Photographer Joie Takaki is pursuing her dream of building her own business. In this guest blog series, she shares her journey from beginner to expert with us.
One day, I received an unexpected awakening. A big wake-up call, via email.
I opened up my email to find this message: ‘How would you like to shoot a wedding in a castle in the south of London?' Instantly, I was jumping up and down with joy and excitement and busting dance moves in the kitchen.
‘Oh my goodness! Yessssss!!!', I shrieked ecstatically to no one but myself. I love trying new things and I had never shot a wedding in a castle in England before!
That was my initial reaction.
A split second after that happy dance? A very different mood and voice popped in my head.
‘I can't. How would I get there…'
The instant I heard that voice speak those words, ‘I can't!', I became furious with myself! I was repulsed by the idea of thinking that ‘I can't!'. That word ‘can't' had not existed in my vocabulary before. So this really infuriated me. How did it slip into my head? How long had it been lingering there? I immediately recognised that I had been making excuses without realising I was making excuses! And I instantly knew the only person holding me back, was ME.
‘That is IT! I am NOT letting THIS stop me!'. I yelled to myself.
Of course, I can! And I'll prove it!
I grabbed the car keys and rushed over to my sleepy husband.
‘Get dressed! We're going to the south of England! And I'm driving!', I declared happily, dangling the car keys in front of him like I was baiting him.
He laughed. He thought I'm joking.
I hadn't realised until that moment that I hadn't driven here in nearly two years! The moment we first moved to here from Canada, I got my UK licence and started driving. My furthest attempt was around the corner from our house to the local Waitrose supermarket. Less than a 5-minute ride. Let’s just say … it was not exactly ‘enjoyable'! Driving on the opposite side, it turns out, is so much more challenging than it sounds! It’s as easy as writing backwards with your left hand while rubbing your belly and singing to Chocolate by The 1975, with a Brit accent. Only life-threatening. So, that was the last attempt.
And suddenly 2 years had crept up behind me and bit me in the butt.
So there I was, stating that I am about to drive 3 hours south, and 3 hours back. On the same day. I started packing things up to go.
‘I don't want to do this!', the hubby begged.
He started giving me heaps of excuses why it was a bad idea. But I wasn't having any of it. I just looked him square in the eyes like I wasn't messing around, and with every ounce of self-belief, I simply said very matter of fact, ‘I got this!'.
He senses my unwavering determination and slowly got into the passenger seat, painfully buckled up and held his breath. Dread was written all over this face. This was clearly not his idea of fun.
… 8 hours later …
We arrived home. I pulled into our driveway. I stopped the car, turned the key to switch off the ignition and pulled up the hand brake. We were both sitting in silence, just staring ahead in disbelief.
What just happened there?
Finally, someone speaks … ‘Wow! I can't believe you just did that! I am so proud of you!' He was wearing the biggest smile! Just beaming with pride.
But do you know what was even BETTER than that reaction?
Self-pride. I completely surprised myself.
‘How did I do that?' I thought. ‘I can't believe I did that!'
But the HOW didn't matter. What mattered was I set out to do what I thought I couldn't.
When you prove it to others, it feels amazing. When you prove it to yourself, it's incredible!
Two weeks later, I did the same thing. This time, alone. I left the house at 6am. It took me 4 hours to drive to the wedding. I left the wedding at 11pm and drove home another 3 hours alone at night, in stark darkness and in the pouring rain. I shot that wedding that inspired this breakthrough. I proved to myself I could do whatever I put my mind to. And it was empowering!
I realised after, that fears are lies you tell yourself, to prevent yourself from doing what you know you need to do. It isn’t just about conquering the fear itself that feels so amazing. It’s what happens to your life afterwards that is so significant.
Simply by conquering this one fear I have opened myself up to limitless opportunities. Now I can shoot a wedding anywhere. My next wedding was in Aberfoyle, Scotland. And yes, I drove all the way there, and back. (Not on the same day, of course. That's just absurd!)
And you? What do you fear? What lies do you tell yourself? Face it, own it, and it could open new possibilities otherwise unknown to you.
‘YOUR ONLY LIMIT, IS YOU.' ~ Anonymous