Put The Google Down and Step Away

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I've never been into internet stalking exes.  Granted, this could totally be rationalized by the (true) fact that I don't really have many and it would be a pretty boring endeavor. Now though, before you think I have any type of willpower (spoiler: I don't), when it comes down to falling into the rabbit hole that is the internet, I have wasted spent months hours stalking much, much worse:  the competition.

I'm a photographer, running my own freelance portrait photography business but when it comes down to it, I've always been a little better at being a crazed-perfectionist-insecure-artist than the stable-saavy-levelheaded-business-lady.  But when you're an artist with your own business -- there's just no avoiding that you need to balance both.  And for me, one thing that is repeatedly gotten in the way of that is my compulsion to super stalk my fellow, lovely photographers.  (And yes, I totally just padded that with the word 'lovely' out of my guilt for stalking these poor, talented people).

Maybe you can relate?  Here's what happens.  You come across someone doing a similar thing that you do. And then, you make a poor decision and spend enough time googling this person until you feel a tad creepy on the insides AND you realize, flat out, after seeing the intimidatingly good work they're doing, that you need to immediately give up and quit.

Can't relate? Amazing.  I'm insanely jealous full of admiration of your self worth.

Can relate?  Oh thank god. I just had the horrifying realization I could be the only creep out there.  Anyway, read on!

Now, it's pretty obvious why this all just creates a mess -  namely because you are incredibly talented and are never, ever meant to give up what you love.   But getting too immersed in what's going on out there stifles your creativity, creates unnecessary self doubt and truly gets in the way of your thriving, happy business.

So, how taking a 2 Week Break? (The Official Title:  The Lady Project 2 Week Break of Not Internet Stalking the Competition)

1.  Avoid. It's simple - every time you hear about a fellow (fill in the blank)-er and you feel the urge to read their blog archives since '09, don't.  Don't google them, don't visit every social network they're present on, don't track down every thing they've ever created.  Just simply, completely ignore them.  Now - I'm realistic and I happen to know myself (well, sorta),  so I obviously would never attempt to give up my google habits completely and utterly.  And I do love photography (and surprisingly, not just my own!) but this 2 week break is similar to a good cleanse.  It's about reconnecting with yourself, your creativity + your passion.   (Full disclosure: I don't do cleanses, but that's what they do, right?) 

2.  Unfollow.  Next time you're scrolling thru Instagram pay a little attention to what photos make you feel good -- like, the real type of good -- and what photos make you feel like you're a failure because your life looks like a chaotic freak mess with bad lighting in comparison.  I've often followed people on social networks because they 'inspire' me.  It's a hardcore lie.  Their picture perfect, exciting life inspires me like putting pictures of models on my fridge inspires me to eat healthy.  (i.e. NOT AT ALL / WORST IDEA EVER)  So, I've made a point to tap into what I'm really feeling when using social media -- and for these 2 weeks, I encourage you to do the same -- and maybe, unfollow the people that aren't making you feel the way you want to feel.

3.  Seek Inspiration.  And lastly -- do yourself / your creativity / your business a huge favor and seek inspiration -- real, honest inspiration. Hint: it won't be on social media.  And it will most likely have nothing to do with your actual passion.  Take the time to figure it out!  Go outside.  Watch a documentary.  Visit a museum.  Call a friend.  Cook a new meal.  Try something new.  And most of all -- be as open as you can be to see things + yourself from a brand new perspective.

In my past experience -- committing to taking this 2 week break has super helped me get a little clearer about what I want in my business and what I'm doing.  And honestly, lately I've been spending too much time worrying about where I'm at compared to others -- so it's definitely a good time to shake it off and pay more attention to more important things -- i.e. my own business (hey! literally!)

And I encourage you to join me for a couple of weeks!  You know, if you're willing to admit you can be a little bit of a jealous, insecure internet stalker human.

So, Happy The Lady Project 2 Week Break of Not Internet Stalking the Competition!  (sidenote: I am horrible at titles and names)