I sweat more than most people. I always use the industrial strength roll ons! When I’m nervous I sweat even more. The more I sweat, the more nervous I get and the more my confidence starts to crumble.
You should have seen me on my wedding day in the heat and humidity of Malaysia. My crown started sliding down my face I was so lacquered in sweat.
I never had any confidence from an early age. I’m kinda funny looking and short, so I was bullied at school. When I went to university my confidence continued to nosedive as it became clear a girlfriend was going to be harder to come by than I’d hoped.
After university it took me two years to get a job. I was then made redundant after 6 months. I then had several years being bullied by a couple of bosses who I’m pretty sure had a touch of psychopathy.
Being rejected by classmates, the opposite sex and the world of commerce was an excellent combo for ensuring I was riddled with insecurity.
So if you find it hard to master your nerves and lack confidence then believe me, I get it.
But, you don’t have to feel this way.
I overcame it and so can you.
How to build up your confidence
The great motivator Brendon Burchard says that confidence comes from a set of daily practices. You have to change your behaviours. Confidence comes from being willing, worthy and capable. So what does that mean?
- Take control. You can take control of your photography business by doing things like:
- Planning what you’re going to say and do during sessions
- Scouting locations so you’re prepared for what you’re going to do and where
- Discuss with your clients what they want so you can be sure you’ll be creating images in a style they’ll like.
- Competence is critical too. If you’re not competent you won’t be confident. What do you need to know to be more competent? What are you doing to get better at those things? If the answer is nothing you’ll never get out of your funk. To gain competence and confidence at anything we have to focus on learning it through creating a planned and scheduled series of habits to ensure you don’t take your eye off the ball. Successful people have successful habits.
- Brainwash yourself. What three positive words best describe you? What three words do you need to remind yourself of during a session to prompt you into that set of behaviours? Put reminders in your phone several times a day that reminds you of the person you want to be. Every morning I put motivating and educational information into my mind. As I became more knowledgeable about business and psychology I became more confident. It’s no different from driving a car. When you first get in you’re a hot mess, but as your skills grow you feel like you can drive while eating a sandwich, reading a map and texting your friends at the same time (please don’t do that!)
- Caring. Confident people take better care of themselves through exercise, learning, sleep, eating, less stress.
- Latch onto something you’re proud of. It could be your sense of humour (it was for me). Despite my issues I did actually have a lot of good friends because I was fun, easy going and helpful. The more I focused on that the more worthy I felt. Ultimately those 3 words (fun, easy-going and helpful) became the basis of my photography brand and ultimately the inspiration for my ManKIND project where I’m doing a random act of kindness for someone from every country on earth.
Take the first step
Today I noticed I got so much more done than normal, because I didn’t analyse everything to death. I just ploughed through my ‘to-do’ list without agonising over every eventuality. Taking action is the best way to truly learn and gain confidence.
If you’re worried about clicking that button to make your website go live – just click it. It will force you into the next step, which is to answer the phone when someone calls.
Creating situations that force you into action is a great approach.
For example, it was easy for me to fill out the paper work to join a networking club. In turn, that forced me to actually turn up. If I hadn’t filled out the paperwork I probably never would have gone. My £55 a month membership forced me to attend and stand up in front of 70 people for 30 seconds twice a month and talk about my business. After a few meetings my confidence grew because repetition breeds confidence. The fear of the unknown disappears as soon as you take action, because it’s not unknown anymore.
Again, taking action, any action, breeds confidence. You feel pride in the fact that you’re doing something. Your website will never be perfect. Your first email newsletter won’t be either. Every photographer on the planet has had someone complain about their photographs. In fact, it happened to me yesterday, but because I bent over backwards to put things right the client was still delighted with me.
Feelings follow actions
The phrase ‘Positive thinking’ is actually back to front. Tests show that in reality feelings follow actions. This means that if you act like you’re confident then you’ll actually become confident.
If you smile, project your voice, dress sharp and stand up tall you’ll actually start to feel more assured.
Bad things will happen whether you follow your dreams or not…
…so you may as well run as fast as you can towards your goal. You’ll gather momentum and confidence with every action you take. Even the bad stuff will strengthen your resolve.
The best thing a photographer can do to build confidence
The quickest and easiest way of doing anything is to get someone who knows what they’re doing to do it for you!
That’s what Get Pro Photo Club membership is all about. For the price of a bottle of cheap vodka a month we help our members enjoy a wonderful life of freedom, creativity, inspiration, satisfaction…. ….and of course money! You don’t have to suffer alone. If there’s something holding you back, confusing you or frustrating you then we can help. You’ll no longer have to have all the answers yourself – we’ll give them to you. It’s like cheating on an exam paper, but it’s guilt free!!
99.9% of photographers don’t have a mentor to guide them, so they flap around for years before getting bitter and twisted and giving up. It’s crazy when you think about it. Accountants take their exams and lawyers go to law school but photographers and restaurant owners blindly dive straight in without any training or guidance.
The good news is that this makes it so much easier for us. Since so few photographers take the time to learn how to run their business you can leave them fighting over the price shoppers while you’re earning a great living doing what you love.
Your first month of membership is free, so you can check everything out and raid our vaults with no risk at all. You’ll discover step-by-step systems, secrets and templates that you can’t find anywhere else. Better yet, if you have a question we’ll guide you thoroughly onto the right path. We don’t leave you hanging.