Ally Frances Photo

January 19, 2022

5 Ways to Improve Your Mindset

Hello lovely amazing beautiful people! I am here today because I wanted to pick 5 ways I have improved my mindset recently and share them with you. I have been actively trying to improve my mindset because it dictates all aspects of my life. It is the core of your perspectives in life. Your mindset withholds your beliefs. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because it plays the biggest role in your happiness or your misery. Let’s get to it…

(I shared this as an Instagram reel as well, you can find me on Instagram @afc__photography)

The 5 ways I helped my mindset recently:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to other people
  2. Stop telling yourself you can’t do things
  3. Don’t fixate on only your flaws, focus on your strengths
  4. Give yourself grace if you mess up
  5. Be grateful

I picked these 5 because they have been the most important for me recently. I recently took my life from New Jersey and started a new one in Tampa, Florida. With a new move and all new things, it naturally leads to a mindset shift. That is what I am going through right now. All new friends, new places, new food, new roads, new jobs, new smells / tastes EVERYTHING NEW. Instead of getting overwhelmed, like I have been a lot, I focused on taking control of my mindset again. Not letting myself fall into victim mentality. What is victim mentality? It would look something like this: *My husband hung out with his friends so I blamed him for my loneliness and boredom.*

No, actually, I decide whether I want to feel lonely or bored. I can go and make my own friends. I can do something to entertain myself and grow, it is up to me. I have the power. I have been listening to my FAVORITE PODCAST, The Heart & Hustle by Lindsey Roman and Evie Rupp, and it helps me EVERY. TIME. If you have not listened to it, please go ahead right now and listen to their latest episode on victim mentality.

Onto explaining each tip:

1. Don’t compare yourself to other people!

This sounds really obvious. But is it? Think about the reason why it is important to steer clear of comparing yourself to people around you. Let’s say you’re me for a second and I am a photographer comparing myself to the most amazing photographers. These reasons are why YOU CANNOT COMPARE:

– Difference in wealth when the business first started

– Differences in experience and how long the photographer has been shooting

– Differences in geographical locations

The reason I pick those is because a photographer with more money may be able to invest a lot more money into getting a camera, lenses, SD cards, a camera backpack, tripod, etc. All of that creates the professional appearance of a photographer. That does not mean the photographer is automatically great because of the gear, it just allows for the photographer to look professional and have the right gear. That photographer can have a leg up when attracting new clients. Photographers with a limited budget may not be able to get a camera with a full frame sensor or the fastest SD card for their photos. Why does this matter? Don’t compare yourself to others because you don’t know how much money someone has to invest in new gear, marketing, a studio space, etc. If you are slowly investing your money into your photography business, that is A okay. You will get to the point of that photographer with all the gear eventually. But you don’t have that money right now. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s financial status. Now apply this scenario to whatever industry / field you are in.

Now, onto experience. Let’s say I am at home on Instagram and I keep checking this famous photographer’s page. I ask myself why my work doesn’t look like theirs. Why their editing style is better. How they travel so much, etc. etc. etc. All of the experience they gained as a photographer amounted to where they are right now. They put tons of hours of effort into finding clients, booking them, showing up to their wedding, capturing everything, editing everything, and delivering galleries upon galleries. This allows them to create a work flow since the process is repeated. Then they become more efficient. This all creates the final product of what I see today on their Instagram. Hours, days, months, and years of experience. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s level of experience. Now apply this scenario to whatever industry / field you are in.

Lastly, differences in geographical locations can also be a spot for comparison. This used to be such a big deal for me. So let’s say you want to be an Oregon Wedding Photographer but you’re working in New York where the landscape isn’t quite what you want or dream of. But in the meantime, you still create photos. Then, you post them on your Instagram. You look at your Instagram at the end of the day and you don’t feel great about it and keep telling yourself you want to move to Oregon. Next, you go to an Oregon Wedding Photographer’s Instagram and start comparing all your photos to theirs. Well what do you think will happen? You’ll think their photos are magic and yours are okay. Well that’s because you want to move to Oregon and you’re staring at the portfolio of an Oregon Photographer. Not everyone who looks at your Instagram says, “Wow, I wish they took photos in Oregon.” You are the only one thinking that. No one else compares your page to a photographer on the complete opposite side of the United States. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s lifestyle in your dream location. Now apply this scenario to whatever industry / field you are in.

