Lessons & Fresh Start
2017 was bittersweet for me. This past year was filled with lots of losses, but even more gains. I cultivated a niche for myself, focused on my brand/blog more, and started running with my ideas. Through it all, I learned that I am exactly where I need to be.
Gratitude is everything.
Little did I know that small expressions of thankfulness would impact my life so deeply. Gratitude allows you to celebrate the present and enhances positive emotions. Overall, it improves your happiness and allows you to see the good in everything. I started focusing on the things, opportunities, loved ones, talents, and skills that I DO have rather than stressing about what I lack. My optimism has skyrocketed and resilience has grown immensely.
Outwork everyone else.
2017 taught me that if I want to succeed in this life, I have to work TWICE as hard for it. I juggle a full-time job, freelance gigs (style consulting, brand management, building websites, AND photography), all while preserving my mental health and physical wellness. I realized that everything I want in this life would not come easy. From waking up at 4:30am for work, jumping from my day job into meetings and events for my brand, I knew that I would make major sacrifices in order to succeed. From there, my determination and grit were born.
Know your worth and value, plus add tax.
Working in the creative industry is no easy feat. Therefore, if you are toiling tirelessly with your freelance gigs, collaborations, and consultations – MEASURE YOURSELF APPROPRIATELY. The biggest lesson I learned was that I was selling myself short, lowering my rates to get more clients, and running myself to the ground, while getting very little in return. Stop lowballing, produce content so damn good no one can deny, and add the right price tag.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Success looks different on everyone. You cannot compare your beginning to someone’s middle. When comparing myself to others, I started doubting and questioning my work. What is unique about your craft will differ from the next person. Trust me, there is space for all of us to win.
Failure is necessary for growth and success.
The more I failed, the higher I rose. Each roadblock was a detour to a greater opportunity ahead. Each photo shoot that went sour, every single no-show, everyone who stole my ideas, those breakdowns led to some of my greatest breakthroughs. Trust the process.
Stop blocking your own blessings.
Overthinking, scrutinizing every detail, and simply being unable to get out of my own head were huge challenges last year. Drop the content. Release the self-doubt. Thrive at the intersection of fearlessness and self-assuredness. I still struggle with this, but I’m gradually growing more confident in my work.
Trust your intuition.
I learned to become more in tune with my inner voices. My gut feeling never ever lies. I stumbled upon the answers to my creative ruts by identifying my core-beliefs and trusting the answers already inside me. All you need is within.
Work on your wellness, from inside out.
I quickly realized: you cannot pour from an empty cup. In early 2017, my physical and mental health started deteriorating. Instead of succumbing, I took control. I started nourishing my body better by switching over to a paleo-diet, gave up dairy and red meat, and began exercising 3-5 times per week, including running 15 miles per week. I improved my mental state by doing major soul work. Meditating, journaling, and gratitude expressions became daily acts in my life. When you are healthy within, you can perform better and improve your wellbeing.
What is meant for you will be yours.
Have faith. The universe will conspire for you. I started trusting my different phases of growth, while understanding that I had to let go to obtain better opportunities. Purge, give in, live and love deeply. On your path, you will not miss what is meant for you.
You have the ability to recreate yourself, over and over again.
As I started gaining a better sense of self, I realized that I could continually recreate myself. I was constantly in a state of learning, growth, and transformation last year. In this process, I felt myself aligning my existence with the person I was striving to become. Great things do not come from places of comfort. As I was shaking up the environment I was in, I was able to reinvent myself. As I found myself chasing more grandiose dreams and desires, I became more powerful, confident, strong-willed, and resolute. I LEVELED the fuck up and I plan on continuing to do so even more this year.
Have fun on the journey.
It’s not just about simply achieving the goal, but also enjoying the view along the way. I took my dream vacation, St. Maarten, for my birthday. Every week, I set aside time to indulge in the activities I enjoy while being steadfast in the pursuit of my goals and dreams. Lucky for me, I find great happiness in my work and am able to see the enjoyment in all that I do for my brand and blog. The best thing you can do for yourself is to do what you love.
Cheers to 2018!
Pretty Little Thing Bodysuit
River Island Feather Mini Skirt
Photography by Bee.Serene