So far this blog has been about natural skincare and what it takes to establish the perfect routine. But for me, this blog is so much more than a collection of helpful information. This blog is proof that I can set a personal goal and actually accomplish it. Which is something I desperately needed to prove to myself. However it took more than signing up for WordPress and finding website hosting for me to get here.
Ever since I quit my job and moved to Southern Maryland with Mike, I’ve been on a path to self discovery. I needed to take a step back and figure out who I was and what I wanted from my life. This path inevitably led me into the world of self help books and straight into the open arms of Rachel Hollis. If you came to this post already knowing who Rachel Hollis is, then you probably already understand how her hilarious honesty can inspire anyone to be themselves. But if not, I hope this post gives you even a small fraction of the inspiration and guidance Rachel’s book Girl Wash Your Face gave me.
Life Lesson 1: Where You Invest Your Time You Invest Your Life
This life lesson is a big one for me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m turning 27 this year. There’s something about this birthday that hit me and changed nearly everything in my life. It’s no longer acceptable for me to hide behind my biggest weaknesses. Being skilled at procrastination isn’t a cute personality quirk anymore. You see, I spent most of my high school and college career procrastinating. It felt like I was constantly lacking the motivation to work on my projects. But I always managed to get them done because I’m smart enough to skate by. This only enabled my procrastination habit more. However when I looked at my peers, I found myself jealous of the passion they clearly had that I completely lacked.
Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love graphic design and don’t regret my degree what so ever. But I regret not searching for my passion and allowing myself to wallow in my procrastination. It’s easy to do the bare minimum, especially when you’re blessed with intelligence and the ability to multi-task like I am. I really really don’t want to sound like I think I’m better than anyone else. But I legitimately have never struggled in academic subjects my whole life and I view it as a privilege. Since it was so easy for me to get good grades, I became complacent. I could procrastinate and spend all my time on tumblr without seeing any negative impact in my education. But there was a definite negative impact in my passion for life.
I Can’t Keep Procrastinating my Life Away
I made it through 6 years of college and straight into a job without considering that passion. And it wasn’t long before I was burnt out and putting in my two weeks. That’s when this journey to self discovery started and I discovered Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. The moment I started chapter 2, I’ll Start Tomorrow, I was in for a life lesson I desperately needed to hear. Only it took a turn I wasn’t expecting. When Rachel pointed out the impact of the promises we make ourselves and then constantly break, it struck a nerve.
You see, a large part of this book is identifying the lies we tell ourselves in our head and challenging them. Luckily, I happen to be a fairly positive person and don’t spend too much time putting myself down in my head. But Rachel brings up a good point in this chapter: that your subconscious knows that you cannot be trusted after breaking so many plans and giving up on so many goals. I’ve told myself countless times that I’m finally going to start doing something and time and time again I don’t. And my subconscious knows. I’ve heard it tell me “Oh yeah like you said last year. Or last month. Or yesterday.” in the same sarcastic tone I used abundantly in my teenage years. I’m procrastinating my life away and it’s not ok anymore.
“Our words have power, but our actions shape our lives”
That quote hit me like a pound of bricks. I needed to start following through or else my inaction would continue to shape my life. I’ll become defined by the promises to myself I never kept and the goals I never reached. Now that I’m in my late 20s this concept holds more weight than ever.
Every moment I procrastinate something by watching Netflix or scrolling Facebook, I’m investing my life into Netflix or Facebook. I’m wasting the one non-renewable resource I have: my time. And these actions are shaping my life. What I invest my time into is where I’m investing my whole life. It’s not surprising that I feel completely lost at the age of almost 27 when I’ve spent all of my valuable time watching Netflix and scrolling on tumblr, instagram and facebook.
Keeping my Promises to Myself
So instead of telling myself “I wish I had a blog” one more time, I made a damn blog and started posting on it twice a week. For the past 3 months I’ve posted every single Tuesday and Friday, even when writing those posts seemed impossible. And even though I’m sitting here on the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend writing a post that’s going to be a day late, I still feel accomplished. Because I made myself a promise and I’m going to meet that promise instead of giving up like past Kerra was prone to.
