Strengths from fears – doing the thing you cannot do.

Loud noises used to make me cry. Not anymore. I was never afraid of ice – but I was afraid of fishing on my own.  Now I’m not.

I was terrified of showing my photography to the world because I had performance anxiety (I mean who wouldn’t after having a crazy successful photo and then feeling like everyone is comparing your photos to that one?) . It still scares me to show work – especially to clients- but I try to stop over thinking it.  I cannot please everyone. And the safer my choices are in terms of photography I show, the more my creative juices stagnate.  I am so much better off putting out the scary pieces.

And this is true in all aspects of my life.  The scarier it is, the more you improve and grow as you move forward.

I decided that to move forward and grow, I simply must do the things I cannot do. I’ve taken my fears and tried to turn them into strengths.

One of my biggest sources of income – and probably my favorite type of session – is bird dog photography.  This was not always the case, and if my 25 year old self knew this was in her future, she would start laughing hysterically.

The reason I actually started doing hunting sessions is because I am absolutely terrified of loud noises. When I have my camera I feel no fear, nor pain, so I decided to try doing photos during hunts to get over my fear.

What I discovered while doing these sessions is that game ear headphones actually help me hear the dogs before anyone else as they come towards us. I can anticipate where they will be for the perfect shot.
Trying to overcome my fear of loud noises turned into oddly positive business move.


My fear is not of ice. It never was. My fear was that I severely lacked confidence ice fishing without my late husband.  Once I went on my trip to Lake of the Woods this past January and discovered I actually know what I am doing, my confidence returned. It returned full force.

And I realized I really can do whatever I put my mind to ;).


What is the thing that you cannot do. What must you do? And what will you be able to take on when you feel the power that comes from tackling your fear?

Strength will appear that you never knew you had.

Do the thing you cannot do


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8 Comments on Strengths from fears – doing the thing you cannot do.

  1. Laura Zimmermann
    April 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm (7 years ago)

    Thank you Hannah … I believe your message is heaven sent!! I have just left my job, am moving, and ending a relationship, all at once!!! Starting a new life on my own is terrifying. Your message has given me the example that it can be done and I will be better off for discovering my inner strength. I know it’s there, I just have to regain my confidence. Thank you Hannah, for sharing your thoughts/experiences and images you are an inspiration.

    • Hannah
      April 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm (7 years ago)

      Whooohoooo! Sometimes I feel like I am writing for a particular person – and I believe that person is most definitely you :). This makes me very, very happy.
      You can certainly do this. xoxo

  2. Dwayne Reaves
    April 9, 2015 at 8:14 pm (7 years ago)

    Don’t be afraid to show your work, you are good.

    • Hannah
      April 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you! I’ve gotten MUCH better about it, but a few years ago it made me sick to my stomach lol

  3. Melissa
    April 10, 2015 at 1:28 am (7 years ago)

    You are, and have always been, more than that one photo, as incredible as it is. You touch hearts in many ways – as you now have the courage to face, and accept!
    Thank you for sharing –
    (same Sarasota Melissa, last name is a “reclaim.”)

  4. Andrea D
    April 10, 2015 at 1:51 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing your growth stories with us! I grew up in MN and share some of your early history. I would say one of your setter photos is stunning and my favorite so far! Earlier this week I was trying to remember how I found you and started following you on FB. I had totally forgotten the “famous” photo and have totally enjoyed your recent posts! I know I can look to you for inspiration. Keep doing those things!

  5. Kelly Achtabowski
    April 14, 2015 at 7:32 pm (7 years ago)

    “Sometimes the safety net doesn’t appear until you jump.”
    I’m not sure who said this but it’s so true and I’ve been living by it for the past year.
    Hannah,you are such an inspiration. Please don’t ever stop showing your work.

  6. Alison
    June 30, 2015 at 7:15 pm (7 years ago)

    Eleanor Roosevelt has several quotes that have been especially helpful to me, but the one you posted about facing fears is at the top of the list.

    On my frig, I have a card “I survived damn near everything” to remind me that despite all the past loss and horrors of child abuse, an abusive marriage, the kidnapping and loss of my children, the destruction of property…. I went from nearly homeless to become a successful teacher devoted to my students, a foster parent to many animal rescues, and “rebuilt a life…” not the one I hoped for, but one I could be proud of again. It wasn’t easy, I still have the emotional scars and losses, but I never gave up. I hope to have made a difference for others, even if I couldn’t solve my own difficulties.