Recently, I heard an interview with Bindi Irwin on the radio. They were talking about her recent win on "Dancing with the Stars" in the US. They asked her if this was the first time she had been approached by the show and why she decided to do it. She replied, " I just decided to say "Yes!". Life presents us with all sorts of adventures and we often say no to them. I decided to say, "Yes!".
I was floored. She is 17 and has more maturity than most adults. I started thinking about this simple answer and the times that I have said no. One that always comes to mind was back in 2003. My best friend and I had made plans for a holiday in Italy. It was a dream trip for me. Just as I was making the final plans to meet her, the invasion of Iraq started and the Australian Government advised against traveling to Europe. I contacted my friend who was living in the UK and she said it would be safe. They were not receiving the same warnings. I did not know what to do. I was a Mum with three children under the age of 5. I felt like I was endangering our family by traveling at this time. I shed many tears and stayed at home. My friend traveled without any dramas. I have regretted the decision ever since and have yet to make my dream trip.
I thought about the times during my photography journey where I have not put myself out there. The times I wanted to submit to a photography competition but didn't. The times where I have taken too long to answer an email while I fought an internal war with the negatives and positives of the situation. The times when I didn't approach a photographer that I admired because I thought my work was not as good.
I see this type of self rejection in photography groups all of the time. Yes, ladies I see you saying no. When you are too intimated to post an image in a group you admire because of fear. When you want to participate in a personal project but don't make the time in your diary to document your own life. When you want to be creative but let the voice of negativity steer you to a "safe" path. I see regret that could have been avoided if we just put on our big girls pants.
All of my achievements this year have occurred when I put on my big girl pants. When Amanda and I spoke about changing the 30 minutes in the life blog to something more. When Amanda and I discussed the Long Way home magazine and we saw a dream that was a possibility . When I approached Angie of Angie Marie Photography and asked if she would be interested in a Still Life Project. When I write these posts each fortnight, I always need my big girl pants.
Of course, not every time I have worn these pants has success followed. Success is not a guarantee. Such is life and I am open to the highs and lows. However, I have never succeeded when I said no. I have never won the photography competition when I didn't submit. I have never been published in a magazine when I didn't send in my idea. I didn't win a freelance contract when I dawdled with my submission. Success doesn't follow when I let fear get in the way.
Let's make 2016 the year of the "big girls pants'. Let's say, "YES!" and see what follows.