As I talked about in my previous post, last week I attended a panel discussion called Burn Bright Without Burning Out–Women, Careers and Life! hosted by Boston Glow. I received so many thoughtful comments on this post, and I truly appreciate them. It is nice to be reminded that I am not the only one who gets in these funks!
As promised, in this post I am going to focus on some of the takeaways I got from this the panelists in this discussion: Katie Donovan, Women’s Equal Pay Consultant; Sahra Kuper, Owner and Career Counselor, Off Centre Careers; and Amanda Mills, CEO of EnterTEENment. Hopefully these can serve as good advice and reminders for all of us so that we are able to be our brightest selves in whatever we do.
Know your mission and don’t let your vision of acheiving it get in the way
Amanda Mills talked about looking at the mission of what you do versus your vision of how you think you will accomplish that mission. Sometimes we get so stuck in how we go about achieving our end goal that we cannot see that the process is not working, and we end up sabotaging ourselves.
Image Credit: Photo by Cordey on Flickr
For me, my ultimate goal with my Etsy shop is to sell beautiful, handmade jewelry that women feel great wearing. Sometimes I get so bogged down by the process of marketing (including blogging) that I start to feel overwhelmed by all the things I “should” be doing to make my jewelry known. I start to forget why I am doing it in the first place and end up losing sight of my mission. I begin to despise the whole thing and start to feel tempted to give up because things might not be going the way I hope or expect them to.
I find myself constantly needing to take a step back and reevaluate where to focus my time and energy and remind myself that I love making jewelry. Yes, marketing is important if I want to make money, but at the end of the day I need to be enjoying myself as well and find time to make products that I can be proud of.
Adjust to Change as it Comes
Know that things may change and be flexible. As mentioned above, we may have a vision of how we think are going to get somewhere, but we might hit an unexpected bump. If we harp on those changes, than we are surely going to burn out super fast.
One of our favorite sayings at my last job was “It is what it is.” I found this to be a helpful motto to live by, both at work and in my personal life. For me it really relates to adjusting to change as it comes and recognizing there is only so much in my control. Things are surely going to change and are not always going to go the way we hoped, so we need to find way to work with and around these changes if we want to be successful in what we do and feel great doing it.
Practice Making Mistakes
To varying degrees we are all somewhat afraid of making mistakes. Personally, I set very high standards for myself, and when something does not come easily to me my instinct is to not do it because I cannot stand to fail. But at the same time I love trying new things, and I am not going to be able to immediately succeed at every new thing I try. How are we ever going feel comfortable taking those big risks if we don’t practice making mistakes in the little things?
Find a Mentor
Find someone who has been successful in what you want to want to do, whether it be starting a business, working in your field, or even becoming a parent. Having someone who has already been through what we are trying to do can prove invaluable in providing support, guidance, and reassurances that you are doing the right thing for you.
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