Fear limits potential

As I reflect on the evolving role of photography in my life, I see that fear was a limiting factor onto what I can accomplish. 

For one, I started photography because I was scared of people. It sounds silly, but I always felt insecure, self-conscious, and nervous when talking to people; asking for a cup of water would get my hands all sweaty. I used photography to help me break out of that by challenging myself to approach strangers, take their photograph, and learn their story. 

Before I knew it, I fell in love with photography and began my journey of becoming a better photographer and somehow combining that passion with loving people. 

As I started out photography (and still to this day), I have a tiny little voice in my head whenever I share my work that whispers, "your work isn't good enough. these pictures suck. why are you even sharing these?" 

Over the years, I came to realize that the little voice wasn't me; it was fear. 

See, fear doesn't want to be seen, heard, or shared. Bréne Brown says that the solution to fear is not to cover it up, but to share it; be vulnerable with it. Allow people into your life in the midst of the storm; Allow people to love you and your imperfections. 

This is what I've learned: love and fear can not co-exist. 

If you've been following me for a while, you have probably seen my style of photography change multiple times. Each time I change, I battle with myself: "are people going to like these? what if people hate this new style? what if I'm rejected? what if- what if-?" 

And sometimes, as the result of these "what-ifs", I let fear get the better of me. I don't share anything at all. And I feel sad and discouraged before anybody even said anything!

Fear tricks us to believe that we're not good enough, we're not worthy of love, that nobody cares about us anyways. Fear makes us believe that God has stopped caring about us.

But I want to say this today. I don't live in fear anymore. I don't live in fear anymore because God's love is inside of me. I still FEEL fear, but it's not my ruler anymore. Instead of numbing the fear and covering it up, I lay it out and give it to Jesus. The King of my life, is love and love is God. 

I'm forgetful. Sometimes I forget all these things and I let fear and worries get to me. But whenever that happens, I remind myself: chill out ed, He's got you, He loves you, He's proud of you, He's got you.