Strike a Pose: Fear = Mislabelled Excitement
It was the night before the photoshoot, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring-
except my inner critic who was having a tantrum of denied-toddler-in -the-sweet-aisle proportions.
I know I'm doing something I need to to when it scares me. If my palms are sweaty and my heart is beating quicker than I'm comfortable with, it means I'm stepping into the unknown, Stepping towards growth, stepping out on an adventure. Travelling the world, public speaking, returning to an angry grey sea with a foam surf board... all of these things frighten but enlighten. I'm not scared so much as excited to turn up and give it a go. What's the worst that can happen?
I have no problem stepping into the spotlight if I can dazzle with words or tell stories to distract you from, well, me. But nothing frightens me more than getting in front of a camera and translating my story through image alone. No words to explain, just me. Raw and open...
We're living in an ever more image driven world and I'm feeling the call to get on Instagram and start sharing my life more and more. It's partly bragging, I'll be the first to admit, but it's also a more deep rooted desire to show how it is totally possible to live a life full of the things you love whatever your circumstances. You just have to choose your thoughts and seek the good that is always there. I watch Instagram legends such as Sarah Askiwombe or Estée Lalonde produce reels of Instagram Lives that inspire action from their followings and think "I can totally do this". I'm not talking about conversions, far from it. But it is possible to use social media as a tool to help and connect - not just share cat videos and Kardashian bums. I feel I have something to give and I know getting in front of the camera is an excellent way to do so. But then the doubt hits and I turn the camera off. Back to the cat videos...
The last time I tried a 'photoshoot' two years ago, I hired my Mum and it descended into "I hate how I look, let's just go get cake and coffee" quickly. A good afternoon followed, but you as you can see, this isn't my natural forte.
I'm a firm believer in embracing fear. Feeling it and doing it anyway. My mantra of 2018 is Fate Favours the Fearless and I'm dedicated to nurturing the fierce, fiery, not fucking around part of myself. So obviously, if I'm afraid of getting in front of a camera and taking my self image seriously, the answer is to hire a photographer I respect and a stylist on top of her game. That's right, I'm paying people to look at me. Paying people to dress me and suggest stances and locations and who knows what else. I'm officially out of my depth and placing full trust in others. My control freak tendencies are rioting right along side my inner critic.
Part of myself is urging me to collapse into giggles every time a lense is pointed at me, another part is already planning all the imaginative excuses and 'apologies for being so shit' phrases I'll employ when everyone gives up, exasperated at this too big, too loud, too out there character who actually thinks people want to look at her...
But then, I listen beyond the noise and I hear another, deeper, thought. And it is saying:
And suddenly I'm feeling excited, not scared. My goofy grin usually reserved for tunes that make me stop is firmly fixed on my face and I begin to think 'what if this is great?!"
"What if this is the start of everything that's coming next? What if I fall in love with myself all over again AND give those helping me some sick shots for their portfolios? What if this is just what I need to kickstart my Instagram game and reach new people who want to love their lies as much as I love mine? What if my fear of being seen has been keeping me small because being seen means movement and connection and an end to stagnation and oh my god this is going to be such a good experience even if I do just sit there looking like a deer in headlights, hey maybe that's my brand, maybe that's how this is going to role..."
And suddenly the thought spiral I'm engulfed in is filled with potential and positivity. My heart is beating a little faster and my cheeks are flushed. I'm excited and open and any expectations are lifted. No 'shoulds', no rules, just faith in the day ahead will involve a lot of fun and the chance to hang out with two awesome humans if nothing else.
The demons are still snarling in my ear, and I'm thanking them for their concern but politely letting them know that this is step in the right direction, They can either buckle up, hold on and quit complaining or they can leave because I can't hear them over my inner Madonna-inspired monologue anyway.
The best way to deal with fear is to do just that, deal with it. DO what is scaring you and show yourself you're better than your small thoughts. Take time to connect to that part of you that just knows and see how they feel about your situation. Chances are you're stronger than you thought and that fear is actually just mislabelled excitement for all the potential locked up inside you. Then, take a deep breath, smile at yourself in the mirror and go do whatever the hell is scaring you into living small and less than you're glorious badass self. Now, if you excuse me, I'm off to listen to Vogue on loop for the next hour. Strike a pose peeps!