One of my signature catch phrases is “this is Future Kerra’s problem.” It’s especially helpful when I’m anxious about something (happens literally all the time). But I’m no longer allowed to procrastinate my life. I can’t keep making it Future Kerra’s job to figure out my life’s passion while Present Kerra sits in front of the tv. Where I invest my time, I invest my life.
Life Lesson 2: Done is Better Than Perfect
I’ve always worn my perfectionism as a badge of honor. I mean why wouldn’t I? When I do things, I do them right. But the unfortunate side effect of this perfectionism is that sometimes, I don’t do anything at all. As you already know, I’m no longer allowed to procrastinate my life away. So this perfectionism – it needs to take a hike. But of course, that’s easier said than done.
This journey of self-discovery also led me to the Enneagram and after realizing I’m a Seven (the Enthusiast) I made another important discovery. When Seven’s are stressed, they adopt some of the behaviors of a One, the Perfectionist. Let that sink in a little bit. When my personality type is stressed and operating from a place of insecurity, it uses perfectionism to cope. This typically involves nitpicking a project so hardcore that I give up on it before I even give it a chance.
Say No To Perfectionism
Something about this discovery set me free. It allowed me to look at my perfectionism in the face and tell it to stop. It’s no longer a character strength in my book, but instead a weakness. I cannot allow my “attention to detail” to keep me from getting anything done. If I’m going to start accomplishing the goals I set for myself, I need to focus on being done. Not perfect. Having a bunch of almost perfect ideas and projects never accomplished anything. But having a bunch of finished projects does.
Unfortunately this perfectionism also has me believing a lot of lies. That I should be further in my career at this point. Or that I have nothing new or important to offer the world. Luckily Rachel addresses these lies in chapter 10, I Should Be Further Along By Now, and chapter 12, I Need To Make Myself Smaller. Rachel taught me that there’s no timeline for success and I need to start setting small digestible goals to start moving towards where I want to be. Or that I can’t expect anyone to value what I’m doing if I don’t think it’s worth anything myself. These small mindset shifts mean the world to me and have shifted the trajectory of my life (and this blog!).
Life Lesson 3: Set Crazy Goals And Do It Scared
The biggest walk away I have from Girl Wash Your Face is the importance of setting crazy goals and chasing them with everything I am. It’s something that Rachel does without hesitation and I find it so admirable. For too long I’ve been scared to chase after what I want. Mostly because I don’t know what it is and I’m scared I won’t accomplish it when I finally figure it out. I’m so scared I got the Matisse quote “creativity takes courage” tattooed on my arm to remind me to be brave. Unfortunately it hasn’t helped much so far.
But after learning the past two lessons from Girl Wash Your Face, I’m starting to believe that maybe just maybe I can accomplish the things I set out to achieve. If I can create this blog and consistently post on it, then I can set even bigger goals and accomplish those too. Consistency is no longer a foreign concept to me. I don’t have to be a victim of my scattered yet mind and instead I can set goals and follow through. With every item I check off my to do list, I become more confident that I can accomplish big things. I’m finally starting to set Rachel Hollis level goals and it feels good.
The Only Person Who Can Control Your Life is You
Seriously. Only you can make a change. So I challenge you to slow down for a moment and identify where you can improve. Even if you don’t pick up Girl Wash Your Face, find some other self help book that speaks to you. Read any book that will help you start to realize the self-limiting beliefs you hold and the habits that get in your way. At the end of the day, the only person who can control the way your life goes is you. No matter what outside influences seem to mess things up for you over and over again, only you can control how you react and overcome those obstacles.
This whole journey towards self improvement can be a scary one. Trust me, I’m facing skeletons that I’ve kept locked up for my whole life. But it’s a journey worth taking and I invite you to come alongside me! The only thing better than fixing your life is having support along the way. With that in mind, do you have any recommendations for self help books I need to read next? Or any self-help gurus you think I’d love and need to follow on instagram ASAP? Comment down below! I’d love to hear your suggestions.