We all do it. No matter how old we are or what business we are in, we all look for validation. We seek it from our peers, our clients, our family and our friends.
It’s human nature, a basic need.
We want to know that we are good parents, good business owners, good ski-ball players. Heck! We look for validation when we buy a new outfit or cut our hair. It’s something we crave because it makes us feel good about ourselves and the decisions we’ve made.
The last few weeks have been pretty rough for me. I haven’t felt very successful in…well, anything. That stupid, mean voice that resides in back of my head- I call her “Negative Nikki”- started talking and I couldn’t shut her up. Negative Nina know just where to hit to make me feel 2 inches tall. She told me I was a failure as a mother because I was overwhelmed and Little Dove was such a fuss basket. She called me dumb for trying to make it as a photographer and trying to live this dream of mine.
Then something great happened. I had 2 photos featured in 2 weeks! I was over the moon! Until…Negative Nina started talking again. Ugh!
I wasn’t until Monday night that I finally have an epiphany. Negative Nina is all in my head! She only has power because I give it to her. All I need to do is take that power back.
So what was it that finally brought me to realization?
Monday evening I received a package from Waipahu Intermediate School, where I spoke at a career fair in November. The package was full thank you letters from the kids that listened to me talk about photography and why I love having my own photography business. Many of the students said I had inspired them and encouraged them to follow their dreams. I cried reading these letters. They were so very sweet and came at just the right time.
Where they made to write the letters, yes. But I could still tell that I had reached many of them. Most thanked me for my time, some thanked me for letting them hold my camera and a few said they don’t want to be photographers. Awesome! There is no better feeling than to know that I have influenced at least one child, no matter what career they choose.
Knowing that I am enough is the gift they gave me. That standing in front of them and being myself, being honest and vulnerable was enough to them. That I don’t need to world to tell me my work is fantastic or I’m a good mom or that my hair looks amazing. Being me is enough- I am enough and I am worth it.