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Fear Manifests itself into Procrastination

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Photo by: Pablo Aguilar

I recently photographed Ms. In The Biz Founder: Helenna Santos for my female empowerment project. She then asked me to become a monthly contributor HERE!

My first reaction was TERROR! So I said… “Oh that sounds SCARY! Which means I ‘need’ to DO IT!”


Everything I’ve ever done has either motivated or paralyzed me with fear. Sometimes I feel both within the battle of my dichotomous artist mind.

All growth comes from outside of the comfort zone.

I feared becoming an actress, a dancer, a fitness competitor, a fitness model, a mo-cap stuntwoman, a web designer, a graphic designer, a film editor, a spoken word poet, a public speaker, a motivator, a wife, a photographer, business owner, and most recently, a cinematographer. I feared shooting my first documentary film with a famous female filmmaker and I fear collaborating with my husband to direct and shoot our first short film this summer. The above is a very long list I KNOW! I used to call myself “I am Mary I am Many” and many of the roles listed above were things I had never done before. All of this is surely not to brag, but to share with you (and apparently remind myself) that you can and will accomplish many things in life and you will also STILL be met with FEAR!

Now that I’ve written it out, blogging seems pretty simple, as if all the fear based forms of procrastination that paralyzed me were just fictional stories in my head that weren’t serving anyone, especially myself.

Fear manifests itself into procrastination.

After 3+ years I finally published, The Beard Book, my first book and art for charity gallery show. I photographed over 100 men, their beards, and documented their stories all for breast and testicular cancer.

The fear of taking on such a huge project that I’ve never done before overwhelmed me and paralyzed me, which made the whole process take 2.5 years longer than it should have. Did I learn lessons and learn how to publish a book? Yes! Did I make mistakes? MANY! Will I make mistakes again? Most likely. Did everyone else see the mistakes I saw that paralyzed me? NO! Last year after the gallery show and book signing I said that I would never do it again, but one year later, now knowing what NOT to do… I started my 2nd book and art for charity gallery show… An interactive art project that helps empower women to become their best friend instead of their worst enemy.

Do not let fear paralyze you! Let it educate and motivate you! Then take what you have learned and feed it to the masses!

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We need to feel fear in order to overcome fear! It is the catalyst to becoming better beings!

I recently had a deep conversation with a huge publicist in Beverly Hills and asked her “Among the rich and powerful, does the fear ever go away?” Her answer was a resounding NO because we are ever changing and ever growing and always wanting more.

Break through the fear and believe in yourself!

I’ve been on a gut and heart wrenching yet immeasurably rewarding journey of self-discovery and instead of the “I am doing it alone” and “I got this” mentality I foolishly lived before, this time I’ve brought in the Calvary! I’ve asked for help. I am transforming and conquering my past self-limiting behaviors in order to live and to love to my fullest potential beyond what I could ever imagine.

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This photo was part of the female empowerment gallery show I recently was involved in for #notadirtyword at the new female collaborative multimedia space

This is what is working for me in hopes that it may inspire you…

1) Seek MANY Mentors

Get experienced and trusted advisors who can train you in the areas of life that you haven’t quite mastered yet. This custom has been successful for thousands of years but somehow it shifted into “I can do it myself”. You need a team to build a dream and a tribe to raise one child. We are not wired to be alone and experience life alone. Every moment we spend around other people is a moment of growth for everyone. One of my many mentors keeps me accountable by having me call her every day and we do mental exercises. It’s like the gym for your insides! She is also helping me to become the master of my destiny by taking responsibility for my destiny.

2) Attend Mastermind Groups

Get yourself into a room of like-minded individuals where not one but many can help you! In “Think And Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill wrote about the Mastermind Principle as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

3) Go on Women’s Retreats

This year I discovered women’s retreats and it is one of the hardest yet transformative and loving gifts I could ever give to myself. It’s a safe place where we really dig deep into self-limiting patterns and break through to the other side.

4) Discover Art Therapy

When we were children we were ALL artists and there is no therapy like art therapy. Our deepest fears, anger, sadness, and even greatest happiness can be manifested through our art.

As a photographer, cinematographer, and director, my process and main objective is to connect with my subjects on a human level and to help transform someone feeling fear into someone confident and smiling. My mission is to create projects that help people grow and transform into unlimited beings. My goal is for YOU to SEE THE REAL YOU.

Through personal growth I am overcoming the fear and getting out of my own way and when I create art to benefit others, the fear disappears and I receive a major transformative benefit, by inspiring others

Your art is a gift to yourself and to the world!

Your greatest fear should not be in doing your art… but in NOT doing your art!

Now go forth, change the world! And you can check out my latest project, the short film Welcome to Where You’ve Always Been, HERE.

Mary Lou Sandler










– Mary Lou Sandler

Mary Lou Sandler

About Mary Lou Sandler

Mary Lou Sandler is the co-founder of 3 cubed studios, LLC... a photographic, film & music studio in Los Angeles. She is a former working actress & fitness cover model. In the early 2000s she picked up the camera and is now a professional photographer, cinematographer, and director. She has shot several celebrities, advertising campaigns, and is published in multiple magazines, including magazine covers. Mary Lou was an official selection in multiple film festivals with her short film as well as two music videos. She is a published author working on her 2nd art for charity book and gallery installation (a female empowerment project) and is the cinematographer and co-producer of a new documentary film with Betsy Chasse. (co-creator and director of “What the Bleep Do We Know”). Mary Lou’s mission is to create inspiring and life changing content thru photographic and cinematic imagery. She enjoys poetry, supporting other artists, charity work, her husband, & cats.