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The rise of influencer marketing and what it means for authenticity online

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For some time now, Instagram has been my least favourite social media platform.

 

When I first started blogging, I jumped on absolutely every social media platform –like you do–  and I treated Instagram like a visual diary.

 

I used it to document all of the sweet, funny, lovely moments of each day and I would connect with other bloggers who were doing the same. 

 

But A LOT has changed since then.

 

These days, with the rise of influencer marketing, owning an Instagram account comes with a lot of responsibility.

 

As a member of the platform, if you want to be taken seriously, you are required to curate an aesthetically pleasing feed for your followers.

 

There is no room for spontaneity or images that depict real life anymore. Influencers have created a world where everything needs to be colour coordinated, perfectly proportioned, edited and filtered so that it looks like something you would find inside a glossy magazine. 

 

I really struggle with how fake some of these accounts seem to be. Authenticity is something I value a great deal, as I talked about in my post- authenticity and finding happiness by being myself.

 

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At the beginning of this year I found that logging into Instagram made me feel not only bad about myself, my home and my life but also about my creative endeavors.

 

I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to get a perfectly curated feed. I never knew what to say in my captions. And recording videos for Insta-stories made me feel terribly awkward. 

 

Instagram reminded me of the way I used to feel in high school.

 

How there were all those little cliques and segregated groups. The sporty kids, the nerdy kids, the quiet ones and the popular ones.

 

No matter how much I told myself we were all just PEOPLE, I always felt intimidated by the popular kids. There was something about them that I could never match up to. They always made me feel inferior with their designer jeans and the effortless way they managed to always be the centre of attention. 

 

That’s how I used to feel on Instagram. Small. Insignificant. Impossibly confused. 

 

My feed seemed to consist of influencers with hundreds of followers whose picture-perfect lives were a billboard for everything I am not.

 

For the longest time I have just felt left out and left behind. 

 

I am no supermodel. I don’t have abs worthy of bikini-on-the-beach shots. I don’t go out every Friday evening to share snaps of my cocktails. I don’t have a beautiful all-white, marble counter-topped kitchen.

 

I’m just well, ordinary. 

 

Most days I go without wearing make up. I prefer to make coffee at home rather than spend money going out all the time.

 

I feel embarrassed taking pictures of myself in public with everyone looking at me. And my bedroom is dark, cozy and totally un-aesthetically pleasing. 

 

But nobody wants to see ordinary on Instagram. They want flashy, beautiful, and air-brushed. They want a real-life fairy tale all sparkly and tied up with a bow. 

 

So it leaves me wondering, where does someone like me fit in? What have I got to share that people would actually care about? 

 

I couldn’t answer these questions for awhile so I just stayed away.

 

I hardly ever posted. I became an Instagram lurker, one of those people who likes pictures and watches everyone else posting but never participates. 

 

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But slowly I drifted back and decided I would take Instagram seriously again.

 

If I wanted to be a serious blogger, then I needed to not just lurk online but to participate, to share and be part of this world.

 

So I started editing my photos to make them a little nicer. I started putting in a bit more of an effort to figure out the colours and style that I wanted to display in my feed. 

 

I started to see Instagram as just another outlet for my creativity

 

I discovered it could be another place to be curious, excited and inspired. 

 

And in the process I found there was a community of people just like me. People who weren’t there to make sales, who didn’t look like models, who weren’t portraying these impossible standards. 

 

I found people with the same values as me.

 

Who were passionate about mindfulness and living intentionally and being present in the moment.

 

People who weren’t pushing consumption, asking their followers to buy more and more and more. People who just wanted to share their art, their words and their pictures with the world. 

 

My kind of people.

 

And so Instagram has become one of my favourite social media platforms. I place where I can connect with other creatives. I place where I can feel inspired and uplifted. I place where I can create and share my work. 

 

 

I think the rise of influencer marketing is a double-edged sword.

 

I hate the way it encourages mindless consumption. The way it makes us feel like we are always lacking something. The way it portrays a lifestyle that is unrealistic, even for those taking the photos.

