How FEAR can keep you from success.

Often, when digging deep and looking into why we may not do something in life, even if it’s something we’d like to do, the answer that comes up is FEAR. Fear of Failure – can you relate? Fear of Being Judged, Fear of Rejection etc. In terms of running your own business and taking the steps to get you to success, all of the fears can play a role. I know I’ve experienced fear and I imagine you have too, at least at some point.

Today, I’d like to acknowledge those fears and talk about them here so that you don’t hold yourself back. Especially if the thing you’d like to do is have a photo shoot!

The Fear of Failure

At some point in ALL of our lives, we’ve all been held back by this fear. Do I try out for the soccer team? Will I pass the test? Do I get professional photos done for my website? 

This fear usually masks another one (#2 in our list). When people are scared of failure, they’re usually afraid that others won’t see them as successful.

Overcoming Fear and Doing the Personal Branding Shoot

So, how do you overcome this fear of failure?

Define your own success metric. What is your outcome goal? It should be attainable and one that improves your life overall.

Remind yourself that failure is relative. If you’re not able to achieve one goal, it’s not the end of your journey. Take time to think the situation over, then plan a new route or a new end goal.

If your fear is failing at being in front of the camera and you’re not sure how to pose, or what to wear, and you just don’t think you could be a good model for photos, STOP that thinking! Anyone can pose for a photo, even if it’s not a formal pose. Plus, you’ve got me to help you every step of the way. I love helping to empower others and it is my pleasure to bring your story to life through wonderful images of YOU! You will not be alone. We’ll work on this project/goal together.

Overcoming Fear and Doing the Personal Branding Shoot

The Fear of Being Judged

As mentioned, most people worry about what others will (or already do) think of them. But it’s important to remember that others’ outlooks are not something you can control. Plus, those that truly matter tend to be more understanding.

To overcome this fear:

Know that insecurity is what usually leads to judgement. By contrast, the people that are okay with their own mistakes recognize that everyone is bound to make them. They also understand that a mistake can lead to good things with the right perspective. Listen to those people and see how they grow. The plus of a mistake is there’s always something to learn.

Recognize that a person’s opinion only matters if you let it. A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt says it best: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” It may be difficult at first, but consciously reminding yourself of this will make it easier over time. And really, who cares what anyone else thinks. You’re amazing. Embrace it.

Have confidence in yourself. You know you best, so believe in who you are. Practicing affirmations, which are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts, foster self-confidence and self-belief. 

Overcoming Fear and Doing the Personal Branding Shoot

I am not here to judge anyone. I’m here to support you through this project and work with you to get you the best possible images that tell your potential clients who you are and what you’re all about. Storytelling is my jam (and profession).


Some people are afraid of rejection itself. If you’ve been rejected in any aspect of life (chosen last for the dodgeball team – yup, this girl!) it’s hard to get past the fear that it will happen again.  It’s hard for these people to step out of their comfort zone, so they may not even try to go after their dreams. That’s sad, don’t you think? We all deserve to live out our best lives, dreams included!

If you have this fear though, there are a couple of things you can try:

Write out the worst-case scenario, then you can decide if it’s really not worth the risk. Many times, people are just worried what others will think of them (even if it’s a complete stranger.)

Desensitize yourself to rejection. Jia Jiang is the owner of the website Rejection Therapy and he speaks about asking for silly and inconsequential things that guarantee that people would reject him — like asking for a burger refill at a restaurant. Of course that’s not going to happen. Not only did he get over his fear in a low-risk way, but it also surprised him how many things he got just because he was willing to ask. (He’s still waiting on that burger refill though.)

Well, first and foremost, you won’t be rejected by me. I’m your #1 Cheerleader and will guide you through it all every step of the way. The outfits, the posing, the locations etc. And I know that together we’ll create the images necessary to tell your story that truly reflect you, so why would anyone reject your photos? Don’t worry, nobody will.

Overcoming Fear and Doing the Personal Branding Shoot


Humans are creatures of habit. We like our routines and knowing the outcome. That alone can keep us from trying new things or living up to our potential. If you’ve never done a photo shoot before, I completely understand how it could feel a bit (or a lot) intimidating, especially if you really don’t like being in front of a camera at all, not even for a selfie. But, we can get you past this.

Here’s what you can do:

Recognize when change is worth it. While it may involve extra work or time, only you know if the end result will be valuable to you.

If it feels overwhelming, put together an action plan. Breaking it down into smaller steps can make it feel more natural. And one of those small steps is calling me and asking me anything you want. I offer Complimentary Consultations. You just have to book one online and we’ll chat. I’d also invite you to peruse my website and check out some of my blogs to get an idea of what a Personal Branding session could look like for you. 

Overcoming Fear and Doing the Personal Branding Shoot

Telling your story is my job so I will get to know you as well as I can before you’ll even see the camera, and if you have some fears around a photo shoot, please share that with me and I will do everything in my power to make you feel as comfortable as possible. And, I bet you’ll be surprised at just how well you do.

Images shared with permission.

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And Portrait Studio!

Michele Mateus is an award winning Vancouver Portrait Photographer specialised in Lifestyle & Intimate Portraiture. Michele works both in her studio and on location serving Coquitlam, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Langley, Abbotsford, Squamish, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster and the Great Vancouver area.

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