Whenever I’m feeling down, I remember this one very important rule that I hold myself accountable to:
The world owes you nothing.
You owe yourself everything.
If ever I begin feeling sorry for myself because of how unfair life can be, I remind myself of how untrue that is. Life can be harsh, but the way we handle those situations can light our life for years to come. We have truly unlimited power to give ourselves the nourishment we need to move forward, dream big, and succeed at living a beautiful life.
In times of clarity I realize that, if we boil our experiences down to the basics, the lives we live are nothing more than giving ourselves power, or taking that power away. And what I have found, time and time again, is that if we are not empowering ourselves, it is rare that someone will do it for us; or if someone does, it rarely sustains us. We are in charge of managing that immense responsibility for ourselves.
Lift yourself up and see a future made of dreams rather than a past filled with failures. This is the only way forward; all else requires stagnation.
What do you owe yourself that you have been holding back?
Beauty, power, creativity, freedom, love, expression?
Kimberley - Nail. Head. Thank you, as always you speak from the heart and soul.
brookeshaden - Thank you Kimberly <3
brookeshaden - Eeee! *Kimberley*** – my mistake!
Katrin Auch - Wow, this is ringing really true to me. I can’t count the amount of times I get in my own way. It’s so hard to put yourself in a place of vulnerability, but when I do, magical things happen.
brookeshaden - I love how you said that – “A place of vulnerability” – so true, that is often what it requires. Amazing how strength can come out of the honesty of vulnerability.
natascha van niekerk - So so true Brooke, as always, spoken from a heart of wisdom! I’ve always believed that we can never blame our circumstances for the spaces we find ourselves in, even though those always affect us, but rather it is what we decide to make of what comes our way that will determine our path. I have recently decided to pursue my dream and passion for fine art photography, and give all my time and energy to that dream… So far this year has been good! The growth is slow but I’m heading towards my second group show for the year and that was one of the goals I set for myself. As I’m sure it is with all artists, my biggest struggle every day is self-doubt, but the only way to overcome that is by moving forward, every day. Thank you Brooke for being such a clear voice of encouragement!
brookeshaden - Natascha, yes! Moving forward is the best way to subdue self-doubt. It is a nasty monster that we all possess, yet thankfully allows us to analyze our lives in a meaningful way. I have every faith in you!
Tom Newforge - I needed this today Brooke. Thanks.
brookeshaden - <3 Thank you for being here, Tom.
Paulo Carvalho - That’s right! The way is always forward! Love when you say “Lift yourself up and see a future made of dreams rather than a past filled with failures. This is the only way forward; all else requires stagnation.” In Portugal we have an expression, or rather, a lyrics of a song which I translate in english “They do not know that the dream is a constant of life as concrete and defined as anything else, (…) They do not know, or dream, that dream commands life, that whenever a man dreams the world skips and advance as colored ball in the hands of a child. ” Regarding the question, I always try not owe anything to me, even when life pulls me down. But it is not easy! Beijinho (Kiss)!
brookeshaden - Paulo, that is absolutely beautiful and I will think of those lyrics all day long. Thank you so much for sharing them. Yes, dreams are as real as anything else <3
Lindsey - You present a great question, Brooke! “What do you owe yourself that you have been holding back?” Personally, I tend to hold myself back. For example, I’m terrified of driving in the city. When I plan shoots, I plan them according to where I feel I can go, where I feel safe and secure. This has limited me creatively. I can still be creative but I know I’m missing out on great locations etc. I just recently listened to an older Ted Talk given by Eve Ensler and she spoke about security. She says that in wanting more security, actually makes us less secure. I believe this. I think I owe it to myself to get out of my comfort zone. And I’m going to explore this idea, this year! I have been given an amazing opportunity to photograph for one of my favorite television shows and I couldn’t feel more excited and grateful. Sure, I am terrified! But, my excitement overrides the fear.
Libertad Leal - Lindsey, I relate very much to what you say. I am not so much afraid of driving per se, but afraid of getting lost while driving. I have absolutely no sense of direction and even with the aid of a GPS I would still get lost (and then crash when I would freak out because I got lost). This has been a road block in my life and I hate it with the passion of a thousand burning suns. My wonderful husband has been my driver, map maker, on call rescuer our entire 17 year marriage and I know he would continue to be that forever but I knew I had to get past this on my own. So at the beginning of this year at the ripe old age of 37 I made a vow to overcome this. I was scared, no doubt, but each time I did it I was a bit less scared. And now, I can happily say that things are much better. I truly feel like I can go anywhere and if I get lost then I’ll somehow find my way. I am not scared anymore and I can’t fully explain to you how freeing it is to let go of the fear.
