Maggie Jill Photography » Maggie Jill Photography is a natural light studio and on-location photography service specializing in newborn, milestone and family photography

How do you know what’s right?

How do you know what’s right? (and a cute baby real quick because… well, because thats what I do)

70403780_2477794785783505_3640580684302516224_oPINIMAGEIf you’re like me, you started a business out of passion. The passion to create art, to help people reach fitness goals, find their dream home… whatever you felt so strongly about and you were thrilled to make a career out of.

You may have quickly realized “well this is a little harder than I thought. I thought I would be enjoying my passion all day and now I’m answering tough emails, finding the right words when I have to say no, writing policies when I’m not even entirely sure what they should be…”

And then 2020 happened. The year that really seems to be the year of all years. The one where every month seems to bring a new, completely uncharted challenge. I mean are murder hornets a thing? Is this year real?!?

Now the decisions seem even bigger and more personal. They seem scarier. Lives are literally on the line. Should you speak up on current events, is it your place to say something or worse, is it your place NOT to say something? How should you re-open your business, are you making the right choices for yourself, your family, your clients?

I’m overwhelmed by 2020 in general. Some days (today started as one) I’m worried that my business won’t make it because I don’t know the right answers. My head spins when I think about the questions that I just can’t seem to get anywhere with, I go in circles on what is right and what is wrong. Yesterday I spoke up in a social media group. My intention was to make sure all voices were heard and all opinions were considered (in regards to re-opening guidelines). I felt that some in this particular group were projecting their opinions as the right ones and I was offended. I chose my words carefully and spoke from the heart. I got a ton of support and I felt like I did the right thing. Today I woke up in a panic wondering if I had done just the opposite of my intention. Did I make someone else feel like their posts were wrong and out of line? Did I not accept their choices? Did I end up doing the exact thing I was preaching against?

I feel like I’ve been spinning since this whole pandemic started. Truthfully I’ve been spinning for a lot longer. As strong as my passion for photography is, my passion for doing the right thing, being a good person and being someone who others can count on and look up to is even stronger. This year has tested that. Honestly, the past few years have tested it for me on a personal level, but this year it feels like it’s all coming to the surface. I worry so much about the doing the right thing, saying the right thing, making sure my intentions are clear… that I often don’t get anywhere. Sometimes I don’t speak up when I probably should. Sometimes my opinions are swayed by the thought that maybe I’m offending someone. Sometimes I see so much grey area I can’t even wrap my head around a decision one way or the other.

Someone recently said to me “we judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviors” 🤯 I looked it up and Stephen M.R. Covey originally said it. It rang so true for me. I know my intentions are always good but I worry so much that my words and actions have to portray them perfectly or I’ll be misunderstood. I spend more time than I’d like to admit wondering what the right answer is because if I chose the wrong one then people may not think of me the way I think of myself. I worry if I say or do something, it might offend someone and in my heart I don’t want to offend anyone, ever. I don’t want to come across as someone who doesn’t value the opinion of others but since others will ALWAYS have different opinions, I can never satisfy everyone, so I spin. I worry about my reputation. I worry about how I’m perceived. I do this in my personal life but I do even more in my business, especially lately. Especially in 2020.

Well I recently (like minutes before I wrote this) came to a realization that I should have probably come to when I was 20… you can’t please everyone. I knew that. I knew that on the surface when I was 20 but I didn’t accept it, honestly, until today, until moments ago. I didn’t understand that you have to accept it and you have to do what’s right for you and that doesn’t make you selfish. There is literally no way to please everyone so you have no choice. Spinning in circles doesn’t help you please everyone, all it does is make you silent and confused. You should hear opinions, you should be open minded, you should admit when you’re wrong and you should always be willing to grow but you shouldn’t be afraid to make the wrong decision. If you do what you believe in your heart to be right, then you’ll never be wrong. You’ll offend some (because you always will) and you may see things differently in the future, and even change your opinion and your actions over time. You’ll grow. That’s OK. It still wasn’t the wrong decision. It was the one you believed to be true in that moment, the one that was right for you, then one that came from your heart and that’s the most right you can be.

I guess that was a lot of words to say that if you feel any of the stress and pressure that I described above and you can’t seem to find the right answers, look inside yourself. Do what’s right for you because that’s ultimately what’s right for the people closest to you, the ones who are most similar to you, your ideal clients, and your true friends. It’s never going to be easy to know that others don’t agree with you, are offended by you or upset with a choice that you made but take it from someone who has spent years spinning… there is truly no other way. There is no RIGHT answer, only the answer that’s right for YOU, so go with that 💕

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