Inadequacy Does NOT Sit on YOUR Throne, OK?
As I win film awards around the globe, I've entered this space of downplaying our successes.
The common narrative is:
"I dunno, it was only 7 minutes long"
"I don't get it, we had a MICRO-budget"
"Really, though, we filmed in an old gymnasium"
"I was never, ever trained in this so I don't think we deserve these accolades"
And then, someone told me to own it. She told me that I worked hard, that I directed that film, that I chose the crew, that I synthesized the script, that I planned the poses, the ending, the pictures. I had a vision from sentence one to the final credits and I made it a reality, and she told me I should be proud of it. Furthermore, I wrote a grant proposal for funding and had a fully-funded film 3 hours later.
Did you know I get just as excited with every win as I did with the very first one, in NYC?
I get the email, I scream, my arms flail rather not-eloquently, I rapidly type to my crew, sometimes I run around. FRANCE! MOM, FRANCE! Or, "Nana, you better sit down for this one! Czech Republic!!!!!!"
I don't tell people I get that excited because my awards have become kind-of commonplace.
I'm learning that doesn't mean I don't deserve them. Considering myself inadequate because I'm not "trained, "qualified", "deserving", "experienced" negates the exceptional amount of hard work and confidence I put into this film. I allowed my thoughts of inadequacy to sit on the throne.
Here's the truth: film festivals have an esteemed jury. They have rounds of acceptances: selected, semi-finalist, finalist, award-winner. These judges know what they are doing. My film isn't just being picked out of a hat, right? It's being chosen. The work that I, along with my cast and crew, did is being chosen as an impactful film.
I'm not saying to walk around with five trophies hanging on a lanyard around your neck. I'm not saying make it the discussion point of every single conversation. Humility is important, and at the same time, BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. THAT THRONE IS YOURS.
I AM saying to stop down-playing your accomplishments.
I AM saying to stop making excuses for why it succeeded. It succeeded because of YOU and YOUR DEDICATION and YOUR HARD WORK, okay?
I AM saying it's important to be excited about your wins and victories - whatever they are!!!
I AM saying what you have done is incredible, and there is NO shame in owning that, and saying:
HECK, YES. I DID THAT. I AM PROUD.
Don't allow feelings of inadequacy to sit on a throne that belongs to Y-O-U.
With all the love and a few trophies in the mail I had to pay customs on (LOL),