Hidden between the Hot Dog song on Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse and the adorable Doc McStuffins helping fix broken toys, the Disney channel never ceases to come up with a song that forever gets stuck in my head allllll day long. I know I'm not the only one that randomly finds themselves humming, "hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog..." Greyson thinks these songs are the bees knees as he claps his hands and gives a mighty effort at singing along with them. But the truth of the matter is, there are some of life's most fundamental lessons baked in between the bright colors, shapes, and sounds. Truths that we learned long ago when we were kids, but somehow lost sight of now that we drink lattes, pay taxes, shovel our driveways and are the gown up adults we are!
These silly but oh-so-entertaining cartoon characters teach kids that each one of them is unique and special... That in the entire world with all of the billions of people, there is no one exactly like them. NO ONE. We know that right? It seems like such a fundamental thing that we clearly already know as an adult. (*sip latte*) However, as basic of a truth as it is, we sometimes forget. Or, we sometimes don't believe it. It's almost like we can wrap our heads around that there is no one completely identical to us physically, but when it comes to what makes us "us" we completely shrug that truth off and forget we have something special to offer. We so often live our lives and run our businesses forgetting that we have this unique combination, competitive edge, that special thing or whatever you want to call it that no one else has. We have our unique selves. And no one can duplicate, replicate, or recreate it. I may or may not have just felt like Missy Elliot just then with some seriously rapping skills. But seriously. Can I get an amen?! Our funk, our flare, our quirks, our personality, our combination of experiences, the way we see the world, our character, our life. There is only our one unique combination. There is only one of each of us.
People often ask us in our workshops and mentoring sessions how we can be confident when we know there are so many other photographers out there with such amazing work, more resources, better equipment, more this and better that. And the truth of the matter is, I haven't always been confident. When I was a new photographer I walked down the road of comparisons and only got further away from the "why" I was a photographer in the first place and left more of my confidence along the way. I looked at what others were doing and what they had to offer, comparing myself and feeling less then. But I decided then and there I was going to focus on and celebrate what I have that no one else does - ME. Because the only thing I can bring to the table that is different from everyone else is me. My experience, the way I see the world, my personality. My voice and the value I have. And let me point out this is very very different from being full of yourself, thinking you are better then other people and have a sense of entitlement. THAT is just a very narrow, sad and dark road to be on. It is being proud and confident in your beautiful uniqueness.
Once you realize and truly embrace that there is only one you, everything changes. You can celebrate the accomplishments of your colleagues. You can take more risks, dream bigger dreams, and be authentic. You can be confident that the unique things you have will never go away. You have the freedom to embrace what makes you special because you are truly one of a kind.
There is and only will be one you. You are special. You are enough. Believe it and don't forget it. Embrace and celebrate that.
Now go brew yourself another cup of coffee, sit down on the couch, and thank Mickey Mouse for keepin' it real.