Defining Moments

When was a time that you were empowered by the words of another person?

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The first conference I had ever went to for creatives was such an eye-opening, encouraging experience.  However, that weekend, of course, I had a sinus infection.  Going into a learning experience sick, especially one that I was really looking forward to attending and connecting with others in the industry, felt a little disappointing.  I didn’t want to get anyone else sick, and I think that my congestion and ‘man voice’ might have sounded a little scary.  The flip side of it all was that I was able to observe and take in as much a possible for my own learning.  Nonetheless, when going into new experiences not feeling our best, or even a little overwhelmed, it is always in our best nature to take away from it what we can and reflect on how we can approach it positively.

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that make us feel a little uncomfortable.  Going to this conference, it was as if I was in middle school again!  These questions kept running through my head: Are they going to like me?  Am I going to make friends?  Do I look ok?  Honestly, I felt a little old and out of style.  The feelings of self-doubt creeped in as I was surrounded by these amazingly talented creatives.  Am I good enough?  However, these thoughts didn’t stop me from reaching out to others at the conference, just in a more intentional way.  

It was tough at the conference, because I wasn’t feeling the greatest and in general when meeting new people, I get nervous that full sentences won’t come out of my mouth, but I did it anyway.  Even when I didn’t know what I wanted to say, at least I said hello and engaged in some small talk.  I wanted to get the most out of my conference experience.  And you know what, I met some great people.  

I met some absolutely awesome people that I felt connected to right away at this conference, some I am in the process of even collaborating on a styled shoot with (so excited!).  Sometimes that small leap of faith, to reach out of your comfort zone, gives you the opportunity to open the doors to a whole new world, new confidence, and new friendships.

It’s imperative to try something new when you are in an environment that you are unfamiliar with.  This is how you grow and this is how you learn about yourself as a person.  If you let fear take hold there will be no progress.  

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So there was a moment, a life/business changing moment, at the conference I have been referencing to in this series, when I took a chance to talk to a ShowIt representative.  I had this small, home-made website (which served its purpose, and I was proud of making it on my own), but I wanted to learn more about these other avenues.  My conversation with the representative went beyond what the company could offer, and in that moment I didn’t feel too old to be in this business or that I couldn’t meet others at this conference.  I talked to her about some of my ideas, what pushed me to start my business, and the heart behind it all.  I told her the struggles in getting my business going, and she told me that what I had to say mattered.  She mentioned that through these life experiences of loss that led to the starting of my business, I had s tory that needed to be told because it fueled the purpose behind my business.  It hit me then, in that exact moment, that I was enough in this business and that, yes, my story needed to be told and shared because it’s the foundation of my business, to capture beauty in courage, just like your story should be told and celebrated too.

Nobody gets to the same destination as their peers having learned the same lessons.  Your journey matters and is what makes your business unique.

Can you remember the words that you were told that kept you in your business or the words you heard from someone that made you feel worth it?

The whole point of telling you about this one moment in time is two fold: 1) go out and get your education on - that is the one thing that nobody can ever take away from you and the one thing that you always have to continue to develop into the person you would like to be, please, never stop learning and 2) take a risk, even when it feels the most scary, reach out to the people you think might tell you no, be curious about things you know nothing about, and step out of that comfort zone because those are the moments when you will probably learn the most.  Those chances you don’t take might be the ones that could bring you the most insight into your life or your business.  You owe it to yourself to make those connections.

Tell me about a time recently that you stopped out of your comfort zone?  How did it feel afterwards?  

What have you learned about yourself from stepping out of your comfort zone?  I am cheering you on, friend, as you take risks and try new experiences that will lift you up and lead you closer to where you want to be.  

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