I have a friend whom among other things can quite rightly be described as a GirlBoss; she is a successful business owner and is continuously expanding her ventures across the country. I talk to her about success and goals quite frequently and there are two things that she always makes sure that I remember:
- No one with real, lasting success got there overnight–you can’t know a person’s journey if you’re only looking at the end result. Not everyone runs a marathon, or writes a novel, or starts their own business. There’s a reason for this–these things are HARD. A lot of people have dreams but when they realize the work that these dreams actually entail, many give up. The ones that don’t, move forward, and are almost always confronted with a seemingly insurmountable number of stumbling blocks. Chasing a dream can often mean opening yourself up to fear, self-doubt, and discouragement–often while agreeing to receive criticism, scrutiny, and skepticism from others who don’t share, understand, or believe in your vision. My friend always reminds me that the really successful people are the ones that expect and accept failure as part of the process. When something works, they do more of it; when something doesn’t work, they find another way. They lick their wounds, they evolve, they keep going.
- If you don’t acknowledge where you are at and celebrate the small successes, the big accomplishments might be lost on you as well. Joy can’t just be manufactured; it doesn’t come from nothing–it is a result, it occurs, it’s alive. It is ours for the taking if we choose to grab onto it and feel it–but it can pass us by if we decide not to partake in it. My friend started with one store in a small city outside of her hometown. When she opened it with her sister and her husband most people thought they were crazy; it seemed like too much of a risk. Now, only a few years later, they own four stores in major markets across the country, and show no signs of stopping. With huge aspirations swirling and her mind constantly at work, my friend often struggles to remember to stop and recognize her achievements; to take in the joy that her work has produced. She’s told me that she realizes now that that joy is not really something you can get back. Once you decide not to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished, you get stuck staring forward at the next thing–it starts to become difficult to know if you’re work is really making you happy. Without those placeholders–those pauses on each step of the climb to reflect and enjoy, you can end up at the top and not really know what you are standing on.
With my friend in mind, I am pausing today to recognize that my blog has amassed 100 followers. Bloggers have clicked that little button to get me in their reader feed, and a few others have asked to get an email every time I post. 100 people! Anyone who knows me well knows that the good things in my life have not come to me quickly. I’m happy and proud to say that I have had to work for almost everything in my life that matters. This blog is no different. It’s taken me a long time to commit to writing consistently and to try to make things grow. While most people start projects with some sort of end goal in mind, I prefer to see where things take me; I am relying on the universe to push me in the right direction and help me realize my dreams as I approach them. Recently, I’ve felt both the compulsion and the strength to devote a year of true and steady work to my blog. I want to realize each triumph; no matter the outcome, I look forward to everything I will know about myself after 52 weeks.
The past couple of months have been some of the most fulfilling of my life. I’ve never enjoyed writing this much–ever. I think a huge reason for this is that I have never enjoyed reading so much. Everyday I am learning from other writers and bloggers–I am inspired by all of your grit, passion, creativity, and willingness to put yourself out there. It sounds so easy–“I think I’ll start a blog.” And in theory, it is–just hop on WordPress, pick a theme, and say hello. But to do this with any consistency–to hit publish and share and announce to the world, “These are my thoughts and my feelings, have a look!” Well, it takes a little gumption. I have so much genuine appreciation for all the bloggers that I follow and the ones that follow me. I have enjoyed getting to explore shared interests, exchanging ideas, and receiving and offering encouragement from people all over the world.
So while this accomplishment–this 100 followers, might seem like a small step to some, I’m gonna pause and recognize the hell out of it. Cause there’s joy on this landing–I’ve captured it and I’m gonna feel it–cause years from now, I want to know exactly how my foundation was built. And there’ll never be any doubts as to what I’m made of; the journey will lay bare for all to see.
Thanks for being one of my readers-I love you for it! x