It's Month 6 and, while I feel like I'm finally starting to find my groove, I'm also starting to see a lot of my "bad" stress habits rear their ugly heads. I have a constant feeling of at least semi-anxiety and my old enemy, Insomnia, has made a reappearance (I've been up since 3am this morning...). I'll wake up in the middle of the night for one reason or another and when it's time to go back to sleep, my brain refuses to shut down. I start replaying my most recent photo session, making mental notes of what I need to improve, or I'll run my financial sheets in my head to see if I missed something. I may need to bust out my old bar study tricks of lavender-scented everything and pre-bed time yoga/meditation. Do you ever have insomnia? How do you deal with it?
There's also a tiny bit of fear looming in the back of my mind pretty much 24/7. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of everything. It's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be very motivating. Fear of failure motivates for obvious reasons but fear of success can be an even stronger driving force. The more successful the business becomes, the greater responsibility I feel towards clients, potential clients, and myself. The reality is, that fear is forcing me to constantly work on and improve my customer service and how I represent my brand. Again, not a bad thing, but it's a new thing. And like most new things, it requires an adjustment period. Learning how to manage, and accept, the fear is a work in progress. But then again, what isn't?
Of course, it's not all stress-tastic around here. I often find myself feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. I just can't believe I actually get to do this - to work for myself in a career tailored to my passion. Words can't describe how much joy I get from photography and the fact that other people get joy from my photos - and actually want to pay me to take some for them - makes me feel all mushy-gushy inside. Work always seemed like a chore to me before. It was something you did because you had to and if you can find something you somewhat enjoy then you're better off than most. Never did I think you could actually love your work. Who knew you could fall in love with your career? Then again, when your work involves moments like this, how could you not love it: