It feels like this entire year slipped through my fingers.
While I've had great opportunities come my way, I also suffered from a back injury this year that seemed to hit me out of nowhere. For the first time in my life, I was forced to stay in bed for days, sometimes weeks, due to the pain. On the occasions that I took pain killers to get some relief, I was often too loopy or nauseous to focus on work.
The worst part? I felt like I was letting everyone down. My friends, my family, my business partners, my podcast listeners, even my clients. It was torture.
But while my mobility and freedom were limited, I do feel like my injury helped me gain new perspective, and even gratitude. Here are five revelations this year has brought me:
1. Let people know what's happening. If you have a personal brand, regardless of your industry, it's important to share behind-the-scenes moments of your life (aka the real stuff, not just the Instagram-worthy stuff). There's no need to go crazy or share details you're uncomfortable with, but looking for ways to be more honest can help others connect with you, understand you, and add depth to your overall brand. I don't believe you have to be perfect to run a business. You just have to be yourself.
2. Be kind to yourself. This is something my mom always told me growing up. "Be kind to yourself," she'd say when I was maybe pushing myself too hard, or beating myself up for making a mistake. While I'd roll my eyes back then, I now realize how important it is to give yourself a break, especially when you feel like you've dropped the ball. Never got around to sending your weekly email? Stopped posting on social media? It's all going to be okay. Just breath, and start again next week.
3. The universe is constantly course-correcting (so relax, you're not behind schedule.) I remember hearing Danielle LaPorte say this once (the part about the universe) and it really hit home for me. Ever since I was little, I had this weird notion that I was behind in life. I should have done more, achieved more, been further along. Realizing that I'm exactly where I need to be has become a daily practice that has helped me keep my sanity, especially this year.
4. If you're feeling overwhelmed, try simplifying and outsourcing. Rather than do nothing when I felt terrible, I decided to try doing a little. I focused on doing things that were simple, even pleasurable, and outsourcing or eliminating the rest. For instance, I hired a sound editor for my podcast and a copywriter to draft the show notes. Both were hard hires to make, since I really enjoy these tasks, but it was necessary to get things moving. I also started using services like Instacart and TaskRabbit, and finally hired a cleaning lady.
5. Don't forget what's important. Ah, this is a good one. When you feel like everything sucks and you're in pain, and there are a MILLION things you want to do, it's easy to get frustrated and even angry at life. My saving grace this year has been remembering what's truly important. For me: My family, my health, and helping people. Pretty much in that order. Getting a million followers or doing that fancy photoshoot? Not even close.
Any of these points hit home for you? How do you show yourself kindness when things aren't going your way? Would love to hear in the comments. XO