The Core Beliefs That Shape My Creative Work + Life
If you’ve been with me for awhile you know I’ve recently made a shift in my business (a longer, more in depth post on this another day) to do digital marketing mentoring for creatives and small businesses. I had been feeling this shift and pivot inside me for quite some time but it wasn’t until a few months ago could I truly understand what was happening.
When I first launched LoDownLiving, it had nothing to do with helping other people with their marketing strategies. Originally, I was holding conversations around health, wellness and our relationship with food as a whole. Behind the scenes I was hustling as hard as I could to get out as much valuable content as I could. There were many times that I would spend my early mornings, lunch breaks, late evenings & weekends pumping out content like I was a human conveyer belt.
But I wasn’t. And I’m not.
As you can imagine, the burnout feeling came on hard. It just wasn’t humanly possible for me to continue to operate at the level I was working. And at the same time, I began to lose my interest and passion behind the topics I was talking about. I still felt that these conversations were important and necessary to be having. But, I was no longer interested in being the ring leader for them.
This is when I came to a crossroads and had to really think about what was next. Deep within me I felt something change. The podcasts, blogs and social media accounts from people I once followed no longer caught my eye. I was exhausted of the “hustle” undertones when it came to teaching creatives how to show up in their work and lives. I knew there had to be another way. And, I knew there had to be other creatives that were feeling similarly to me. At the time, I didn’t know any of them but, I knew I couldn’t be the only one.
What was happening here was a shift in what I believed in. I no longer wanted to or believed you had to sacrifice your mental and physical well being to be “successful.” I no longer believed that success looked the same for everyone or that it had to come with a 6-figure price tag. I no longer felt that you had to be any and everywhere and doing All The Things to be noticed.
As I continue to peel back the layers, I start to uncover the my core beliefs or values. And I continue to make a conscious effort to come back to them as I work through my creative tasks and continue through life.
PIN FOR LATER:
I believe that you deserve to dream often + dream big. Let your imagination run wild and see where it takes you. The ability to be creative and to think outside of the box in my work and life is crucial to me feeling successful. Creativity in work may look like trying a different editing tool or filter on your photos than the mainstream, using social media in a different way or maybe taking what you do offline altogether. In life, maybe it looks like traveling a lot, building the tiny home of your dreams, going to bed early so you can wake up late or being more conservative with how often you use your phone. The way our creative energy shows up will be different for each of us and that’s truly the beauty of it.
In America, we’ve been fed the idea that everything needs to happen yesterday. We’re never doing enough, earning enough, traveling enough, spending enough, etc. We run at a million miles a minute and when we become burned out, stressed and unfulfilled we think the answer to the problem is to do more at a faster pace. I gave this idea up a few years ago when I, too, became burned out. Allowing myself to have a slow and sustainable life and creative business is one of the most important things for me. There is a difference of grinding passionate and meaningful work out and pushing your boundaries to the max. If I must rush to make it happen, then I’m willing to let it go. I’m in my life and work for the long haul, not the short term. And this mindset can be a little tough to maintain when so much of what’s out in the media is telling you differently. But, I’ve found that I am at my best when I work and live at a pace that is sustainable for me long term.
When I look around at other creative coaches or mentors, I don’t see a lot of people that look like me. It’s one of the reasons I’ve started this work is to show up in a space where women of color aren’t seen as often. Rooting my work and life in accessibility means showing up and making room for people who look like me to feel comfortable in being there too. Making my work accessible also means having options for most levels of income. I personally have experienced times when there has been a coach I’ve wanted to hire, a course I wanted to take or an event I wanted to attend and I simply couldn’t because of the price. Truthfully, it feels like shit. I want to make sure that no matter your income, you can still walk away from my work feeling inspired, motivated + educated.
My husband always says that the one thing he loves the most about me is how honest I am. And, it’s true. I’m a terrible liar. So much so that when I was younger people used to not tell me what they got others for Christmas because if that person asked me I had a hard time keep it a secret. While being honest in my life comes naturally to me, I’ve purposefully made a point to be honest in my creative work as well. This looks like saying out loud when I don’t have something completely figured out. Or sharing a challenging moment or a current insecurity. Or maybe it’s letting a client know that I don’t think we’re properly aligned and referring them to better suited coach or mentor. As cheesy as it sounds, I believe honesty really is the best policy.
I believe knowing your core beliefs is a great place to start when wanting to get started in your creative work or go deeper in your personal life. When you understand what you believe in and your non-negotiables that go along with them, you don’t have to question if what you want to do is the next right step. If it’s aligned with one or more of your core beliefs, it’s at least worth giving it a shot.
What are some of your core beliefs that shape your work + life? Let me know in the comments below!