On being enough

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My business coach was hounding me recently. She wanted me to define the purpose of my business. What was it that I was trying to do? She was making me actually think about this too. I wasn't able to just glibly give her my standard 'take pretty photos' answer.  Bitch ?. 

But after much poking and prodding she managed to pull some thoughts from me. Ones that I wanted to get down on 'paper'. So, humour me as this is a much wordier post that the norm. 
 
More than anything I want the women that I photograph to know that they are good enough. That despite what they look like, despite what they think their weaknesses are, they are enough. In fact, they are MORE than enough to go after their dreams and stand proud in front of their business. 
 
Like the vast majority of women I have always had self-esteem issues. Mine centred largely around my weight, with a close second being my intelligence level. Everything I did and thought was through this filter. There were people I knew and loved that inadvertently reinforced these beliefs.  When I think back now I am surprised by the fact that I did anything at all. The nasty, ugly thoughts that I had, the things that I would (and still do) tell myself. It's horrifying, and it's paralysing. We are our own worst enemies because we let the stories that we tell ourselves become the truth. 
 
We hyper-focus on the things we perceive as weaknesses (I'm too fat to be seen as credible) and don't see our strengths (my compassion and understanding) at all. I think that part of this is because we are made believe from a young age that being proud of yourself wasn't attractive. As a result we learned not to see what we are capable of, but the ways that we didn't stack up. 
 
How can we confidently stand up and represent our business or brand when we aren't confident in who we are? How can we BE confident when we aren't willing to acknowledge our strengths? 
 
I guess this is why my branding sessions aren't just about the photos. Sure I want my photos to show my clients how other people see them (which is generally way better than how we see ourselves). But the photos are only part of the picture (pun intended ?). To honest-to-goodness feel like you can reach your goals you need to have more confidence in yourself! I need to show women the reasons why they should be confident in themselves. 
 
At the moment my branding process digs in so we can discover your strengths. If I can help a client find even one thing that they can hand-on-heart feel is a genuine strength that they are confident in, then that is freaking awesome. We are all on our own journey and accepting being enough is hard work. Hell I had it tattooed on my arm so I could have a constant reminder.  
 
These ideas are still fermenting in my brain. I need to consolidate them into something clear, but it feels good. It feels like I am heading in the right direction with both the direction of my business and who I am. 
 
In the meantime what do you think? Do you have a solid purpose for what you do, at work, in business or just in life? How do you check to make sure you're on track? I would love to hear your experiences. 

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