Longtime readers of this blog will know that there's nothing like the end of the year to turn me into a nostalgic mush. I had written about some of my biggest lessons learned last year for 2017, and the lessons certainly continued well into 2018. This year saw the growth of my business, continued travel and so many incredible opportunities that I am so grateful for. 2018 was also a year that I started to prioritize balance, particularly in the work/life area, and gave myself permission to say no to jobs and opportunities when I felt like they were at a sacrifice to my mental health. Overall, I look back at 2018 fondly as a year of growth, both personally and professionally with many lessons learned along the way that helped to shape a healthier outlook on life.
There Will Always Be Opportunity
The biggest change in my outlook from 2017 to 2018, and one of my greatest lessons learned this year is that just because you turn down an opportunity, does not mean that there will never be another that comes along. Although I've always passed on opportunities that I felt did not align with my personal brand, 2018 was the first time that I said "no" because I recognized that I would not be able to comfortably fulfil them without it taking a toll on my mental health. I'll be honest, I really struggled with this at first. When you work for yourself, it can be incredibly difficult to turn down jobs - especially when you're responsible for bills, savings and keeping yourself afloat. I worried that just because I said no to one opportunity that it could mean the end of others coming my way. What I learned in 2018 is to trust my own instincts and know that there will always be opportunity to work hard towards. The expression 'when one door closes, another door opens' really does have something to it! Trust your own instincts and have confidence in your abilities - the next big adventure is just around the corner.
I Am In Control Of My Media IntakeSocial media was definitely a hot-button topic all year, specifically how a curated version of reality affects others. Instagram is definitely at the core of most debates, with arguments about how seeing a highlight reel of someone's life can negatively affect someone's perception of their own life. While I would never deny that there's a lot of truth to these arguments, in 2018 I finally figured out my own way of controlling the media I consumed and how it made me feel - I simply unfollowed anyone who brought out negative emotions in myself. It sounds so simple, but if you're struggling with the negative affects of social media I would highly suggest the same practice. See someone buying their following or engagement and it's making you mad? Unfollow! It's amazing how my relationship with social media changed for the better in 2018 when I took control of the content that I was consuming.
You Get What You Put OutAnother lesson that was a big one for me this year was that the energy you put out into the world is the energy that you get back. To be honest, I've known this to be true for some time which is why I try to keep things positive, but in 2018 I learned that the saying rings true even down to the smallest of details. I'll use an example; maybe I was having a bad day, or wanted to vent and complain about a minor inconvenience in my life. Typically my usual routine would be to log onto Twitter and complain - and more often times than not, my venting sessions would be met by joined complaints and with others joining in. I understand that it's naive to think that life is all sunshine and rainbows, but stay with me: typically when you step back and think about the big picture, if you have your health and people that you love, it kind of is. When it comes to life, I feel best when focusing on the positive and leaving the negative thoughts for when it's truly warranted. Put out positive energy into the world and you'll get that same energy back, tenfold.
What do you guys think? What has been some of your greatest lessons for 2018? Are you looking forward to the new year? Let me know!