Photography by Kayte Demont

Playlist by Leanne Aberdale

 

Lately, I’ve been living in a state of pinch me. Heather and I moved into our dream loft space, complete with professional-grade kitchen for her and photo studio for me. I joked in a panel that I spoke on with SoFar Sounds and General Assembly last night that I currently feel like I’m combatting imposter syndrome. I’ve been planning and working so hard for this exact moment in my life, that I didn’t really plan much further. Now that I’m here what do I do?! It feels like the faking it till I make it wore off because I finally made it to where I was going – now I’m trying to hone in on the next direction.

The majority of my 20s was spent figuring out who I loved, who I could trust, and filtering out all of the in-between energy that didn’t suit me. I learned a shit ton about myself, about business, about how to connect with people and probably most importantly (as this is something that if you ask my mother, I’ve always struggled with), setting boundaries. I feel fortunate enough to have worked through a bunch of bull shit (I will be 2.5 years sober in 2 days), and although I absolutely still have insane ups and downs at times, my life overall is pretty even and stable.

Now I find myself taking another long and hard look at myself and my personal and professional goals and I realize that when you reach a certain level, there’s so much that comes with that. Since hitting a “perceived level of success” on social media (aka posting about our new loft), people have been coming out of the woodwork trying to reconnect. Boundaries that I have set over the last few years are being tested as I come into this newfound confidence and energy shift. Here’s the thing that I believe that has really been on my mind lately: the biggest way that you can combat imposter syndrome and continue forward on your path is to stick up for yourself. Respect those boundaries no matter how much resistance you’re met with.

People don’t like it when you tell them no. Hell, I hate it when I hear “no.” My mom used to tell me, “Which part of “NO” don’t you understand? The ‘N’ or the ‘O’?!” But, I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no and that I shouldn’t ever feel bad about doing what’s right for me. Too long have I wasted time worrying about what other people think of me and to be honest, my income has tripled and people respect me a ton more since I started creating these boundaries. I’m a better friend, an excellent and respectful girlfriend, an epic dog mom and I run two businesses with much more ease. Additionally, my confidence across the board has skyrocketed now that I really am thoughtful in what I say yes to and how I interact with people. This spike in confidence, I’m realizing, is exactly what I needed to move through this space of feeling a bit of imposter syndrome. I deserve this because I’ve worked my ass off for it, and that means that you deserve everything you’ve worked for too.

I hope this has inspired some thoughts as you head into the weekend. We are all worthy of achieving our goals and realizing our dreams. It’s a tough road along the way, filled with a lof of emotions and complicated situations, but I believe that if we all practice a little more mindfulness in the way we treat each other, we will change for the better. In celebration of us talking about this (because sometimes talking about stuff like this is hard), here’s a dope playlist specially curated for you by Leanne.

*Shout out to Heather for modeling in these pics for me and for supporting all my crazy goals. Life would suck without you*

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