This is a guest blog post by Jordanna Stephen
We’ve all seen those memes where they pick a profession and then they have different pictures representing different scenarios, like “what my parents think I do” “what my friends think I do” and then you have the last box “what I really do”…and usually it’s a photo of someone pulling their hair out…because that’s the real life.
When it comes to success, whether working a 9-to-5 or being an entrepreneur, it’s that “what I really do” image we rarely see being portrayed in social media, online, or even in the magazines (whatever print magazines are still left). But I will never forget this quote someone said, “You see someone’s glory, but never see their story.” Translated? Don’t let the internet rush you.
What you see…is not necessarily what you get.
All that glitters isn’t gold. And whatever other cliché you can think of would work too. Sadly, we can look at others online and think they have it all together. And guess what? They do have it all together, online that is.
What you don’t see is the stress, the sleepless nights, the anxiety, the depression, the poverty (well poverty is a strong word, but sometimes they don’t have a dollar to their name), the debt, and the work it took them to achieve their definition of success. All we get to see is the result because unfortunately transparency still isn’t as popular as we would like it to be. Since we are talking about transparency, it’s only right I be transparent.
I am in the midst of launching a new PR firm and another PR-related brand. And while my Facebook page is chock full of laughs, thoughts, events I attend…and my Instagram account shows me taking “style shots”, smiling with friends, socializing, etc. behind my accounts I battle with depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. Not to mention dealing with family members who have lost the battle to cancer, and my dad who is currently fighting it.
There are insomniac nights where my anxiety keeps me up and nights where I might be sleeping too much because depression has me down. And this is just a few, this isn’t an episode of Iyanla Fix My Life.
The thing is, you will look at me online and think there’s this girl who looks like she has it all, having fun, has it together, and she is going to be her own boss, and you might start to look at your life and think you’re failing, or think you’re not doing enough, or whatever other negative thought you might have. Believe me, I look at others and do the same thing. I have to remind myself, comparison is the thief of joy.
Time to develop a “green thumb”
The grass will always look greener (cliché alert) when you’re not taking time to water your own grass…and, in this case, yourself, your dreams, your goals, and your achievements. But it’s back to that quote, you never see or know the story and as a result you rush yourself thinking you have to be a certain way by a certain time or you’re a failure. You don’t know what the other person is battling and photos are just flashing images of moments and not the whole picture.
Whether it comes to relationship goals, business goals, personal goals, and just what you would like out of life, do not let someone else set your pace. You are where you are supposed to be because your journey is unique and specific to you.
I’m here…so now what?
But what can you do along this journey?
- Be present and active in your life.
- Do your best to achieve your goals.
- Make a realistic plan.
- Ask for help.
- Be a source of help (sometimes not focusing on you and helping others helps you too).
- Cater to your strengths.
- And here is a BIG one, step outside of your comfort zone. Ask yourself, have I ever done something I am really proud of in my comfort zone? I can guarantee you the answer is no. Fear is the biggest dream killer, not failure.
- Which leads me to you getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
The things I mentioned about me are unnerving and would make someone want to quit trying to achieve their dreams. Just chuck them deuces up. It’s…uncomfortable. But that is life.
Obstacles will be thrown at you at any given moment…and yes it will knock you down…but you get right back up and don’t quit. Not quitting is half the battle. So you might be going through something and you put a project, idea, dream, goal, etc on hold. Don’t. Embrace how bad the situation sucks and keep moving forward. And you’ll be glad you did because then you will see your progress in real time. Next thing you know, you’re not concerned with what the next one is doing because you’re doing it yourself.
Tune into your life
Experiencing new things, good or bad, makes you less robotic in life. Just think, when you do something over and over and over again, aka “a routine”, don’t you feel like you tuned out? And you can do it in your sleep. Well, you don’t want your life that way, just you, tuned out because you’re used to it.
So, when you see that next photo pop up on your timeline or someone posts that status about the next greatest thing that happened to them, you can heart it or like it, whatever happy emoji it, because you can appreciate the journey they had to take to get there…why? You’re taking the same journey.
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