Are You Worthy?

Too often we don’t believe ourselves to be good enough, or attractive enough, or smart enough. Being critical, within reason is something I applaud, it’s how we get better after all but when these thoughts go too far they begin to wreak havoc on our lives. These overly critical thoughts prevent us from getting the most out of life and can even negatively affect our love life, our social life, and our work life.

The Way You See You

If I were to show you a photo of yourself what would be your immediate reaction? Would you focus on your imperfect smile? How about your imperfect skin? Even the most confident people sometimes have insecurities that cause them to see themselves through overly critical eyes. This filter highlights any perceived flaws while obscuring any and all qualities in which we may otherwise like about ourselves. We focus on an awkward smile, a blemish, a receding hairline, extra pounds, the list goes on and on and on.

Whether we develop this filter because of our childhood experiences or the unrealistic expectations set by entertainment and social media or for any number of other reason are worthy of discussion but at the end of the day affect is all the same.

 
 

The Way You See Others

Conversely, if I were to show you a photo of someone else, say your mother, your child, or a friend what would be your reaction? We have a tendency to look at photos of those we care about and focus on positive traits. We look at these photos and feel happiness, tenderness. We generally find comfort in the photos of people we love. When we see images of those we care about we see with a different set of eyes it would seem.

The fact is we don’t see with our eyes only, we see with our emotions and it’s here that we must look if we’re ever to see ourselves the way we see others, and the way others see us.

 
 

You Are Worthy

We have flaws, sure. Accept it. Or don’t. But know that we are more than these so called flaws. Consider that the same person you see as being physically beautiful looks at themselves and focuses on their imperfect complexion, or their nose that they feel is too big. Understand that when your spouse or children or friends or even strangers see you they are seeing you as an entire person not just a single feature. We aren’t being judged or scrutinized. Most people don’t care enough to take the time, they’re too focused on what you think of them.

A quick aside. I once photographed a client who is an attractive woman, yet during her photoshoot and ordering appointment was very self critical. Only after delivering her photos did she reveal to me that she had been in an accident that required her to have some facial reconstructive surgery. She was very sensitive about the way she thought the surgery had made her look. I photographed the woman, reviewed her photos in great detail and never noticed a single thing.

 
 

Exist in Photos

I meet parents all the time that want photos of their children but who all but refuse (some actually do refuse) to be in a single photo themselves. The overwhelming reason for this is that they don’t like the way they look. Now, I never judge them and certainly don’t pressure them to participate but they are missing an opportunity they they’ll never get again. Their unwillingness to be photographed is unfortunate for many reasons but it’s also terribly sad for one reason in particular, these parents won’t exist in photos. Don’t forget that one day our children will grow up and we will grow old, the photos we’ve taken of them on this journey will be far more meaningful if we, as parents are in them. The photos we take are not only for ourselves but for our families as well.

 
 
Jacob ShelbyComment