First, I would like to take a moment to wish a most joyous Happy New Year to you and yours! As I write my first article of the new year, and the new decade of 2020 (I even love the way it looks as I type it) I would like to share my thoughts with you.
Today, Monday, January 6th, is my Nameday and in my faith of Greek Orthodox, it is the day of Epiphany and the celebration of “light,” the translation of Fotini. As I reflect back on the past decade I’m overcome with what I’ve learned, the celebrations, and the challenges that came with the last ten years. All the people who came into my life, those who left and those I chose to walk away from – I’ve learned from every experience.
As I look through my social media feeds, I see the posts of the expensive accessories and garments gifted over the holidays, the elaborate destinations, and the dream homes many claim to have multiple of. The list continues.
Social platforms have become decadent landscapes that so many swoon over as we are pressured to accept a feeling of pride for these people and their numerous accomplishments that have enabled such purchases. But why is it that we feel the need to continually “show” every move without a purpose?
Don’t get me wrong I love to scroll through and look at new and exciting adventures of interesting people and hearing what they have to say. But the “excess” is what I’m talking about.
Why am I bringing this up?
I am a Personal Brand Enhancement and Style Strategist, but I truly believe that being your best self begins from within and is then accelerated through our visual representation, our demeanor, and our capacity to express.
Here are some take-aways to mull through as you begin your new year.
Identify what purpose is – what it means to you and only you.
What gives reciprocal happiness and allows you to feel achievement? Try reflecting on the past and think about what excites you about the future. I, personally, love to build a “mood board” or an “inspirational board,” one that I can look at daily. As a visual, creative, and fashion designer that is always how I began each of my collections.
It has been amazing to see how this process has developed into an exciting reality, watching the images change on the board. And, much as these boards evolve, so too can our own personal lives. And there is always something there to inspire me on a daily basis.
I have a personal quote that I stand by and remind myself daily, it goes, “The only person you need to compete with and raise the bar for is you.”
Scrolling through social media and Googling others for inspiration can be wonderful and helpful resources, but not if you are competing, plagiarizing or trying to be someone else – there’s only one you!
Your goals should be realistic. Being perfect at everything is impossible, so start with small steps and strive to get to the next level with hard work and focus.
Make a List
Once made, prioritize that list. Don’t over-promise because you will only underdeliver and that will result in nothing but negative feelings.
Be clear and concise with yourself. Do you understand what those deliverables mean or do they feel blurry? Challenges often come with solutions, but they also do not present themselves overnight. Be patient and trust in yourself.
What Would You Like to Achieve?
Typically on that list, there are some things we desperately want to achieve and maybe others that require a total change of the path we are currently on.
If the latter, ask yourself: if something is not working, why isn’t it? What are some steps to reaching your goal – is it through further education, seeking a mentor or exploring other options with similar minded people? Sometimes it is simply a matter walking away and starting over. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a part of life. Accept it and move forward on the new path.
This is not a challenge but an opportunity to prove to yourself that you are in control of your own life.
Facing when something is not working and perhaps trying a different approach is difficult. It can be easy to blame others and think yourself the victim and, if these are common occurrences (perhaps, more often than you care to admit), it might be time to reexamine your next reflex-reactions and try to implement pattern-breaking habits.
Honor Your Accomplishments
Take the time to be present with the intent to celebrate your achievements, however large or small they are.
It is sometimes easy to forget ourselves with our busy and demanding schedules as we continually finish one thing and then move to the next. Perhaps it is a promotion you’ve worked hard for or you’ve painted a beautiful abstract, finally making that bucket list trip happen or taking that first step to understanding a recurring fear – and making the effort to overcome it. Whatever it is, you’ve earned it, so celebrate it!
I am so very excited to be releasing my first book, Alterations In Life, on January 14th. The process of writing this book has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life, taking two years of time to complete. And as I embark on the next decade of my life, I take with me all the experiences that I wrote about, both positive and challenging, and remember that I am where I’m supposed to be – even at times when it doesn’t feel that way.
I look forward to the next chapter of my journey and invite you to come along. I know, no matter what, every step on this new path will translate to my personal brand. Always with care. And always with authenticity.