dog

Confessions: Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever feel like your accomplishments and successes are nothing more than mere luck, rather than accepting the fact that you did something well and should be proud? Do you worry that people will somehow find out the "truth" (it's not the truth) and think you're just a phoney who doesn't know what they're doing?

Guess what! You are not alone, and you're also wrong. And I mean that in the best way.

"Impostor Syndrome is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud"." —Wikipedia

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I have a feeling that creative people experience this quite frequently. For me it isn't an ongoing feeling (thankfully) - it just comes in waves every so often. My feelings about my work and my business fluctuate. Some days I'm thrilled with a new accomplishment, or meeting an awesome new client, or delivering finished artwork for their home... everything is going well and I'm excited about the future. But then some days come, and for whatever reason this little part of my brain insists that I don't know what I'm doing at all. The beautiful images I've created are mostly just luck... that any new photographer could do better work than me if they tried... that my clients and followers will think I'm no good, etc.

Why do our brains do this? Rationally I know that this voice isn't telling the truth, but it can be hard to fight it on those days. I know that I've worked hard for years to get to where I am right now. I know that I've built great relationships with my clients and they genuinely do love my work. I know that I do have a skill that not everyone with a camera can replicate. But I think sometimes our brains don't allow us to feel "too much" pride in our accomplishments. I think we subconsciously remember how often our society has shamed people for feeling "too confident" in themselves. So if things are going really well for us and we're feeling really good about our achievements, our brain decides to knock us down a peg, just to keep us in check.

I really wish it wouldn't, though! Most of us already spend so much time feeling bad about ourselves and having low self-esteem. I've finally found something I'm pretty good at and I thoroughly enjoy, so it's nice to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride sometimes. I'm sure the same is true for you as well!

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"I have written 11 books, but each time I think, 'Uh oh, they're going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out.'" — Maya Angelou

To combat Impostor Syndrome the last time it appeared for me, I decided to write some affirmations to myself. I reminded myself of the things I knew to be true every other day, even though it was hard to truly believe them that day. I reminded myself of my worth, of my skills, of the time spent educating myself in this field and business, of my clients who love their images, and of all the other things that I am usually reminding others of (on their bad days). That day I had to remind myself and give myself the same pep talk that I'm usually giving to friends and colleagues. It helped a lot to write those things down and remind myself that they were true. And after talking with my fiancée about the negative feelings in my head, I was able to refocus myself and get back on track.

Have you experienced Impostor Syndrome before? How does it manifest itself in your life? And what do you do to push it away?

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Top 11 Local Instagram Doggies (My Personal Favourites)

Are you on Instagram as much as I am? I use it quite a lot for my business - it's even surpassed Facebook now as my most popular platform for connecting with local pup parents and finding new clients. The Instagram community is so wonderful and supportive and I LOVE seeing all the local pups so happy. There are dog walkers, doggy daycares, personal accounts for pups, and accounts that were originally intended for a human but clearly the dog took over.... haha.

 

I wanted to make a list of some of my favourite local dog accounts (accounts made specifically for the dog) so that you, too, can enjoy their beautiful, happy photos in your Instagram feed every day! These are my favourite accounts for the quality of their feeds as a whole. Every single dog I meet and see is just gorgeous - no doubt about it. But these accounts are beautiful on top of the already cute dogs!

So in no specific order, here are my favourites...

Hoffman (@doctorh0ffman)

Hoffman is the sweetest, chillest, little dude. He's an amazing little model (for his parents and for me), and he's always having great adventures and being a fantastic representative for his breed!

Capone (@thevelveteenpig)

Capone is such a hunk! He's got the biggest pibble smile I've ever seen and he's just a sweetheart. He's always well-dressed with a new collar, bandana, or hoodie!

Flapjack (@flapjackthecorgi)

Flapjack knows how to work the camera, too. His Instagram is full of puns, silly costumes, and Harry Potter pick-up lines. He loves exploring Nova Scotia even though his legs are only little!

Norbert & Gilbert (@norbsgilbs)

Norbert and Gilbert are very nearly identical and absolutely hysterical. Their serious pug faces crack me up every time. They always have snazzy harnesses, are up for an epic adventure at any moment, and LOVE trying on costumes. They're also therapy dogs with St John Ambulance!

Mason (@masonthemini_)

Mason is a tiny ball of adorable fluff. Who is fantastic at head tilts. He also used to be an even tinier ball of fluff, which you'll get to enjoy when he does throwback photos of his puppy days. You will squeal and maybe cry. It's okay. We've all been there.

Lemon (@lemon_the_frenchie)

Lemon's Instagram feed is full of airy, bright images of her exploring the city. She's usually sporting a gorgeous collar, harness, bandana, or leash from Hound Collection, and she looks like she's living the dream.

Rupert (@rupert_theridgebackpup)

Rupert is such a handsome dude. He shares photos of his fun times at daycare, his big puppy dog eyes when there's food around, and him sleeping with his stuffed toys. Just too darn cute!

Penny (@misspennypocket)

Penny is another pup with a big, beautiful smile! And I just love her colouring. I especially love all the beach photos in her feed - she always seems to be somewhere with a beautiful body of water, whether it's a lake or the ocean. Not only does she have a big smile, but she also has big, expressive eyes, and a big tongue, too! Perfect for #tongueouttuesday!

Frankie (@francescathefrenchie)

Frankie loves swimming, camping, and adventuring in the woods with her family. I also spotted her at Pride this summer! She's a whole bunch of cute in a teeny tiny package and the captions on her photos are always perfect.

Krueger (@kruegertheamstaff)

Krueger also loves exploring our beautiful province - his Instagram feed is full of green scenery from all his adventures. There are also LOTS of hilarious derp faces. Y'know, if you like that kind of thing. haha

Tod & Memphis (@todandmemphis)

This adorable duo is gorgeous. Even though their breeds are nothing alike, their colours somehow match perfectly! And their human does such a wonderful job of capturing their sweet joy together and the sparkle in their eyes. Every photo is just so beautiful!

 

Okay wait... I've got one more to add! My own pup, Ruby, has an Instagram account! It's run by her other mum, and you can see all Ruby's derp faces and foolishness over there. Go check her out!

Ruby (@rubyroo_the_pittie)

 

So there you have it: my personal favourite Instagram feeds right now for dogs in the Maritimes. Maybe I'll make some more favourites lists! Dogs in Canada... and then international dogs, too?

Let me know in the comments - which are your favourite Instagram dogs to follow? Who should I start following?