Are You Diminishing Your Joy?

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It was a pretty big life moment. My biggest business win to date. The ante: upped.

And yet, for a couple of spirit-grinding days in early February after launching Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted, instead of allowing myself to feel intoxicated by wonder and revelry and JOYFUL ELATION – I sprinted the other way.

In the moments where I could have been celebrating, I was instead laser-focused on a not-so-subtle prickle in my stomach. Oh hey there, guilt.

In the moments where I could have, creative exhaustion in tow, smiled and owned the fact that A Big Thing Had Been Achieved, I could feel myself slicing my satisfaction into tiny cubes to make it more palatable.

It was textbook Upper Limit stuff – ‘This is all happening exactly as I hoped and now I’m freaking out and do I even deserve this?!’ and I felt like I’d abandoned myself in the very moment I’d been working towards.

Which is precisely why I want to talk about the ways we diminish our joy (and why we need to stop that madness, stat.)


The truth is, it’s a bit of an epidemic.

So I decided to put a call out on Facebook late last week for some real-life examples of the ways we downplay our joy, and here are some of the tender-hearted, beautifully honest responses I received back.

We have the tendency to skim these things (go on, admit it!) but I encourage you take the time to read through them all and let that strong, silent ‘YESSS… I know exactly what you mean’ reverberate through you.

We’re all connected. The form may be different, but our feelings are universal. See yourself in these stories; a reminder that we’re never alone in our suffering or our silent suppression. These words are truly the backbone of this post.


Diminishing my joy looks like….

COMPARISON

“I smother my joy by comparing myself to others – mainly when looking at others as examples of how they do things. This usually happens when I get an idea – a spark of potential, a hint of something expansive – and instead of following my own gut, trusting in my abilities and launching right in, I look to see how other people do similar things. Following someone else’s truth.

Which of course brings up the “I’m not good enoughs” and “there’s no way I can do it as good as that” – which metaphorically speaking is like throwing a big bucket of water over my beautiful spark of an idea and joy gets drowned in the process (never having had the opportunity to flourish in the first place).” — Amy 

______

“When I’m flying high, achieving all I have set out to do – connecting with amazing people, showing up to love, stepping out of my comfort zone and daring to be different, expressing myself authentically, indulging in what makes me happy – there are many moments of intense joy and a beautiful deep sense of gratitude. My days are often filled with ‘pinch myself moments’ and many thank you, thank you, thank you’s being uttered.

But then, often out of no where, I get struck by comparisontitis. I catch myself comparing what I have achieved and how long it took me to get here with other people’s journeys.” — Leah 


SHRINKING AWAY 

“I think a huge thing for me is when I’m on the cusp of something big and my whole being is vibing on a gigantic frequency – the connections are happening, the support is rolling in, the creative juices are flowing, and out of no where comes this bolt of ‘hey there girl, hold your horses!’….

For me it’s the tiny mad idea that tells me that I’m too big for my boots, that stepping and shining is egotistical. I diminish my joy by believing the tiny voice rather than embracing my soul’s whisper to ‘go for it’.” — Jennifer 

______

“I have never really liked to show my excitement to other people. I often get uncomfortable when the spotlight is directed my way. So I deflect when people ask questions about me or want to know more about what I have going on. I have been conditioned to believe that to step out and share my successes or joy with those around me who aren’t experiencing a similar set of circumstances is cruel, mean and even rude. So I play down my wins, deflect any seedling of praise and avoid the spotlight.

I don’t allow myself to completely experience the wondrousness of joy in case I offend someone or bring up any uncomfortable feelings for them. I am learning that it’s okay to be pursuing something that completely lights up my entire being even if no one around me is experiencing anything remotely similar.” — Meg


FEAR OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

“My dear husband and I have been planning a BIG overseas adventure. Because of my constant worry about others thinking that chucking in my job and spending a house deposits worth of cashola on our venture was irresponsible and immature I tended to downplay the sheer excitement, joy and exhilaration I felt and put all of our wild plans down to just following my hubby’s crazy ideas – blame any fallout on him right?

As our departure date neared I realised how silly (and detrimental to my happiness) this was and now proudly claim this crazy idea and all the joy that comes with it as totally mine as well. The more conviction I show for my ideas and actions, the more support I receive.” — Jessie  


diminishing-joy


PLAYING DOWN

“I diminish my joy by not shouting from the rooftops how friggin crazy amazing my life is, how I’ve manifested all that I want in life. A spiritual relationship, living in paradise and working full time in my meditation business. I diminish expressing my joy thinking I’ll make others feel bad if they’re struggling with what they’re creating and I don’t want to separate myself from others.

