Dear Diary: Emotional Rollercoasters

Chris Lonsberry Media Chris Lonsberry Media

The CLM Blog: Photography, Business and Meanderings

Since I love photography, like to write and am actively engaged in growing a business, a blog seems like it should be a thing.

Dear Diary: Emotional Rollercoasters - Jul 02, 2021
Dear Diary: Emotional Rollercoasters - Jul 02, 2021
If you look at social media, it might appear that creatives are happy and positive all the time.

Yes, being positive and optimistic is the gold standard of movers and shakers. It’s really important. But I’m not sure if that’s how people are really wired. Certainly, we have choices to make. But there are valleys.

Any musician will tell you there are periods when they get frustrated. Even really great musicians. Times when it seems you’re not making any progress and whatever you’re currently doing grows tiresome. I know really good photographers who go through the same kind of thing. I know my emotional state is cyclical. Not bi-polar cyclical. But there are valleys. Things will go great and I’m optimistic and then I slip into this place where I wonder what I’m doing. “Who am I kidding? Am I wasting my time?” My current theory is that I need “wins”. Not every day or every week. But frequent enough to make me feel like I’m moving. I’ve been listening to Simon Sinek talking about social media and dopamine addition. Perhaps it’s a related situation. Luckily, I’m logical enough to look at the bigger picture, recognize the valley and just ride it out.

I was talking to my wife one day about my headshot work. She was trying to be supportive and pointed out that I’ve come so far and that I’m never happy with anything I do… you know.. overall. My work is good. But it’s never enough. Honestly, I’m not sure I want it to be. I think that once you think you’ve arrived, you stagnate. And I’ve found that most people who are completely satisfied with their work aren’t that good anyway. It’s that dissatisfaction that keeps us climbing higher. Now, it’s also important to keep a realistic perspective. I’m not beating myself up over where I am. I’m awesome. I’m just saying there’s room to grow. I look at work from people like Vanie Poyey and Dylan Patrick and I’m just not quite there yet. When I get there, I’ll likely find someone else to look up to. Somewhere else to strive.

What usually happens on the far side of the emotional valleys is a burst of activity. My inner dialog says, “Enough! Get moving. DO something.” and the hustle resumes with renewed vigor. For the past week, I’ve been working on marketing. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve got someone working on the SEO for the website. I’ve kicked off some Facebook ads. I’ve put some serious thought into who I can partner with that would benefit from having high-quality professional headshots and sent out emails. Lots of emails. Granted, some of them are longshots but who knows? The thing about the hustle is that it’s underlined with hope. Hope and frustration don’t really shack up together well.

Nope.. I’m not quite ready to cut off my own ear yet. (A little Van Gogh reference for you. Whichever story you buy into about how his ear came off.. that dude wasn’t right.)

- Chris

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