There is a saying that nothing in nature blooms all year round. So please don’t be surprised if you don’t either, none of us do.
In this bright and shiny world of social media, it’s all too easy to fall into a comparison rabbit hole and think that everyone else has it all going on, all of the time. Trust me, they don’t. We are simply more inclined to share the good than the bad with strangers and that is what almost all of your followers are – strangers on the internet.
I give you permission to de-bloom every now and then
Especially in these strangest and most unpredictable of times. Taking a step back and resting is good for us, fields need fallow seasons to recover and regenerate. But bouncing back can be challenging and you might even find that it feels impossible – that while you took that step back, your mojo faded away.
We all feel like we lose our mojo every now and then and it can be for all kinds of reasons. If that’s you right now, here are some tips for getting it back.
Stop looking forward and look backward.
I’m putting this first as it’s far and away my best method for reframing my mindset when I feel like my mojo has deserted me. There is so much pressure in planning and trying to make things happen – setting goals and creating targets is putting pressure on yourself and when you are thriving, that’s great but when you are just surviving that’s not so great. So instead of making a list of goals, make a list of achievements that you’ve already made. Instead of making targets, write a gratitude list. These achievements and gratitudes can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Just the act of writing them down will make you feel more positive and I’m betting that you have accomplished more than you think. Reflecting on the good that you already have will relieve current stress levels and hopefully trigger some self-pride.
Help Someone Else
Every business fluctuates, and has peaks and troughs but the pandemic has created a shared experience for so many. Whatever you have overcome and whatever lessons you have learnt up until now, others will be behind you, trying to navigate the same waters. So find someone that would benefit from your experience and guide them. The act of helping others can put your own problems into perspective and when you help people, your brain releases the hormones oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine which counteract the effect of cortisol (the stress hormone). It’s a win-win – good for both your self-esteem and your mental wellbeing.
Life is so complicated right now. We have to book food deliveries weeks in advance or go to the supermarket and self scan, self pack and self checkout. We work harder at almost everything with the end goal of making life easier but yet it never seems to be. So what can you do to simplify your life right now? Outsource some tasks? Say no to more things? How about just take one thing from your to-do list and do that one task to the best of your abilities? Then switch off.
Inspiration is like a plant, you have to take care of it and not neglect it. So when you feel down, down tools and pick up a photography book, go to a museum (virtually or IRL if you can), listen to a podcast or a Ted Talk, buy a new magazine or go on a missio n,n to discover a photographer that you haven’t heard of before and see what you can connect with in their work, watch a highly acclaimed film and then research the cinematographer. Do whatever you can think of to keep your inspiration alive.
Create a Board of Awesome
This is a fun one. Get a cork board and pin all the thank you cards you’ve had from clients to it or print them out if they are in emails and pin them up. I have one of these on the wall behind my computer screen and on the down days, I pick off some to read as a reminder that people have appreciated my work so far and it has created joy. Photographers are visual people and it really helps to have a visual record of the gratitude that people have had when you have shot them. You don’t want to do a board? Make a Folder of Awesome for the nice reviews or emails that you get sent.
You might have lost your mojo because you are actually heading for a burnout. This can happen to the very best people so know what the signs are for you. Maybe you are not sleeping, feeling anxious a lot of the time, neglecting your business or yourself, feeling cynical or jaded or it’s getting difficult to get up and face the world in the mornings. These are all signals from your body that something has to change. Sometimes we neglect self-care and yet you are no good to anyone if you break. So listen to your own signals and do what you need to do to press the reset button. That might be one thing from my list, it might be all the things but your mojo – your special inner magic, it’s always there. It’s just that sometimes you have to look extra hard to find it and then you have to slowly coax it out of its hiding place, back into the light.
Ask For Help
If you feel like you are struggling, ask around to see if you can get someone to help you. Ideally a mentor who can dig deep into your business and your situation and then get fresh eyes on where things are going wrong at the moment. It’s not always easy to see the best path for yourself or to be objective about what needs to change. Having someone unpick it for you and help you to put it back together can save you from falling any deeper into the negative hole and get you back on your feet much quicker. My latest mentoring programme is now open, and my previous cohort are getting great results, with one booking 12 weddings off the back of what I taught her – yes, even in a pandemic!
I would highly recommend Lisa’s mentoring to anyone! Lisa taught me how to attract my ideal client with small tweaks to my site, SEO and marketing. Over the 3 month period of doing the mentoring; I had gained 12 new bookings! All of them were my ideal client and most were venues I had never worked at before but aspired to. The group sessions were also really helpful, as you can get really good tips from other photographers at different levels. It’s a really good support system! Of all the things to come out of 2020, doing this mentoring programme was my best decision. My diary is now full for 2022 with the possibility of me going full time by Spring 2022. I now get my ideal clients, dream venues and I know the option of going full time is now at the tip of my fingers once the pandemic is over and it’s only been 3 months since I finished the programme! Thank you Lisa for all the help and the wise words along the way – you legend! ✌?