Self-acceptance. There are so many times in our lives and businesses that we are caught comparing our selves to others, and you know what? We need to stop because our journey is not the same as anyone else's. However, I know first hand how difficult it can be to stop those comparison wheels from turning. I know that hen I have been stuck in looking over people's Instagram profiles I feel myself wondering, "why can't that be me?" or "Why am I not that successful?" It's sometimes hard to imagine those who we look up to or those we compare ourselves to as having once been in our shoes. It's hard to imagine that they were ever beginners at something because all we see is what they are accomplishing now. But we all start somewhere.
Self-acceptance is the art of loving yourself enough to love your own journey and not someone else's.
I always loved being a part of creative education where the leaders, the people that I looked up to, would show a piece of their work when they first started. It helped me to better see that they have also went through a journey in their business, a time of growth that brought about experience and success. This always helped me to see that, really, in the grand scheme of things, I am doing alright, but we never see this on social media. We only see the many time perfectly curated feeds, thus creating a mindstorm of negative thoughts about myself and where my business is going.
As creatives we dream, a lot. Like, probably almost everyday. We may dream about our business destination, what we see life to be like in 5 years, or about our next big idea that comes to life. But these things take time. Some of these things might come to fruition faster than others, and our journey to get there is different than others. I am currently learning this with patience, especially as I am forced to keep one leg elevated as I nurse an Achilles tendon injury. When it happened, it didn't hurt that much, but the tears flowed down when I thought of the loss of business I would be enduring with photography. I have a sweet knee scooter, but that is not helpful for trying to get around during a session. I kept thinking, "What is the Universe trying to tell me?" This is a time of me having to accept that my photography journey is about to take a turn toward slow progress because of circumstances that I have no control over.
When we see that our journey, however fast or slow, is taking us somewhere, then we can set aside the comparisons and concentrate on own meaningful work.
Does this make me mad, honestly it did for a couple of days. In fact, it kind of made me want to quit, but deep down I knew that in this time of rest and recovery, even if I can't physically go to shoots, I can still plan and work on my business systems, a more solid business plan, and actually take the time to create the client experience that I have been dreaming of doing for a while now. There is was. My journey is still continuing, even when it doesn't look like others'.
When we can see that our journey, however fast or slow, is taking us SOMEWHERE, then we can set aside the comparison and concentrate just on our own meaningful work. Self-acceptance is the art of loving yourself enough to love your own journey and not someone else's. Again, this is no easy feat, and even in loving myself, I need work. However, I believe that if we are determined enough to make a change toward bettering ourselves, then progress and success are well-abound, even in ways that we least expect. Think of a time when you felt like giving up. Did it feel like the world was against you? Maybe you had to take a break from y our business because some unforeseen circumstances came up, and you are unsure if you want to start back up again. Maybe your journey isn't about your business at all, maybe you find yourself comparing your person life to others'. No matter where you are in this path, know that this journey is yours and yours alone. This journey is shaping you into a better person, and this journey will get you to a perfect destination.