Does that make sense? I used photographer examples because I am a photographer and it is the easiest for me to speak to. But that is not necessary, insert your personal life, career, and who you compare yourself to. It is a toxic mentality, and it never makes sense to think that way.

Next up:

2. Stop telling yourself you can’t do things!

This one is crystal clear. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, well, then you simply can’t. You are closing that door and locking it shut inside of your mind. That is all on you. Instead of saying “I can’t do that” to things you want to do but are too afraid to do, say “How can I do that?” I had to start actively switching these phrases in my brain. It is really hard. It’s easier to say I can’t, and then shut it down. When you ask, “How can I do it?,” that requires deep thought and planning. So if you want to change your “can’t” mindset, apply this simple step and see how it works for you.

3. Don’t fixate on ONLY your flaws, focus on your strengths!

Look, I am not saying ignore all of your flaws and continue on with yourself. I am saying yes, we all have flaws, but it does not help to ONLY recognize what’s wrong with you. Carefully and compassionately work on your flaws that have been within you for years. That takes time to really undo. The point of not only focusing on your flaws is to give yourself due credit for what you are amazing at doing! If you are an amazing athlete, own it. If you are a creative artist, own it. If you can do hair phenomenally, own it. Allow yourself to feel amazing every day at your best qualities and strengths. God gives everyone talents and special skills. Allow yourself to step into your talent and be proud of it. If you are a talented chef, don’t mourn how you are not as talented at playing chess. We cannot be amazing at everything. We have to revel in our strengths and be who we were created to be. Only focusing on what you aren’t will never let you reach your full potential. If I sit with myself all day saying, “I am not the best at art. I am terrible at my craft. I suck at marketing,” then all I gave myself for that day was a pile of sh** to sit on my chest and hold me down. Allow yourself to thrive in your areas of strength. Working on your flaws will come with time, and it is a worthwhile journey, but again, that takes time. Be patient with yourself.

4. Give yourself grace if you mess up!

What is a guaranteed thing on this Earth? We will mess up. So what? How are you going to deal with messing up when it does come? Are you going to get on your high horse and blame someone else? Are you going to take responsibility too far and beat yourself up to a pulp? Why not a happy medium where you are accountable for your mistake, give yourself love for the process, and do better next time. Simple! Don’t make it the end of the world. I once ran out of memory on my camera in the middle of an engagement session. We all have these moments, and we have to deal with them to the best of our ability. Instead of panicking, I gave the couple a moment alone to enjoy the scenery, and I deleted all the photos on my card before their couple session. I was ready to go back out and do a killer photoshoot!

5. Be grateful

The most sacred tip. Life is nothing without gratitude. You are an aimless soul without gratitude. Being grateful for our lives almost always cures us of whatever problem is going on. We could be in a tight situation and then we hear or see someone else going through something 100X worse. Then we stop and think wow, I actually don’t have it as bad as I thought. I am so grateful I am where I am and not in that situation. Gratitude is an overarching cure to our pain. When we can stop looking around and just simply look within, we remember who the fu** we are. There has been so many times I have been moping about not being great or as amazing as I thought I could be at something. Then I always receive the epiphany that stops me in my tracks: I can never be someone else, all I can ever be is myself. Am I going to keep doing this soul a disservice by always watching others? Or am I going to remember who the fu** I am and be grateful I am uniquely myself. No one else can ever be me even if they tried. All of my family, my best friends, my happy memories, my accomplishments, my losses, my pain, its all mine and I am so grateful to be writing the life story of Ally Coghlan.

I have been thinking about my mindset all day, every day, this week. I really treated this blog like a journal entry. I truly truly TRULY hope this can help you.

Sending my best and my love to y’all,

Ally Coghlan

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