I'm not very good at talking about my successes. I hate people who always talk about how great they are so I tend to err too far on the side of caution, and that's not good for marketing or for myself. I suppose it's also partly because, as do most artists, I make the mistake of constantly comparing myself to others, which can be okay if you use it for inspiration and motivation but not so good if you let it make you feel like you're not good enough. It's too easy to forget that small achievements on the way to loftier goals are the secret to success, and it's hard not to fall into the trap of constantly pushing yourself to do better and never being happy with what you've achieved so far. If you don't celebrate your smaller successes you set yourself up for burnout.
So I've realized that I need to start talking about all of the good stuff that's been going on for me and today I'm celebrating some of the smaller successes I've had in the past few weeks, which actually aren't that small.
Thomas Hawk (yes that Thomas Hawk) recommended and circle-shared me as one of Google+'s Kick Ass Photographers.
Charles Lupica recommended and circle-shared me as one of Google+'s Most Interactive Theme Curators Who Rock (I curate Sign Sunday).
I competed in the Google+ Scavenger Hunt competition that is run by Chrysta Rae the last two rounds because it's a great way to push myself creatively. Each round competitors are given ten concepts that they have 30 days to photograph. The field is limited to 500 people and it's so popular that this month the sign-up limit was reached in just over an hour (fame, fortune and sweet prizes are at stake! Okay maybe not so much fortune...). And let me tell you, there is some scary good competition. The creativity and technical skills from some of these folks is mind boggling. When I think about who I'm competing against I'm pretty darn happy and proud that several of my photos have earned some firsts, thirds and honorable mentions, especially since shooting concepts isn't something I've done a lot of in the past. The first round I took a first, a third and two honorable mentions and tied for first place overall with my portfolio (but lost the tiebreaker.) Last month I really only put serious effort into one concept because I had so much on my plate, and that one image won a first place. Yeah, yeah, now imagine what I could do if I actually applied myself! Hey wait...this post is about getting rid of that kind of thinking!
I signed up for the next round. :)
Remember to give yourself a break and celebrate all of your little successes along the way toward your bigger goals...success is a journey and stringing all the little wins together is how you get there.