Here’s Your Permission Slip – Conquer your Fear
Remember those things? The little slips of paper that you got from a teacher or authority figure that said that you could do something special. Maybe it was a trip to the bathroom, to head to the nurse or the front office, or something else. That little slip of paper had POWER. It meant that you didn’t have to be afraid of getting in trouble for doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing, that you were ALLOWED to be somewhere, or do something.
As a mother of two, I understand the concept – there are things that we don’t want our children to do without help or guidance. But I’m also concerned that the permission slips, or needing PERMISSION to do something, is teaching us that for some reason, we need permission to do the things we want and need to do as adults as well. Because what happens if you do NOT have permission?
You live in FEAR.
Hey there, I’m Brooke. We may have met in this incredible industry that we’re a part of, but just in case we haven’t, I’d love to tell you a little about me. I’m a wife and mother, and a successful boudoir photographer based in Denver, CO, but shooting worldwide.
Why does any of this matter when it comes to permission and fear?
Because I was a female entrepreneur and single mother when I started my own business, without permission. It was my side hustle. And not only did I start my own business, but I specialize in BOUDOIR – a genre that by its very definition breaks the rules and goes beyond the boundaries of permission and fear.
Let’s talk about FEAR and what it can do in your life.
Fear is a part of our brains for a reason – it keeps us safe. Back in the day, when a major predator was going to eat us because we lived in caves, our fear kept us alive. We had REASON to be afraid; our lives were centered around survival.
Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can stop you from making some big mistakes. As parents, we WANT our children to be afraid of some things. But as they grow, as WE grow, how can we look at fear differently? More importantly, how can we not let it keep us from doing the things that we need and want to do in our lives and businesses?
What is fear doing to you in your brain, what are the stories you are telling yourself that stop you? I know what my own fears do to me in my own head, but I asked in my Facebook group for examples of fear and what it is causing in my students’ photography businesses.
Fear of charging too much.
Fear of setting boundaries to avoid being taken advantage of as a small business owner.
Fear of going full time.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear that clients won’t see the value in what we do as photographers.
Fear clients won’t like the final product.
Fear of outsourcing and letting someone else handle things.
Fear clients will object to pricing.
Fear of failure.
Fear of success.
Conquering Fear in your Photography Business
I know that each of these statements could really be their own article – because really, there are so many things to discuss and address. But let’s look at the big picture here, and some actionable steps to move past these fears!
First – Acknowledge and feel it.
So many people advise to ignore the fears, but I would dare to say that I don’t think that is a solution.
“Fear can have a voice, but it doesn’t get a vote.”
Ignoring fear doesn’t make it go away.
That tiny voice in the back of your head isn’t just going to quiet down because you’re ignoring it. Chances are it will get louder and louder and take over even more of your attention – undeservedly. Acknowledge the fear. Feel it. Listen to it. Then tell it that while you appreciate the input, you are going in a different direction.
Second – Ask yourself and really give yourself some time to consider: how does this fear serve you?
Chances are, it doesn’t. Let that one sink in for a minute. I would bet that this fear, the voice that is terrifying you into not doing something you know you need to do, isn’t serving you at all. It’s probably coming from some other deeply rooted stories in self-worth, money blocks, or other issues. Either way, it’s not serving you. It’s not helping you reach your goals, it’s not helping you kick ass so that you can reach the next mark in your business that you KNOW you are capable of.
A mentor asked me this question once, and it was a really difficult thing to hear: Why is holding onto this fear MORE IMPORTANT to you than the accomplishment or goal that is on the other side?
When you give into fear and let it stop you from doing something, you are letting that fear be MORE IMPORTANT than the goal or accomplishment that is so possible.
It has more VALUE than your goals.
Than your dreams.
When you focus on that and allow it to change your actions, you are giving it far more value than it deserves. Sit down and think about this fear, and really ask yourself how this fear is serving you, what makes it so important or valuable.
And when you discover that it is NOT serving you, and it doesn’t deserve that value in your life, change your attention.
Third – Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen?
Years ago, I was at a wedding networking event with a friend of mine and casually mentioned that I was afraid of doing something even though I had always wanted to. She asked me why? I told her I wasn’t really sure, it was just scary.
She kept pushing and asked “What’s the worst that could happen? Will you die?” I laughed – of course not – this wasn’t a life or death situation.
So then WHY was I letting the fear keep me from doing something I had always wanted to do? Ask yourself over and over again – what is REALLY the worst thing that could happen?
So you decide to write a blog post that you know will polarize people and may not be popular. Are you going to die? Is your family going to have to live life without you?
You decide to set a boundary and will no longer do engagement sessions on Sundays. Are you going to die? Are you going to lose your home?
Fourth and Finally – Ask yourself, if I move past this fear and actually DO this, what COULD happen?
This can be a real eye-opener. If you write the blog post that you know some people won’t be happy about – are you going to really excite others that will then book you as their photographer because they’re so excited to work with you?
If you decide to charge more even though you’re afraid to – what could that really MEAN for your business? For your workload? For your family, and the time that you can spend with them because you don’t have to take on as many clients as you did previously.
If you decide to KNOW and charge accordingly for the value that you offer your clients, and some clients don’t see the value, do you really want them to continue as your clients? Or do you want to start attracting the clients that love and value what you do, creating a business that is not only profitable and sustainable but ENJOYABLE as well?
This final step is CRUCIAL to really get a higher level perspective on your fear. Yes, fear is important. From an evolutionary standpoint, it was absolutely vital for survival. However, it does not deserve a vote in our businesses, and our lives.
“if you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
So my challenge to you is this:
What is one thing that you wanted to do in 2018 that you have let fear talk you out of?
Maybe it’s a goal that is on your list. Maybe it is a connection that you’d like to make with an influencer. Maybe it’s raising your prices. Maybe it’s moving out of an area of photography that you really hate so that you have more time to spend on what you really love to do.
What is something that you want to change, that fear has kept you from doing?
Because here it is – your permission slip. On an obnoxious pink post-it note, with an official signature too.
You officially have permission to DO that thing that you have wanted to try, to work on, to DO, but fear has been holding you back.
You don’t really NEED a permission slip, but just in case that’s what you’ve been waiting for, here it is. Save it, print it out, stick it on your arm so you see it all day – do whatever you need to do, but it’s yours.
I would love to hear your feedback – what have you been waiting to do, what has fear told you that you CAN’T do?
What are you going to conquer this year, and tell fear that it doesn’t get a vote in this situation?
Click here to let me know what you’re going to make happen!