2020 has not been the easiest year for many people. It was a difficult year for my family and we took a huge loss when my Mom passed in November. Honestly, in a lot of ways, I’m still reeling from all of the events of the last 6+ months through her illness, hospitalization, and passing. She was my north star and my biggest supporter.
2020 taught me two important lessons.
My decisions are mine and no one is going to make me feel “bad” about them.
I started my business in 2007 when my daughter was a pre-teen. I wanted to be home with her after school. I know first-hand the trouble a teenager can get into. 😉 Fast forward to 2020 and my daughter turned 22 but my Mom got sick and I knew she would need someone to help her through surgery and chemo. My business allowed me to make that shift seamlessly. As things with Mom spiraled I had to make a decision to stop working with a client who needed time that I wasn’t able to give. I didn’t make the decision lightly; it came with a big financial impact, but it was the right decision for me and my family at that stage of life. Apparently, that hurt some feelings. The business owner chose the ghost option of communication and decided not to pay me for my last month of work. It takes a special human, right? But I will not feel bad about my choice.
The above situation is pretty dramatic, but the same lesson applies to all aspects of my business — my processes, client selection, the hours I work, the tools I use. All of these small details are my decisions and mine alone. Not all designers or developers will agree and that’s okay. I explore. I learn. I make changes when needed. And that leads me to lesson 2.
I must stop censoring myself.
This is huge and extremely difficult for me. I waste more time censoring myself, wondering if I should post something on Facebook or reply to a comment because…”someone already said that” or “I’m sure they already know that” or “they are going to think you’re an idiot” or “they have so much more experience than you”. There are probably a hundred reasons in my head that cause me to censor myself. And it must stop. Am I the most experienced designer/developer out there? Nope. Can I bring value to someone else? Absolutely! What does that mean for 2021? I will share more. I will encourage more. I will say thank you more.
These lessons have been painful to learn and if I’m being real, they’ve been years in the making and have cost me time and money. I know I’m not alone. I don’t think too much will change at the beginning of 2021 as far as politics, COVID, or even my grief, but I do know that I can start making changes in myself and how I show up that will make a difference.
I wonder how you bring in a new year. Resolutions aren’t my thing but I set clear goals with strategies, actions, and milestones and I have a list of characteristics/values that I work toward from year to year. One or two might change but most stay with me — Simplicity, Focus, Consistency, Intentional, and Confident.
I’d love to hear from you. Did you learn any lessons in 2020 that have made you re-think the way you show up? Do you create a word of the year?
Happy New Year! May 2021 bring you peace, love, joy, and prosperity.