I want them to see me as equal and that I empathise and understand their struggles. And I do! It just gets screwy in my head as I confuse empathy with complaining alongside someone.” — Mish

______

“I played down and shrinked away from my achievement of healing my body of adrenal fatigue, Hashimoto’s and PCOS to once again become fertile (in a medical/health definition) without traditional medication. As a uni student with little to no disposable income, I was spending all my money on organic, nourishing foods, brewing my own kombucha, getting fortnightly acupuncture and osteopathy, instead of spending my spare money on going out, music festivals and alcohol like my peers.

It took two years of sacrifice, self-doubt and determination, and I’m so filled with joy that I was able to actually make it happen! Until very recently, I downplayed this big time, playing it off as ‘I guess it was just a temporary thing’ when people and clients have awed at me. I was nearly apologising for making it seem like such a ‘big deal’ too!” — Helen


DOUBT AND SELF-SABOTAGE

‘I’m someone who works hard to achieve my goals, tick things of my ‘must do’ list and put into action those heady dreams floating around in my head and heart. I’ve noticed however that when I’m really in the thick of the ‘doing’ part, when all the bits and pieces and odds and ends are properly coming together, I tend to freak the hell out slightly and instead of embracing the awesomeness presenting itself on a platter, I almost want to run away from it or I begin analysing and over-analysing, doubting all the efforts I’ve taken to get to that point and ultimately sucking all the joy out of the moment that I’m in.” — Naomi 


NOT RECEIVING 

“I always have a knack of averting eye contact and deflecting compliments by complimenting others or changing the subject. I’ve never been very good at accepting compliments because I was always belittled and teased through most of my schooling years. I never thought that I was good enough to get anywhere with my ideas.

It’s probably part of the reason why it’s taken me so long to realise that my novel and starting up my blog have taken me so long. Sometimes that little seed of self-doubt gets too much and I’m guilty of listening to it instead of trudging through it and believing in myself.” — Mandi 


LIMITING THE EXPERIENCE 

“I find myself sometimes diminishing joy by sometimes slipping in to being detached from certain things that I normally would be invested in and enjoying. Compliments paid are brushed off. Random acts of kindness are sometimes met with being curious of others motives. Moments for connection with others are occasionally met with a noncommittal ‘it’s all good’. Too much planning and wishing for future events becomes a way that blinds the happiness of the here and now.

In an effort to not seem egotistical, boastful or proud I find myself actually limiting the experience of that moment by not fully embracing the love and joy that it holds.” — Alyce


Any of those scenarios resonate with you? Oh yep? I’m hearing ya.

So, what about the other side of the fence? What happens when you consciously choose to share your joy, enthusiastically, unabashedly?

Let me share exactly what happens. 

You:

// Experience true presence – the intensely-aware-of-everything, tingly-toes, huge-beaming-grin-stretched-across-your-face type of presence where NOTHING else matters.

// Become the lighthouse, painting pictures of hope and possibility and giving others a living example of what’s also accessible to them.

// Lift people out of their suffering, instead of joining them in it. (I can actually visualise this. The lifting up looks like two arms outstretched, two sets of hands wrapped in each other, two souls rising; the second looks like a slippery slope into doom and gloom.)

You also, of course, call in more of it. And that’s what we’re seeking, no? Joy, peace, meaning, deep fulfilment, a rockin’ life that makes us smile?

All that seeking is one thing. To be joy – to really be in it, and wear it proudly – is another thing entirely.

Let’s aim for the latter.


ryan


Feelings come in daily waves – cresting, breaking, rolling in, rolling out – and joy, like any other spike in human emotion – can be fleeting.

Just like we endeavour to give our shadow the attention it deserves, I’m putting it out there, beauties: let’s be bold and brave in honouring the magic of our ‘lighter’ experiences, too.

++

Catch yourself in the moments you start shrinking. 

Awareness is everything. When you feel thoughts and sensations arising, step away from the dimmer switch and gently steer it back to the truth of that moment.

Feeling stoked about achieving a big goal or manifesting a killer opportunity?

Lit up on new love?

Proud of your progress on the yoga mat, or the running track?

Own it. Let enthusiasm envelop you, and – here’s the clincher – roll OUT of you, before the feeling fades into oblivion. Your joy matters. And remember that the people that matter want to hear about it.

Set the tone.

