Having doubts / freaking out about my chosen path (long post)

by flyingSquirrel 20 replies
Do you ever have doubts / worries / mental crisis, about... "have I chosen the correct path in life?" "am I working on the right passion of mine?" "am I making a very big mistake?"

I have a couple different hobbies / passions. One is nature photography, and another is plants/terrariums and creative custom projects.

I invested a LOT of time and money into photography, and I am EXTREMELY good at it, and I always thought it was my "DESTINY," but when trying to make a business out of it by online marketing and teaching it to others, I began to despise what I was doing (not necessarily the hobby itself, but the business approach). There are many aspects of nature photography which I no longer do (partly because some of it is too physically and mentally demanding, and partly because I'm doing something else now....)

I finally decided to try another hobby / passion as a business - rare plants and terrariums and custom projects. I am approaching it from a different perspective than photography. I am less worried about making as much money, as I am concerned that I enjoy what I'm doing for a business. I thought that I enjoyed plants / terrariums much more, and I'm having fun with it. It seems great right now and I'm still excited about it. I am also combining aspects of the nature photography into this hobby.

The problem is, while I still do photography in the context of the plants and terrariums, when I look back at the things I produced while doing true nature photography of wildlife and nature outdoors (not during the business part, but during the creating out of passion part), I am still very impacted and blown away by my creations. I am inspired by it. And so is everyone else who sees it.

So I start freaking out, feeling like I have made the wrong choice. I am quite gifted at nature photography. But then I swapped to plants and terrariums, which I'm great at, and enjoy as well...but maybe the photography was still the right thing because of how incredible my talents are, and how much of my life has been dedicated to it, and how I used to think it was what I was supposed to do.

It's not like I can't do the nature photography / wildlife photography ever again... I still have the passion, the equipment, the skills (though a bit rusty by now!)...I can always do that on a personal basis as a break from the plants/terrarium "business" I am working on... then I won't despise the photography because I won't be teaching it to others, which I hate doing.

Maybe I'm overreacting simply because of the emotions I get when looking at my old nature photos? Maybe it's better I keep nature photography as my personal hobby, my private thing that I love and gives me a break from the rest of life? Maybe I should look at it from the perspective of, regardless of what I'm doing, I'm still using my talents and abilities, and enjoying what I'm doing?

Sometimes I even have crazy feelings that I should be doing something completely different from any of my hobbies. Like my destiny or path was supposed to be something else that is a challenge and I hate, but maybe if I developed it I could have a huge impact. Like motivational speaking or something like that. Because maybe it would cause the greatest amount of growth in me, and require crushing my fears and childhood issues. And let me help others who've going through the severe ordeals I've gone through in life.

I am torn and totally full of doubt and fear about my choice. I realize you can't know for sure because you don't truly have all of the info about my life, and can't feel what I'm feeling.

Has anyone else had a similar mental battle?
#mind warriors #chosen #doubts #freaking #long #path #post
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post

    Do you ever have doubts / worries / mental crisis, about... "have I chosen the correct path in life?" "am I working on the right passion of mine?" "am I making a very big mistake?"

    I have a couple different hobbies / passions. One is nature photography, and another is plants/terrariums and creative custom projects.

    I invested a LOT of time and money into photography, and I am EXTREMELY good at it, and I always thought it was my "DESTINY," but when trying to make a business out of it by online marketing and teaching it to others, I began to despise what I was doing (not necessarily the hobby itself, but the business approach). There are many aspects of nature photography which I no longer do (partly because some of it is too physically and mentally demanding, and partly because I'm doing something else now....)

    I finally decided to try another hobby / passion as a business - rare plants and terrariums and custom projects. I am approaching it from a different perspective than photography. I am less worried about making as much money, as I am concerned that I enjoy what I'm doing for a business. I thought that I enjoyed plants / terrariums much more, and I'm having fun with it. It seems great right now and I'm still excited about it. I am also combining aspects of the nature photography into this hobby.

    The problem is, while I still do photography in the context of the plants and terrariums, when I look back at the things I produced while doing true nature photography of wildlife and nature outdoors (not during the business part, but during the creating out of passion part), I am still very impacted and blown away by my creations. I am inspired by it. And so is everyone else who sees it.

    So I start freaking out, feeling like I have made the wrong choice. I am quite gifted at nature photography. But then I swapped to plants and terrariums, which I'm great at, and enjoy as well...but maybe the photography was still the right thing because of how incredible my talents are, and how much of my life has been dedicated to it, and how I used to think it was what I was supposed to do.

    It's not like I can't do the nature photography / wildlife photography ever again... I still have the passion, the equipment, the skills (though a bit rusty by now!)...I can always do that on a personal basis as a break from the plants/terrarium "business" I am working on... then I won't despise the photography because I won't be teaching it to others, which I hate doing.

