Can I be real with you? When I first started this business, I originally wanted to do photography and write blogs encouraging others to go after their dreams and tell my stories of how faith has shaped who I am. And here we are. I’ll admit, I have fallen off the wagon with this whole blogging thing. You see, building a business is hard! And the hardest part about it is staying focused on the right things. I’m happy to say I have accomplished a good amount of goals on the photography side of things, but what you don’t see behind the Instagram feed is that my focus is all out of whack. So I’ve made it a priority to get my off-balanced mind back on-track!
I’ve been focusing on what I think people want to see from me, instead of focusing on the person I want to be. I have been influenced by so many bright, young, and successful people and as a result of comparing myself to them, I have subconsciously morphed my priorities in my business to better match what I think other people want to see from me! I know, I know…it is so dang easy to fall victim to the comparison game. So yes, I give myself some grace on this one. BUT I also take responsibility as well. I’ve inserted myself to this imaginary rat race and inevitably I have lost sight of why I started this whole thing in the first place.
After doing some re-balancing of my mind and soul, I realized my answers to the questions below will slowly but surely help me get back on track to the path I am supposed to walk.
Check your heart. It’s less about climbing the ladder, and more about your heart. Do you want to get to the top for the sake of getting to the top? So you can bask in your glory and hard work? Confidence comes from knowing who you are in Christ. And if you don’t know much about this, that statement can seem like a daunting task followed by a few eye rolls (been there!) But if you aren’t confident with yourself, you will always feel like you need to keep spinning your wheels to make it to become successful (in the worldly sense). Literally ask yourself the question, “Why do I care so much?” If you just want to make more money or become more powerful in the eyes of others, you aren’t going to have much happiness left when you get there. I believe you will accomplish much more and feel much more happiness if you are working hard for the right reasons.
Re-define your “Why”. When you feel like you’re losing sight of why you are doing what you are doing, this may be a good time to sit down again and ask yourself that question. Knowing your “why” is extremely important in maintain focus on the right things. It brings you back to why you started whatever it is that you’re doing. It keeps you humble and grounded. And when you know your “why,” you are able to make clear and responsible decisions. If you have a clear understanding of what your “why” is, you will then know exactly what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to because you know what will and wont help you accomplish those goals. (Are you a book lover? Read Simon Sinek’s Start with Why!!)
Ask yourself, “What type of person do I want to be?” It hit me the other day that life is less about “what do I want to do?” and more about “who do I want to be?” Stop putting ALL your focus on your business and what will get you to the next big thing. When you focus MORE on what type of person you want to be, the what’s how’s and when’s will all follow.
I asked myself this recently and this is actually what I wrote in my journal. Maybe it will help you…
-A person who impacts many
-A person who opens many doors for people to experience the Gospel
-Loving, kind, gentle yet bold
-Impactful, compassionate, helpful
-Encouraging, yet honest
-An example of God’s love and faithfulness
-I want to be used by God to do great things that will positively impact many and bring them closer to having a relationship with God.
Spend quiet time with God. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). God has PLANS for you. Wonderful and amazing PLANS! Way better PLANS than the ones you have for yourself! The sad part? Many people miss out on these plans because they never make the time to ask God what they are. They never make the time to listen to God and hear what direction He is calling them to go in. If you want to make good, healthy, and wise decisions for yourself, family, or business, you MUST make time to build a relationship with God. I get reality checks often that consistently prove I cannot make decisions on my own all the time. We are all not that smart. Sorry, I know that will offend some people. But we’re just not. We make stupid decisions all the time and then have to live with the consequences. But if we just do what God wants us to do, there will be less consequence and more blessings. We do not have to choose between staying close to God and running the rat race in fear of getting off course. He is The Way so if you stay close to God, you will always be on course. He’ll show you the way because He is The Way.
All of these are works in progress for me. There is no quick and easy fix to becoming successful. It is true when they say nothing worth having comes easy. If you put these things into practice and remind yourself daily of what’s important, over time you will start to see the fruits of your labor. I believe through discipline, persistence, and prayer, the plans for your life will slowly be revealed.
Success will come because you have stayed disciplined and true to yourself. Peace will come because you will be confident in who you are. and Joy will come because you are grateful with where you are now and hopeful for a bright future.