Friday, 28 November 2014

Fabulous Friday

Happy fabulous Friday all! What’s fabulous about today is perspective. 
 It’s funny how I think about things so differently since Sticky came along. I fall into the old trap of thinking like I always have about things, but then I quickly remind myself to ask myself, what am I teaching her by doing this? It’s now the one question I live my life by. It dictates all of my decisions, well most of them, my behaviour, my thoughts and my feelings.
I’ve been particularly glad of this new train of thought since setting up my new business. It’s tough going being a solo operator, even more so when you’re in a business where you are judged on your looks. Like most people, I’ve always been pretty self-deprecating  when it comes to that, always thinking I’m not good enough. It was actually having Sticky that finally gave me the courage to even try this because I wanted to teach her that you go for your dreams no matter how difficult they seem to attain.

I’ve suffered a lot of inner turmoil since putting myself out there to be judged. I fell into the trap of worrying about what others thought of me, especially my peers. I obsessed over every aspect of my business, and what they would think of it, instead of just having the courage to stand on my own two feet. I let their thoughts and feelings about things dictate how I operated, instead of operating by my own heart. 

Things came to a head this week when I attended our celebrant Christmas party. As I sat there talking to people, and hearing about their stories and how many bookings they had for next year, I retreated into silence, overwhelmed by the enormous sense of inadequacy I felt. I berated myself for not being as good, popular, organised or successful as they were. The fact that they had been doing it for longer than me, had more experience than me and advertised in different ways to me should have squashed my feelings, but it didn’t. 

It wasn’t until I was lying in bed afterwards, thinking what would I say if Sticky came and told me she was experiencing all of this, that I realised how foolish I was being. The simple fact is, Sticky will come to me in a few short years, when she starts school, and she’ll tell me the exact same thing. That she’s struggling trying to learn and achieve something that she really wants to. She’s scared of making a fool of herself in front of her friends. She’s scared they won’t like her or acknowledge her. She’s scared to just stand up and be herself because she’s comparing herself to everyone else. 

And what will I say to her when she says this to me? I’ll say I know sweetheart, learning new things is really hard. And, it’s even harder when it’s something you’re really passionate about because you want to achieve it even more. But, when you are learning really hard and new things, you are going to make mistakes and that’s ok. That’s how you learn but the important thing is to try and make the same mistake only once. 

It’s natural to compare yourself to how others are doing but it’s not a good idea. Everyone will travel their own path, at their own pace, and if you spend your time looking at how everyone else is doing, you’re not paying enough attention to how you are doing. Other people will achieve things faster than you, and others will achieve things slower than you. But, you have to have faith in what you’re doing and your own abilities. Don’t let your fear of what others think of you stop you from being who you truly are. Be brave enough to stand up for yourself and have the courage to do things your way. Look at others and learn, but don’t copy them because being authentic is the best thing you can be. 

It reminds me of a Dr Seuss quote I use in my naming ceremonies – “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” 

Once I realised all of this, I was able to let my negativity go. And the outcome? Well, I booked two weddings this week at my new higher price – my most successful week so far! I think I achieved it because I finally believed in myself. I had faith in what I was doing, what I could offer, the outcome I could achieve and the price I was charging to do it. So I’ll also tell Sticky that the greatest lesson I’ve learnt in moments where negative thoughts seem to take over, is that negativity gets you no where but positivity can make all the difference in the world!

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