My Worth

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The other day Jen asked me the question “Do you feel you’re worth something?” and while she was referencing my photography and if I should be paid for my work it was a question that went a lot deeper than financial.

As for my photography, a lot of the portrait work I have done for people I feel is worth a lot. Looking at what I did and what they got out of it I do think I could have asked for money for it. But there is always the fear that it was luck or that next time I’ll have my camera set on the wrong setting, which I happened to do in Ireland.

I don’t have much faith in myself and that is something you really need to get anywhere in this world. It’s no wonder I can’t stick to a healthy lifestyle or why projects I start tend to dwindle or why I keep pulling back from the next step with my photography. I have yet to really prove to myself that I can do this, that I have it in me.

This is something that has come up in therapy many times. She’s pointed out that I’ll start a running program and do really well but about 3 weeks in I find some reason to lose my momentum. Is it fear of actually succeeding or fear of what I believe to be immanent failure? Is it just easier to just let myself down? It sure doesn’t seem that way.

I don’t know how to break out of this cycle, but I know I’ve been tired of it for months. I know that my situation makes it harder but I know it’s not an impossible situation. Yes, I commute 10+ hours a week. Yes it’s hard to eat well when you are struggling financially. Yes it’s hard to make changes when you feel you are going against the current.

I just know I have to pull myself out of this because otherwise nothing will ever change and that is a much worse fate than failing.

7 Comments

  1. Alissa

    April 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I swear I wrote this myself! I want to venture into paid photography or web design work, but I feel like I might fail and disappoint a client who then may feel my work is worth nothing. I also have done a running/eating well thing and lose momentum…here I am at 3 weeks and I’ve stopped running/eating healthy. I don’t know why I stop. I start a lot of projects, never to finish them. I think I get excited to try a lot of new things and then stop because I’m not as good at them as I thought. I want to be perfect at things without even trying, but in reality everyone needs practice.

    I had that issue come up in my therapy too. My therapist suggested I do something that puts me in an uncomfortable zone of about a 7 on a scale of 1-10. I haven’t done it yet…

    1. Robin

      April 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

      @Alissa: I wish I could say I’m a perfectionist but I’m not, at all. I just have no faith.

  2. Miss Britt

    April 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

    This fear of failure you’re describing is exactly why I tend to stick with things I’m “good at it”.

    I wish I had the answer. I wish we could all learn to celebrate trying instead of succeeding or failing.

    1. Robin

      April 1, 2010 at 11:07 am

      @Miss Britt: I think if my efforts gave me more results, just a smidge quicker or more to show, I’d have more confidence.

  3. Pauline

    April 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Having self confidence and sticking with something is an issue that I have struggled with too! But its never too late to try and make changes in your life! 🙂

  4. subWOW

    April 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I can’t give you any advice since I am the worst offender myself. I just want to offer you my moral support. It is much harder when you are an artist or at the very least, someone with skills and crafts that people ought to pay you for your work than say my working in a corporate 8 to 6 job. Much much harder.

  5. subWOW

    April 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    By the way, that self portrait of yours? I love it!

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