Last week I had an amazing indulgent time in Vegas at WPPI- the annual convention for professional wedding & portrait photographers. As always, I came home totally inspired and on fire! This year I had the chance to deepen relationships with some of my beautiful photographer friends. And there’s something very igniting about being surrounded with others who are headed in the same direction. It’s powerful!
It seems like every year at WPPI, I walk away with a “theme” that carries me through the year. And this year my biggest ah-ha moments came when talking with my female entrepreneur friends about “Risk Taking & Living Fully.” (my favorite subjects).
All week as I was surrounded with my beautiful, successful female friends, and as we sat in intimate lunches & late night talks it was interesting to hear a common theme. Every single woman struggled with what I call “the voice”. You know it…. that little (sometimes big) voice that says “who are YOU to shine so brightly? Take the safe route, have a back-up plan, that’s not rational, you’ll never succeed, You’re not ____ enough.” (fill in the blank).
Sometimes the voice comes from within, sometimes it manifests as family, friends, co-workers, who try to extinguish our inner-fire. Many times it’s even hard to pinpoint: “that sounds good, but shouldn’t you be safer in this economy?” What sounds like a well-intentioned family member, is really a fear based statement that can make us second guess following our big dreams.
So as the week went on, I realized that none of us is exempt from this. In fact I don’t know a single woman on the planet who lives “voice free.” And as the conversations evolved and we talked about the feminine emotional process of achieving our dreams (totally different from the masculine goal/strategy process which is equally important), it became clear that success is not achieved by extinguishing the voice, but rather recognizing it and saying “No Thank You!” To see our fears and walk right into them fully awake, to train ourselves to stay the course, focused on our dreams no matter what others say/do/or think. This is how we as women move forward. Then suddenly a whole other world opens up…. we find ourselves surrounded by like minded friends, we rendezvous with people who believe in our ideas. Things begin to shift.
The biggest key for me is looking back on my successes and remembering what brought me here. In the end, it was the scariest things, it was the biggest risks, it was the moments I wanted to run back into my hole… but didn’t. Those are the defining moments that made me real and successful, and happy. The moments I followed my dreams, fell in love, gave birth, dreamed big, danced fully, created a business, went out on a limb, those are the moments when I was fully alive and joyful. The things that scared me the most, have reaped the greatest rewards. So my friends, I wish you many scary moments.