You have the power to change your existence if you are willing to put in the work. I'm no rocket scientist or mathematician, but I know how to completely change your life because I changed my own.
I know what it feels like to hopeless and depressed. Have you ever asked yourself, "How did I get here?" Or wondered, "What is my purpose?" Me too.
The answer to both of those questions is simple, yet hard as hell to find. You got to this point in life because of your actions and your purpose is inside of you. I'm not counting out the fact that you may have had a rough patch or rough year, but I am empowering you to look back and see what actions you did or did not take that landed you in your current predicament.
I Hit Rock Bottom
It's easy to play the victim. Trust me. I do it well, but when it was time for me to get real with myself about my current state of life things got ugly. A little over a year and a half ago, I was jobless and hustling as a graphic designer to make ends meet. Before I landed my job at my first ad agency, I had to apply which meant freelance life wasn't for me and that I didn't reach my "being my own boss straight out of college" dreams.
This is where it gets ugly. I didn't apply for any real jobs after college because I was going to be an entrepreneur. And while ambition is priceless, strategy makes the cash flow. One without the other means absolutely nothing. Thank God I applied for one internship back home in Kansas City and got it. After that I had a string of internships before landing at rock bottom mentally and financially as a freelance graphic designer.
I got my last check right before Christmas and by the time Christmas was over, my pockets were empty which meant more hustling. The crazy part was that I knew I wasn't living up to my potential staying at home working in my office. I knew I needed human interaction other than family and church and I wanted to excel. Fast forward to my interview at Barkley and now a little over a year later I'm at VML.
Believe in yourself
I say all of this to say that rock bottom is not the end, it's the beginning. You have the power to completely change your life. The life that you desire depends on you taking the first step which is believing that it's yourself.
Nobody can do this first step for you. Self-confidence grows over time and can take dents, believe me, but the innate belief that you can achieve your goal is what makes it possible. Faith goes a long way. Stop selling yourself short and trust in your talents, instincts and abilities. God gave them to you for a reason.
Face your fears
The next step is to face your fears. I DID NOT say to ignore your fears or to go past your fears, but to rather face them. I stumbled up this amazing quote at work one day, "Sometimes the fear won't stop and you'll have to do it afraid."
Can I get an amen? Sometimes you must do it afraid. Nobody has the balls to face their fears all the time, but they do it anyway. Winners don't let fear stop them and losers will never know what winning feels like. #Ouch
You will never embark on a new journey if you don't take the first step forward. You have the power to completely change your life if you want to. I mean seriously want to and believe that you can.
Try Something New
The last step to changing your life is trying something new. For me, trying something new meant applying for jobs outside of my career field. I majored in retail merchandising and marketing, but my first full-time job was being a social media manager for Dairy Queen. I never dreamed of working in advertising while I was in college, but having mentors in my life who came from advertising backgrounds and believed in me made me apply.
I will never forget touring Barkley with my eyes wide-open like a kid at Christmas. I had no idea that this one job, one magical place would shape my professional career and be the place where I met some of my closest friends.
I say all of this to say that you never know what will come out of taking the first step. Sometimes life will push you into a new career field, move you to a big city, mold you into a teacher or even take away the things that you love the most. Most importantly, you must roll with the punches and be willing to create the life that you desire despite the sour milk life's thrown your way.
Start with believing in yourself and taking one step in the right direction. Every mistake and failure is a lesson learned. Do not be afraid to unleash the greatness inside of you because the world needs what you've got.
All photos by Tamra Gibson.