  It took me writing down what I had to offer and how I would do more than just post a pretty photo of what I was wearing or eating with a vague emoji caption to realize that my point of view is valuable. 

As I continued to reflect, I realized that I have my own personal hang ups with the word blogger and blogging {most definitely with the word influencer} that I didn’t realize I had.  My own subconscious belief was that blogging wasn’t credible because literally everyone and their Mom has a blog or is an influencer regardless of how authentic they were.  To be honest, I didn’t want to get lumped in with that.  In my mind, I would rather be associated with a writer or a photographer, or stylist—things I would hardly call myself an expert in, but most certainly having an opinion on.  

However as I’ve spent more time writing, taking photos and creating posts…it’s hard work.  Unless you have a team of creatives, you’re literally creative director, writer, photographer, graphic designer and tech support on any given day and I love it.  So why the jaded perception? Simply put, there’s a lot of noise out there that I didn’t want to get caught up in.

I don’t want to be perceived as a product pusher or fake, or someone that is just doing it for attention or to get free stuff because that is so far from what I’m interested in doing or why I’m doing it.  Aside from doing it for the sheer creative fun of it, what I really want to do is build a brand and community around what I am passionate and I see blogging {I don’t think I’ll ever like that word…}, content creation and sharing as a creative way to do that.  

This is where I had to step back and look at it from a birds eye view.  Because you know what? I can’t control what other people are going to think—all I can do is be me and go with my gut. Even if it means being a little uncomfortable while I find my creative voice in this digital world that we live in. 

Sometimes, you have to look fear in the eye and say, “thank you, next.”

XO 

-S

portland photorgraphy
October 17, 2019
October 24, 2019

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