 

But I love that it enables small businesses and lesser-known creatives to shine. I love that it makes connection and community possible. And that this form of marketing gives power back to the people.

 

How do we choose authenticity over perfection online?

 

By following people who are genuine.

 

Those who share their behind-the-scenes and aren’t afraid of the messy aspects of life. Those who are honest about which of their content that is sponsored. Those who only share what they truly love and believe in.

 

By un-following people who make us feel less-than.

 

You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. It doesn’t matter how cool or popular they may be, you don’t need to compare yourself to them. There are only so many people’s pictures you can scroll through in a day, so they might as well be people you actually LOVE to follow.

 

By choosing community over competition. 

 

Search for people who care about the same stuff you do. Find your community and build them up. Comment on, like and share others accounts, there is enough space for all of us to be creative and successful.


 

Let’s chat about this in the comments…

 

How do you feel about Instagram, influencer marketing or social media in general? 

 

3 lies about your self-worth you need to stop believing

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I’ve been run down by one of those hideous, can’t-see-it-but-it-still-hurts colds. The kind of cold that gives the illusion of not being so bad but in reality, feels like your brain is too big for your head and is trying to squeeze its way out. 

 

I hate being sick. Everyone hates being sick. 

 

Usually people hate sickness because of the icky symptoms. The relentlessly runny nose, the scratchy sore throat, the pounding head and watery eyes. It’s a cocktail of discomfort that nobody likes to swallow. 

 

But secretly, if I am being truly honest, the reason I hate being sick is that I can’t do anything

 

In my weakened state I am forced to lie down, to rest my eyes, to drink cups of soup and watch old re-runs on TV. 

 

And somehow, deep down a little part of me still gives into the lie that says my self-worth is determined by my productivity. 

 

It’s why I currently dread Mondays so much. While everyone else sets their alarms hideously early and gulps down their coffee so they get to work on time, I wake up and am reminded that I have nowhere I need to be. 

 

It feels like a kick in the gut every time. It sends me into an absolute funk at the start of each week. 

 

I feel like a kite that has come loose from its string. Untethered and floating aimlessly. No purpose, no meaning, no value. 

 

But the stupid thing is, I AM still being productive, my guilt is misplaced, my shame is invalid

 

Right now I am doing some online study, I am writing for my blog, I am curating content and connecting with others. I am not wasting time and yet I feel this strong sense of unworthiness. 

 

I blame this on the messed up world we live in, with its endless hustling mentality, with its thirst for collecting accomplishments, with its need to seek approval from everyone else.  

 

It’s just too easy to get sucked into those wonky beliefs. 

 

But I have to say, I am mighty tired of feeling like a failure for not quite matching up to these expectations. 

 

More and more, I am needing to shrug my shoulders into grace like you do a sweater. Right now, especially, I am needing a reminder of who I am, what makes me valuable and where my worth comes from. 

 

So as much for me as for you, here is some encouragement for your heart today.

 

3 lies about your self-worth you need to stop believing…

 

 

Your worth doesn’t come from your work. 

 

Your value is not measured by how much you get done each day. You cannot simply work more, hustle more or stretch more into each day to make yourself of greater importance. 

 

As a type A personality, I always struggle with this one. I like that if I put in effort, I can see the results. I like knowing that my hard work pays off. The idea that I can’t earn my worth is difficult for me to wrap my head around.

 

But coming to a place of understanding that productivity does not make you whole is a huge relief. 

 

If doing more won’t make us more worthy, then doing less won’t make us less worthy. Therefore, I can rest. I can just BE. I can slow down and enjoy life without feeling guilty.

 

I’ve always liked that quote that reminds us we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS.

 

We don’t have to earn our rest.

 

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Image by: tend + mend

 

 

Your worth isn’t related to your career. 

 

There has been such incredible progress for women in this area. Nowadays, there are so many opportunities for us to excel. There are so many ways we can make a living, so many things we can do to keep ourselves busy. 

 

But with all this progress, I feel an underlying pressure to pursue the sort of career that the women who came before me couldn’t. 

