Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New year, same me - just a little bit braver. Here's why you should be too...

I'm a little late writing this new year post, because, well.. I was putting it off. It's easy to write about lipsticks, but not so easy getting personal. 
I also read a lot of posts from some very raw, honest bloggers who explained why their years hadn't panned out exactly how they'd wanted. Two thousand and shitsteen. Yep, it certainly has been for a lot of us - and the world - there's no doubt about that. But I'm not going to write a post about it, because - honestly - it hasn't actually been the worst year for me.
No one close to me passed away, I didn't lose my job to the endless cuts across magazines, my relationship is better than ever, and I have some amazing friends, a new baby niece and a pretty cool flat. I'm not bragging at all, but I just don't feel entitled to jump on-board the hate wagon.

So, I put off writing a post. And then I started thinking - my life is good, yes. But there are so many ways that I, myself, am stopping it from being great. How can you possibly cock-block your own life, you ask? Easily. And I'm going to bet that many of you do it too without even realising it.
The problem is, I've realised it, and now I'm acutely aware of what I'm doing wrong...

I'm too afraid to actually live the life I know I'm capable of.

I read an article the other day on the Observer, from a man named Mark, who wrote something so real - and terrifyingly accurate - that it stunned me for a minute. He said..

// The world doesn't care about you. You, me, and everything we do, will one day be forgotten. Nobody will care. Just like right now, almost nobody cares what you actually say or do with your life. //

Ouch, right? Wait, it gets better. He goes on...

// This is actually really good news: it means you can get away with a lot of stupid shit and people will forget and forgive you for it. It means that there's absolutely no reason to not be the person you want to be. //

If it hasn't hit home yet, what Mark has pointed out in some very brutal words, is that most of us worry so much about the consequences of making a change to our lives, that it stops us from actually getting out of a routine and doing what we really want to do.

Maybe you worry that your friends will make fun of you, that your family won't like it, that you don't have enough talent to actually do whatever it is you dream of. I don't know what your dream is - but, for example - let's say mine was this: I want to be able to turn myself into a real brand. I want to organise my days to suit me, and not go into an office 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. That I want to use my words to inspire people, and my photos to influence. I want a life that I've created, and that I can control - and what's more, I want to sit back and look at it and know that I succeeded because I put the work in, and I was good at it.

Sound like yours? Maybe you can relate. The point is, it doesn't matter what your dream is - whether you want to live in a new country but you're worried about leaving someone behind, or you want to swap your career in marketing to become a full-time actress. It doesn't matter. What matters is you (and yes, me) are allowing the fear of something stop us from achieving.

That sucks, doesn't it? I'm sorry if I've made you aware of it, but it's good, because now you can actually think about it in a real way. How many times a day do you let a fleeting worry stop you from doing something, even if it's small? Here's a few examples of how, in just the past few days, I've let other people stop me from doing what I wanted...

*I wanted to get a hot chocolate from Pret this morning, but two women were stood in line and I thought one of them was laughing at me so I went straight into the office instead.

* I had a piece of work handed back to me with a comment I didn't agree with. I didn't say anything because I was worried it would make me look obnoxious.

* I wore trainers, instead of the heels I wanted, because I don't like looking taller than people on the tube.

Let's just examine those for a minute. 1) EVEN if those women in Pret had been talking about me (likely not), why should I have cared? I didn't know them and probably would never see them again after. 2) Why was I so afraid to say something when I was so confident that I was right? Surely my opinion would have been valued, not laughed at. And 3) Who gives a cr*p if I look tall? Literally, WHO?

I don't know if you can relate to any of these - I'm sure a lot of you can. But what I'm getting at with this post, is - how am I meant to create the life that I want, when I let such tiny worries about the opinions of other people change what I want to do? But this is more than missing a hot chocolate - I'm missing living my life to the fullest, and I refuse to wake up in 20 years wishing I'd been brave enough to do something different.

So this year, 2017, I vow to be braver. To go out and get the life that I know I deserve. I'm not going to be an asshole about it, and I'll always be somewhat sensitive to other people's views. But I won't let them get in the way of what I want to do. It might take me a while to change the habit of a life-time, but I'll work on it every day until I conquer those small things, and I'm finally brave enough to turn my big dream into a reality.

Are you with me?



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