Expressing your elation for your life might just be the catalyst for someone else expressing their happiness. As Marianne Williamson famously said: ‘As we let our own light shine, we give others permission to do the same.”

If you witness a friend or loved one diminishing their joy, go ahead and ask them why they’re hiding their happiness. Tease it out of them, little by little. Watch them come alive. 

Without a shadow of doubt, creating that kind of safe celebratory space for someone you love will have a remarkable effect on… everything. Deeper connection, better conversations, more fun, trust, unity… Not to mention, it’s thrilling to be around people who radiate (in fact, studies have actually proven that happiness is contagious. See, everyone wins!)

Mute that critical inner dialogue.

No-one likes a bragger. 

I’m going to feel separate and disconnected if I share this. 

Ahh, I just know this will make so and so feel weird, jealous, inadequate. 

I don’t want to seem like I care too much. I mean, really, no biggie.. right? 

(and the story goes on.)

Let’s clear up the differences between boasting in an arrogant, showy, superior, egoic way – and simply sharing your joy. Humble, but proud.

The first comes from a place of lack – grasping for external approval, seeking validation – but the second, the one we’re honing right in on – comes from a sublime place of gratitude and abundance.

Joy is our birthright. Joy is our essence. Joy is who we are. So to deny that is to deny a natural, integral part of our human make-up. 

Shine bright, sista.


Before we go, I want to leave you with this little ‘my-soul-speaking-to-your-soul’ style reminder:

Downsizing your joy won’t actually increase, elevate or multiply anyone else’s. ALL it does is decrease yours… and leave you wanting.

May we all rise, together. High on joy. 


And now… I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below with an answer to this:

Do you diminish your joy? How does it tend to play out for you? Share away below.

Like I mentioned above, awareness is everything. When we illuminate what’s holding us back by calling it out, our inner wise self starts to look for ways to move through it. Aren’t we clever little creatures?!

Thank you for being here. x

Images: Kelly Ann Mount | Ryan Pernofski

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52 Comments to “Are You Diminishing Your Joy?”

  1. Oh, well this was totally worth the wait and at the perfect time nonetheless. I got a little teary reading through these exceptionally vulnerable and straight-to-the-heart confessions. Universally connected indeed. Stellar post Rach! x

  2. Oh, completely hearing all of this loudly, especially Leah’s quote.
    A constant roller coaster of emotion since running my own biz.

    I am learning more about myself everyday, if it wasn’t for the most incredibly uplifting clients I probably would have succumb to comparisonitis a while ago. I feel eternally grateful for my clients, putting faith in my work, my devotion and putting a smile on my face everyday.

    This is a killer post, Rach! In a really great way. X

    • LOVE this Mon. We’re all treading our own magnificent, squiggly-lined paths. And you, my lady, are doing a spectacular job at serving those lucky clients of yours (as I’m constantly hearing.) x

  3. Stunning post Rach! Thank you for encouraging me to read it ALL instead of skimming! It’s brought tears to my eyes – “Your joy matters” – wow, permission right there! And I love how you’ve said about “be in it” – I’ve been thinking incorrectly that its separate from me when it’s really me. I’ve just got to allow it out. Much love xx

  4. A new sparkly post to light up my day (and I’m guessing the days of quite a few others!) — thank you, Rach.

    You’ve invited me to lean in to my joy, reminded again that “downsizing your joy won’t actually increase anyone else’s.”

    Stoked to read your words again xx

  5. Rach – this was such a powerful post for me! It really pulled the carpet from under my feet as I got so accustomed to downplaying my achievements that I became accepting of living life with a muted colour palette! I used to line up the next project, next checklist item, next big goal so that I could keep running, never stopping to appreciate the moment as it unfolded for fear that it wasn’t good enough. Thank you for sharing this with us! Much love X Jo

  6. Yep yep yep yep!!

    how I can so relate! that quote at the end – brilliant. I have shrunken my enthusiasm & joy down so many times in the midst of people who I perceived would not join with me in my enthusiasm. most of the time it is just a silly projection because the people in my life WANT to see me happy. but truly, the point is not to vibe on the same frequency as everyone, it’s to raise my own! hello!

    love this post. so well written & perfectly timed per usual.

    lots of love to you. nice to have you back!

    xo Ashley

  7. Rach,

    The thought of you feeling undeserving of all the goodness that flooded in to greet you almost made me well up. Bright-eyed & Blog hearted has been one of the best things I’ve done so far; the connections, the lessons, the generosity and the sheer beauty of the creations that have come about because of this course, thanks to you. I truly hope you know that beauty.

