I’ve just started practicing a new sport: Climbing. It reminds me when I was starting photography … and how we all start at the bottom.

Climbing my way up from the bottom

Fun fact: I’m afraid of heights. So why have I decided to start climbing? Great question!

Maybe you’ve asked yourself that question as you were — or are — starting photography. “I don’t see myself as a creative or artistic person” or “I don’t know anything about cameras and settings.” My answer to this is? SO WHAT?

Getting out of our comfort zone is not comfortable. Still, it’s inevitable for growth. If you feel compelled by a new activity, you should give it a try — even if it scares you at first.

Female climber bottom rock wall
That’s me about to climb that wall. I’m smiling … but on the inside I’m terrified.

Make mistakes

Climbing remembers me when I’ve started photography. I was stressed and constantly overthinking — I was way too much in my head! It didn’t feel natural at all. “Should I change shutter speed or aperture? Is my ISO too low? Why is my picture so dark?”

I’ve made mistakes, a lot of them. And I found that the more I was trying despite my insecurities, the faster I was learning. That’s how I made new patterns in my brain.

Be patient

Learning anything from scratch ain’t easy. There are days we feel like we’re making significant progress. Some others, nothing goes our way and we feel like sh!t. And then one day, by magic, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Experience taught me that. No matter how little progress I make, it’s still progress. Look how far you’ve come instead of how far you have to go!

Feet shoes climber
My feet hurt SO BAD from breaking new climbing shoes.

Don’t compare yourself and leave your ego at the door

I’m actively trying not to compare myself with others, which is a challenge because of my competitive nature. I encourage you to do the same as well. You’ll always find someone that has more experience or better gear. I found out that the more I was looking around, the more I was feeling discouraged and distracted. When I focus on my efforts and my little victories, I feel empowered and motivated to keep going.

Consistency is key

At the first, you might feel silly from trying to learn something new. The key to achieving any level of comfort is consistency. To practice your craft a little bit everyday and have faith that someday, you’ll actually get where you really want to.

I can notice a significant improvement from the day I’ve started climbing up to now. I’m more used to heights and I’m more aware of how I should move my body on the wall. There’s still a LOT to learn, but I focus on being proud of myself every step of the way.

Learning and failing is part of the process. I hope can embrace it just like I do.