It Only Hurts If You Think It's True

Photography Business Advice Overcoming Negativity Sandra Coan Elena S Blair

I want to share something that just happened to me with you.

Back in March, I re-launched my ebook, The Missing Link: A Film Photographer's Guide To Off Camera Lighting.  The guide is the marriage of two things I'm very passionate about, film and beautiful light.  

I've worked on it for years, literally.  And I've spent a ton of time and money researching, shooting, testing and re-testing, writing and re-writing.  It's a bit of my heart and soul wrapped up in 90 pages and I'm very proud of it.

As I always do with a new project, I announced the release to my newsletter list first.  And, as alway, I got a few unsubscribes.  


Unsubscribes don't bother me at all.  

It is a natural part of maintaining a healthy list.  

But one unsubscribe came with a little note, that basically said that I was a greedy, money hungry person for charging for the new ebook and that I should be ashamed of myself.

And here is where this story gets interesting.


In the past, an email like that would have devastated me. 

I remember, early in my career, when I'd get a bad review or an unhappy client I would dissolve into a puddle.  

I'd question what I was doing, if I was good enough, if my photos were even worth anything... and the self-doubt and negative thoughts would last for weeks.

Now, a mean word or nasty email doesn't bother me in the least.  Why? Because I know it's just not true!

Do I think I'm greedy for charging for my work?  Nope!

Am I sad that the person who said that thinks that I am?  Nope!

I am confident in what I do, my products, what I sell and what I have to share with the world.  I am 100% proud, even if I make mistakes (which I do) and even though I know I have room to grow and learn (which I do).

But this is why I'm sharing this story with you...

Negative reviews and remarks only hurt when we think they're true. 

We all have self-doubt.  We all have something that makes us squirm about running a business, or asking for money, or sharing our art with the world.  To do our job and to do it well requires that we live in a vulnerable place. And that's hard.

And so when someone else says were are overpriced, or that we suck, or whatever, it often times feels as though they are speaking our worst fears out loud. 

That is why it hurts.

Once you can get to a point that you know exactly what you do.  And you know exactly who your people are. You will rarely ever get a bad review or a negative email... and when you do, it won't hurt at all.    

So spend some time focusing on your unique gifts.  Believe in what you do.  Know that whatever it is, it holds value.  And then pay attention.  The more you believe it, the more others will too... and pretty soon, a mean comment will just roll off your back!


xoxo,
Sandra