What does it feel like when someone perceives your business as just a hobby?
I remember at the start of my photography business people told me that what I was doing was just a hobby. It made me feel small, it made me feel inadequate, and it made me feel like the hard work I had been trying to put into it didn’t matter. Quite frankly, it felt pretty crappy. Here was this dream that I had for myself, only to have it shot down and be seemingly unrealistic to those around me. Sometimes it is really difficult to bounce back from those words and judgements, but it is necessary to stay focused on how you feel about your own work and the purpose behind sharing it with the world in the first place, no matter how big or how small.
At times, when it seems like nobody is rooting for me, I look inward and cheer for myself. The best lesson that I have learned while taking up yoga a year and a half ago is that I am the only one who can create my own happiness and purpose. We are all wired to take the thoughts and opinions of others into consideration, and yes, this is important, but it is not more important than the words and opinions we have of ourselves. Those are the most powerful. They can be helpful. They can be destructive. They can be supportive. But most of all, I hope that they are words of love and encouragement for yourself and your journey in life.
When I start to take words of others personally, I know I need to start taking control of my thoughts, otherwise they will spiral into the destructive kind. I hate the way those words and questions to myself make me feel. Am I good enough? Is this a legit business, or am I a fraud and hobbyist as others say? Why can’t I make enough money to do this full time - that would show them! Instead, I need to have an internal conversation in my head to not be a bully to myself. Not matter what stage you are in in this life, don’t let the words and judgements of others make you feel inadequate. There are always things for us to learn about our craft and about ourselves, but just because we are smack dead in the middle of these journeys does not mean we will never get there or that we aren’t already growing in our knowledge and expertise.
What are some strategies you take to calm your mind when it lingers on the words of others? Are there things that you say to yourself? Is there an action that you go and do to get your mind off of it? How do you bounce back?
I challenge you to recognize and acknowledge these moments when we we talk negatively to ourselves. We can be our own best friend and support team, even when it feels like we are the only ones on our side. That is, and can be, the strongest form of support you have - just believe in yourself!
It takes time to practice self-love. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while, kind of like when you want to be sleeping but can’t and then you get mad at yourself for not being able to fall asleep quickly. Discover what helps you to calm your mind and those thoughts. Take the words of others in and learn to decipher which are truths and which you can decide for yourself. You create your own story, and it takes strength and courage to create that lasting, supportive friendship with yourself. You are wonderful and smart. I hope that you believe those words about yourself and put them into your internal dialogue, as it has helped me to take the steps toward believing that this dream of mine is possible.