I HAD INSTINCTS WITHOUT KNOWING IT
When I started photography, I was naive & had no idea. I knew nothing, had nothing, had no one to mentor me. Looking back I was naive as they get, tricked left & right by newbies and powerfully established Hollywood elite.
Despite their awfulness, what I had a was tool of precise aim and quite possibly the best radar in the world. What I had was believing in the process without knowing what it was and trust in my instincts. Again, I trusted my instincts without knowing it was the greatest tool I didn't know I had. I’d take that (instincts) over money and arrogance any day, any f*cking day of the week!
Years later I heard the headlights analogy and it reminded me of what I did without knowing I was doing it. Lets discuss that now:
A STORY TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Imagine asking someone to travel from LA to Miami. Most have no clue, but once you look it up it’s a long road called the Interstate 10 HWY. One can travel from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic on a single stretch of highway. Easy right? Sure, but most still would not take the trip, even with a straight road to the final destination.
Here’s why: Most would worry their car isn’t _____ enough (fill in the blank), that weather conditions would present obstacles, perhaps they question if it’s affordable or even if elements like crime, sleepless nights, hunger, accidents, or lack of cell coverage would limit their success. That’s understandable and all are logical fears, but one tactic that helped me was to not worry about the distant troubles.
For example, if I am driving through Riverside, CA. why should I worry about the traffic jam in Phoenix, AZ? If I get a flat in New Mexico, I should deal with that in New Mexico and not while in California. If there’s an accident, I can pull over to nap, or if the car overheats and needs repairs I could do odd jobs to find repair money. If there’s a severe storm, I can take shelter and wait it out, perhaps take that time to plan out the next patch of the road.
You see, when I decided that I would only worry about things in the immediate distance I became less afraid and more likely to jump at a new opportunity. I merely responded to what was in front of, or AS FAR AS THE HEADLIGHTS CAN SEE.
If you’re looking for a perfect time to launch your site or approach a client, there won’t be one. If you’re waiting to be good enough to shoot a certain style, you’ll never get there. You will always raise the bar, you will always want to do better.
Just start now because you'll never be perfect. Perfect is boring. Don't worry as much about things out of your control, things in the far distance. Worry only about what is in front of you, as far as your headlights can see.
It does not matter if you're a photographer, model, producer or any creative career. You do NOT give up, and that should never be an option for you. Erase that from your head right now! You can adapt and adjust. You can intake new information and reanalyze your path, but you are not allowed to stop and give up. You're not allowed to not try! Not because I said so, but because you're not allowed to cheat your future self!