 

I feel privileged to have the choice but that being said, it should be a CHOICE

 

Whether we stay at home and raise sweet babies, bake cakes, and cultivate beautiful gardens. Or whether we wear snazzy suits, have a personal assistant and the only way to see us is to make an appointment. Or whether we split our time between home and the office. 

 

Regardless of our choice, we are worthy.  

 

 

Your worth isn’t determined by your success. 

 

Time and time again I feel the thorny fear of failure tightening around my chest. 

 

So often this fear is what puts us off even trying something. We are so scared that we might fail and therefore be a failure. 

 

But simply failing doesn’t make you a failure. Failing means you were daring enough to even try! 

 

The thing is, no amount of awards or accomplishments will give us meaning. Successes and failures slot neatly into the boxes of wisdom and experience, useful to draw out for future endeavors but completely irrelevant in terms of our value as human beings.

 

Win or lose, we have purpose here.

 

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And while we are on the subject, here are some more lies you shouldn’t be believing about your self-worth.

 

Your self-worth is not determined by…

 

Others opinions of you.

What you wear.

How thin you are.

Whether you went to college.

How much you know about politics.

Whether you can throw a rugby ball.

How good you are at dancing.


On and on we could go. 

 

These are just the lies that shame feeds us, keeping us small, keeping us tame, keeping us from reaching our full potential. 

 

Because here is the truth: your worth is innate, intrinsic, a part of you regardless of anything else. 

 

You cannot earn it. You cannot lose it. 

 

I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel free. I can do or be anything. I can try and fail at anything. I can wrap myself in love because grace says, no matter what…I am worthy.

8 ways to calm down when you are feeling anxious for no reason

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I originally sat down to write a post on perfectionism but as soon as I started, I realised something. I’m not really a perfectionist and I don’t have much to say on the matter. 

 

I would be of no use to you. I don’t have any advice for people who obsessively use rulers and match the colours of their clothes pegs. I am not that person. 

 

What I am however, is highly strung. I know all about feeling anxious for no reason. 

 

I carry anxiety around with me like most ladies do a purse. 

 

I am hopeless without structure and routine. I need to be able to plan ahead. I need to make sure I am adequately prepared for any and all eventualities. 

 

Spontaneity, completely throws me off, it rips the rug right out from under my feet. 

 

The older I am getting, the better I am becoming at letting go of control. I am slowly learning how to cope with uncertainty so that it doesn’t paralyze me. 

 

But sometimes when we feel ourselves slipping, we need strategies to help us calm down. 

 

We need tools to help us cope after a stressful day. A routine that can help us to prepare ourselves for something uncomfortable like a dentist visit or awkward phone call. 

 

We need to have a way of cooling off and resetting, a way of bringing harmony into our every day lives. 

 

Because sometimes there is a clear and obvious reason why we are feeling anxious, but sometimes we are feeling anxious for no reason at all

 

These coping mechanisms are especially important for highly strung people, those of us who are always just teetering on the edge of becoming overwhelmed. 

 

We need to know our limits and make sure we take extra special care of ourselves. 

 

So as a highly strung, often anxious person, these are my personal coping mechanisms. These are the ways I practice self care. This is how I manage to stay sane. 

 

8 ways to calm down when you are feeling anxious for no reason…

 

Focus on your breathing

 

When we get very stressed we tend to take short, shallow breaths. The problem is, this only encourages our body’s ‘fight or flight‘ response which ends up prolonging our feeling of stress.

 

The very best thing we can do in any stressful situation is to focus on our breathing.

 

Make a big deal of both your inhale and exhale. Pause and try to count a few seconds after each. Make your breathing as long and deep as possible.

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Illustration by Jessica Hagy.

 

Listen to gentle music

 

Although technically not music, I love listening to nature sounds, especially rain or thunderstorms. There is something soothing about hearing the rhythm of nature. (Unless you look up whale sounds, there is nothing soothing about that!)

 

My favourite album to listen to when I am feeling anxious for no reason is ‘Be Held‘ by Christy Nockels. This is a collection of lullabies for adults which never fail to bring me back to a place of calm. 

 

I also made a playlist of slow, peaceful songs which I’ll put on in the car or as I am working to put myself at ease. Music has a way of reaching us that words simply cannot. 

