2019 was a big year for me. It was filled with tiny shifts in mindset, which, looking back now, shaped where I’ve landed today. I hope I never forget these lessons – they’ve served me beautifully so far and completely adjusted my approach to life.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Opportunities don’t sit around waiting for you – often, you need to make them yourself. Pitch for that freelance job you want, ask for a raise, or set boundaries in a relationship! I thank this lesson for some of my best moments in 2019, including a vehicle-expenses-paid road trip tour of South Australia with my friends, driving a BWM convertible for a weekend (and getting paid for the photos!), 2 yoga retreats, a successful pay negotiation at my day job (marketing manager) and setting some very necessary boundaries in my love life! All because I asked.
2. Choose Friends Who Build You Up, Not Tear You Down
In friendships, relationships, and work – recognise the people who want you to grow, and those who don’t. Be strong enough to let go of those who don’t have your best interests at heart, hold on tight to the growers, and show them your support, too!
3. Try The Things You Think You Can’t Do
The only way forward is out of your comfort zone. Growing up in gymnastics, you learn pretty quickly that the only to find out if you can’t do something (like a backflip) is to actually try it. I had to remind myself of this at the top of a very steep and intimidating ski trail, at my first wedding shoot, pitching companies and quitting my job to go traveling. Either you crash or you fly – there’s only one way to know the actual outcome. I’d rather fail than die wondering.
4. Attitude Is Everything
Your mind shapes your reality and, in most cases, you have the opportunity to choose to have a good day (or a bad one). I couldn’t count the number of plans that went completely astray but still became some of my favorouite memories of the year (like our entire South Australia trip..!)
5. My Body Isn’t Just A Shape
I wrote this in August, in an Instagram post:
I used to see my body as a shape. A collection of lines and curves, circles and rectangles. Something to be adjusted, carved, shrunk. Liked, disliked, judged. There to fix or change or punish or starve. But it isn’t a shape. It MAKES shapes. My body is a machine. And it’s capable of whatever I choose to tune it for, as long as I’m willing to put in the work. It’s here to be nourished, repaired, tweaked, challenged.
This year I discovered I could run 27km without (quite) throwing up. Skied a couple of double blacks without (quite) dying. Put in countless hours of yoga. None of which was motivated by how I looked… Because who gives a damn about the shape when you see what it’s capable of.
And ironically, when my mindset shifted that way – the shape followed.
6. No One’s Opinion Should Shape Your Reality
I dropped out of university 2 years ago without asking for a single opinion – and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Asking for trusted opinions can be helpful sometimes, but they often dilute intuition and make you doubt your instincts. Where opinions get involved, make sure you’re looking at your decision through your own lens of values and priorities, not someone else’s.
7. There Is No Wrong Decision
I’m about as indecisive as it comes – from choosing my lunch to my life direction. So recently, I’ve adopted a mantra for myself – “there is no wrong decision”. Follow your guts and don’t look back at the ‘what if’s and ‘could have’s. If both options will make you happy, stop trying to make your world into a binary of “right” and “wrong” choices. There is no roadmap.
2019 was a series of lessons and epiphanies and good and bad decisions… And I’m beyond excited to take 2020 on. Happy New Year and a healthy and exciting 2020 to you!