Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 13: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome

Don't compare your beginnings
to someone else's middles.
~ Jon Acuff

Or in my case... don't compare your beginnings to someone else's masterpiece.

A few years ago I decided to take photography more seriously. I've always taken pictures of family gatherings, special events, and travel adventures, but I wanted more than snapshots. I wanted photographs.

This didn't seem like such an undertaking. Afterall, the camera does the work, right? All I needed to do was learn a few composition techniques and I was good to go. Or so I thought.

But the more I read and studied, the more I realized I did not know.

To help me with the educational process, I would regularly visit image-sharing sites like Flickr and 500px. I would analyze those photographs to help me improve my skills. The problem with this method, however, is that photographers only post their best work. They may take four hundred pictures but only upload ten. Who knows what the remaining 390 look like?

But that's the problem with comparison. I assume everything is as it appears.

I, therefore, reason that since my pictures do not measure up to the professional's cream-of-the-crop, I am no good. Rather than practice more and enjoy the process, I grow discouraged and quit.

The famous photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, once said: Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. Of course, he was speaking of film photography. That number would dramatically increase in this digital age.

In other words, Molly, let go of perfectionism. Be patient with the process and enjoy the journey. Pretend the first 100,000 images don't count. They are practice pictures. Don't compare yourself with others, but rather focus on your personal progress. Practice does not make perfect. However, practice does foster improvement. And that's the worthwhile goal.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way.
Psalm 37:7 (ESV)

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