The struggle is a part of the journey.
ARE YOU STRUGGLING?
Where do I start with this? Everyone and I mean everyone struggles or is struggling. Yet in a world where we are so heavily connected with one another through technology not enough people are talking about this. Everyone is so desperate to show off their highlight reel to the world even when the reality can be far from wonderful.
As someone in business, this can be a daily problem. The inner battle to show up every single day with enthusiasm and joy for your daily life in your business can be so bloody hard when you are actually facing relationship problems, sick children, cash flow problems, burn out and overwhelm. These are just a few of the struggles that I have experienced and I know others have as well.
The fact that we still carry on despite these struggles and challenges shows the incredible resilience and strength needed to be someone in business. So why do we pretend otherwise? It's a vicious cycle of everyone pretending and making other people who are potentially sharing the same experience as them feel like shit.
When the reality could be that we are more open about these struggles with one another and therefore forming deeper connections and a more supportive network where everyone can thrive and feel that the reality of their journey is valued.
One of the biggest examples of this is what the wedding industry has looked like this year. So many people (myself included) has seen a drop in bookings and a massive change in the booking patterns of clients. This has caused uncertainty for so many people who are reliant on the income from their wedding business. Families to support, bills to pay... It's hard enough not having a guaranteed salary but mix that with a sudden drop off and suddenly you can find yourself in a very lonely and scary place. All the while social media is showing you how well everyone else is doing.
So you immediately go to a place of 'well there must be something wrong with me'
That was where I was for all of the Winter. All the while helping to care for my dying Grandad and trying to show up in my marketing regularly with a false positivity about me while inside my heart was breaking and I couldn't understand where my usual level of success had gone.
Panic was setting in. Lonely, self-critical panic.
Then I reached out and I shared with others in my industry what was going on, maybe they could help or even just be supportive. I am fortunate that I have learned many a time how much people actually want to support you when you are open about your struggles. The response was unexpected, I had been conditioned through my newsfeed that it was only me that was going through this when the reality was that the people I spoke to were sharing the same experience with me. Immediately the inner-critic dissolved, there was nothing wrong with me.
Additionally, the response of my peers was also that they thought I was doing brilliantly because of my pretence, I had added to the problem going along with the never-ending pressure to make everything look brilliant all of the time. This is especially true in the wedding industry, we are the people who make one of the happiest days of people's lives possible, there is no room for negativity.
The validation that I wasn't alone suddenly gave me choices. I realised that my struggle was not as bad others, I was going to survive. The simple act of reaching out and being honest freed my mind and opened up my ability to stop having short-term reactions and start thinking long-term again.
That's what happens to us when we are in a state of distress, we go into a state of survival and literally cannot make anything but short-term reaction based decisions to the environment that's causing our state of anxiety. Reaching out to others who can understand and realising you are in a shared experience can immediately alleviate this state.
In my mind, I have turned it around and I now have a plan. In the process, I have also helped others which has helped with my sense of value and confidence. I also realised I needed an additional income, one that could give me some stability for when the over-saturated wedding market decided to take a drop so we saw the creation of The Woman & The Wolf. I have gained new marketing skills through realising that I needed to make a change if I still wanted my wedding photography to be there in the future as the industry goes through this shift.
My struggle is a part of my journey, it's what makes me strong, it's what makes me better.
So is yours.
So let's start to see it as something of value. To stop reacting to our struggles as something that makes us less of a success but more of a success because despite the challenges we face we still carry on and believe in ourselves.
The struggles will always be there at every level as we move through our journey so embracing them and sharing them is of the utmost importance for your mental health and also for the business community.
This week I am going to be really focusing on this subject as I really do believe it's important. I am going to be going live on my Facebook Page about it and I will be doing further blog posts on how to deal with struggle and turn it around.
If you need help or are feeling alone please reach out, I am always happy to listen and support.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH ME?
I am looking for 1 more person to come on a little adventure with me. Helping people is something I love and over the years in business and life I have developed a lot of skills and knowledge that I know can help others both through the struggles of business and in breaking patterns that cause us damage.
It's 8 weeks of working together and its totally free as I have no idea what this looks like yet and because I am a practical person I need to do it before I can define it. The first week will consist of a day together in Sevenoaks, Kent in the countryside (nature is playing a big part in this) and then the following 7 weeks will be 1hr sessions on Zoom.
What I expect from you is to actively take part (anything we discuss will remain totally private and between us) give me honest feedback and if I help you then a testimonial.
If you would like to know more and have a chat just fill in the form.
My name is Ami and I am primarily a photographer based in London who specialises in personal brand and commercial imagery for women in business.
I offer a range of service from full branding to mini headshot sessions that I hold 4 times a year. I really believe that the best way to connect with your clients is on an emotional and personal level that be done through beautiful imagery.
I also offer empowering boudoir photography for women who want to be brave and show a side of themselves they have never let out before and these are called The Wolf Sessions.
I am also a wedding photographer at Rubie Love Photography so emotion and authenticity is something I am not only an expert in but I also thrive on.
If you want to know more about what I do just click on the buttons