At first I had this post included in part 1 where I talked about 7 things that athletes and creatives have in common. But I realized it was long, way to long to capture my attention so I assume yours too. I broke it up and this is the second part where I added 7 more motivational points applied to both working out and photography (or any creative pursuit for that matter). Take them, use them and if you need someone who needs a little push of inspiration send it to them! And most of all go out there and create great stuff!
Work with confidence. I always tried to boost my athletes’ confidence before a race because I knew if they ran with confidence they would succeed.
Watch a football game and pay attention to the faces of the team that is winning compared to the faces of the team losing. You start losing confidence, things get harder, and its tougher to succeed. Have confidence in your creative skills, you’ve worked for them, now own them! The more confident you are, the better your work and the more likely you’ll succeed.
Build support. Everyone needs a support system, no matter what you do. Most people find it easier to workout when they have someone to do it with. Same goes for photography, find someone to do it with or to share your struggles, questions, and realizations with. You build support by supporting others. Support helps you succeed.
Keep a log or journal. When training I always asked athletes to keep a log of their runs, their times, their races, how they felt, the weather – everything. Photographers and creatives should do the same.
Keep a log of your photos, what you like about them, how you felt about them, where they were, everything. You don’t have to for every photo but you could do it at least once a week.
Why? It creates motivation, confidence and perspective. Motivation because once it’s a habit you have an inner push to continue, confidence because you know you are improving, and perspective because if you look back in the past you can see how you’ve improved. Not only that but you can see what helped you improve and use those same tools or methods to keep improving.
Always work out when you don’t feel like it. Always go for a shoot or pull out your paints when not feeling it.
When you aren’t feeling it you convince yourself its ok to put it off until tomorrow. Don’t do put it off! Because putting off one day usually ends up being one week then two. I know how it goes because I do it.
Second, if you actually pull on those workout clothes and shoes, pull out those paints or your camera and start, you’ll find a groove then the zone. Trick yourself by committing to only 5 or 10 minutes.
The thing is, when you aren’t feeling it is the best time to push yourself. I told my athletes, the days where your legs are heavy or you’re tired from writing a paper all night we still work out because all of that may occur before a race, and your body needs to know how to accept it and run fast. You may have a wedding photography session and maybe you won’t feel it that night. But your mind and body need to know how to push creatively through the session and find the zone. You will. The more you practice at times you don’t feel like doing it, the easier it gets to plow through important times when you have to.
Have a vision or goal. You have to. I hope this is self-explanatory but how do you know what paths to take if you don’t have a destination?
Keep your eyes up, always looking at what’s next. During a 5K race many of my athletes would fight to get to the person in front of them and would pass them with effort. But then, they would relax. Problem was, they only passed one person and that person was still right behind them ready to pass them back.
There is always another runner-up ahead, or if no runner, then a personal best time. Keep your eyes up on the next person. Always have something that you want to achieve. There is always room for improvement, especially when you have a big dream goal.
Discipline. If you keep practicing and discipline yourself, you will improve. Discipline is learned and isn’t natural, at least not for me. It is walking out the door to run, it is walking in the door to the gym, it is pulling the camera out of the bag, snapping on a lens and shooting, it is taking a pen and paper and beginning a sentence. All simple and easy tasks that add up and lead to great things. It takes hard work and if you make it a part of your being, you will be successful whether in your creative pursuits, photography, or working out.
So there it is! Go work out your creativity to make it stronger, push your creative and athletic limits several times a week.
It is loud, messy and it hurts but the rewards are greater. So next time you see that super fast runner in the 5K you joined, or that fantastic photographer that makes it look so beautifully easy, or that super popular etsy seller that seems to have it all under control, remember they put in hard work for that.
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