Someone once said, “Autumn shows how beautiful it is to let things go.” As I pondered that statement, I began to take stock of some things that I need to let go personally but also professionally. I thought I would share a few things I’m working to let go.
While often seen as beneficial in our society, perfectionism is often self-defeating. There are many times I set unrealistic goals and when I don’t reach them, I begin to doubt myself. There are often moments when I stop doing, simply because I won’t do it perfectly. Robert Hillyer said, “Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world.”
As a business owner who also has young children, I often allow my bent to a perfectionist mentality to hinder me from doing work. “It’s not good enough.” “I can do it better.” “I’ll just wait and do it next week.” As Michael Law points out, “At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”
I’m beginning let go of this mentality and just get things done. Yes, I want things to look good and communicate well, but as Sheryl Sandberg once said, “Done is better than perfect.” I want to be able to let go of the need to have everything perfect so it doesn’t hinder me spending time with my family, being creative, laughing, enjoying time with friends….
It’s normal to compare ourselves to others but in our day when you just have to click open an app to see highlights of someone’s life, it can be harmful and draining. I’ve noticed in my own life, days where I’m not tied to my phone often leads to me being more carefree, energetic and comfortable in my skin. I often can sabotage these good things when I’m comparing myself as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Recently I took a week-long break from social but as I slowly eased back, began to feel my stomach tighten and feel others’ lives were somehow better. How crazy and terrible!
As a business owner, I often have to fight jumping on the bandwagon of a popular session that might not be what I want to do or sticking to my pricing when many times I see others almost giving away their time. Brené Brown said, “Stay in your own lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy.”
As a photographer, October begins the busy season when many clients book sessions. Personally, this time of year is also busy with birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and events to attend. We live in a busy world but this season, I’m planning on making sure I don’t allow busyness to lead to burnout. Like Dolly Parton said, “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
One big thing I did before we even got to this season was block out some weekends that I wouldn’t shoot. Having a wedding anniversary in October gives me the perfect opportunity to block out a weekend that gives me and my husband an opportunity to get away. Also my in-laws wanted to take a family trip, so another weekend has been blocked out for that.
During the week, I try to intentionally batch work so my mind can be focused on one creative area at a time (social media, photo editing, planning, writing, etc). Also, I try to get work done in time to start dinner and then not work until the next day (there are always exceptions to this). My mind works better in the morning and afternoon and I’m an early riser, so I find working late isn’t always best. Also setting boundaries with my clients gives us a healthy relationship. An email sent at 11pm will receive a response the next day.
Karen Salmasohn said, “Sometimes sitting and doing nothing is the best something you can do.” I plan to do some of this during the weekend with some coffee in hand.