 

 

Try using a relaxation exercise 

 

In one of my tutorials at university we spent the whole hour learning different relaxation exercises. At the time I thought it was a bit kooky but now I can appreciate the value of it. 

 

The only one I can actually remember involves your five senses. 

 

It goes like this… Find yourself a quiet space and close your eyes. Begin breathing deeply. Then start to take notice of each of your senses individually.

What can you hear around you? What can you smell? Open your eyes and what can you see? 

 

Slowly become aware of your surroundings and allow your tension to dissipate.

 

 

Just write

 

I always find healing in writing. I always manage to un-twinge my tension and stitch up the wounded bits when I write out exactly how I am feeling.

 

The most important thing to remember is that your journal/laptop/back side of a napkin is a safe space. Allow yourself to write freely without judgement.

 

You cannot fully let go of the built up pressure inside you if you are fretting about the things you are writing. So no judgement, just write.

 

 

Paint, draw or colour-in

 

Those adult colouring-in books became really popular a few years ago for a reason. Being creative is relaxing.

 

Painting, drawing and colouring-in bring us back to the present. They allow us to be adventurous and playful, to make a mess and just have fun.

 

They also distract us from the fears and worries that can overwhelm us. Sometimes what we need is a little distraction, a little moment of rest from all the hustle and stress.

 

 

Go outside

 

I am a nature girl. My happy places are all outside. I love the softness of the beach, the ruggedness of the mountains, the quietness of the forest.

 

I need greenery and I need wide open spaces. Nature is soothing for our souls.

 

While you are outside, try out the relaxation exercise I mentioned above. There is nothing more uplifting than listening to the early-morning birdsong.

 

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Get clean

 

Have a shower or run a bath but make it an experience.

 

Fill the bath with bubbles, allow the steam from the shower to soak into your pores, bundle yourself up in a warm, fluffy towel afterwards.

 

Often it is the simple things that bring the most pleasure. For example, when I want to feel especially luxurious I take the time to moisterize properly. I find the nicest, sweetest-smelling body lotion and I make myself soft all over. Simple, but delightful.

 

 

Talk about it

 

Bottling up your feelings will never do you any good. Be brave and open up to someone.

 

It often will feel like the last thing you want to do, but the effort it takes will always be worth it. Just make sure you speak to someone who is gentle and understanding, no judgement in your writing, no judgement in your speaking.


 

I’d love to know, how do you practice self care when you are stressed?

Do you ever find yourself feeling anxious for no reason at all? 

Overcoming insecurity: how to finally make peace with yourself

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I cannot remember the first time I felt shame grip its fingers around my heart and squeeze but it’s a sensation as familiar to me as breathing these days.  

 

When I was very young I was quite content with the person I was. Perhaps because I spent so much time allowing my imagination to carry me far away. I had my head in the clouds and so I was safe from the howling winds of insecurity.  

 

As a child I was bold as can be. On family holidays I would always end up making friends with the other kids who were camping and I almost always spent more time in their tents than our own.

 

I never felt embarrassed asking someone if they wanted to play. I was never ashamed of myself or scared they would say no. When I look back now, it seems as though I had no insecurities at all.

 

 

But then puberty hit, cruelly as it always does and I became increasingly self conscious.

 

I hated the way my body had curves and edges, and that they drew attention to me. I hated that I was clumsy and nonathletic, always dropping the ball and missing catches.

 

I hated that I didn’t understand maths, that the combination of letters and numbers got scrambled in my head, making me feel stupid when I couldn’t answer the teacher’s question.

 

My insecurities became a thorn in my side, an ever-present reminder that I wasn’t good enough.

 

They made me stop voicing my opinions for fear of being laughed at. They made me shy away from my passions because I didn’t want to be different. They made me try with ferocious intensity to never draw attention to myself.

 

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The road to overcoming insecurity as been a windy one for me. It has taken a lot of digging through emotions, searching for explanations and forgiveness to get to the point I am at today, which if I am honest, is still not perfect. 

