It’s New Years Eve and everyone is reflecting on this year and looking ahead into next year. I’m constantly learning and as I’m being a student, I’m slowly evolving into a teacher. 2015 was a very challenging and emotional year and I believe there will be more challenging and emotional years to come… but for now, let’s start there. I believe in karma, so given what I have learned this past year, I have an obligation to pass on the experience in hopes the lessons will move onto at least one other person reading this blog. Here it is, 10 lessons I learned from 2015.
- I don’t care what you believe, just believe.
BOOM Serenity reference. You’re welcome. I kept hearing stories of success and the power in believing. I have been pursuing a career in entertainment for ten years. Deep down, I always thought it would eventually happen… but never really believed. I was at a point that I believed I would fail more than I believed I would even get a job. I wasn’t afraid of failure because I was facing it everyday. What I was afraid of, was succeeding. It’s something new and different and something I didn’t believe I could achieve. Sounds crazy? It absolutely is! The changing point for me was having a long dream come true to prove that things can change and I can win. For years I have wanted LASIK done but I kept feeding myself stories that I will never be able to afford it. I booked surgery dates but cancelled last minute because I couldn’t afford it. My boyfriend and I paid off a debt and I decided to do something for myself. I made the appointment and was about to call and cancel when my boyfriend gave me that extra voice of encouragement that I needed. When I opened my eyes for the first time and saw the entire room with 20/20 vision, everything changed. I proved myself wrong. Dreams can come true and since then, I haven’t doubted it and in one month following, phone calls have been coming to me with possibilities I didn’t think were an option. I don’t care what your dreams are, but start making them come true. Get that tunnel vision, save up, make some calls, write emails, just make it come true!
2. You don’t know what you don’t know
2015 was the year of firsts. I threw myself into a project I had no idea how to produce, I convinced someone to hire me for a management job I had no experience in and I started a company with no experience along with a partner who also had no experience. How else are you supposed to learn, right? Tons of mistakes were made but there was no lack of commitment. When you’re passionate and you fully commit, people will step up and help. Be the underdog, learn from others and don’t be scared of doing something huge. You learn way faster.
3. Fear is good until you mistake it for logic
I had a big issue hanging over my head and every night I woke up having a panic attack. Constantly crying. I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I looked out the window and asked myself, “what is the matter? Why are you doing this?” I answered, “I’m scared” and it went away. Then I said, “this is horse shit, go back to bed!” I slept like a baby. All it took was me acknowledging that I was scared when this whole time, I thought my fear was reality. Nothing was actually happening to me at that moment. I was standing in the dark, looking out the window. No one had a gun pointing at me, there was no reason at that time to be scared. So I kept telling myself, “you’re fine, stop this” and what happened? I denied how I was feeling which is madness and it kept going. It’s like telling yourself you’re seeing things that aren’t there. Be present, accept what’s happening and move on. Time is your best friend.
4. If you feel uncomfortable, you know you’re doing something right
All the lucky breaks I’ve been given have been through sending an email. My biggest fear was sending an email and the recipient thinking, “who is this amateur? Never speak to this person again, they suck”. That doesn’t happen. Sometimes they need you just as much as you need them. We’re all people. The person you’re emailing is just another person. Most of them are really kind and willing to help. Majority of people at the top started at the bottom somewhere and want to help others the same way they were helped. No one gets to the top without help. Putting yourself out there is scary and uncomfortable, but it works. If you’re always comfortable, chances are, you aren’t doing anything exceptional. My problem is I like being comfortable – obviously! However, when things go very well, it’s when I’m nervous as hell because it means a lot to me. How much focus and energy can I actually put in if I’m comfortable and relaxed? Not much.
5. Right your wrongs
Reputation is everything so do all you can to do what’s right. We’ve all done stupid, bad things before, but make it right. This is just me, but I’ve noticed that whenever I chose a path that helps someone, it has worked out well for me. Whatever fork you come across, pick whatever will do the most good. I have made selfish choices and I’m not saying I’ll never make them in the future, but when I think of someone asking another about me and working with me, I want them to answer truthfully positive things. Your name and your word is all you have. Honour it.
6. Make time
It’s easy to fall into the rat race. The only thing that will keep you sane is the people you love the most. I’m still trying to learn this and it will always be a work in process, but when I’m around my family and friends, I feel recharged. It’s like a hot summer day after months of winter.
7. For the love of God take care of yourself!
Again, still learning. Without your health you can’t give your all. I have been taking advantage of my health my whole life and I’m just learning how delicate it is. It’s so stupid because it takes such little effort to do good for yourself and yet… I don’t work out and eat McDonalds. All I have to do is eat more fruit and veggies and exercise 20 minutes a day. HOW IS THAT A BIG DEAL?! There should be a brainwashing machine by now to make sure people follow this!
8. However you feel about someone, it’s just you looking in a mirror.
It made my life so much easier when I learned that. Whenever I would get annoyed about what someone is doing, I learned it was actually my own insecurities about myself that I was talking about and using that person as a distraction. No one can make you feel anything. No one can make you do anything. Nothing anyone does, is about you. You can’t take anything personal because what people say and do has nothing to do with you. When a stranger calls you an asshole, it can’t hurt you because they’re a stranger! They don’t know you, you’re not an asshole. They see you as an obstacle in their path. You are a number, not a person to them just as they are to you. Yet, we act as if we have you all figured out even though every person is complex as hell. Right. Stop being offended, it has nothing to do with you.
9. Don’t wait, just do it
I’ve been telling myself the same story. When I have money, when I have this, when I have that, I’ll be able to do the things I want to do. Nope. I learned that from my boyfriend. We shared the same story until he decided, why wait? Why wait to be someone of influence to make a difference when I can do that right now? You have every opportunity to make an opportunity and knowing that is the first step. Decide what you want to do and then figure it out as you go. Just do it.
10. Know your weakness
Knowing my weaknesses helped me with business because I knew who I needed to be around to make up for it. I know my strengths and I use them and whatever I lack, I turn to someone to help me. I always thought I needed to know how to do everything but it actually saves time and energy focusing on what you’re good at and partnering up with someone else who’s good at what you lack. When it comes to weaknesses, know your habits. I know that if I don’t tackle something (such as responding to emails) immediately, it won’t get done. If I have a feeling about something, I usually ignored it and regretted it. I’m learning to respond quickly and trust my gut.
There you go, hope this was helpful and I wish you all a safe and Happy New Year!