If you know me personally, or follow any of my personal accounts, you know that the last little bit has been somewhat… trying… for lack of a better word… actually — Trying. Nasty. Horrible. Completely Fucked. — all better words that kind of sum up how it’s been for those of you who don’t know or are just starting out (WELCOME! I’m sure this is a great post to be starting out on, eh?)
But with all of that said, I am finally happy to announce that I’m on the down-hill side of the struggle and I feel a whole lot stronger from it. I won’t go so far as to say ‘I’m grateful’ for the experience, but I can say that I’m richer from it, and that’s something.
How does this relate to freelancing and what this whole blog is about? Well while I’ve been battling my demons and fighting for my freedoms, I realized that it was no different than my daily struggles in business – just different villains. And it’s up to US to choose how we defend ourselves. It’s our choice how we react to every situation that life presents. Everything is a choice.
Kind of a shitty way to think though really. Placing blame on others is soooo much easier, but if you really (and I mean really) sit down and think about it. Everything in your life is because of something you chose. If you’re feeling broken down and overwhelmed – for whatever reason – there was a moment in time where you made a choice that put you on this path. Not your ex. Not your friends. Not your clients. Not your family. Just you. Consequences aside, the choice was ultimately yours.
HOWEVER — I know that’s a very discouraging and pessimistic view, but stick with me for just a moment longer — HOWEVER, the same holds true when you’re at the peak of happiness and you feel like the world couldn’t possibly get any better. You’re riding the high from a job well done. THAT is because of you too – there was a moment in time where you made a choice that put you on this path. Not your ex. Not your friends. Not your clients. Not your family. Just you. Consequences aside, the choice was ultimately yours.
It really is that simple!
In the spirit of making a more conscious effort to be the people we want to be, I’ve come up with 9 Things That Could Be Destroying Your Business and Your Life — personal check time:
The most important by far. This is the difference between success and failure. The way you think, the way you react, the way you process information. Don’t let negativity control your thoughts. Don’t get in the way of your own dreams. Don’t stop yourself from achieving what you really want. You should be your biggest supporter, after all, it is YOUR dream! Reach for it. Don’t settle.
Be confident in yourself. Don’t poison yourself with doubt. It leads to no where but regret. Don’t be afraid to tell people who you are and what you do. (I didn’t say be pushy – just not afraid). NEVER should you find yourself downplaying what you do and what you want. If you truly want something, be proud of that and put forth the effort to make it a realty. There’s no reason why you can’t. Think about the Wright Brothers, I’m pretty sure most people thought they were crazy, but now I’d dare bet that most of you reading this have benefited from their “crazy”. They didn’t give up, and neither should you!
Let things go. You don’t need to rehash every mistake you’ve ever made. Move on. Move forward! Don’t tell yourself that you ‘don’t deserve _____’ Why not? Why can’t you? This may not be a problem for everyone, but recently I have realized that I have a personal bad habit of knowing what my goals are, planning out how to reach them, working really hard toward them, and then backing off right when I get close… why? I don’t know exactly, but I’m aware of it now and I can be more conscious of it. I deserve to be happy, just like anybody else. And so do you!
I know. I know. There are about 8 trillion reasons why we never have time to fit this into our schedules. Believe me when I say I’ve probably used them all. I’m not saying you should go run a 5K every day or train for a triathlon. You know what works for you and what physical goals you have set. And I hope I don’t have to go into all the reasons that physical exercise benefits you – physically, mentally and even emotionally. I’m sure you’ve heard it all a million times. So now it’s just time to ALLOW yourself the time to do it.
5. Happy Place
Find that happy place. Somewhere that you feel free, and you can let go, and just be at peace even if just for a few minutes. We all need that little break to relax and recharge. Try to set aside a little time for yourself. You’ll be amazed how far this will take you and how much it will help with all the choices that you’re faced with.
Take time to spend with them. Some people have no problems with this at all, to them: kudos! But for the rest of us, try to remember that these people are going through our lives WITH us. They’re the ones that are experiencing it all too. They’re the only ones who will every truly remember or understand these parts of our lives and what it was really like to live it along side us. And they are the ones that are dealing with us – regardless of mood – they’re there. Take time to be with them and create good memories.
See above, but with a slight twist. They can be just as close, but they came in at a different time. Friends are wonderful places to pull inspiration from. Friends fill the holes in our own personalities. They are hand selected and you become an average of all of them. Choose them wisely.
Stop doing it. I’ve recently created a list of 50+ things that I’ve been putting off for ‘when I have time’. Guess what… I’ll never have ‘extra time’. It will always be filled up with things. It’s just a matter of priority and importance. For me, being creative is important, I need to make more time for that. For pictures. For music. For kayaking. For hiking. For picnics. Life isn’t what it has been lately, it’s more. And I have to stop waiting for it to change on its own. So do you. It’s a choice.
Allow yourself to do things. Don’t make excuses. Tell yourself that it’s ok. Don’t apply guilt for sleeping in on occasion. Stop beating yourself up for turning your phone off so you can relax and play a game uninterrupted. Don’t create so many rules that you sabotage the freedom you started this business to find. There is a time and a place for everything. That holds true for work as well as play. Make the choice to work to live, not live to work. It’s ok to blur the lines a little sometimes, but never forget where they were in the first place.