Photography: Ricky Baird
Welcome to The In Feature 2.0. This year my blog has not been a priority and if you keep up to date with my social media channels you may have noticed I embarked on a two year working holiday visa and immigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada in late June. In the short amount of time I have spent here I have embraced a major change and now that I am finally settled I am able to focus and can feel an enormous amount of inspiration. This feels like the perfect time to devote my spare time to my blog and know I can give all of my attention to continuing to build my brand. Prior to moving here, knowing for several months I was going to move away from home I needed time to gather my thoughts and envision the direction I want to take going forward. Over the last month I feel like I have flipped a switch and have never been more focused. I like to call this Boss Mode; somebody who is strong and powerful, who knows what they want and are not afraid to go after it. But that is only the tip of the iceberg as it has taken me a long time to get to where I am today.
Inspiration is all around. It can come from a magazine article or a Netflix series. It may be sourced from your favourite song or practically anywhere on the world wide web. While this may seem like an unnecessary statement giving the modern world we live in, but I think it is important to keep ourselves up to date with what is going on around us. Not just limited to social media, but to actually dive into a specific topic and to research. Expand your knowledge and open your mind to the limitless possibilities.
I think creativity goes hand in hand with this; and I like to think of creativity as a well. There is times the well is full and your creative energy is flowing freely; it is keeping you up at night with great ideas and coming to you when you are in the shower and nowhere near your phone to jolt down in your notes. Expect times when that well is suddenly running low and you find yourself in a bit of a slump, fresh ideas are not coming to you and it can get frustrating. That is when you repeat and go on a much needed search for inspiration.
2. Stick To Your Standards
If there is something you believe in and feel passionate about it is important to remain true to them otherwise there is no point starting in the first place. This could be said for a number of different things – take this blog for example as a hobby, your career or any matter in your personal life that you have a strong understanding and passion for. I think many of us have lost the spark from within – subconsciously allow that spark to reignite. Never sell yourself for anything less than you are; which is absolutely fabulous.
3. Know Your Weakness
We are lead to believe that our weakness defines us so we choose to ignore it and bury our head in the sand. By doing so we are single handedly sabotaging any means of success or happiness that will come our way. It is an irrational fear; we must acknowledge our weakness which will give us power over it. By acknowledging it we are accepting it for what it is: a weakness. Let that be the building blocks for self improvement and a learning curve for if and when a similar situation comes around.
4. Expect The Unexpected
It is the age old question: if you expect the unexpected does that make the unexpected expected? Consider it a smart business strategy to list the possible outcomes from almost every situation starting with the most realistic. For every possible outcome determine the impact this may have on your project or overall goal be that negative or positive. By doing this you should be able to decide if action will need to be taken to rectify it and will be able to do so with confidence.
5. Take The Stairs
Exercise releases feel good endorphins that not only boost your mood but can also help with keeping anxiety and stress at bay while improving your mental performance. As someone who suffers with anxiety I never liked the feeling I got when working out as it bared a striking resemblance to a panic attack, but over the last month I have made a serious effort to get myself back in shape and think it is a contributing factor to my focused mood. Sitting at a desk all day can mentally drain you and leave you feeling fatigued but it is important to remember your body needs just as much, if not more, activities to keep you fighting fit.
6. Be Kind
It cost nothing to be polite and I think we need a constant reminder of that. While social media has benefits one major disadvantage is the increasing amount of negativity, body shaming and point blank abuse people receive. I was always taught to think before I speak, say please and thank you and remember you are not above anyone else, nor is anyone else above you. Spreading love and positivity is the medicine we all need right about now and it is infectious – it is so easy to spread good vibes. Remember to be kind to yourself – I know we are all our biggest critic. Remember you are doing the best you can and tomorrow is a new day.
7. Set Goals
When you decide to embark on a new adventure: be it a new hobby, career path or something personal such as a relationship or fitness we should envision an end goal. Our own limitations and dedication will determine the end goal but what is important is to break your end goal down into much smaller, achievable and realistic goals that can be met on a weekly, monthly, semiannual or annual basis. From past experience I have not done this and end up disappointed by my own expectations which made me lose confidence in my own abilities. Remember to dream big and celebrate the small stuff.
8. Dream Big
Lastly; remember your end goal. You can not say the sky is the limit when there is footprints on the moon. Have confidence in yourself and trust your instinct. Remain true to yourself, know your weakness, expect the unexpected and remember to exercise and drink plenty of water. Anything is possible and I for one am rooting for you to succeed.
I hope you found this blog post any way helpful or a source of inspiration to take the leap and start making changes. Let me know in the comments below what you need to be more Boss Mode about or any tips and recommendations you have.