Original photo credit via Glitter Guide
In the interest of “starting fresh for the new year”, I’ve begun to reflect upon the things that may have affected my attitude lately. There are so many changes in my life this year (can’t wait to share them soon!), and unfortunately a few things have had to take a backseat while I figure out a few others.
Although I hate to sound as if I’ve started out by setting a tone of disdain, it has to be said that persevering toward one’s goals does come with moments of temporary setback.
I’ve been blogging now for almost 5 years and it hasn’t been an easy road. Lately, since I’ve turned 30, so many things around me have and will continue to change. When I started, Pop of Style in early 2011 (holy crap, has it been that long?), I was just 24 and working on a crappy laptop in the corner of my childhood bedroom in my parents’ home back in Erie, PA.
Looking back, I still can clearly remember that Christmas morning excitement I felt when I launched my first post: an article on the “5 Best Nail Polishes for Spring”. It was published on Blogger with a generic pink background and a ridiculous haphazardly handmade header in which I used a free image of a girl blowing a huge bubblegum bubble. Creative, huh? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
But…it was the first thing I made on my own that was completely birthed from my own creative conscience. I’d been mulling around the idea of starting a fashion blog since I’d found myself so inadvertently amused with People Style Watch in 2009. Hot off the college graduate press, my new communication/advertising degree acted as the angel on my shoulder coercing me into making such a ballsy move.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” I thought to myself. I was soon to find out all of the hard-learned lessons this question would render. But despite all the initial negativity and self-doubt I felt, I still
wanted yearned to come home, pop open that rickety laptop and type, research, & edit my evenings away.
It wasn’t until recently that I seemed to lose touch with my 24 year old self. Maybe in this case Carrie Bradshaw was right: “maybe [as we get older] pessimism is something we have to apply daily, like moisturizer.” Or maybe it’s just something that happens as we realize that with age, comes a paradigm shift in priorities.
This seems to ultimately be my trouble–the constant battle between thinking I’m the exact same person I was five years ago, and letting myself evolve. At times, I still struggle with self-loathing when I am not able to dedicate the same amount of time to the blog as I used to. I’m working on understanding myself well enough to develop a new way of prioritizing all my “big girl” responsibilities and still allowing myself enough time and opportunity to immerse myself in blogging while remembering why I started in the first place.
Several mantras have helped me lately in re-programming my attitude when things don’t seem to go quite as planned or if I start falling into the “lack of inspiration” rut.
Try remembering why you started your blog, project, or endeavor in the first place. Then reflect on that child-like sense of wonder, euphoria, and accomplishment you felt when you hit your first milestones. This has helped me to get back to my roots lately and so have the quotes below.
What others think of you is none of your business.
This have spurred one of the biggest “aha” moments for me this past year. I’m ridden with the curse of caring too often what others think of me. As long as you continue to hustle and do what works for you while staying true to your focus and passion, what other people think of you really is none of your concern.
People are out for themselves, not against you.
Equally as important, it is important to realize that people aren’t against you. They are simply pro-themselves. And why wouldn’t they be? People generally do not care/do not have time to worry about you and your feelings–they are out pursuing their dreams and engaging in the path that allows them to do so (which is exactly the same thing that you should be doing). A lesson we all need? Worry about yourself and what it takes to make you happy.
Sometimes, you just need to breathe and reboot.
Lately, this has become extremely important to me. It goes directly with the next statement listed in this series. I tend to dwell on the negative and I’m starting to realize that sometimes making yourself the priority is an absolute necessity. So, sit down for a second–watch that show, browse Pinterest, pour a glass of wine, go running, take the dog out for a walk–whatever it is that makes you calm and centered; do that. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Overthinking leads to negative thoughts.
Like I said before, I tend to have a habit on focusing on the negative rather than appreciating the positive. If you stop to think about it, there are countless things in this life to be thankful for and so many yet to come. Naturally, there will be some setbacks and dissapointments–sometimes more than you think you can withstand. But, taking the time to re-train your brain to reprocess negative thought patterns is worth the effort. Most of these scenarios you imagine will never come to fruition.
Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.
It’s far too easy to always have the next step in mind. The problem is [and we’ve heard this all before] the failure to appreciate the “now” will result in regret later. You are missing so many moments of laughter, happiness, positive introspection
There are people who would love to have your bad days.
I try to remind myself of this often. I’ve heard the phrase “if everyone threw all of their problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back” and I honestly believe this is true. When you are too close to the problem, it may seem larger because even just thinking about it tends to make it grow exponentially larger in your head. Everyone has some sort of struggle going on, focusing on the good is the only way to move forward.
Remember why you started.
Each project started had ambitious beginnings and often the ambition that the projects started with may become lessened as a result of setbacks, failures, and several other variables. But when I find myself feeling dissapointed or uninspired I try to remember back to those first few years when all I could think about were awesome story ideas and innovative new ways of accomplishing my goals. The essence of that vigor is still inside me and when I think back to those times and why I started, my focus starts to center again.
No is a full sentence.
Something I struggle with almost daily. I always feel a twinge of guilt when I have to say no to someone no matter what it’s about. However, it’s important to learn that this word is a full sentence in and of itself. You don’t owe anyone a full explanation if something cannot be done due to any reason that may involve your personal health or well-being.
Do less with more focus.
Focusing on too many projects at once never did anybody any good. Taking on less at any given time allows you to put all of your energy and focus into those few tasks to ensure that you are accomplishing them to the best of your ability.
It’s easy to start to lose your focus and inspiration sometimes, but repeating these to myself has helped me and I’ve been starting to do what I can to stay organized and focused on my goals. This year will be one for the books and I plan to make the most of it! I hope at least one of these will help you think deeper into the meaning behind whatever may have you losing your focus and it is my belief that with a little self introspection and attention to what makes you you; getting back on the horse will become something you look forward to 🙂
Here’s to 2016, let’s rock it ladies!