I have been getting some very nice feedback on my photos lately which has been very satisfying for me. I appreciate all the positive comments from family, friends and strangers on the internet who follow my Instagram and Flickr feeds. This weekend, three people told me that they felt inspired from my pictures. I was very touched by this. Thank you!
I have never been great at receiving compliments from anyone. To be really honest with you, praise and recognition actually makes me feel a little embarrassed. That probably sounds ridiculous and crazy. I mean, why would anyone not want recognition? And why would that same person share their work all over the internet if it made them feel uncomfortable. Well, if you don’t already know by now, I am the Queen of Inner Conflicts and I’m not exactly clear on why I feel this way. My sense is that it has something to do with vulnerability.
I realize that in order to create something meaningful, you have to be willing to open up and share something of yourself. This means you must be okay with making yourself somewhat vulnerable. Anyone who knows me will know that I DO NOT like feeling that way. I don’t call myself SheBear for nothing!
Is there anyone who likes being vulnerable? I’m guessing that a lot of people feel a certain amount of discomfort with sharing their creative work in public spaces, and especially on the Big Bad Internet. I have a harsh Inner Critic and it always feels like a risk when I hit ‘publish’ or ‘share’. If there isn’t a voice in my head telling me that my work sucks and one day someone is going to tell me, there’s another voice telling me that no one notices or gives a shit about what I do anyways.
See? I told you my Inner Critic was not nice!
I may be a tad bit too sensitive and introspective, but lucky for me I am also stubborn and defiant and I love kicking that Inner Critic to the curb. The problem is, it keeps coming back louder and more obnoxious no matter how much of an ass kicking I give to it.
So I’m going to try a new approach. Instead of focusing on destroying that loud negative voice in my head, I think I will give some attention to that softer, quieter voice inside me that has been pining for some recognition. If I pay it all the loads of attention I have been giving to that loud nagging critic, who knows what that vulnerable spirit might turn into.