 

I still have those days where I crumple up inside because my favourite pair of shorts no longer fit or I’m too afraid to cycle downhill on my bike or I can’t think of a witty comeback to whatever someone said.

 

It’s hard not to berate ourselves for being a little less charming, intelligent, athletic and beautiful than we had hoped we would turn out to be.

 

However, slowly but surely, I am finding new ways to not only accept, but to love myself. I am making peace with the fact I won’t ever be some things but I rest secure in the knowledge that I have a whole raft of other wonderful qualities that make up for those deficiencies.

 

So these are my tips for you…

 

Overcoming insecurity and making peace with yourself

 

Follow people who encourage self love

 

I don’t think we realise how much we absorb the things we are exposed to online. The positivity or negativity of the people we follow can have a huge impact on us.

 

One of the ways I learnt to accept my body was by starting to follow women of all shapes and sizes who loved themselves regardless of their figure. It was so helpful for me to see these bold women, courageously battling their own insecurities. If they could do it then surely I could too!

 

So whatever it is that you feel insecure about, find someone who is an advocate of it and get inspired by them.

 

For some self-love inspiration, take a look at Ashton, Taryn or Katie

 

Work through your ‘why’

 

I won’t lie to you, this step is hard. It requires a great deal of emotional digging.

 

You have to be willing to push through some uncomfortable feelings to work out which messages you have taken in and allowed to define you.

 

I have found that journaling works incredibly well for uncovering these self limiting beliefs but sometimes you might need someone else to help point them out to you. I personally went to see a counselor because it felt like too much of a task to bear on my own. You can read about my experience in my post- healing from the past.  

 

Out with the old, in with the new

 

You have to begin working at changing your mindset.

 

You have to learn how to mitigate negative self talk and create a positive environment for yourself to try, fail, fall and fly without judgement.

 

You need to recognise that every day, every moment, you are growing and changing. Who you are today is not the same person you will be next year or five years from now.

 

The key is to learn to love all versions of yourself, past and present.

 

Overcoming insecurity requires you to give yourself grace to make mistakes and fail sometimes, to be imperfect and so wonderfully human. Speak words of kindness over yourself, try out these self love affirmations.

 

Surround yourself with love

 

People often say, you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself first, which is true but so is the reverse.

 

You can’t properly love yourself if you aren’t in an environment of love. By that I mean, the people who surround you need to be supportive, affirming and encouraging.

 

It isn’t always possible to make that happen as a child. The family you are born into might not give you this love and support freely as they should. However, as an adult we have the ability to choose who we let into our circles.

 

We no longer are stuck with negative, hurtful or discouraging people. We choose who we invite in and allow to speak into our lives.

 

So make this choice wisely. Let go of the ones who make you feel ‘less than.’ Fill up your life with people who build you up and have your back no matter what.


 

Overcoming insecurity won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

 

If you are gentle and patient and kind to yourself, eventually that love will set you free. 

 

You’ll be able to laugh loudly again. You’ll feel the weight lifted off your shoulders. You’ll finally be able to hold your head high.

 

The process is worth it, because the reward is sweet. So very sweet my friends. Go spread some love on yourself today!

How to be happier: finding joy in your ordinary life

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Do you ever get that feeling of discontentment with your life? That itchy, scratchy feeling of wanting to GET OUT NOW. Wanting something bigger and better than what you have at the moment. 

 

It’s a wonderful thing to be filled with ambition and to chase after your big dreams. We shouldn’t limit ourselves or be satisfied with living a small, mediocre life. 

 

There is a whole wide world out there of possibilities to explore and places to experience. 

 

A dream for the future isn’t a bad thing.

 

But if your dream leaves you constantly feeling a little lacklustre then perhaps you need to be reminded of the good in your everyday life. 

 

Hopefully, one day you’ll be able to travel the world, or start your own designer shoe label or own your own home but your life doesn’t start THEN, it starts right NOW

 

I’m terrible at living in the now, I spend most of my time longing for the not yet. Waiting for all those hopes and dreams to be fulfilled before I start living fully. 

 

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking everything will work out once you have x, y or z. We think this way so often. We believe we’ll be happy once we’ve lost weight or moved houses or had a kid.

