Today’s post is a bit of a departure for me. It is just as much for me as it is for you. I have been thinking often about mental fitness and practicing a positive mind in the midst of setbacks, letdowns, and failure. More specifically, carving out your own path to success. Some people graduate with degrees and know exactly what they want to do. The job is there, they can see it and go for it. But what about those of us that have a passion for something and can’t quite define how to turn it into a career or anything that we can survive doing? For example, I love creating moments with food and sharing that through photography and with the recipes I post here at Fresh and Fit. I didn’t know when I started Fresh and Fit that a love for photography would bloom. Then it became more and more clear how to hone in on that.
I first needed to practice. I wasn’t (and currently am not) going to be an acclaimed food stylist out of the gates. In order to become great at what we love, we have to practice. We must embarrass ourselves, disappoint ourselves, frustrate ourselves, and do it over and over again. Repeat the process on a regular basis. Make a habit out of failing, until finally one day, through the metaphorical lense of the camera, we began to see our mistakes clearly and start to correct them. The branches that have fallen in our paths are easier for us to pick up and set to the side so we can keep going. We have to turn what discourages us; the not knowing, the confusion, the sense of intimidation, into what encourages us. Those are our lessons. We are our own teachers. The setbacks are the twists in the road that are narrowing you and me to where we are meant to go.
Then, for some of us, there is that ever-looming need for urgency. “I am (insert age here), when will I catch up to my peers and have my own success?” There are the feelings and thoughts of not fitting in because you don’t have a lucrative career. But we must remember to stay in our own lane and also practice our confidence in the unknown. Is a flower that blooms late in the season any less beautiful than one that peaked in early spring? Of course not. We all have our optimal time to peak. When the conditions are just right and we are strong and nourished. By now you are probably sick of the metaphors, but I believe they are important to the visualization process.
In addition, you and I must remember that the way we manifest and express our passion may change while we are on the path to our destination. Don’t guilt yourself if that happens. That is intuition guiding you. Always listen to intuition. We have to tweak things as we go. But the key is that we keep going. I encourage anyone who is just starting out on a path less traveled to put one foot in front of the other. Day by day. Start a list in your smart phone. Jot down your top passion and then start a sublist underneath with small goals to get you started. Let’s say you want to become an avid gardener and teach others to do the same. Then maybe your goals would be buying a book on gardening, starting a small herb garden, and creating a social media page to share what you are learning. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you can create your next list of goals. Eventually you may decide to open a greenhouse and sell what you grow, or maybe write your own book. It will become more and more clear. For now, keep it small and perfect your craft. Then, when the time comes, bloom.