The 3 biggest lessons I've learnt from my 2018.
I freaking love this time of year, not only because of all the magic in the air, but because it’s our golden opportunity to reflect and grow from all the craziness we’ve been through over the year.
It’s the beautiful moment we go from dazed and confused and looking at the year like ‘What the bejaysus was THAT?!’, to ‘Ahhhhh, now I get it. Now I see how I’ve grown’. And this year my friend, has been a belter, with more ups and downs than a roller coaster. But I can hand-on-heart say that I loved it all. And with my last post for 2018 (I’ll be back again in the new year!), I thought you might enjoy a lil’ dip into the three biggest things I’ve learnt this year.
I think life certainly has its phases doesn’t it? Phases of calm and routine, phases of suffering and challenges, phases of joy and excitement, and the past three years for me feel like the most insane cocktail of all of ‘em! From becoming a mama in early 2016 and figuring out how I keep another human alive while simultaneously trying to manage my own sanity and mental health, to launching into my Kickstarter campaign and erecting my imperfect revolution flag in 2017 😁 to then going full-time on my business in 2018 and navigating all the squiggly, messy challenges that have intermingled through them all…
I mean sheesh kebab! If all that’s happened and it only feels like the start, what the hell is 2019 gonna bring!? 😂 But y’see, that’s the exciting bit innit. Alllllll the squiggly, messy challenges and possibilities that lie ahead 👏
But yep, despite everything that’s happened over the last 10+ years, and particularly the last two years, there’s one word that’s made 2018 feel stand-out to me in a huge way. And that word is TRANSFORMATIONAL. I feel, in terms of my personal development, that I’m a completely different person. Like, I’m in a completely different headspace closing out the year than I was starting out the year. And that feels amazing.
If you were hanging out with me at the beginning of the year, you’ll know my word of the year for 2018 was SELF, so I’m not gonna lie, I feel pretty pleased that I feel like I’ve delivered on that. Maybe in a totally different guise than I’d originally planned (!), but still, my focus remained the same from start to finish – focusing on nourishing and developing myself, and d’ye know, I’m damn proud of that.
But a massive part of that achievement, have been the massive lessons I’ve learnt along the way. And that’s what I’m here to share with you, the big slap-in-the-face things (like “dur” moments) I’ve learnt this year, that I cannot WAIT to take with me into next year. So let’s get stuck in.
I have to be responsible for EVERYTHING in my life. Like allll of it.
I actually thought I was pretty slick at taking responsibility, and in fairness, in most areas of my life, generally I am. But I only reeeeally uncovered and understood this, in my 38th year of existence: I blame time for a helluva lot. Not having enough of it, always needing an extra day of it, forever ‘busy’ and ‘under pressure’ but still relentlessly procrastinating on the regular too. It was a ridiculous loop I’d gotten into. I wasn’t taking responsibility. And it seems so silly and obvious now I’m on the other side of the lesson.
I identified this block on a training program I was on and BOOM! 💥 A whole new world of opportunity opened up to me. Because I took responsibility and stopped blaming time for the first time in a lifetime! And for the record, my problem was nothing to do with time itself, time never changed, everyone gets the same 24 hours to use, time had done nothing AGAINST me – it was simply the way I was CHOOSING to use it. And the best lesson (because of how poorly I was choosing to use my time) I realised was helping me hide behind that fact, to get me off the hook for not having to see a BUNCH of stuff through! It was a perfect storm of catch 22s, I didn’t have the time therefore I could never change – and it was all nonsense! All I had to do was simply take responsibility, change the WAY I was using my time and then everything changed.
Is your mind blown!? Cus mine was! 😂
Investing in myself is the quickest way to get where I want.
Now I starting dabbling in self-education in 2017 and I definitely feel like I gained a lot from the experience, and still do tbh, there’s a lot of resources that I still use to this day.
But I reeeeeally stepped up my self-education game this year and stood by my 2018-word-vow of SELF. And oh my days has it paid off. And this is where the whole TRANSFORMATION piece comes into play. I’ve worked with a coach this year and invested in the most expensive training program I’ve ever bought, and not only have I learnt a ridiculous amount about myself and why I do things, but more powerfully, I now know how to change how I do things. And that is some magical sorcery right there! 😁
Now you know I love Sara Blakely the founder of Spanx, she’s like my spirit animal or something, but she has this super-cool quote that I wanna share with you;
I mean *boom* and mic drop right? 👊🖐🎤And I don’t just see it about ‘fortune’ in the monetary sense (although that’s part of it), I also see it as ‘fortune’ in the sense of happiness, fulfilment, purpose and living your life the way you want to. It’s monumental.
It’s the chasm of a difference between being taught what to think, and learning how to think. It’s the difference between watching and admiring other people create change in their life, and finding out how you can create change in yours.
And while maybe-perhaps-possibly I’d figure out the stuff I’ve learnt (and will continue to learn) eventually, but I’m so acutely aware of how short life is, I don’t want to wait until I reach the winter of my years to really know myself and live the life I want!
So yep, after the past couple of years I’ve had, I’m living proof that investing in yourself gets you there a helluva lot quicker.
I’ll know I really want something, if I never give up on it.
You know I’m a huge advocate for the whole meaning behind The Imperfect Life®; embracing the mess and appreciating the gorgeous squiggly adventure that comes as part and parcel of creating the life you want. It’s why I created The Imperfect Life® in the first place – to tell you my friend, that it’s okay to flounder, fall and fail. But believe me when I say, I know how it feels when the going gets tough. I know how tempting it is to recoil when the chips are down and you feel like you’re hurtling toward rock bottom. I know how crushing it feels for things not to go your way and as a result you question everything, mostly yourself.
But even when you’re THERE, still, don’t give up.
I’ve had a really interesting learning experience with the planner since it was a seedling of an idea back in 2016. From promoting and trying to find backers for the Kickstarter campaign last year, to promoting and selling the planner from stock this year, both have been insane rides, insane challenges and insane tests of my resilience. But both years, when I’ve found things deeply challenging and I’ve just wanted to hide away and go back to my old Saturday job at WHSMITHs (!!!), I’ve hung on in there. I’ve stepped back, looked at my approach and changed tact. I’ve looked at my mistakes to see where I can grow. I’ve stopped trying to keep solving a problem with the same solution and tried something new.
I’ve not given up.
1) Because I believe in what I’m doing so damn much, but 2) because I’ve realised, that just around the corner might be a breakthrough. Like, getting fully-funded on my Kickstarter campaign when a week prior I’d been written off, like getting coverage on Refinery29 after 18 months of nearly-but-not-quite moments. The inevitable way to get where you want in life, is by never giving up.
What if you knew you were only one ‘failure/fall/flop’ away from everything you could possibly dream of? You’d fail/fall/flop quick and hard right?! You’d go all in to get to the other side! And that’s exactly what’s happened to me!
Now these are beefy lessons for sure so you’ve gotta be ‘ready’ to hear them to really gain from them, but that’s why I wanted to share them, because the window of opportunity of the ‘new year, new me’ is here for a lot more people than usual, the potential for possibility is waiting to be fulfilled, and I thought the biggest lessons I’ve taken from 2018 might just help you get there.
Thanks so much for being such a fab, loyal Imperfectionista this year, I’ve got some big dreams for the year ahead and I can’t wait for you to come along with me for the ride 😉
Big love for a flawsome 2019 💋