    Maybe I'm overreacting simply because of the emotions I get when looking at my old nature photos? Maybe it's better I keep nature photography as my personal hobby, my private thing that I love and gives me a break from the rest of life? Maybe I should look at it from the perspective of, regardless of what I'm doing, I'm still using my talents and abilities, and enjoying what I'm doing?

    Sometimes I even have crazy feelings that I should be doing something completely different from any of my hobbies. Like my destiny or path was supposed to be something else that is a challenge and I hate, but maybe if I developed it I could have a huge impact. Like motivational speaking or something like that. Because maybe it would cause the greatest amount of growth in me, and require crushing my fears and childhood issues. And let me help others who've going through the severe ordeals I've gone through in life.

    I am torn and totally full of doubt and fear about my choice. I realize you can't know for sure because you don't truly have all of the info about my life, and can't feel what I'm feeling.

    Has anyone else had a similar mental battle?
    Sure, most of us have had a similar battle. In fact, having too many options based on likes, passions and career choices keeps many a therapist in business.

    Anxiety is at an all time high, and few things create anxiety like having the thoughts you expressed. So, you are NOT alone, take a deep breath.

    As for your passions. I'm sure you've thought of combining the two. But you need a higer end market place.

    Your photos could be used to create great backgrounds. Create 3-D statuettes from them, add in foilage, a bonzai and you have a much higer perceived value piece of art/hobby, one which appeals to people with money.


    https://www.aquariumvinyl.com/nature/ As an example, NOT affiliated.

    Toss in a reptile, and you can create one of a kind custom made terrariums, using your photos as the backgrounds, you might consider crowd funding once you have a well thought out plan.

    Good luck,

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Even if you're not on the "right" path ― you can surely learn something from it (that will help you on another path) ― and choose that other path. Many of the World's most successful Entrepreneurs (past and present) went through a great deal of trial and error before they arrived. It's just part of the process.

    (You may find this exercise helpful ...)

    https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/20...ut-20-minutes/

    HTH.
    Jonathan

    P.S. If you have any questions/concerns feel free to ask.
    : )
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    "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    Just wait for the economy to crash in the next year or two .. we are nearly at the historical max without a crash recession ..

    when a lot of people you know re out of jobs and getting unemployment..or losing everything .. and to are still making money from the skills you have and can find ways to earn money with them..

    where the economy is good right now , you are probably getting flack from family to get a real job abd start working for retirement ..

    build your rare plant terrarium business , get a few products only you can markets sell.. and do what you can to bank 6 months to a years worth of expenses .in the next 2 years..and maybe develop a few more skills
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Wrong order of operations, FS. Sorry.

    Let me share a few images I've made over the years to clarify.

    Start with what people want. What will people pay you for?



    The overlap is where you want to be.

    People also expect to get results really quickly. But what is more likely is you have to keep working at it. You won't get a linear return. You are unlikely to see a relationship like "I put this effort in, and I get this result out." Instead, it's more like this:



    As you can see I have been saying this since 2014, 4 years now.

    Finally, people get scared. They're not clear about what they're doing and why. Then they get rattled and when they think about changing what they're working on, this is what happens:



    To change your results, you do have to move from your old comfort zone to a new one. If you don't, you stay stuck in fear.

    So you are correct at this point that you need to find a business model that people will pay you for. You must give people something they want. This needs to be beyond what you believe you're good at...it has to be what they tell you they desire.

    When I started on here in fall 2012, I spent months just interacting with the Offline subforum. Loads of people then, lots more interaction than now...nowadays I'm just here to help some people. People here are not my target market at all.

    I could have helped in several areas: copywriting, sales training, process improvement, and more. But the one that stood out, the one they told me they needed help with, was the sales training. I gave them that, consultative sales training, and it was a hit. I did not show up and push something at them...I let them tell me what they needed. Then I created the way of delivering it. At first it was a live call. Then a recorded version. Then a membership site version. Ongoing evolution. Increasing price. That's where your head needs to be at.
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  • We would want always for the paths we choose to remain singularly easy to tread.

    Start out sumplace you got talent an' enthoosiasm ... prolly path is easier than ifya were fixin' up shit you don't care for (& under duress).

    But I figure nuthin' stays easy for too long.

    Troo expertise demands we battle all kindsa monsters -- from competition outside ourselves to self-doubt 'bout our own productivity to natchrl limitations on all things.

    Gotta hope you can take positive from this seemin' negative scenario you got & see how a momentary hiatus is a prompt to expand on out later in the day.

    Best stuff happens at the cliff edgea possibility -- incloodin' the disturbin' perception that alla your back catalog is crapola.

    We are stoopid we wanna always be the finished product, but all things are in flux, us inclooded.

