When you first meet someone, what's one of the first questions you ask them? You might ask for their name, and then possibly what they do for a living. I recently started reading a book called "The i-Factor" by Van Moody, and it's completely changed the way I think about my identity.
I've found that so often we forget that we are more than the sum of our parts. I might define myself as a photographer, but I'm not defined by what I do. I'm learning that if I tie what I do too closely to who I am, I lose myself. And if what I do for a living ever changes - I'm in for a MAJOR life crisis.
I'm learning that I'm not just "Jenna the photographer." I'm Jenna - an encourager, someone who looks for the best in people, and someone who cares deeply about helping others feel loved. Those things won't change, and they can be carried with me into whatever I do.
Now - don't get the wrong idea here, I have absolutely NO intentions of quitting photography. In fact - just the opposite. I recently left my part-time job to pursue this crazy dream full time! But in that decision came fear - fear of losing part of who I was because I was giving up something I love almost as much as photography. But really - knowing who I am and defining myself apart from what I do is one of the first steps towards having the confidence to succeed!
I share this in hope to encourage anyone else who's chasing a dream out there, however big or small, and however far along in the process you are. Whatever you chase, be careful to define yourself by your "who" - then your "what" will fall into place.