    I totally feel you on playing down the goodness and putting your joy on hold. The Inner Critic dialogue is one that I struggle with constantly, especially when it comes to what others think. The more I surround myself with gorgeous, supporting, like-minded people the more I find my voice and can fine-tune and deepen my connections.

    So many lessons and amazing, ground-shaking good things to come.

    Here’s to celebrating our wins & allowing the universe to bring us more goodness to celebrate

    BIG love.
    C.x

  8. ” All that seeking is one thing. To be joy – to really be in it, and wear it proudly – is another thing entirely.” Holy SHITZA Rach. You could not have summed that up any more powerfully.

    Fist pumping. Woot Woot-ing. And Amen-ing all the way through that post.

    You’re back, Baby! You’re back!

  9. This… Oh, how it resonates with me on every level of my being. Stellar post Beautiful Rach – it’s so nice to have your words vibrating back through my soul. x

  10. Ah, yes. I resonated with many of the examples. Such a great post Rach! It’s kinda comforting knowing that so many other women have the same fears and patterns. I love how you wrote “downsizing your joy won’t actually increase anyone else’s. ALL it does is decrease yours.” That really was the ‘sound bite’ for me :-). It’s time to start owning our JOY! xx

  11. Wow Rachel! It was a post definitely worth the wait!!
    Firstly, BE & BH has been such a blessing to me and my business and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting together such a wonderful and inspiring program.
    Secondly, I suffer from this so much, I care so deeply what others think I am doing my best to push past this and really relish in the wonderful opportunities that I am blessed with. Be loud and proud but humble at the same time.
    Much love to you xx

    • And you know what, babe, they CAN co-exist. There’s nothing more beautiful than being in the presence of someone who’s literally buzzing with joy and who expresses that joy in a way that is humbly honest and HONOURS the emotion with consideration and confidence.

      It’s the difference between ‘Look what I did, I’m SO much better than… everyone!’ and ‘I’m stoked I pulled this off, I poured my heart and soul into it and it exceeded expectations.’

      There’s a huge gaping divide between the two, but so often they’re lumped as one. x

  12. Ahhh Rach, this is well worth the wait and thank you for putting emphasis on reading every single one. I know that I’m not alone!

    You deserve every bit of gratitude and love that BE+BH has brought. There are so many connections and so many realisations that have been gained throughout the course and many to come.

    Thank you for your amazingness and welcome back to blogging! It’s great to see your words grace this place again <3

    xx

  13. Rachel, every element of this post resonated with me…I think I pretty much identified with all the insightful comments! It is reassuring to know though that I am not alone in these thoughts, that everyone has moments of diminished joy and we can learn from each other to try and overcome that negativity. I am truly inspired by all the contributors and these shared experiences really build my own self confidence (and understanding of my pesky shadow self!) xx

  14. Oh my freakin gosh, total light bulb moment here…
    I am totally frozen by fear of allowing myself to feel joy again. Since 2 life changing incidents in my life I have been to scared to act on my passion and purpose in life. After reading this blog post (the first I have ever read) I have realized I’m not scared of my ability but more the fact that I feel unworthy of joy and success and others reaction too it.

    But without joy, what kind of life do we live.

    I have only followed you for a week and already you have penetrated my soul.

    Love Jodi x

  15. What I love most about this post is the reassuring undertones that ‘I’m not alone’. There is comfort and support in knowing that these feelings are not in some of us, but in ALL of us. I love shining light and awareness on an issue that as you say Rach, is an epidemic. Joy is a magnificient birthright and the more we celebrate in moments that lift us and take us to unlimited levels the better we become and grant permission to those around us to do the same. Stunning as always Rachel. Thank you x

  16. Thank you thank you thank you Rach! I totally can relate to all of the above and this post came at the most perfect time. Today was the day that I felt that fear rising, chest feeling tight, telling myself that my success was a fluke and guess what – I completely sabotaged my joy! Now here I am smiling, so eternally grateful that there are words like yours that pop up during those moments of self doubt. It reminds us to celebrate not only our achievements but ourselves and to never dull our sparkle. Big love x

  17. And she’s back! Once again a ripper post that hits hard and shines the spotlight on an issue that we all seem to have experienced at one time or another.
    What you’re saying is so true. We need to rise up, own our wins and celebrate them. I was hardwired in life to play down my achievements, that it was bragging and pompous.
    Not these days. I’ve started owning all my successes no matter how small, and it’s so true what you said about it making us realise our true essence. I’ve been smiling like a Cheshire Cat lately!

