stacks of stones balancing on rocky beach in shades of orange brown grey. Balancing stones is a metaphor for life balance an important part of self improvement.
Business,  Life,  Writing

Imposters, Faking It and Work-Life Balance

Self improvement has been on the agenda this past few weeks. That’s hardly suprising. New year often brings resolution to change, step it up, step it back, have an adventure, start a business. 

2020 too is a year where it seems almost everyone is using a play on the words – vision and 2020 – in all manner of combinations. Goal setting, looking ahead. Hashtags using 2020 vision may not be entirely about blindness, except in our own abilities to see what lies ahead.

And that got me thinking about my own self improvement – past, present and indeed future.

Fake It Until You Make It

Five or so years ago now I was a busy wedding and events business owner. Too busy in fact. I had taken my business down a route which was far from where I imagined it at the outset. Bespoke, unique designs and service had been replaced by cookie cutter packages. Same content, different colour. Same price, wrap it quick, bookable in volumes. I was shattered. 

It would take a chance meeting with a copywriter at a business networking event to give me a metaphorical shake. I hate to use a buzzword but it really was a game changer.  If you are interested in the whole story about my first noticeable attempt at self improvement then Read more…

My Imposter Syndrome Nearly Ruined My Trip Of A Lifetime

Now some of you may recall I was part of a group who accompanied a pair of professional photographers last summer. 

I was heading back to my happy place. Africa. Botswana has been on my bucket list for longer than I can remember. It probably goes back to being 17, on a school ecology trip, where we met a lass who originated from Botswana. I drew a picture in my head. It involved a lion, running, his mane blowing in the breeze. Dusty trails. Flat open savannahs. I was finally going to meet this country in person and bring her to life.

Except I was not entirely feeling the love. I told myself it was because we have visited Africa a lot. In truth, my imposter had moved in and I was terrified of making a tit of myself among all those super confident, ‘frick off’ long lens wielding photographers. I am laughing now. It wasn’t funny. That damned imposter nearly messed it up completely for me. But I managed to turn that boat around (no pun intended, you need to read it to get that pun) and wound up published – in image and word.

Ridding myself of the imposter syndrome is just another example of areas I am working on for self improvement. It makes for interesting reading HERE is you want to read more. Oh, and it has some pretty fab photos. Of course 😉

Press Pause And Make More Time For Me

So back to the new year and it’s time to take stock. Am I on track to meet my own onjectives? More ‘me’ time. Reduce my work commitments. Find enough balance in my life to be able to do more fun things.

Certainly some of it is in hand. I have put steps in place to reduce my business input into a not for profit organisation. It is going to take a few months, but this should free up more time. I love it, but it is unpaid voluntary work, and I have to balance that commitment against the potential to find more space to keep up my growing photography skills.  Or that imposter will be back next time I pick up the camera.

This year we have been much bolder in planning our free time schedule too. We are not known for impulse. Or at least one of us isn’t. I will give you a clue, he’s the more hairy one. But time marches on, that bucket is getting fuller. We don’t call it a list – because a bucket needs emptying

‘We are going to need a bigger bucket’ – S G Smith

And emptying it we are. Because it needs space for more things. Instead of drifting and then another year passing, we are cracking on. Find it, book it, next!

It takes discipline to make sure you include ‘you time’ in your schedule. There is a whole self improvement movement just now who are advocating diarising everything. Put your coffee break in if needs be. Block it out, make it happen, and guard it with your life. Then nobody and nothing can steal it. If you struggle to see how then THIS is worth a read. It’s all about the little and big things you can practically include in your day, week, month – and then really fab ways to make sure they happen. No excuses now. 

And that is where we are this week. Looking back and looking forward. I hope your week is one which includes balance and lots of opportunities for self-care and you.

Cheerio for now..