4.26.2012

fearfully and wonderfully

What's your opinion of yourself?
Are you confident?  Are you arrogant?  Do you make self-depreciating comments?  Do you sell yourself short?  Did you used to be confident but then something happened and now you're not so sure?
I'm constantly trying to find a balance between being secure in myself and my talents but not to the point of bragging.  I don't want to have an attitude like, "Hey, look at me!  I'm awesome!" but at the same time I need to do myself justice.
There is a huge difference between graciously accepting unexpected compliments and purposefully boasting about yourself so others will notice.
Sometimes I want to make sure I get credit and recognition for what I do.  Other times I'm perfectly happy blending into the background.
Humility seems to be a trait greatly lacking in society these days.  Many people have the "Hey, look at me!" attitude and are continually boasting about themselves.  With so many people shouting for attention, how are the quieter, more humble people supposed to get noticed?
How do you handle criticism?  Does one negative remark make you fall apart at the seams?  Or do you take the time to process negative feedback and use it to improve yourself?
What if the negativity is unfair and inaccurate?  I've dealt with such things in the past.  Maybe it's because I'm soft and not as resilient as I should be, but those past experiences still affect me.  Right now they're causing me to worry about an impending reaction in an upcoming situation.  It's making me nervous and a little scared.  Since that past experience was wrongful and the remarks had no legitimate basis, I'm trying to push those questioning thoughts away.  It's hard though.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:13-14

Judging by the first verse, this Bible passage is obviously talking about our bodies being wonderful, complex works of art created by God.  I like to think though that it also pertains to our abilities and talents.  God created our brains, so He created those too.  I wouldn't be able to sew, play guitar, or master photography if God hadn't wired my brain to do those things.  Going back a bit to the physicality part of the verses, I wouldn't have red hair, brown eyes, or be the size and shape I am if God hadn't created me this way.
So either way,  no matter what people may say about us, we were beautifully created by God.  Whether someone makes an unfair negative comment about our physical features or our talents, it shouldn't matter.  Why?  Because we are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves us so much He gave up His only son so that we can have eternal life when we die.  Doesn't that sound like something worth bragging about?

4.11.2012

introvert in business

How does an introvert run a business?
Not long ago a friend of mine shared an article on Facebook titled "Top Ten Myths About Introverts".  I was astounded at how accurately it described my disposition.  The article explained things about my personality better than I've attempted to explain them myself in the past.  (Here is another interesting article from Psychology Today.)
I think a lot.  I confide in a very small number of people.  I'm not much for big social gatherings.  I take my time warming up to people.
How am I supposed to be a business professional when I process things internally, share my discoveries with very few people, and posses such quiet qualities?
Consider the stereotypical car salesman.  He's a fast-talking, hand-shaking, eye-contact-making extrovert.  Some says he's pushy while others say he's just sociable and good at his job.  Either way, he gets his job done and makes a profit.
How am I supposed to connect personally with clients I have never met before?  How am I supposed to make them feel comfortable during a photo shoot if I am not comfortable myself?  How am I supposed to network with fellow photographers when I'm not one to reach out to others?
I suppose these are things that will become easier the longer I am in business and the more people I work with.  It's all a bit daunting and overwhelming right now, but I'll get the hang of it eventually.