    You gorgeous girl freaking rock. You’ve not only created a ecourse full of wonderful, pertinent, relevant information but you’ve created a community full of love, friendship and respect.

    Hats off you to babe. OWN IT. Be your joy that you truly deserve.
    Nothing but love xx

  18. I diminish my joy, by comparing to what I wished would have happened in a perfect world. Sure I hit that milestone, but 6 months late. Sure I made sales, but not as many as I hoped for. Sure I’m healthy, but I could be stronger. I need more practice in stopping at the self-complement and not tacking on a “but”

  19. Wow, I loved this post! I have been eagerly awaiting you’re return and it was so worth the wait. but next time your ecourse is running i will definitely make sure that I am on it because I had serious FOMO for all the goodies I just knew you would be sharing.
    Such a beautiful post, thank you.

  20. Wow! I don’t know how to convey how much I needed this message – especially this week. A big heart-felt THANK YOU. It was the loving kick in the pants I needed!
    I love your blog (and the Spirited books) and had felt the urge for a while to start blogging about stuff that’s been going on for me, so when you announced Bright-Eyed Blog-Hearted … My heart lept and I was so excited to get started. I did the precourse tasks (buying the domain name etc), bought special stationary (a fetish of mine), organised my desk space and was totally set to go … And then I froze. Totally choked. Cactus. Kaput. I printed out and read all the materials, listened to the mp3, watched the Facebook group.
    And I’ve been walking past that folder on my book shelf for the past few weeks. Warily. I’m determined to get over myself. But how?
    I knew this week was crunch time. Confession: I bought a ticket for The Blog Society Retreat on this Saturday as part of Vivid and was cowering and making up excuses not to go- even though I’d love to hear you and everyone else there speak!
    And then I read this. And it hit me. I remembered that the whole reason that I wanted to start a blog was for JOY. For the sheer pleasure and expressing myself, communicating with others and sharing and promulgating the things I am passionate about out in the world. I had totally diminished my joy- I had near on strangled it. But not quite. So here I go … Bite sized chunks. I’m going to do the copy for my about page by Saturday. And I’m going to The Blog Society Retreat on Saturday. I have bright red hair and I’ll be wearing yellow (chakra 3 time in SoMM) and I’ll be smiling like silly xoxo
    Ps. In case you missed it in amongst all my own angst- the course is awesome. Do it if you can!

  21. That was such an honest and pure post, it has made me smile and nod and wince uncomfortably at how much I resonate with some of the diminishing joy confessions… I constantly diminish my success and my excitement about things in my life. I even do it now about getting married this summer! And once you start, it is so hard to snap out of the pattern. I find misery likes company, but oh, it’s so much greater and beautiful to join in happiness! I find one of the best ways to really own something is to celebrate little successes with the people close to me. AND accepting compliments – so important. Smiling and breathing help me resist the need to roll my eyes or make some comment to claim that actually it is not as great as it sounds.
    Rachel, thank you so much for your beautiful writing!
    Lots of love x

  22. Wow, what a post! I really enjoyed it, really well done Rachel. All the points you wrote are definitely ways we women, like you said, diminish our joy. I think one of the best things we can do and really work on is finding our “people” – people that are like us, support us, and will always be there for us. Sometimes we can get in our head a lot and having a core group of loved ones around you can “snap” us out of it immediately!

  23. This post was definitely worth the wait! So great to share so many examples of like minded sisters dampening their light. Highlighting the constant habit of this lets us all see just how easy and second nature it is and how we just need to put an end to it NOW! Xo

  24. So great to have you back lighting the world up with your soul nourishing words. Take in ALL the joy from the greatness that is BEBH. You TOTALLY deserve it all. You beautiful Rach, are a shining light for so many of us. Keep shining, keep being our lighthouse.
    With love and gratitude always xo

  25. Rach, as one of your students, I want you to know you really really deserve every bit of success you get from not only the amazing, love infused and abundant Bloghearted, but also from everything you attract because you are beyond generous in what you offer. You’re generosity and of course insane writing abilities plus experience and dedication are palpable. I am not just saying this, this is honestly how I feel and your site has become one of the few that I frequent because of these elements.

    I do however know how you are feeling or have felt, as I too struggle with this daily and go into self sabotage mode. None of us are immune to it, which may be a good thing really as it connects us and lets us know we are indeed human and perhaps even humble.

  26. Hey Rach.

    Wow. This was amazing. I’m still waking up this Monday morning, but your post and the comments were the perfect start to my day. Thankyou.