 

The thing is, that may or may not be true. And it would be an awful shame to get that thing only to realise that you still aren’t happy.

 

That’s why we need to learn how to be happier and content with our life right now, exactly as it is.

 

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I know it can be hard to be satisfied with your everyday life because it can feel terribly ordinary and unbelievably dull.

 

It isn’t glamorous to be sitting behind a desk all day or scrubbing coffee stains off your white shirt that you just washed. But the thing is, for most of us that is what our everyday life looks like. 

 

I think part of the problem is that we get this skewed view of what normal life looks because of what we see on social media. People are always posting glamour shots of their most recent holiday or the party they went to on the weekend and we translate that as their everyday life. 

 

But in reality, nobody is on holiday or partying all the time. Real life is full of boring, mundane moments. 

 

So the trick is finding the good in those moments. Making the most of our everyday. Choosing to live right now instead of waiting for the next big thing.  

 

 

How to be happier with your life right now

 

Make every day special

 

Do you have those things that you store away in cupboards and only bring out on “special occasions?

 

I mostly do this with clothes. I have this pair of sparkly, silver shoes which I absolutely adore. My mum calls them my ‘Wizard of Oz’ shoes because they make me look like Dorothy.

 

But I often stop myself from wearing these shoes because I feel like they might be a little too jazzy for everyday wear.

 

Isn’t that stupid? I think we need to make every day a special occasion. Every day is a perfect day to wear your favourite sparkly shoes or drink from your best teacups.

 

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Indulge your passions

 

We all have those things that we are obsessed with (maybe even to an embarrassing extent.) I think it is a shame that we spend so much time trying to fit in and avoid being weird or quirky or interesting.

 

If you want to know how to be happier with your life, try simply allowing yourself to indulge in your passions. To be as weird or geeky or girly as we please.

 

To be proud of exactly who we are and to just love what we love without shame.

 

Let go of ‘shoulds’. 

 

Life can be especially draining if you are stuck doing something you hate just because it is what you believe you “should” be doing.

 

I think life is too short to live in submission to ‘shoulds’. 

 

I spent three years at university studying science because I thought it was what I should be doing and I was completely miserable.

The sooner you realise you are in charge of your life and can do whatever it is you please, the better!

 

The only things we should be filling our days with are the things we love.

We shouldn’t go to a concert with our friend just because we feel obliged to. We shouldn’t take the job just because it’s what our parents wanted us to do. We shouldn’t join that yoga class we hate just because we need to exercise more.

 

Saying NO is okay. Having an opinion is okay. Doing what you think is best for YOU is okay.

 

Practice gratitude

 

The greatest way you can learn how to be happier with your life right now is just to start noticing all the good that is already in your life.

 

When you actually take the time to note down all the little things that make you smile each day you’ll find there is a great deal to be thankful for in your ordinary life.

 

I’m a big fan of writing my happy-thank-you-more-please notes down in a journal so I can remember them now and look back on them later.

 

 

There are always going to be dull moments in our lives. We are always going to have to do boring, maintenance jobs because that is part of being an adult.

 

But that doesn’t mean our lives have to be ordinary. Your life is what you choose to make it.

 

Are you going to live a drab, dreary, humdrum life or are you going to choose to be happy today?

How to start now even if you don’t feel ready yet

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Ready, set, GO! 

 

That was how we always started races when I was a kid. There was always a pause, a time to gather ourselves, a clearly defined moment for us to get prepared before we took off down the track. 

 

We always had that luxury of time to get ready. Nobody expected us to bolt right away or to make the decision as to how ready we were. We were just given the time and then asked to GO. 

 

It was a lot easier like that. Before our minds got muddled and we got in our own way. 

 

Before we started questioning if we really are ready, if we really can do it at all. 

 

Before we let fear get the better of us.

 

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Now I often find myself questioning whether I am ready, whether the timing is right, whether I need more training before I start. 

 

There isn’t anyone there to shout ready, set, GO for me. The boundaries aren’t so clear cut anymore. 

