Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You Are What You Think

My issue of Picture Magazine arrived today, and at the end of the issue is a piece by consultant Selina Maitreya about affirmations, so I thought I'd take a minute to use the article as a jumping-off point to discuss the notion of affirmations as we depart 2008 and prepare for 2009.

The article cites Deepak Chopra (at right), who I've made a portrait of in the past. In it, Chopra is quoted "It is not 'you are what you eat', rather it is 'you are what you think'." (single quotations added). The article goes on to encourage you to use affirmations as a way of marketing yourself.

Huh?

(Continued after the Jump)

She's right. Affirmations put you in the frame of mind that you want your clients to think of you in. If you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect your clients to?

The critical key is that your affirmations must be positive ones, stated as if the situation already is. Maitreya notes "The word 'affirmation' is no accident. What you will be stating does exist in the potential of being. stating your affirmations simply brings your wish into your sphere."

You shouldn't be saying "I am not a crappy photographer". Instead, the affirmation should be "I am a talented, creative photographer who is an asset to my clients' project." Laura Bonicelli, a national agent based in the mid-west is cited using affirmations before pitching a photographer "John's style is a perfect fit for this particular project". (she's not referring to me, by the way.)

Everyone's affirmations are different. Some are about professional efforts, others about personal goals. Then, there's affirmations about balance in life between the two.

As you contemplate your 2009, take a few quiet moments to determine your own affirmation. Here are some photo business centric affirmations:
My creative talent is of value and I deliver it to clients who recognize that.

I am worthy of a $7,500 wedding booking.

I am a bargain at twice the price.

I am capable of booking 40 weddings this year.

My family portraits are moments in a family's life and will be a lifelong cherished heirloom.
These, and many others, are what will help you move forward in your career, and in your personal life. By reading these things - maybe printed out and posted next to your dresser, bathroom mirror, or bedside table, you will consciously - and subconsciously - see the message. The benefits of speaking it to yourself outloud increase the effectiveness.

Consider this - have you ever tried really hard to think of something, and couldn't, only to have the answer pop into your head a few minutes (hours, or days) later? When you stopped consciously thinking about it, your subconscious continued to work on it. That is a simple example of how powerful your subconscious is. Now harness it to change your life with positive thoughts - as affirmations.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

10 comments:

Michael Warf said...

Exactly the type of motivation I'm looking for to start 2009!

Jeremiah said...

Great article, goes along well with a recommendation of an author/speaker named Lou Tice who speaks a lot on this.

A friend of my dad's has implemented this tremendously in his business and life, and it has greatly impacted him. He also discourages his employee's at his restaurant to "affirm" themselves.

jason B said...

Do you need a mirror to do this ?

BEN DECAMP PHOTOGRAPHY said...

Great read, being positive attracts positivity and more business. Always tell people you're doing well even if you're not! Your book is getting here tomorrow, so excited to read it! Thanks again. Happy New Year.

Ben DeCamp

Rick Lewis said...

Great advice John. Almost every self-help book I have ever read mention positive affirmation as a good way to ground yourself. It only makes sense to incorporate this into your business life as well.

Thanks for the reminder!

Rick
www.ricklewisphotography.com

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