  27. I love this! SO beautifully written. And such a strong idea at the core of it. I found myself diminishing my joy and downplaying the HUGENESS of the situation when I bought a new, fancy (read: expensive!) Canon camera lens! It was something I have been thinking and dreaming about for a long time, and I finally bit the bullet and made the big purchase! But instead of sharing my elation that, 1) I can afford to make a big, luxury purchase and not have to freak about still making rent this month, and 2) I am expanding on my favorite hobby that will hopefully bring me to new heights in my career–I downplay the entire situation to friends. I feel like, because I can afford a new camera lens and they can barely afford rent, that I shouldn’t “brag”. But shouldn’t I share my joy?! It’s not my fault that they burn all their money on happy hour drinks and expensive clothes, while I stay home and cook and wear second-hand clothes so that I CAN afford the awesome lens purchase when I want it!! Instead of shrinking away from my joy and diminishing it for fear of insulting others, I am going to revel in my awesomeness, be proud of myself for being savvy, and put my passion into my hobby and make something of it. THANK YOU Rachel, your words are like diamonds.

  28. After every session of Kinder my 4 year old boy comes rushing up to me with a huge hug and a beaming smile, almost screaming with joy to see me and tell me about all the exciting things he did that day. His news is to most of us not much, he finished a puzzle or drew a picture with red texta. But the way he tells me gets me all excited for him and brings me completely into his moment of joy. At times I have thought to myself, maybe I should tell him to calm it down a bit as it can appear to be over the top. But, then I think about how ridiculous that is to feel self-conscious by my sons pure joy. If anything I know I should take his lead and see the joy and wonders of what everyday life brings. Beautiful post Rachel x

  29. So happy to see you back, lovely! And what a doozy. You and your wonderful guest commenters hit the nail on the head in so many different ways. And you’re so right that these are all joy diminishers. What is the point in that!? I love the idea of sharing the joy with others instead of limiting it.

  30. Wow, so many of those comments are so familiar. I’ve definitely shrunk away from my joy before. Beautiful post and I’ll definitely be working at enjoying my success and joyful times rather than feeling guilty about them! :-)

  31. I do diminish my joy. I think I’m worried that the thing I have done well or succeeded at, won’t happen again. And I don’t want people to think I’m bragging about something that is just a once off/random/fluke thing. I think I’m waiting until I know that great things will keep happening. Isn’t that strange though. Because there will always be ups and downs. Thank you for your post. It’s really encouraged me.

  32. It is quite incredible that every time I am log onto your website the first blog post is ALWAYS what I needed to hear. Whenever I am needing some support, kind words (or an ass-kick) I always find myself here and you give me exactly what I need. Everything those humble women have described is exactly how I am feeling right now and I have struggled to share my joy with others with the fear of how it would make them feel. I have also spent the last month feeling guilty and wrestling with my mind that keeps telling me I don’t deserve it. But I do, you do, we all deserve a life beyond our wildest dreams we just need to re-wire our brains..and we will with people like you in the world.

    Thanks Rach, you are amazing xx

  33. Yes! How I find it so hard to admit that it is my own self that is holding me back from fully experiencing the success and joy that comes my way. Shrinking away from it, feeling guilty because of it, or worrying that I don’t deserve it. All emotions that put a giant wall up between me and the elation that is mine to be embraced.
    Just started out on my blogging journey and still battling self-doubt whilst trying to enjoy the little milestones, no matter how small they seem in comparison to others’.
    Thanks for this post. Will be bookmarking it to come back to when I need a little reminder.

  34. Wow! This is the first time commenting but I just have to!

    Yes this is so true! I am an art teacher but artist first. I found myself so engrossed in teaching… Even obsessed but it wasn’t bringing me the joy. Sure it makes me feel good and I love my students and they are wildly creative but something was missing and it was me! I am the kind of art teacher that celebrates and encourages the kids creativity… I am not repairing their picture or expecting 30 pictures that look like mine… So I had no true outlet. I was worried if I took on more for myself and let go of all my school extra clubs and people pleasing… people would judge me. I starting doing family photography and now I shoot weddings. I love it especially being a small business owner. I feel so proud and confident when I am doing my photography and business. I love working with the couples and getting to know them. It is way easier then getting to know 600 children for one! I also love when my couples defer to me for creative advice and trust me with their most intimate moments. It’s very personal in a way that teaching 30 kids every hour isn’t. I love the outlet and although it is hard I won’t lie, it has renewed my self worth in a way that teaching (in the climate of education today) diminished it.

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