2018 The Year of 'Do it SCARED!'
Happy Sunday guys! And also happy New Year! My original intention for this post was to share it a little over a week ago. But as you can see, that didn’t happen. With the holidays, traveling, and a brand new puppy I have definitely had my hands full. But I hope you all had a wonderful 2018 and holiday season. But like me, I hope you all are expecting an even better 2019. Today I am sharing my beginning of the year tradition. Right before the start of every new year I have gotten into the habit of choosing a word or phrase that I want the year to encompass. I do this because I believe that words hold a lot of power and the things we say, both positive and negative, can become our reality. So I make it my business to speak LIFE and positivity into my year before it even begins. I have been doing this for 3 years in place of a New Years Resolution and I have found it to be more useful and a lot more effective than a resolution that I will probably only keep for the first 2 weeks of the year. For example, 2016 was my Year of Travel. I declared that at the beginning of the year with no real plan or even the financial means to make it happen. But by the end of that year I ended up taking 17 flights and a cross country road trip. 2017 was my year of Faith. I wanted to step into a different kind of faith. The kind of faith that moves mountains and trusts God even when things don’t even make sense because thats when you really see the power of God move in a mighty way in your life. And that year I stepped out on Faith in some unexpected ways. The biggest of which was publicly sharing my testimony and also getting remarried and moving across the country. I shared more details about both of these years on the blog post from last year entitled 2017| My Year Of Faith.
So for 2018 I choose a phrase that I absolutely love but that would also challenged me in an area that I know I really need it. I decided that 2018 was my year to ‘Do it Scared’. If you know me at all you know I am VERY indecisive. Even with the smallest decisions. I have a huge fear of making the wrong choice. On the flip side I am also a person who has a lot of big goals and dreams. My indecisiveness makes me very hesitant when it comes to making moves towards accomplishing my goals, especially taking the first step. It’s as if I am waiting on all the stars to align or for Jesus himself to come out of the sky for me to just go for it. But 2018 was the year I was determined to break those chains of insecurity, doubt, fear and indecisiveness.
Doing it Scared to me is a way of saying that I am no longer holding myself back from growing, learning, experiencing, and doing anything that I set my mind to. I believe that our biggest barrier in life is not our circumstances, our background, or even our finances. It’s actually our mindset and our faith. There are people who came from the most devastating circumstances but still managed to accomplished the unimaginable all because they believed they could. I think it is no coincident that 2017 was about faith and then 2018 was about doing it scared. 2017 stretched my faith and 2018 tested it. That foundation of faith was crucial for me in 2018 because once you believe God has your back and you can do anything, you start to operate differently. You don’t take no for an answer. You don’t allow people’s negative opinions deter you from your goals. You stop thinking what happens if you fail and you keep your eyes fixated on what it will be like WHEN you succeed.
So I know what your next question is. “So what areas of your life did you ‘Do it Scared’?” I tried not to waste any time. In January 2018 I organize and photographed in my very first bridal styled shoot. A bridal styled shoot is when vendors within a certain industry work together to create an elaborate wedding set up to photograph and use for each vendors portfolio. I was nervous but it turned out amazing. I got to work along side some other amazing wedding vendors, including my sister who was the event designer and my mother who is an event planner. My first shoot was so awesome that I ended up doing 2 more styled shoots throughout the year. These shoots have been game changers for me. I have since been able to upgrade my website and learned new techniques to provide my clients with better service. If you want to see the images you can check those out right here: Something Blue, Blossom, & Eternally Emerald. And not only did I go for it with the photographing these styled shoot, I also accomplished another major goal. I submitted the images to Black Bride, to be considered for publication. And guess what! They featured the shoot on their website! (You can check that out here blackbride.com). It was so exciting that such an influential contributor in wedding industry thought my work was good enough to publish on their site! Oh and just for fun I decided to submit my own wedding to Black Bride and they ended up featuring my husband and I as well: A Romantic Train Station Wedding. It was pretty cool to share our love story with the world.
Another major thing my husband and I decided to just ‘Do it Scared’ with was our finances. We decided before we got married that we were going to pay off all of our credit card in our first year of marriage. Which doesn’t sound like something all that scary but we had about $20,000 worth of debt between the 2 of us, only one consistent paycheck and absolutely no money in our savings account for an entire year. To us it was more important to live below our means so we could eliminate the debt and lay a good financial foundation for our future family than to spend our first year pretending to be comfortable and paying that same debt off for years to come. So for an entire year we lived on a tight budget and put every extra penny towards our debt. And I am happy to say that with our discipline and God’s supernatural intervention, we are now credit card debt free! It feels so good to say that. Like a huge weight has been lifted.
The last area of my ‘Do it Scared’ challenge was about investing myself. I think this was the most important and most impactful area because it required me to step out on faith the most. My dream is to be a world traveling wedding photographer. I have been saying this for years but I never made any extended efforts to move in that direction. Basically I was all talk. But this year I started to WALK out my faith in that area. I took my first photography class since I graduated from Howard in 2010. This is a class I have been interested in for a few years with a photographer I really admired, DFinney Photography. I had done a ton of research on the class, knew all the details and the cost, but just didn’t do anything about it. But in May 2018 it finally happened. And it was everything I needed it to be. I asked a ton of questions and I learned so much! Definitely a much needed photography tune up. I also did a birthday/updated headshot session with DFinney. Believe it or not that was my first time paying for professional head shots. Definitely a necessary investment that I had been putting off. And lastly in 2018 I bought my very first BRAND NEW camera! I have been making due for YEARS with a semi-professional camera that I bought used from another photographer. But I had outgrown that camera years ago. So this new camera was LONG overdue. But in the past I always made the excuse that things like taking her class, getting professional head shots done, and buying a new camera were to expensive and I would get to it eventually. The real issue is that spending money, whether it’s a little or a lot, is a huge fear of mine. And us having a tight budget added more fuel to my excuses. But with my husbands encouragement and God’s giving us unexpected financial blessing we made it happened.
2018 my year of ‘Do it Scared’ was God working on maturing my faith. I no longer allow fear or doubt to sit in a place above God in my life. And for 3 years in a row, whatever area of my life that I invited God into and entrust him to take care of, he has followed through. God wants to do so much for us but many times he is just waiting on us to have enough faith to take that first step. So what are you waiting for? DO IT SCARED!!!!