    Sumtimes we got ebb, sumtimes we got flow -- an' sumtimes we gotta take a step back from the cliff edge to refocus on the horizon steada what we feelin' 'bout stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    I know Flying squirrel didn't put it in the post ,

    My curiosity is weather he/she really feels they are on the wrong path.. or If the real problem is that the parents are getting on his/her ass to start getting what looks like a real career path going ..where the economy is pretty hot looking right now .. there might be some pressure from family ..

    but i have had a bad head cold for a week and might just be reading into it to much .

    If the current crisis is really do to pressure from family ..we are most likely 1-2 years from the next hard recession ..so you might want to continue building your business and developing other skills that compliment your nature loving skills you already developed..paying off debt and building up cash reserve .

    but i am crazy ,and my advice only fits if your doubt and current freaking out.. is based in the prospect that your parents are getting on your ass to grow up and get a real job ..

    sorry for the rambling
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    However there are many other paths to Entrepreneurial success.
    Feel free to post one in detail.


    If the real problem is that the parents are getting on his/her ass to start getting what looks like a real career path going
    Do you realize how many times you post about it being 'family' that is the problem or claim the economy is ready to crash? It's easy to blame everything on someone or something else. They are called' excuses.

    The OP seems a bit convoluted in this thinking - but he is thinking and he knows decisions must be made. You can only naval gaze while thinking about the universe...for so long. Eventually, you run out of lint.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Feel free to post one in detail.
      No -- I can't post something in detail like Jason did.
      (Like I said, it was excellent advice ...)

      It just that some Entrepreneurial ventures aren't about solving problems. For instance my primary Website is to empower and inspire People and not really solving any problems. (I'm sure there are countless other examples.)

      Jonathan
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      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

        No -- I can't post something in detail like Jason did.
        (Like I said, it was excellent advice ...)

        It just that some Entrepreneurial ventures aren't about solving problems. For instance my primary Website is to empower and inspire People and not really solving any problems. (I'm sure there are countless other examples.)

        Jonathan
        Here's the scary thing, Jonathan, and I'm not saying this to beat up on you...

        I didn't share a business model in this thread. All I shared was some thought process steps. Some highlights along the way of how people typically think.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          OK. Thanks Jason.
          : )
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          "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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      • Profile picture of the author flyingSquirrel
        "It just that some Entrepreneurial ventures aren't about solving problems."
        That is contrary to 99.9% (maybe 100%) of advice people give. But....it makes sense to me, and I have always thought there are ways to have a business which doesn't directly "solve a problem" or give people something they are asking for. (Although it's probably more difficult)

        The way I see it, there is what people "need," and then there is what they "want/enjoy". I think there are opportunities in the "want / enjoy" side of things. (But I again I recognize that it's probably far more effective to just do the "solve a problem" thing)

        By the way you mentioned something about your site being about inspiring people. Can you please link to me that? (PM me if necessary ... I don't have enough posts to send PM yet)

        Thanks
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        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post

          The way I see it, there is what people "need," and then there is what they "want/enjoy". I think there are opportunities in the "want / enjoy" side of things.
          I definitely agree. : ) There are many Entrepreneurs (etc.) that are doing just that. It's also good to keep an "open mind" -- rather than thinking there is only one way (AKA their way) to becoming successful.

          Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post

          By the way you mentioned something about your site being about inspiring people. Can you please link to me that? (PM me if necessary ... I don't have enough posts to send PM yet)
          I'm still building/designing it at the moment. Thanks for the interest though. When you have enough posts we can stay in touch through PM if you like.

          Jonathan
          : )
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          "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      P.S.
      Another example would be OP doing custom Desktop Backgrounds with his passion for Nature Photography. (Or something similar ― just an example.) Again it's not really solving a problem.

      2C
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      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    I also share the same sentiments. There comes a time to everyone's life that they come to question where they currently stand. Is this the right path, did I make the right decision and similar thoughts. But one thing I learned all through out the years is that wherever you are humans can still make the most out of it and adapt.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Augustyn
    Take something you love, add stress and high expectations, sprinkle in a pinch of ego, and then turn it into a business. You have a recipe for self-doubt, self-questioning, and anxiety. It sounds like you have special gifts in both areas. How about choosing to do what you love with regard to the nature photography and let go of the parts you don't like (teaching)? And, combining your two interests also seem like a fit. The thing is - focus on what brings you joy in both of your interests!
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  • Profile picture of the author Connann
    There is nothing called "the right path" or "the right passion".

    It's a misunderstood, a congnitive bias.

    You stick to one thing, get good at it, and most of the time you will discover that u like it, and become your "passion".

    So choose one thing and stick to the plan.

    Also, when you have 'opinions' in doing something you often dab here and there, but when you stop dabbing and make a DECISION, here comes results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Master Blake
    I know that is doesn't sound feasible but this is where work must be laid upon.

    Eradicate the persisting blocks of defeatism and stride ahead.

    The possibilities are endless.
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