‘But you’re so photogenic’ is something I get a lot. It’s kind and I know it’s meant as a compliment, but it got me thinking.
I’m not photogenic. I’m actually the opposite.
A quick scroll back to my old blog posts from early 2017 in the sidebar confirms that.
What if I told you when I started blogging I researched what poses were flattering, then used trial and error to see which worked best for me? What if I told you I took a photography class and watched dozens of YouTube videos on blog photography? What if I told you that for every shoot, I watch the weather days in advance, pay attention to when the sun sets, then only plan shoots around the golden hour on sunny days? What if I told you for every photo I share, dozens didn’t come out? What if I told you the way I do my makeup now reflects years of experimentation, trial and error?
My photos don’t look a certain way because of photogenic luck. I wish that were! They are the result of careful planning and building skills over time. It’s hard work week in and week out and there are so many things that go on behind the scenes.
Lately I’ve thought about the topic of Success. It can mean something different to each of us, but at its core Success is about achieving something we set out to do. It’s easy to look at someone who is successful at something and think, ‘wow she’s got what it takes’. It can even feel like that person is lucky- things come easily and they succeed at whatever they take on.
When we want to be successful at something, it’s human nature to look for a silver bullet. We want to find the one thing that will be our ticket to success. But the truth is that just doesn’t exist. There’s no silver bullet. But I believe there are traits that determine our ability to succeed.
Now this is just me speaking, but this is what I think they are 😉
- Keep a learning mindset and stay humble. It’s important to celebrate success, but the minute we focus on it too long is the minute we stop growing and getting better. If we are trying to succeed at something new, we need to learn the mechanics of that thing. I realized when I started my blog I needed to first understand how blogging worked in order to run one successfully. The good news about learning is that all the information we need is usually just a Google or YouTube search away, e.g. ‘How do I start a successful blog?’ ‘How do I grow pageviews’? ‘How do I use Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog?’ Be curious and keep a beginner’s mindset.
- Set your mindset. I talked about it in this post because I really believe mindset is everything. Everything.
- Call yourself on your own bs. For example, an easy thing for me to fall into on the weekend is thinking, ‘It’s been a long week, I NEED a break. I need these two days to get ready for next week’s grind’. The problem is I limit myself with this sort of view. Next week isn’t a grind, it’s an opportunity to get closer to achieving my goals. And I will rest, but I don’t need to sit on the couch all weekend to be mentally prepared for next week. Be aware of the self talk that goes on inside and don’t be afraid to call the shots.
- Set clear goals. We can’t be successful unless we know what we are trying to be successful at. I wrote this post about goal setting in January because I believe it’s important to consider the goals we set in the broader context of what we want for our lives.
- Work hard. There’s just no way around it. Sometimes you just have to put your head down and do it. For some reason, Orangetheory hasn’t held its normal appeal for me recently. I’ll be on the treadmill hating every second of it. I always to try to focus on something else besides how uncomfortable my ‘all out’ run is, but sometimes it just plain sucks. And you just have to work hard and power through. You just have to do it.
- Consistency is more important than intensity. I heard this in Rachel Hollis’ latest book and it hit home for me. It’s a hare and the turtoise sort of thing, but whether it’s a fitness goal or getting promoted, putting in good work consistently will take you much further than working really hard inconsistently.
- Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. I also heard this phrase from Rachel. The digital world makes it so easy to compare our success to everybody else’s, but that isn’t productive at all. In fact, it’s counterproductive because it uses up time and mental energy you could put to achieving YOUR goals.
- Get back up everyday and try again. I love Dave Ramsey’s quote, ‘Successful people stand on their failures rather than lie under them.’
I would love to hear what you think. I’m learning and growing everyday and while I’ve realized success in some areas of my life, there are others where I struggle. Even if the principles to Success are straightforward, actually following them is never easy.
But then again, nothing worth doing was ever easy, right?
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