I know that you sometimes feel like you’re in a trap-a mind trap-a mind labyrinth.
Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night unable, but desperately wanting, to go back to sleep. You are racked with torment over whether you photographed something correctly, all the images you may have missed and you immediately start running a mental checklist, your mind goes crazy thinking of all of the ways you’d like to be a better mom, the people it’s been too long since you’ve talked to, you wonder if people will like your photos you’ve taken, you remember all of the things you should have already done and the many things still on your list begging for your time, you begin considering the possibility that you may never make money again.
You spiral. At 2am. And you’re miserable. And when the light of day comes you are already bugged at yourself for what you haven’t done and at the day for making it start off on such a rotten, already-behind-the-8-ball/haven’t-even-gotten-out-of-bed-yet-note.
You are normal!
Having all of those negative thoughts are frustrating and exhausting. I get it. And I want you to know you are not alone. You are not the only one who makes mental lists of everything you’re not and all of the ways you don’t measure up. You are normal.
Yes. You. Are. Normal.
Your mind is just trying to help you. “What?!?” you say. It’s true though! Your mind is just trying to help you.
Your brain is doing it’s job
The truth is, your mind wants to keep you safe. When you do things outside your comfort zone it kind of freaks out. When you try to become a better mom or a better photographer you’re changing the homeostasis of your body. Your changing your status quo. Your brain doesn’t want that! Your brain’s job is to keep everything running just as it is running. It’s main goal is to always keep returning everything to a balanced state. If an infection gets in your body…it attacks it and brings your body back to functioning as it always is supposed to function. It’s a good brain. It’s doing what it was designed to do.
Except when it’s not being very helpful.
This information is good for you to know. That way, you will be able to notice that your brain is just trying to protect you. Yay! For your brain!
At the same time, I don’t want you to be miserable while your brain desperately tries to keep you safe.
Try a couple of these games:
The “Thank you, brain” game: When your brain starts giving you the run around and desperately trying to keep you from believing you can change or accomplish things today, just say, “Thank you, brain! Aren’t you sweet for trying to keep me safe? I appreciate you, but…I’m going for this anyway!”
The “What if…” game: Most of the time our brains want us to go into the ‘what if…my clients totally hate all of their images’ or ‘what if my kids never stop fighting? After the day we’ve been through, it’s very possible.” or ‘what if…no one ever books me again’ -mode of thinking. But what if we ‘what if-ed’ the other direction? ‘What if…my clients LOVE their images?” (because if we’re honest…they always do) ‘What if…after today my kids will be friends their whole life because we learned how to talk to each other?’ (because if we look at it differently…they really only have days like today once in awhile and you do teach them a great life skill) ‘what if…I get so many opportunities I have to begin turning things down?’
“Before you go to bed” game: Instead of making a list of all of the things on your list that you didn’t get done and transferring them to another new list for tomorrow…make a list of all of the things you DID get done. Also, keep a running tab of all of the money you’re making!! Keep it as a running tab on your phone. Start with the number that you wish you could make over then next 6 month. The goal you want to reach. And each week tally out all of the money that’s come in. Look at your bank account/Paypal account/wherever you run your business money through. Look it over and minus every bit of money that comes into your account. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re getting to that number you want to reach. The truth is, we are always looking at the amount that’s actually in our account. We say we want to make $10k, $30k, $60k, $100k but our account never actually has than much in it at one time…so we believe that we are always so far from our goal. It’s pretty exciting to see that the TRUTH is that you’re reaching that goal much more quickly than you thought!!
“What did you contribute?” game: At the end of the day, ask yourself, “What did I contribute to the world? Your contribution could be to your own life, your family, your business, or the world. I have a feeling if you take an honest look, you’ll see that you’re contributing in beautiful ways everyday that you’ve been missing. Keep a little book about your contributions. You’re adding value to lives and the world everyday…it’s time for you to see it.
“See your day” game: Before your feet hit the floor, instead of laying in bed thinking of all the things on your list waiting for you to get your booty out of bed, take time to day dream about your day. Envision what you’re going to notice today, how you want to feel today, let some wonderful idea of what today could hold for you and give it space to grow, give it light, let it fill you. Imagine how things go well for you or how you take things that don’t go well in stride.
You are doing amazing things, Davina! Let yourself see them.
::The Dear Davina series is new!! All of the posts from this series is from a journaling exercise I started where I tell address myself as I would talk to a friend. Giving myself more grace and understanding and tapping into the part of me that is love, kindness, and sees possibility. We all have both of these sides to us. I wanted you to know that you are not alone if you’re struggling with some of the same things (if it helps, replace my name with your name). We are all normal! If you have something that you’d like me to write about in my Dear Davina series, please feel free to let me know via email at davina (at) davinafear (dot) com.
Davina Fear is a Familyness Photographer and Adventurer. She photographs Day in the Life sessions for families while she road trips around the country and has plastic sword fights at QuikTrip at 4am (see those adventures on her instagram feed @davinafear ).