If You're Looking For A Sign, THIS Is It!
Everyday as I scroll through social media I am inspired by the amazing talent and accomplishments of influencers I admire. They are achieving major milestones, slaying the scene and they are influencers I aspire to be like. But while it all looks glamorous online, behind the scenes it's not always sunshine and roses and we don't often hear about the blood, sweat and tears that goes into these accomplishments. We only see what they want us to see.
Hard work and success should be celebrated but when you are in the early stages of putting yourself out there it is easy to feel discouraged, question yourself and feel like your goals are out of reach especially if you are not seeing the results you had hoped for.
6 months ago I decided to quit my job and go freelance so I could focus on makeup artistry and blogging. I said goodbye to my stable income and job security and faced what was probably one of the scariest and most uncertain times of my life. I have lost count of the amount of times I questioned what was I doing - was I crazy? I'm pretty sure some people thought I was but I had always wanted the independence and flexibility that came with being a freelancer so I threw myself in the deep end knowing it was sink or swim. Now was the time I had to hustle hard to make this dream a reality or it would be back to the 9-5 grind!
This post is a personal account of some of the hurdles I have faced in the last 6 months, how I have managed to overcome them and the lessons I have learnt. It is for anyone who has felt like they are stuck in a rut, hit a plateau or questioned if what they were doing was right thing. While you might feel like it, you are definitely not alone and every person at one stage of their life or career has felt exactly the same way - we just haven't heard about it - until now.
"COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY"
Theodore Roosevelt definitely hit the nail on the head. I am so inspired by amazing beauty bloggers, vloggers and makeup artists but it got to a point where I started to compare myself to them. I was comparing myself and my skill set to artists who had been in the industry for 10+ years and self doubt set in in a major way. 'Why wasn't I as good as them?', 'I'll never be able to do that', 'I wish I was as successful as them'. But what I was forgetting to realise was that they had all worked so hard to get to where they are today and I am sure they faced some struggles on the way.
So instead of comparing myself to other people I started comparing myself to me. I keep a mental journal of goals and milestones I have achieved, no matter how big or small, so when I look back I can see how far I have come. I compare photos of past makeup jobs I have done and I can see the improvement in my skills and technique. Doing this has made me realise I have achieved a lot, that practice makes perfect and I am growing stronger by the day.
TIP - Compare yourself to last year. If you have been working hard I guarantee you will see an improvement and that you have grown and learnt so much since then. Don't be too hard on yourself if you haven't, use this as a stepping stone to achieve your next goal!
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
When it comes to social media it is REALLY easy to get fixated on numbers, I should know I can tell you exactly how many followers I have and when people unfollow me. But one thing I have definitely learnt is that the quality far outweighs the quantity.
For example, I would rather take my time and write a meaningful blog post featuring photography I am proud of rather than slapping together 10 posts which have no substance. Or I would prefer to have 1000 real people follow me on Instagram who are engaged in my content rather than 10,000 bots or spam accounts that amount to nothing. I want to know my content is reaching real people and somehow, even in a small way, making a difference or helping someone.
As soon as I realised this I started to see my work in a whole new light and really appreciate every comment and genuine interaction I received. It won't happen overnight, but if you are true to yourself and put time and love into the content you create then the followers and engagement will come.
KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
A quote from founder and editor-in-chief of The Collective magazine, Lisa Messenger which has always held a special place in my heart is:
"Find your 'why'. Do what you love. Do it with passion and purpose."
This is a message I think everyone can benefit from. When you know what you are working towards and why you are doing it everything becomes so much clearer. Make sure you're doing things for the right reasons, do it with integrity and ensure it is in line with your personal values. If you don't believe it how can you expect other people to? Living and working by this motto will bring a new sense of fulfilment to your life and you'll know in your heart you are on the right track.
"WALK WITH THE DREAMERS, THE BELIEVERS, THE COURAGEOUS, THE CHEERFUL, THE PLANNERS, THE DOERS, THE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WITH THEIR HEADS IN THE CLOUDS AND THEIR FEET ON THE GROUND."
Whether it be in real life or online, I like to surround myself with people who inspire me to be the best I can be. But I also like to educate myself and learn from other peoples journeys and experiences by reading autobiographies, attending seminars, following influencers I admire and meeting new people and listening to their stories.
It's not a competition, so remember to encourage and empower each other, work together and amazing things will happen. Life is way too short for negative energy and doubts so find a tribe who believes in you, supports you and lifts you higher.
WORKING HARD FOR SOMETHING WE DON'T CARE ABOUT IS CALLED STRESS. WORKING HARD FOR SOMETHING WE LOVE IS CALLED PASSION.
Truer words have never been spoken! Since going freelance I have worked harder than I have ever worked before, sometimes through to the early hours of the morning not realising what time it is because I love what I do. It brings me so much happiness to work with my clients and bring their visions to life, to work on my craft and create content which I hope inspires others.
There is a reason I started doing this and it is the same reason I have put my whole heart and soul into it. Not a minute spent on it feels like work and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I hope by sharing my personal thoughts and experiences that I have helped you in some small way. If I have learnt anything it is to stay true to yourself, work hard and never give up. There is a light shining at the end of what might seem like an endless tunnel and it has your name on it. The saying 'good things come to those who hustle' has never been more true and if you are prepared to put in the hard work you will definitely achieve the results you seek!