Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mastering the Art of Putting Myself Out There

For years, I have been using this platform to share my thoughts, opinions, and varying perspectives of the world. When I started this blog in 2009 under The Sweetheart Chronicles, I had no idea blogging in itself would become such a big deal. I had no way of predicting the rise of social media or that it would one day be a legitimate way for people to generate income. 

Even when I started to realize what blogging had become, I still didn't mind doing it for free, not willing to actually make something of it. I had no desire to become someone I'm not. I did I want to compete for popularity or connect just for the sake of collaborating. Even upon having adapted a more tolerable attitude when it comes to networking, sometimes I'll watch it all play out like some twisted version of Mean Girls, and I reach this point where I'm like: you know what...no thank you, keep ALL of it. 

 

I've recently decided it was time for a different approach. I wanted to get to a place where I wasn't afraid to put myself out there anymore, so I decided to stop sleeping on myself. I was going to boss up and share the work I was so damn proud of. That confidence didn't come overnight.

It wasn't that I didn't think I was good. All my life I'd been told writing is my gift, something I was naturally good at, and I believed them. People would singe praises about my work. I'd even quietly applaud myself for the things that came out when I simply allow my words to flow. However, I didn't see the point of promoting any of it.

As you can probably imagine, promoting myself was a little frustrating at first. Although I felt like a vet in the game at that point, I was getting rejected like a rookie; no one wanted to take a chance on me.  I spent all this time researching different brands and who to talk to, developing well articulated emails and cover letters, but would rarely hear anything back from anyone. Nothing I pitched was good enough and I felt invisible. Gradually, I resorted back to my little world, slowly losing hope and  closing myself off again. I remembered why I didn't care to put myself out there in the first place. I can't lie and say I don't still have days where I feel discouraged. In fact, a couple times a month, where I want nothing more than to crawl back into my shell and allow people to find me on their own. That's how it used to be and it worked just fine back then.

However, we do live in a different time now. I'm learning how to accept that more each day. 

Instead of shunning the market by shying away and hiding away in this little unknown corner of internet diaspora, I began to look for opportunities to promote myself more and creative ways to connect with brands that aligned with my passions and my interest. Rather than resist times changing, I can learn how to make the shift benefit me and reevaluate what I'm aiming to accomplish through content creation. 


That's the thing about listening to those dreams that God places in your heart; there's always going to be this powerful force beyond you that keeps pulling you back to the thing you love. You keep trying, you keep grinding and you continue to push the envelope. It won't let you give up. 

Now that I've allowed myself to fall into that gravity of always finding reasons to keep pursuing what I love, the results are slowly starting to pay off...in small and significant ways.

Brands are reaching out to me first, requesting services I never ever even promoted in exchange for compensation. The Sky Box Suite is starting to gain more attention and publicity that is well received. Some of my best journalistic work is now being featured on broader platforms like xoNecole and I'm learning so much in the process. No matter how many times I thought no one was tuning in, there is some satisfaction in finally being heard. Sometimes, being recognized by the right people at the right time, makes all the years of hard work so worth it.

There was a quote I came across that read: 
"Sometimes it takes 10 years to get to that 1 year that will change your life."

I'm realizing that there may actually be some truth to that. Like I've said many times to myself and a few times on the blog: when I'm aligned with my purpose, things start to fall into place. Doors begin to open. The right people and opportunities magically show up. 

To the content creators who often feel overwhelmed and overshadowed: At the end of the day, it's all a matter of perspective and perseverance. The industry you're in doesn't matter. Just keep working. Keep creating and/or coming up with new ways to be creative. Most importantly, never stop believing in yourself. 

Follow me on Twitter: | ♡ @ChyAmbition
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

What the Netflix series, 'Friends from College' Taught me About Settling


The other night, I was wide awake in the wee hours of the morning, reflecting on life and other things After binge watching the Netflix series, Friends from College. Somewhere in between me praying for guidance and stressing about my to-do list, a thought crossed my mind about settling and how often people force themselves to fall in love with the life they have and accept the cards that have been dealt, simply because they didn't end up with the life they actually wanted.

