It’s crazy how some things can happen when you least expect them to.
I have to admit that I have been going through a rough patch recently. I was not sure about what to do once my internship will be over – in a little more than 2 months. I have dreams and hopes and things I know I want to do but I had no idea how to get to it.
I was doing a project with one of my tutors last week and when a student didn’t show up for a testing, we started to talk about me – picture a very awkward uncomfortable Gaby. We ended up talking for more than an hour about my future, my goals and she gave me the best advices and a new perspective.
Ever since, I feel like something has shifted inside of my head. I don’t have the same perspective. I feel driven, hopeful and like a new path has opened for me. I’m still learning how to apply these advices because knowing something and applying it is quite different. I guess I knew them all along but didn’t really phrase them well enough in my head to understand them fully. So now that we’ve discussed them, I think I have a better idea of their meaning and how to get there. Here they are:
I think I’m not to bad when it comes to giving advices and motivating people about what they are capable of. Unfortunately, I’m not so great at following my own advices – do what I say but not what I do, right? However, this conversation shed light on something SUPER important: what you think is reflected by your actions. So if you think you can’t do something, or you are not good enough for it, it won’t happen. But if you, don’t think you can do it, even if someone else does, you won’t go anywhere. Because by thinking you can’t, you won’t do it. You won’t even try. It’s just like driving: your eyes guide your path, but if you are looking everywhere else other than the road ahead of you, you just won’t get there and will end up staying on the side of the road, waiting to go somewhere you have not tried to reach.
That’s one big eye-opener for me. I have so many things I would like to achieve but wasn’t doing anything to get there. If you want to get something, there are all of these steps beforehand that need to be taken. And it applies for anything. So if you want something, you have to go for it, take these steps no matter how stressful they can be and not listen to that little voice inside your head that says you can’t. Because you CAN. and you WILL get there. Hard work is what pays in the end, not waiting.
When we were talking, she would basically stop me every two minutes because I kept, without realizing it, listing limits like “yes but I don’t have enough followers”, “yes, but I’m in France” or “yes, but it’s going to take time”. She stopped me at one point and told me that all of this was in my head. These were the limits set by my low self-esteem, my fear of not being good enough and not “big” enough. And these were limits that only existed inside my head. Nobody has written a guidebook that stated what I thought. It was all in my head. So I have to get rid of them to stop limiting myself and start kicking ass.
This was BIG for me. Because I have a low self-esteem and lack greatly in confidence, I listen (too much) to criticism and take them personally. So when she asked me why I wasn’t promoting my blog more to people everyday and why I wasn’t approaching brands myself or asking bigger platforms and magazines to consider me, I told her I was afraid of criticism, of people telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I was dreaming too big, that I could never achieve my dreams, that I was silly for thinking I could.
And then she told me something incredibly smart “Okay, I get it. But why should you listen to them? What do they know? Are they experts? You should only listen to people who are experts in their field because they are the ones with the knowledge, the expertise, the experience to guide and judge you.
I stopped talking for a few minutes, digesting this. And then I told her “yeah, actually usually experts encourage you and tell you to keep going. The ones who know what they are talking about don’t tell you can’t do it, they encourage you”. This has changed the game for me and definitely changed my mindset.
As anyone knows, we all need some help every once in a while. We cannot all be experts on everything and so when we need guidance and advices, we should ask for it. I am very shy when it comes to asking for help, mainly because I don’t want to bother people or because I don’t want to look stupid (and this thinking is actually stupid). People like being asked for help, it shows that you trust them to have the abilities and skills to give you a hand. I’ve already started this more and I have to say it has been very beneficial and the person was incredibly nice and helpful and didn’t seem to mind at all (thank you again Jadeyou absolute babe).
When were were talking, I kept giving examples of other people doing what I would like to do and talking about their experience and reflecting it to my path. And then she told me “what makes you think you have to take the same steps, wait for the same timelines and milestones to get anything done?”. I was a bit taken aback by this.
Because my dream does not follow a straight line of studies and experiences to get compared to regular careers like wanting to become a doctor or a teacher, I keep using other people’s work and experience as a timeline and guidelines as to how I should work myself.
But actually she is totally right. We are all unique, we have a unique personality, traits, skills, way of approaching things, of seeing things, of interpreting things. We have our own experience and support system and we will meet different people and work in a different way. So why should I follow these guidelines and timelines when actually, we are all so different. This taught me to believe in my own life clock and not align my time to others. Every human is on a different time zone.
This discussion has had such a great impact on me. I feel less fearsome, more driven and excited to try new things that used to scare me than ever. I’m not saying I feel 100% like that everyday but I can for sure tell the difference compared to before. She has opened doors in my mind I had closed out of fear and not trusting myself enough.
I deeply hope this post will have helped you to open some doors for yourself as well.
Be fearless, be your own cheerleader and kick some arse okay?
Photographer: snowllifestyle (my gifted little sister)