I have started and deleted this blog about a dozen different times. It was meant to be published about a week ago, yet I got stuck in wondering if it was perfect enough. Will others get value from what I write? Will I be able to help others through my writing? Is anyone even listening? What if I say something stupid and discredit myself as an expert in any certain area?
These are the constant thoughts that ran through my mind throughout 2018, and realistically even before then. As a working professional and a small business owner, I have put a lot of pressure on myself to do things a certain way, the right way as seen through every advertisement that comes across my social media feed. With the start of 2019, I have decided to do things a bit differently. This doesn’t meant that I will throw out all that I have learned and start burning my bras to protest the way society has been built to make women feel inferior to just about every standard it has set. Instead, I have been reflecting on what I need to change, what accomplishments I am proud of, and how I am going to establish a strong foundation for my business and my life.
New Year’s Resolutions have never really been my thing. I understand how they are valuable and are a great starting place for creating new habits, but for me they have never been sustainable. I would set a goal, only to be disappointed with myself by the end of the month. Then I would try something else in the next month, and when that did not become a habit, then I would again become disappointed with myself yet again. Sound familiar?
It was like I was on this wheel of emotions that always ran me over, something that I began to anticipate and try to avoid. This lead me to avoid taking any risks. Living in fear of being disappointed by others, or even more so myself, is not a productive or positive way to live life. Instead of waiting for the right time to start, I just needed to start. Why wait until another New Year, another month, or another day for the ‘right time’? The right time is now, but it also encompasses learning to give yourself some grace when that timeline shifts because we are human.
So here we are in 2019.
There are several lessons that I have been reflecting on, and many ways that I want to change my life to live more fully. This includes how I run my business, the direction of my business, and the way that I would like to personally grow and continue to be compassionate towards myself through times of transition. Because of these desired changes, I will begin to build a foundation for both my business and my life by honoring my most important values, spending quality time with family and friends being the first, and the rest revolving around these: wonder, embracing growth & change, purpose, education & learning, connection, self-acceptance & awareness, and courage. Through these things, I will build a strong foundation to serve my clients in a heart-centered way, while also living out my values to create my best life. I have been so caught up in trying to be who I thought people wanted me to be and what others would find likable, that I discovered that it was tearing me apart. To not totally feel like yourself almost feels like a betrayal to your soul and your purpose.
In this new year, here are the things that I am going to work on embracing:
Continuing to peal away the layers of who I thought I was to uncover who I really am
Changing my limiting beliefs that are negative about myself and how others perceive me - I’ve had enough of the thoughts that do not add positive value to my life
Being brave in what I put out into the world both in my business with new ideas and in showing up as who I am without worry of rejection
Encouraging others to explore, discover, celebrate, and love who they are to establish their best life
Talking about my business and confidently sharing my knowledge to be an expert in my area to help others in a positive way
Creating a seamless system for my clients starting from inquiry about sessions all the way through the process of receiving their gallery and/or ordered prints and products
Rejecting fear and welcoming the courage to create and share with the world
Cultivating connections old and new instead of pushing others away - learning to cherish those friendships that have meant so much through the years and learning how to let new people in to continue to create meaningful connections through the many stages of life
Also, in 2019, I will be working on building habits without the expectation that all of these things will be perfect by the end of a month, or 6 months, or even a year. These are things (hobbies, friendships, business goals, etc) that I have been wanting to cultivate more of to live a fulfilling life of purpose, and sometimes it takes declaring it to find the bravery to make the small changes for a beautiful life.
It can be scary to declare your goals and wishes for yourself to others because we fear what others might think, but how powerful it can be to live for only your own approval.
This year, I will:
Grow my photography clientele by 20%
Build systems in my business that benefit the client experience for Stacy Carosa Photography’s clients
Establish my brand in Colorado and Michigan
Offer special products for my photography clients and create mini sessions throughout the year
Start the planning for adding coaching options to my business
Step out of my comfort zone to meet new people and put in effort to cultivate meaningful friendships
Pay attention to my own emotional needs by recognizing when my thoughts do not hold positive value in my life and proactively work towards correcting these falicies
Set aside specific times to write, to start the book that I have been dreaming of writing for years
Create a morning routine and/or schedule in time to meditate, write in a journal, and do small yoga sequences
Do a headstand in yoga and go to yoga 3 times a week
Get outside into nature more by going to a park, hiking, going for more walks with Jager
Love myself more
I may not accomplish all of these things in 2019, and that is ok. Right now, in this season of my life, these things are what I have deemed important for me to grow. As I continue to learn more about myself and become entangled in life’s little messes, I know that these can change, and that is perfectly OK. Overall, this year is about building a foundation in many aspects of my life and business so that I can build solid walls for a home that I will be proud to live in (metaphorically of course).
This year I am looking at an empty spot to settle my foundation upon. It will be so bare, but it will have so many possibilities. I can dream and imagine how it will be, but learning to let go of these expectations for myself and just live in this journey is what will help me to live with intention. Here’s to our minds wondering and wandering about magical things that can happen in our lives. Here’s to you taking steps in this life journey that you are proud of and will help lead you on an unpredictable, yet rewarding path, to who you want to become. Make this life yours; a beautiful reflection of your true self.