The Importance of a Strong Why

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Happy Wednesday, friends! So I’m in the middle of a series to give encouragement to other aspiring photographers and other creatives in general called “So You Want To Be A Photographer?” where I’m sharing a little bit of my background and all of the fears I had to overcome in order to finally make that leap. If you’re just joining me, you can catch up by reading the first two parts here:

Finding My Passion

A Lesson In Taking A Risk

In Western philosophy, the idea that our surroundings and past experiences greatly influence and shape who we are/what we do/how we think/what we feel is pretty engrained into the culture. And when that translates into making change, pursuing dreams and breaking unhealthy habits etc, what ends up happening quite often is that people don’t think they are good enough to change or realize they CAN change. They continue to cycle through the same thoughts, emotions, and actions due in part by that way of thinking. So taking risks to pursue their dreams, usually doesn’t happen, or it takes a reeeeally long time (like me!). In the East, however, the philosophy that you/situations may be one thing today and can change to be something else tomorrow regardless of one’s past or present is what influences people’s outlook and way of life. Now, I’m not saying one is better than the other. They are simply two different ways of looking at the world and interacting within it. But recently, I’ve found that I have related more to the Eastern way of thinking and looking at life, and such is the reason I have been able to work through my deep set fears. Though it is still a work in progress, the idea that I am not I am not bound by my experiences, by my fear, by my past is incredibly empowering. I may have not recognized my worth before… I may not have believed in myself enough to pursue this earlier and I may have been plagued by fear and comforted by routine for a long time, but it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. I can CHOOSE to change. I can CHOOSE to be someone else… or rather, a more authentic version of myself starting TODAY. See, it’s all about choice and perspective.

photo by: SA | Sue-Ellen Aguirre Photography

Now how does this relate to having a strong why? Well, first, let me get into what having a WHY actually means. Having a WHY means you have established what your motivation is behind pursuing your dreams. In my case, it’s the why behind me pursuing photography as a career. This motivation has to be stronger than “I’m doing this because it’s my passion! I’m doing this because I love taking photos!”. I hate to break it to you, but that won’t cut it, because truth be told, real life isn’t always so smooth. There are ugly days. Days where maybe you doubt your love of photography. Days where you doubt your talent and days where you’re stressed out and your “passion” fizzles out. See, passion is fleeting. The idea of passion is a big misconception to pursuing dreams, because in the beginning of everything, there is always passion. It’s an exciting new venture with endless possibilities. But after a while, and after the dust of passion settles, you’re stuck with the nitty gritty of owning a business. And yes, photography has a complicated not so fun business side. You’re having to do tasks unrelated to photography that take up a lot of time, but necessary in order to keep your business afloat. What ends up happening is that you come upon seasons where you get bogged down or overwhelmed. And you start to think, “WHY am I even doing this?” “This isn’t what I thought it would be, or what I want.” There will be times that you feel you’re stuck in the mud and you might start to look elsewhere for stimulation or sense of purpose in hopes of reviving that initial flame of passion you had with photography or maybe even something else totally unrelated! That’s what happened to me until I finally embraced photography. And this happens more often than people care to admit or be honest about.

So when you have a strong why… a why that will get you through those tough times, a why that will sustain you beyond the initial passion you feel, a why that fills you up and and nourishes your mind and heart, you’ll be able to answer that question easily, despite being overwhelmed. Despite crying on your bathroom floor at midnight questioning your choices. You have to know that regardless of what your past looks like, what your present looks like in your personal life or business… things CAN change. YOU can change. YOU have the choice. And a strong why is what will help you make that decision to keep going, hustle though the hard times and make it out of the woods in whatever way that looks like.

Once you determine that why, every decision you make regarding your business should be filtered through that. That way, your business is a complete reflection of your philosophy and your reason which doesn’t necessarily makes things easier all the time, but does however instill a sense of trust in your clients and shows consistency.

After mulling over this idea for quite some time, I have finally figured out my why. I just need to find the right words to articulate it properly so that it actually makes sense. But pursuing photography has actually strengthened my heart, mind and marriage and my why will definitely reflect that in some way 🙂 Maybe I’ll share it in a future post!

Well, folks, that’s it for now! Stay tuned for the FINAL installment of this series called Tips to Getting Started which will be posted later on in September. In between that time, I’ll be showing some work I’ve done recently so stay tuned for updates! Thank you for joining me thus far in my journey into photography. It really means the world to have such supportive friends (even ones I’ve never met personally) from across the globe. This community over competition concept is so refreshing and I’m glad to be able to be a part of it. I’d love to know though, before we meet again next week, what is YOUR why? ♡

All my love,

S

6 thoughts on “The Importance of a Strong Why

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