Entrepreneurship and personal development go hand in hand. What they say about starting a business and personal growth is true. I don’t want to sound like a fluffy optimist. I want to share the truth of my own experiences, instead of regurgitated feel-good messages. The last thing I want to do is give you a one-sided view of what it really takes to create a fulfilling life. It’s not all sweet, light, love and luxury. I’m not going to glamourize success, which is why we are in this collective work crisis in the first place.
Breaking up with dreams that aren’t your own is so hard. I took the red pill, so if you want the blue pill, this place isn’t for you.
So why would you want to grow through the hard stuff that requires courage and grit? You become more of you. You don’t hide or blend or fit into a role. You define success on your own terms. You get breathing room. You experience more of your own potential. What you are truly capable of, not determined by the conventional standards of society. Your gifts, your personality, your creativity, your strengths find a voice. You begin to trust yourself as you own more of you. You become more fully expressed.
Since I started freelancing online, my life has radically changed. I’ve changed.
Here are 3 lessons I learned in 7 years:
Success is relative.
Like body sizes, sexuality, gender, race, spirituality, success is relative. Variety is the spice of life.
Yes, you definitely need to set some practical benchmarks of success like numbers, but it shouldn’t be the only factor in determining your overall wellbeing. I chased an externalized image of success only to crash and burn multiple times, and once I reached a goal, I regretted it. I was miserable, and I hated the person I became. And sometimes, you have to learn this lesson the hard way to face the truth of who you are. Life is always showing you a way back home.
2. Your dreams can change.
You’ll be surprised to find what matters to you when you begin pursuing your dreams. I was once dreaming of producing runway shows during New York Fashion Week, and now, I dream of converting a van (with the marble shower) and roaming the wild. I’m not saying that one dream is better than the other. Both are valid expressions of my personality. Humans carry a multitude of expression within themselves. It’s never one thing. Desires can change. It’s totally okay to change. Expand. Past the edges of your immediate reality, you’ll find the sea of wholeness.
Self-reliance is inevitable as you walk this path. As you develop a more intimate relationship with yourself, you edit your life into the masterpiece of your dreams. Your dreams are unique to you. It’s an ongoing conversation and process.
3. Grounding changes the game.
When I crashed and burned from my past life in fashion and event promotions, I got really, really stuck. It felt like a nightmare. I felt like a failure. Nothing seemed to be working out. I was addicted to change and the adrenaline rush it gave me. The learning curve online was steep for me. I could never sit still before, and now I have forced to sit still. Later on, when I was too mentally and emotionally exhausted to figure out the situation, I found moments of peace in the stillness. Those quiet interruptions to my hyperadrenalized state restored my sanity and wellbeing.
Life was showing me how to redefine my life through presence and mindfulness, not by externalized images of success and busyness. Not by how much I was achieving or accomplishing. Slowing down and finding safety and security in the present moment gave me the space I needed to rework my life with intention. As I renewed the way I saw my circumstances, I saw grace and beauty in my life. My photography practice is a visual representation of this way of being.
There’s a tonne more. Every day I’m learning something new, which is one of the main reasons why I love this path so much.
Tell me where you are on your journey. What lessons are you learning? I’d love to hear your story.