One of the things I am teaching my daughter right now is to eliminate apologetic language from her vocabulary unless she’s done something that she truly needs to apologize for (which is incredibly rare). She’s picked up a habit of saying “Sorry” for every little thing, and since this is a habit that will not serve her well in life, we’re working together to change it.
Just yesterday I realized that she may have learned that from me.
I shared this photo with a friend, and she was very complimentary and enthusiastic about how much she liked the image. My knee-jerk response was a comment about what a lucky shot it was – immediately downplaying my own part in creating the image. As if myself as the photographer was just an incidental part of the photograph coming into existence.
Yes, it was a lucky shot – fire moves so quickly and constantly that I could never plan to get that exact image with the flames located exactly where they are. There will always be an element of luck with a good shot of flames. This cannot be disputed.
However, the rest of the setup was all me – my vision and my skill. I looked at that fire and background and decided to create an image from it. I chose the composition and the settings on the camera, and I took the picture and edited it until it was just right (in this case all it needed was a tiny bit of cropping and straightening). So why was I automatically so hesitant to take the credit? Why did I so quickly attribute this photo to luck?
How much of this self-deprecating attitude is rubbing off on my impressionable ten-year-old?
I know that my kids learn more from the behaviors I model than they do from what I tell them. I know that what I do, they will most likely also do. I know that if I want my daughter to exude confidence, love for herself, pride in her work and excitement about expanding her capabilities and knowledge, I have to model those same things. I am doing her no favors by being scared to acknowledge my own successes and talents. This is an attitude and behavior that I need to change. I refuse to set an example of a wilting wallflower.
I created this image with vision, skill, and some luck, and I am very proud of how it turned out.
And to my friend that was so kind with her compliments – thank you.