Episode 45: 6 Ways to Grow Thicker Skin When You Worry About Every Scenario

Do you find yourself worrying about every possible outcome in a given situation?

Many photographers struggle with growing thick skin so that they can stop worrying so much.

It hurts when someone criticizes your photography business because it feels personal, even if it is just business.

This criticism can create so much head trash.

What if a client gets mad at me?

What if my business falls apart because of one bad decision?

What if something really bad happens?

Now that I’m 23 years into my photography career, I’ve changed how I view and respond to negative comments.

Today I’ll share my tips for what to do when someone criticizes you and what to do about the worry that keeps you stuck.

You Deserve To Make Money

When I started my business, I remember feeling insecure and thinking,

“I’m a jerk for offering things that make me money.”

On the bad days, people’s comments would make me feel horrible for trying to make money in my business, even though that was my goal.

Early in my career, I was more sensitive to negative criticism.

I gave so much emotional energy to what people thought and might say about me.

What if someone yells at me on the phone?

What if they make fun of me with their friends?

What if they say something negative on social media?

What if this, what if that?

It’s exhausting.

Here are some things that help me avoid getting derailed by what other people might say about me.

#1 Be Objective 

When something negative is said, I try to be objective in my thoughts.

Is this them being mean or is there any validity to their comment?

Some of the hardest feedback can hurt to hear, but once you take the anger away, there can be good advice. 

If one person says it, maybe others are thinking it, and it can help you be a better entrepreneur. 

I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes.

I think, if I were that person, how would I feel right now?

Sometimes you might need to make a change or apologize for something.

We’re human and we all mess up, and learn and grow from it.

We can’t control what people say, but we can control how we react to it, our energy, and our feelings.

#2 Realize You Aren’t For Everyone

To succeed in business, you have to find an audience and focus on thrilling them.

Rarely does a business succeed by thrilling everyone.

That’s the nature of finding an open spot in the market.

It’s okay to not work for everyone.

I have learned that you have to be okay with everyone not loving you.

When I started Joy of Marketing, we would email photographers on our list and get snotty emails telling us how we are going to burn in hell because we were sending so many emails.

We also got emails saying what we’ve taught has changed their life.

Haters don’t pay the bills.

As long as we’re serving some people, we can’t make everybody happy. 

I don’t harbor ill will against the people who hate on me, I wish them well.

I have an abundance mindset, so I release them into the universe to find the right mentor for them.

I want them to be guided out of their own darkness. 

I have the most amazing clients, but I know there are people who just want digital files.

Even though they won’t be my client, I send them away with happiness and goodwill.

There’s someone out there for everyone.

I have so many happy clients that I don’t let the wrong ones bother me.

People are all entitled to their own opinion, and if they hate the fact that I make a living by not selling digital files, that’s okay with me.

#3 Reset When You’re Stuck On What-If 

I think more emotional energy is wasted on worries than actual conflicts.

You need to recognize when fear is taking up too much of your emotional energy.

Once you realize, take a deep breath and reset.

You can go on a walk, take a bath, play with your kids, or have a date night.

With my peak performance coaching students, I have them keep a tenacity journal that is filled with positivity.

These can be things their clients have said, happy quotes, or love notes from their family.

When they start worrying, they pull out their tenacity journal and are reminded of all the amazing things that have come from their photography business. 

#4 Realize This Starts At Home

Teach yourself not to indulge in the drama of your personal life.

Once you do this, it starts to go away.

If you have people in your life who pull you down instead of lifting you up, lean the other way.

Life is too short to keep yourself close to them. 

#5 Get Over Yourself

In order to succeed in business, you have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable.

You might have to publicly make a mistake and apologize.

If you do your best to fix things out of love, people will understand.

We’re all human and can only do our best.

This is hard, but the more you put yourself out there, the better your life will get.

The best way to get better is to do it, mess up, and learn how to fix it.

That’s how we grow.

#6 Remember You’re a Good Person 

At the end of the day, you’re a good person.

You’re doing your best to create a business that thrills people, and if someone doesn’t love your prices or your photography, that’s okay.

Let it go.

You have to keep going.

Don’t let negative comments give you head trash about how you’re a bad person, you’re not.

This is just part of life.

Dealing with worry is one of the hardest things about being in business.

Some people just look to plant seeds of fear and doubts in others.

You can’t control what people say, but you can control your reaction to it.

If you’ve done something wrong, do your best to make it right and then move on.

If someone thinks you have the worst business in the world, that’s their opinion.

Let it go. 

Remember, it’s not always about you.

I want you to remind yourself that you are doing the work to become a better person, lift others up, and to create beautiful artwork that gives people goosebumps.

You are worth what you’re charging.

I believe that the more you believe in yourself, the better things will go for you.

I will believe in you until you can believe in yourself.

follow boutique photographer sarah petty on instagram to learn more about the boutique photography timeline

Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

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