New Year - Same Me - New Outlook

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2018 here we come! A new year is a time for new resolutions. Up until last year, I had never really set resolutions other than giving up ice cream or drinking more water (both of which are actually pretty difficult for me!!) However - last year, I set some even larger goals for myself! I am excited to say that I met most of them and I can't wait to see what next year brings. Did you meet any of your resolutions this year??

Photography: Jenna Lynn Photography

My main resolution for 2017 was to launch my blog, ShaylynRae.com, and I was so excited to be able to check that off my list on January 24th of this year! This year of blogging has been full of a lot of ups and even some downs, and a lot of learning opportunities, but as a whole, launching my blog has been one of the best things I have ever decided to do. I will be diving into more specifics on why I launched my blog in my One Year post which will be launching in about a month, but I wanted to touch on how my blog has helped me this year.

Around the end of last year, I was unhappy for several reasons, and I needed a change. I felt like nothing I did was correct, nothing was making a difference, nothing was pushing me forward. I would constantly obsess over things that I should have done better or I should have approached differently. I was always afraid that I was constantly falling short of the employee, the girlfriend, the friend, the daughter, the person that I was supposed to be. I couldn't figure out how to pull myself out of this low. I couldn't stop obsessing over everything I thought I was failing at, and start focusing on the many positives in my life.

One night, when I was talking to my boyfriend, Zack, about starting a blog, he asked why I couldn't just start it? I gave him several excuses like: "I don't know the first thing about starting a website, I don't have a photographer, and no one cares what I have to say; who would read it?!" He then told me, "all you have to do is start, and we can figure it our together." (he is actually the best ever)

So, that night, I bought my domain name and started researching websites. I slowly starting building content, with Zack as my photographer, and something quickly started to shift for me. Once I began something that I always wanted to do, but never thought I could do, my negativity towards myself slowly started to melt away. I stopped focusing on everything I couldn't do, and started looking forward to everything that I was going to learn and experience with my new adventure. It took a few months for me to build up content and really begin to understand the ins and outs of blogging, designing a website, and keeping up with content. By the end of January, I felt comfortable enough with what I had built that I was able to launch my blog. Don't get me wrong tho - I was terrified! Revealing something you are proud of to the world brings on some serious nerves.

However, within those three months, not too much had changed in my life except my attitude towards myself, and with that, my attitude on almost every other aspect of my life. Once I was able to have confidence in myself to begin my blog, it suddenly translated into confidence in my other abilities. I could finally take a step back and tell myself "you CAN do this" and it would no longer seem impossible. Same me - new outlook!

At my lowest point, as I said before, everything seemed impossible, but with a new outlook, it seemed that my whole life changed. I was able to approach problems differently than I had before, and somehow everything seems manageable and even easier! I have had several friends tell me that they have seen such a positive change in me over the last year; that I seem happier and somehow lighter or more free. Well - I was finally able (with Zack's constant encouragement ;) to lift my own dark cloud off of my back and start living.

So why am I telling you this?? I want to encourage anyone reading this to improve your view of yourself.

We are our own worst critics and we will always be the first to tell ourselves that we can't do something and are the quickest to judge ourselves.

My view of myself kept me from pursuing something that I really wanted to do, and it also started to affect almost every aspect of my life. By telling myself I couldn't do something, I was setting myself up to fail, and couldn't complete anything to the best of my ability. With a new outlook, I am approaching things as almost an entirely different person. Don't get me wrong - I still have doubts, and I constantly second guess myself, and there are still many times where the fear of failure can seemingly paralyze me. But I finally have the confidence to tell myself - "DON'T LISTEN TO THAT! JUST KEEP GOING GIRL!"

Here are two quotes that really hit home for me:

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

My hope for my blog this year, and one of my resolutions, is to do everything I can to help at least one person love his or herself a little more. Once you love yourself, you are unstoppable!

Once you love yourself, even your failures become learning opportunities and you can use them to help you keep pushing towards your goals. I still have so much to learn and so far to go, but my goal is to help as many people as I can along the way! Never forget that you WILL surprise yourself so many times in your life. You can do so much more than you could ever dream. It just starts with a love and leap!

If you ever struggle with confidence or self-love and would like to chat with me, please reach out - I would love to meet you and hear your story <3

Happy Happy New Year everyone! I hope this next year is filled with lots of love and happiness <3


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