 

At the moment, I am looking for a new job and I find myself getting smaller and smaller in the process. With each rejection, my confidence shrinks a tiny bit and I start to tell myself that maybe I’m really just not ready yet. 

 

I keep waiting for a job to pop up that I know I can do because I’m so afraid of flinging myself into the deep end where I’ll feel incompetent and a total failure. 

 

I don’t feel ready, I feel paralyzed.

 

I am frozen to the spot, completely incapable of making such a big life decision.

 

Should I take a regular 9-5 job or work on my creative pursuits? Should I take a punt on a business idea or go for a stable income? Should I study more or start making some savings?

 

And I bet a lot of you are in the same boat. Maybe you aren’t looking for a job right now but I’m sure there is something else you’ve been longing to try but you just aren’t sure if you are ready yet.

 

Perhaps it’s a business idea, a new hobby or something you want to learn. Maybe there is someone you’d love to be friends with or wish could be your mentor. Or it might be a place you’d love to travel to or a new town you’d like to call home.

 

Whatever it is you’ve always wanted to start, the time to start is right now.

 


 

So why do we wait until we feel ready?

 

Why do we put so much weight on this feeling? Why do we put off doing the things that we know will make us happy?

 

Because the thing is, if we wait until we feel ready, we might never take the leap. We might never pluck up the courage to move forwards. We might never even try

 

And the terrible truth is, if we don’t take the leap, we miss out on life

 

Every exciting, incredible, soul-satisfying possibility is on the other side of fear. 

 

Fear, that diving board we are teetering on. Fear, the jolting feeling of missing the last step. Fear, that nagging sensation we’ve forgotten something at home.

 

Fear will always be there. Telling us the timing isn’t right. Making us believe we aren’t good enough. Keeping us stagnant.

 

But life is too short to miss out on opportunities because we feel afraid. We don’t have the luxury of time to wait until we feel ready, we have to just start now.

 

How to start now even if you don’t feel ready

 

Push past your fear

 

Figure out what the fears are that are preventing you from taking action and address them.

 

My biggest fears are that I’ll fail or I’ll embarrass myself.

 

So I am learning to work through these fears by being gentle with myself when I fail. Thereby, creating a positive environment where failure is okay, as long as I learn from it.

 

I also choose to surround myself with people who will support me regardless of the outcome of my attempts. This means that I can trust them to encourage and stand by me in both my successes and disappointments.

 

Remove any self-limiting beliefs

 

What I know from the past is that with most jobs, you learn as you go. You gain the skills you need to perform the job, by doing the job. You figure out if this kind of work is right for you by giving it a go. 

 

And the same goes for almost anything. You simply learn as you go.

 

Most of the time, you don’t know if you can do something until you give it a try. 

 

So don’t allow yourself to believe you aren’t good enough or you don’t have the skills to do something. You can learn!

Instead, speak words of kindness over yourself. Be your own biggest cheerleader. Build yourself up so that you have the confidence to try. Give some of these self love affirmations a go.

 

Fake it till you make it

 

This is the constant piece of advice I get from my older friends, the ones who have lived longer and tried to make things happen for themselves more times than I have.

 

These words have always bugged me before because they are one of those phrases people like to throw around without actually giving you any advice.

 

But the deal is, if you don’t feel ready yet, then you should act as though you do. Act like you aren’t afraid. Talk with confidence instead of cushioning your words with I thinks, buts and maybes.

 

Make people believe you are the real deal and keep going until you start to believe you are the real deal too.

 

If you carry yourself with confidence nobody will question whether you belong or whether you are right. Learning how to be confident is key.

 

Take small steps forward

 

It feels terribly overwhelming if you try to face all of your fears and jump head first into your project right away.

 

So just take it in small steps. It’s okay if all you did today was begin your research or watch a Youtube video or say out loud for the first time that you want to write book.

 

Small steps are still movement and they provide the initial work required to gain momentum.

 

Whatever it is that you are dreaming of starting, you absolutely can.

 

Even now, when you don’t feel ready yet.

 

You just need to believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. Give yourself the tools, time and space to achieve your goals. And remember, nothing ever happens overnight. Success takes hard work, patience and persistence.