While entertaining, there were a few wildly familiar concepts that the show brought to my attention. It warranted this idea that some decisions we make result in consequences we are obligated to live with forever. On the other hand, some consequences are simply a part of the lesson, where we make a mistake (or make a choice), deal with the repercussions, and are eventually presented with another opportunity to go about things differently. However, more often times than not, the difference between permanent and temporary consequences is a blurred line.

For instance, people will miss out on the love of their life, for whatever reason, and opt for the next best thing. Perhaps, something happened on their individual paths that caused them to walk in different directions. Eventually both parties decide to choose someone else, because life is way too short to wait on things to align perfectly in order for these two people to choose each other, right? However, every now and then, those lingering curiosities pop up and suddenly, the normal routine they've built as the foundation becomes a little less dependable than it once appeared to be. What do we do when we are faced with the daunting questions of what would've/should've/could've happened when there is no way to change what did happen. After awhile, it all becomes utterly exhausting to dwell on, so we either act on it those emotions and risk losing everything, understand the grass isn't always greener and focus on the present moment, or distract ourselves with the life we've already established.

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Faith. Finance. Focus. Fitness. [Almost 2018]

A new cycle of 365 days is upon us and no matter how much we try to stray away from creating resolutions, it feels almost unnatural not to...at least for me it does. However, instead of creating this prodigious list of goals to conquer, I go into each year with a theme of sorts. For instance, 2016 was all about consistency, gaining clarity, and protecting my peace. That was the energy I started the year with and the universe met that expectation gradually. 

For 2018, I've come up with 3 words to set the tone for the year: faith, finance, focus, and fitness. My lessons in each department have been on-going and a struggle at times, but it's time - beyond time - to take what I've learned thus far, apply it, and continue to cultivate each area.


Faith

Faith is a very personal part of my life, something that varies from person to person. My relationship with God seems to be getting better, deeper, sweeter every moment, but because I am human with doubts, fears, insecurities, and slip and fall like everyone else, it's absolutely one of those things that I have to constantly keep in check. Faith over fear and faith over failure.


Finance

Listen...I think we are all finding our way in this department. Obviously, there are people who are doing very well for themselves in their twenties, but for many of us - including myself - managing finances, building credit scores, saving money, etc. is a struggle. The silver lining is the struggle doesn't last forever, so it's a process. And by becoming more financially savvy, I will then be equipped to reach out to educate other people and communities about financial literacy.


Focus

An area I struggle with constantly is staying focused. Managing The Sky Box Suite was actually an ambitious project I took on that truly tested my level dedication and consistency. After celebrating 1 full year not too long ago (November 2017, to be exact), I realized just how much I am able to achieve when I dedicate at least one year to consistent effort. Laser focused on all the ambitions I have honestly been so lazy about pursuing, one step at a time. Right now, getting my finances in order is obviously a priority, as well as stepping back into academia, and I know how hard it is to balance both. To accomplish these things, I know I have to get serious, even if it means making a weekly practice to eliminate all distractions (i.e. social media) in order to get things done.


Fitness

To my final theme, getting back in peak performance shape is going to be the aim this month leading into next year. Typical, but my argument against that is having been an athlete (swimmer) most of my life, so training won't be new territory for me. Aside from overall health, the most important thing about it is making more of an effort to do what I love and swimming has always played a huge role in doing what makes me happy. It's something I've been putting off for a while, so it's long overdue. The second I get the momentum going, I'm good to go, which is why I'm headed to get an early morning workout it at the conclusion of this post.

Follow me on Twitter: | ♡ @ChyAmbition
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Friday, December 1, 2017

16 Layers in 30 Days: The Archives



Writing every single day can be difficult, but I'm glad I at least attempted to complete every day for the #30Layers30Days writing challenge. I wrote more poetry than anticipated, which was cool, because it's literally been years since I actually finished one, although I have plenty drafts on my phone. Some days I either couldn't find anything to write for that particular prompt or just didn't have the time. However this challenge caused my creative juices to flow and I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish this month.


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