Vulnerability

Have you ever struggled to make eye contact with the person in front of you... your heart is pounding and and your mouth goes dry because you're trying to find the right words to say? You're about to share something big with them- something you've never said out loud but that means SO much to you. You're about to take the leap and be vulnerable. 

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is hard. It's terrifying and keeping to yourself feels safe. It feels like you're betraying your instinct to self-protect, and what if your vulnerability isn't received well? What if they don't get the weight of what your heart is trying to say, or what if they just don't care? 

But.... what if they do? What if your choice to be vulnerable shows strength and truth, because we really can't do it all alone? What if your vulnerability shows and the person you confide in utters some of the most powerful words in our language, "me too"? 

As we allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable with people who we trust and care for, we give space for authenticity to grow. As uncomfortable as vulnerability can sometimes be, it opens the door for genuine relationship to develop. It gives the other person the freedom to share their own insecurities and concerns, which are deeply personal to them. As the freedom to be authentic is created, the ability for genuine connection is strengthened and we are able to begin to form trust in our relationships. True trust, where we know that the friends we have can love and support us when we are at our very best and at our very worst. 

Vulnerability is never easy. It is scary and uncomfortable. In a world where we can be easily tempted to post perfectly curated squares and are motivated by likes and comments, vulnerability can seem like the last thing we want to do. However, it can be a vital part of  helping us to develop true, lasting and genuine relationships. What steps towards vulnerability can you take today? 

Your Worth & Your Voice

Have you ever completed a creative project or job and gone to share your work on social media, only to have those familiar pangs of doubt rise up and make you hesitate before hitting "publish"? Or, have you proudly showed your content on social media and looked forward to the engagement your post would receive, only to scroll down and see someone who posted the same thing you did, only sooner, with better styling and a wittier caption? Oh, the frustration that sets in. 

Sometimes those feelings can lead to a deeper sense of unrest, where you wonder if your work is even worth it. Is what you have to say good enough, or valuable enough to stand out? Some days, and really, if I'm being terribly honest, most days, I feel like the answer to that question is a resounding "NO". It takes courage to put your work and your heart out into the world. It takes heart to think of something meaningful to say to accompany that perfect little square that is supposed to represent an entire project or job or workday.

Hear me say this loud and clear: It is difficult to share what you have to say with the world, only to see someone else do it "better, faster. stronger", as Daft Punk says. It can feel like a punch in the gut and it can take the wind out of your sails. 

However, those feelings aren't a reflection on reality. It certainly feels real, and seems real, but the truth is that no one can do what you do. No one can be who you are and no one can speak with your voice. Why? Because there is only one you! You were made on purpose and you were made uniquely. Your set of circumstances that have led you to creative entrepreneurship are a culmination of gifts and experiences that you and you alone possess.

How do I know this, and I don't even know you? Well, because I know that the same is true for me. As we put our gifts out into the world in the form of creative work, we are creating unique content that is worth sharing. As you are true to your creative passion and your voice, your work becomes a reflection of that voice, and no one can duplicate that.

Are there details that can be refined? Sure. Are there strategies that can be implemented to help us all become more skilled business owners? Absolutely! However, there is nothing that can compare to the uniqueness of your voice and the beauty that is created out of your passion for what you do. Never forget that, and never let it be snuffed out. The world is waiting! 

Onward,

Catrina 

A New Year, A Fresh Start

New Years are synonymous with fresh starts. The calendar is clean, the year is fresh and we are all full of hope and determination. Resolutions have been made and plans are set in motion. The clock strikes midnight, Auld Lang Syne is played and we're off to the races!! 

Then comes a new day (or, in my case, lots of days, which add up to weeks and, huh.. looky there... a whole month!). With new days come disappointment. We mess up, we don't meet our goals and we're back to feeling like we don't measure up or that we're doomed to repeat our normal mistakes. 

For me personally, I err on the side of people pleasing. I want to make everyone happy at the expense of myself and the people that I love the most. I've learned that this is simply something I can't do- I can't make everyone happy by doing all the things for all the people. I'm not chocolate, after all. What I can do, though, is invest in myself. I can give the people around me the best of myself by setting healthy boundaries and giving myself permission to rest when I need to. I can learn to say "no" and *try* to be OK with how people respond to that. (Can we all just agree that it's MUCH harder to actually be OK with the results of our saying no than it is to say we're ok with it??)

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When I do those things, I put the investment that I would normally send OUT back IN. I invest in myself with the goal of putting myself in the position to give from an area of health and rest rather than depletion and overexertion. 

This year, I want to encourage you to choose YOU. Let's not choose ourselves in an overtly selfish way, but in a way that gives the guarantee that as we are well, we love others well. In the spirit of giving our best to our clients, partners, coworkers, employees and community, this is an investment that will give us the most effective returns, time and time again. 

You are worth it. You, my friend, have always been worth it. 

Onward,

Catrina