The session world is a weird and wonderful beast as, for the most part, I’m a Lone Ranger. There are times when I absolutely love this part of my job as there isn’t any pressure from a boss telling me what to do or monitoring my work to check it’s up to standard. This can have a downside, however, as it means most of the time I measure my success as a nail artist by comparing myself to others.
I can find a lot of ways to do this, but for me it’s mostly via social media. Apps such as Instagram can be amazing for showcasing your work and getting inspiration. They can work like a portfolio and Instagram was certainly pivotal in helping me get signed with my agency, Premier Hair & Makeup. I do however think social media can also have a dark side and for me personally has often been a source of immense pressure. I compare my work to others and start to ask myself: ‘why am I not that good? Why can’t I do L&P acrylic nails well? Why can’t I get that many likes on my post? Why can’t I land that big campaign? Why can’t I work with that celebrity?’ The list goes on.
“I’ve discovered that, for me, it’s pointless to measure my happiness and self-worth by the number of likes I get, the comments on a post, the email to say well done or the nod of approval as it’s never going to be enough.”
Pressure mat come from many different angles and will n doubt be different for each of us. I suppose the important question is: where is your pressure coming from? For me, identifying the source of my pressure has been the key to overcoming it. It doesn’t make it go away instantly but I’ve found that if I know where it is coming from and can begin to learn to accept it, then I can start to work with it rather than against it.
I’ve discovered that, for me, it’s pointless to measure my happiness and self-worth by the number of likes I get, the comments on a post, the email to say well done or the nod of approval as its never going to be enough. The happiness has to come from somewhere else and for me that’s in the simple pleasures of a beautiful sunrise, a trip to a new country, lunch and a good natter with a new friend or a phone call to my nan to see how she is.
To summarise, I think it’s healthy to feel a little pressure. I find it helps motivate me to learn new things, develop my skills and grow as an artist. But – and there’s a huge ‘but’ here – when that pressure starts to make me withdraw, affects my work and turns the volume up on the voice that says ‘you’re not good enough’, then it’s time to let it go, be kind to myself, connect with the things that make me happy and grounded again.