Apparently sometimes I write to my future self 🙂 I drafted this post almost three months ago, and I woke up antsy to write. When I sat down to finally revise this one and usher it out to all of you, I relaxed while re-reading my own advice. This is exactly why I write for me, and I hope it makes you feel good, too. So, here you go (hope you can feel the hug that comes with it) 🙂
I’m coming back to writing after a brief hiatus, with a refreshed and loving view of what happened and what happens now. Sounds cheesy, right? Well, duh – I haven’t been away for THAT long that you could forget cheesy is my middle name!
Disappointment and frustration with the discrepancy between my blog and my ideal blog had filled my head; and before I knew it I was about ready to turn in the metaphorical typewriter. Focusing solely on personally thriving seemed enticing, and so much simpler than blogging about it. It wasn’t until a frank conversation with my brother-in-law pushed me to a creative epiphany that I realized what had happened: I had tried and failed to monetize the blog, and that was disappointing for me. I considered this relatively quick attempt at blogging a failure, and forgot about the thousands of bloggers who write for years before they “make it.” Also forgotten was the varying definition of “making it” as a blogger – and I’m not naïve to the concept of moving personal goals. A book about emotional intelligence described the moving financial goals of income like this: if you make $50k a year, you aim to make $75k. If you make $100k, you aim to make $150k or $200k. And we know that with more money comes more expenses (or mo’ problems, if you grew up in the 90’s). Point is, if we look to external sources to validate us, whether our benchmark is income, success as a blogger, gardener, chef, host/hostess, spouse, parent or sibling, we won’t catch success. If we happen to, it won’t last long. I’m the poster child of a people-pleaser – I LOVE when people are happy and feel fantastic when they’re proud of me! But this path called life keeps bringing me back to the ultimate success that can only come from self-validation and love.
To be honest, I’m a projector. Students lay sheets of transparent paper on me and I shine information onto the – just kidding, not that type of projector. If I think people feel a certain way about me, I assume it’s true. And typically, those assumptions aren’t flattering. I’ve heard from my closest friends that we all have some insecurities, and a co-worker I’m close with helped guide me to a total insecurity epiphany two years ago (that sometimes I need reminding about!!). I had shared that I got nervous when presenting on large calls or virtual meetings, and he was helping me get better, since he’s a really good presenter. After I presented on a short call to a couple of leaders, he called me to debrief. “How do you think it went?” he asked me, and since I’m chronically honest and was subjecting myself to his generous help, I said “I think it was bad!” While the guidance was supportive and encouraging, my coworker made a point that resonated through work, life, and marriage – if I channel certain feelings or perspectives about myself, that’s how I act: if I feel like I’m a terrible presenter, I will probably not present very well. If I feel angry because everyone keeps arguing with me, well… yeah, that pattern probably won’t stop until I settle whatever is making me angry inside. To be fair, of COURSE some people just wake up angry and take it out on you (I dreamt that Matt and I argued last night, and woke up really upset. I requested hugs and an apology from him this morning – when he asked if I should also apologize, I clarified “no, you were the one verbally attacking me!” and he laughed but hugged me and said sorry anyway #soulmate) and you can’t control other people. But that’s the point, isn’t it? I love the phrase control what you can control and emotions are no exception – although my emotions are tough to wrangle sometimes, they’re the only ones I really have any control over, so I choose to keep coming back to the two that challenge me the most: confidence and patience.
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Life unfolds in such a funny way, sometimes. I started this post last month, and had a hard time getting it rolling again after my initial brain-dump; until now. This morning, when I sat at my laptop and opened this draft, I realized that since I started it, I have achieved what I was so frustrated about NOT happening. I have officially monetized my blog with commissions from Amazon affiliate marketing totaling $2.58! While I can’t exactly retire off of those earnings, it is a milestone and one that I’m proud of! It means that one of you clicked a link within a blog post and purchased something through it; since I referred you, I receive compensation from my affiliate! There’s a whole legal Disclaimer about it if you want to read more, and plenty of affiliate links throughout my posts if you’d like to purchase something I recommend, and support the blog at the same time.
There are affiliate links in this post (duh, you just scrolled past them, I know!) 🙂 I chose a few resources to help remind us of how to be patient with and confident in ourselves, and I hope you enjoy them. As a reminder, if you click on them and purchase something, I may receive compensation for referring you, which supports the costs of this blog. Thank you!
These inspirational leaders highlighted by the Huffington Post remind me of two critical components of blogging, and honestly, of life:
- Keep pursuing your goals!
- Achieving your goals takes time.
What this sudden (small but real!) blog monetization means to me is a clear reminder that sometimes, hard work needs to just happen and keep happening before we reach our goals. I had let my fear of failure inhibit my love of writing. AND (now that I realize this, I’m SO excited about it!) I’ve been reading a fabulous Feng Shui book my girlfriend J gave me as a gift, which encourages identifying what the author calls “mental clutter” so we can clear it out. Guess what I identified as my mental clutter just last night? Yep, fear and scattered thinking. In other words, after just a little thought, I pinpointed the negative stuff that rolls around in my head and blocks my peace and happiness – which should theoretically make it easier to clear out those blockages. But that’s the next chapter of the book – I’ll keep you posted, or check out the book yourself! We can start a mini-book club 🙂
As part of an annual health check I take at work to get a health insurance credit, I had to face down the following question:
“In the past two weeks, how often has anxiety impacted your ability to focus at work?” Admittedly, with this election/circus crackling through every piece of technology to be found, my anxiety has peaked and so has my difficulty concentrating. Here’s why I’m sharing that challenge: in resources about how to cope, the health insurance company linked anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and stress management together – and all three of those reinforced solutions that I already knew.
- Get enough sleep,
- drink enough water,
- eat enough of the right foods (feed your brain!) and
- get enough exercise.
That “duh, of course!” moment reminded me of my younger brother telling me about his plans to go see the wonderful Simon Sinek speak; as part of his enthusiastic story he remarked that “in preparation to see Sinek speak, (he) had done some research on Sinek’s TED talks and writing – it sure seems like he’s always saying the same thing.” As I told Sam, maybe that’s because he’s on to something great!
Leadership is not about the crown you wear. Leadership is about the person you are.
— Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) October 26, 2016
We all know the go-to healthy stuff, but how closely do we actually follow it? And likewise, how thrilled would we be if someone handed us the key to a long and fruitful life? Well…. (jingle jingle) it’s already in our pocket! From my obviously sage vantage point at the ripe old age of twenty-nine, I’ll offer a friendly reminder that confidence and patience in the things that we KNOW will make a difference, make a difference: hard work, our own potential, love, humor. Actually remembering to be patient and confident all the time is a totally different story, but at least I know the goal is to keep coming back to those two incredibly frustrating and totally worth it virtues.
Self-love is where it’s at. So I’m sending you a hug (this will shock you, I know, but I am a hugger!) but I encourage you to go ahead and give yourself a hug, too. It feels really good 🙂
Sending you that hug, some love, and a lot of gratitude for coming on this path to happiness with me,
A Happy Wife