I encourage you to do it, one trip at a time. You’ll be so glad.
Sorry to meddle but I couldn’t help it! 🙂
Lindsey - I replied! It’s down one, haha! Whoops!
Paulo Carvalho - 🙂
Libertad Leal - You are very welcome Lindsey! Best of luck! You can do it! 🙂
Marianna - So true. Thank you for sharing this. Had a really rough day yesterday and this jus made me feel so much better. 😀 I need to keep pushing and fighting for my dreams. <3
Lindsey - That is exactly how it is for me! No sense of direction, always relying on my GPS and then I freak out, when I get lost. I usually have one big headache once I get to my destination. It’s exhausting.
I think it’s so wonderful that you’ve overcome this hurdle. 🙂 And very inspiring! I’m most certainly going to give it my best effort, moving forward. Thank you for sharing that with me!
Lindsey - Whoops! My comment meant to go above, in reply to Libertad Leal! :-p
monica cole - How did you get so wise? You have amazing eyes that see life and photography in a most beautiful, true way. Thank you for sharing you with us!
Monica Cole - How did you get so wise? You have an amazing eye for seeing the beauty and truth in photography and life! Thank you for sharing you with us.
Emma - Your posts just seem to build and build on each other – inspiration in small everyday doses! Thank you <3
I owe it to myself to believe in myself as an artist and realise that if I do then the chance of other people believing in me is so much greater.
Lyndsay West - I totally connected with this post today. Very powerful, and motivating.
Farraha Barbre - Sweet Brooke, I love how you always say what no one ever seems to say ,openly. This too hits home for me as I am the only one that holds myself back by getting in my way. Then second guessing it when I do it. But when I brake through those days I love it. Then second guess myself again. It’s a battle that is never ending for me and hard but everyday I try to see things in better light and know I too can do amazing things. So thank you for your words all the time. It truly helps me from afar..
Sandra - It always seems that when I need a little pick me up, your blog posts come at the perfect time. Thank you for always sharing such positive and honest wisdom.
Kristin V. - I don’t even need to respond because you already know how how much this post resonates with me. You my friend are more than an artist, you are a soul speaker.
Gina - Thank you so much for posting this! I love how honest and motivating your posts always are – I needed to hear this today! <3
Libertad Leal - Speaking from a complete state of stagnation, I would say I owe myself the gift of freedom and power to do what I love for a living. Which is all kinds of ironic because my name means freedom. I am working on it though and your wise words really help. So thank you.
Josmar - I love your view true the life, the intensity of your fellings that be registed in your pictures. I admire you and your work because I feel that sometimes you are in my mind, whe I saw a picture that express exactly what I feel and what I want reflect on my own pictures. We share the photography passion. Blessings.
Margherita Introna - Ah Brooke, you always have such a way of touching my soul… either via your images or via your words. This is so very true indeed. It is also important to remember that in between all the times that make you sad, are the moments that bring you joy. It is in our power to choose to let those rule our lives, instead of letting the bad take us down… An in that mix remain the need of expression, from which much inspiration is often drawn <3 xx
Rocio Mirelis - I believe I owe myself some time for myself. Some time to create and let my imagination soar. It has been so long since I created and image that is one of my own concepts. I have let my life get carried away and follow the flow of the fine art group. I have let myself become an agent to help other people but I have not helped myself when it comes to time to create. Helping others does bring me joy… but as a wise woman once told me, doing it for free will make you feel burned out and even worse if you have no time to create for yourself.
Thank you for your incredible blog posts. They always make me think! I wish I had more time to respond and read every single one every single time! SIGH
Kristine Cramer - A post short in length, but gigantic in substance…I’ve had to reread this several times since this morning. This really woke me up from the haze I’ve been circling around in…yes, the ability to give ourselves the power back that may have been taken from us by another, by either their words or actions, that we allowed to happen. Not just a past of failures, but past circumstances, beliefs, or wrongs received. I have read things before about moving on and letting go, but there is something about how you said this today Brooke that just resonated for me. Thank-you! Thank-you for sharing your words of inspiration…
Jen Sulak - so.much.awesome.
the “ments” of the world.
Tara - This is gorgeous Brooke! Thank you for writing it! I think I owe myself the right to just live in the here and now. Be present. Take in everyday with my kids and take time off work. 🙂
thomas miles - i owe myself the power to create what I want to and what I like, and not what I like about other peoples work. I want to not be put down by the simplest things and instead attain beautiful pieces of art that make me forget all of the negativity in my life.