2020 was a year of chaos, pain, loss and for most some level change! As I reflect on this year, I realize that I learned so much about the world around me, my friends/family/colleagues and most importantly about myself! Instead of jumping into writing goals for the new year, I thought it would be more powerful to write about what I learned about myself this year and how that knowledge will carry me forward with intention into 2021.
Bucking new year's resolutions seems to be a trend for me now, one I have come to love. In 2019 I used this time of year to reflect on the moments I was most proud of and set intentions for the new year. Then, in 2020 - as a new mama - I threw resolutions out the window and instead shared 10 Affirmations I planned to live by. Now we're going to jump into what I learned about myself during this chaotic year of discomfort and lessons I think we can all carry forward about growth and intentionality.
To know they self is the beginning of widsom
5 Lessons 2020 Taught Me About Myself
1.Learning to sit with discomfort leads to growth
I dislike sitting with discomfort. This was something I learned over and over again this year. Discomfort when it came to racial injustice, discomfort taking on new roles at my day job, discomfort navigating relationships during a pandemic...the list goes on and on. I want to rush through, patch things up, find solutions and move on. Turns out that is not the way the growth happens. Recently my boss told me that a certain situation was my practice at getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and that with each new uncomfortable situation I would be more equipped to handle it. After I made it through the situation, I realized he was right. The discomfort in the next scenario was a little less daunting because I was more comfortable accepting that type of space "in-between" problem & resolution. This same lesson 2020 taught me applies to speaking out on racial injustice. At first it was hard and caused a lot more angst. Now as I get more uncomfortable with ruffling feathers and having the hard conversations, I am more confident and comfortable. My values drive me forward and keep me voice strong.
2. Don't change your value to match what someone else thinks you're worth
I am quick to devalue myself. I didn't go to school for business and yet here I am working my 9-5 and running a successful business as an entrepreneur. I learn so much as I go, but the hardest lessons has been how to put a price tag on my time. In the influencer/blogger space there is always someone that will do the work for less and businesses that want more for less. But just because someone will do it for less doesn't mean I should lower my value. I had to decide what my time/talent and energy was worth and hold that line. Sure, sometimes I pass up opportunities but that just means the opportunities I do take on were the right ones for me! Never let someone else determine your value.
3. Every failure is a lesson to learn (no matter how painful)
This was a hard one to learn this year. I worked on a particular campaign where I found out towards the end that half the influencers had negotiated their rates to almost double mine despite comparable metrics. I didn't know or think to negotiate and that failure pained me for a long time. In the end though, that lesson has earned me more in the long term both in terms of my improved business sense, financial gain and my confidence with negotiation and contract review. No matter how painful your failures, they are simply lessons to help you improve
4. It's OK to be both disappointed to miss out and confident in your decision to say "no"
We all had different comfort levels when it came to navigating the pandemic. There were many times I had to say no, or decline opportunities that I in a non-pandemic year I would have attended. Did I have disappointment seeing others at the events/opportunities? Absolutely! Did I feel confident in my decision to say "no"? 100%. Feelings are not mutually exclusive? I learned I need to make more space for myself to sit with conflicting emotions.
5. A level of outrage is necessary to fuel my action & advocacy
This was something 2020 taught me when it came to racial injustice. I was angry for a long time and that fuels action for me. It forced me to call people out on their prejudice, have difficult conversations with colleagues and speak out on social media. While I don't want to carry that anger forward with me, I do want to carry forward a bit of outrage to continue to fuel my action & advocacy both for racial justice, equity and the breast cancer community. I hope all of us bring a level of outrage with us to 2021 in order to continue this important racial work!
6. Creating before I consume leads to more fulfillment
Many times this year I was forced to take a break from my phone and social media as I spiraled into periods of comparison, depression and anxiety. After navigating a year of more screen time, more alone time and more world devastation than ever, I learned that I am more fulfilled when I create before (or more than) I consume. When I am creating I feel more inspired and satisfied and when I am consuming (in balance) I am able to amplify that inspiration, focus on connection and enter my next round of creation filled with energy instead of depleted. In 2021 I plan to be more intentional with my time and my limits to ensure I prioritize creation over consumption.
7. Vulnerability leads to deeper connection
This was a lesson I learned during cancer and this year saw so many others come t the same realization. Putting my vulnerability on displaying was what allowed me to create My Cancer Chic and it is that authenticity that allows me to connect with all of you. While this wasn't a new lesson for me, seeing so many people join me on the vulnerability bandwagon has been extremely fulfilling and has taken so many of the relationships around me to new levels. 2020 broke down many of the walls between us and showed the true value of vulnerability as a means for deep unifying connection.
As we enter 2021, have decided to make this my year of intentionality. 2020 taught me so many lessons about myself and the most important being that I don't want to live life on auto-pilot. I want to speak out for what matters to me and I want to do my part to make the world a better place for myself, my son and our community.
Life has a way of zooming by (especially 2020). If we're not careful we will have wished away the moments, got swept up in the day to day and stopped having ownership of our lives. 2020, while horrible in so many ways is my driving force to re-focus my life and be mindful and intentional about where I put my time, energy and emotion this year! I hope you will join me in this endeavor. Stay tuned for my next blog post about HOW we can begin 2021 with intentionality.
What did you learn about yourself in 2020 that will guide through the next year?
Breast cancer survivor, lover of style, beauty and all things pink! Inspiring you to thrive through adversity.
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