My heart was racing so fast it felt like I had just had a sprint around the block!!!
It was Day one of the Fearless Wedding Photographers Conference in Aachen Germany and I decided not to miss a single talk even though my slot to speak was at 3.30pm near the end of the day and I probably should have been practicing my presentation.
As I sat there listening to these incredible world class photographers speak to 260 of some of the best photographers in Europe and the world I could feel my body reacting to the fear of not being good enough. It rushed through me like a flood. Hot sweaty palms, blood thundering through my ears like red hot drums. All I could see was that enormous stage, speakers dwarfed by their colossal pictures!
Who was I to speak to all these people? What if I forgot my whole speech? What if I stumbled over my words and said UMMMMM too much? What if the audience thought I was talking nonsense?
And then I went home to BREATHE.
I was invited to speak at this international conference for a reason. I belonged there. Everything was just as it was meant to be!
I had to talk myself down. I had to be still. I had to connect with my heart and get out of my head.
The brain plays tricks on us all the time to keep us safe by exaggerating risk. Anxiety is the physical manifestation of fear.
If I had to listen to my inner critic I can assure you I wouldn’t have done most of the most exciting and wonderful things that have happened in my life. My inner critic is a bitch. She loves to tell me how much I suck. She loves to hold me back.
But I know I am so much more than my thoughts so I know that it is so important not to be consumed by the head.
And in the end the talk went well. I felt revitalized by the fact that I overcame my fears and that I got up on the stage despite the nerves, despite the head, despite being all alone. Yip I traveled to Aachen alone and didn’t have a friend to hold my hand or give me a hug before going up there. In the end I congratulated myself for being the first South African wedding photographer to speak at this conference and I met so many absolutely, awesome people some of whom I now call friends and most importantly I had a heart warming response from so many people who resonated with my message. I realised just how brave I can be. I realised I can do alot more if I work on my mind and still the negative self talk crap! It was a life changing experience!
It all starts with breathing, stilling the mind and then putting one foot in front of the other!
What’s holding you back in your photography and life? The inner critic loves to sabotage us into safety. If I can talk to the huge crowd below I promise you you can accomplish so much more than your mind is allowing you to believe!!!
If you’re a photographer and would like to work with me I have two workshops coming up in June with very limited spots available. Send me a DM and I will send you a link to the webpage where you will find all the details.
PS I would like to apologise to the photographer who took the last two black and white images I stupidly forgot to save your details and I now can’t find you on Facebook to credit you! Thanks so much if you’re reading this. The first was taken by the amazing Niki Boon and the last by Dries Renglé