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10 Life Lessons I Learned From Moving Solo Across The World

10 Life Lessons I Learned From Moving Solo Across The World

10 Life Lessons I Learned From Moving Solo Across The World

and how I discovered myself and gained the confidence to be who I truly am.

• • •

 

Hey guys! It’s Erin here. I am so excited to share the story of my friend and ex-colleague, Shannon Rehsler with you today. 

Shannon has been an inspiration to me with her tale of spontaneity and positivity, which you’re about to read. I worked with Shannon for a while in our hometown on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. After going through a breakup, she boldly decided to pack up and leave her entire life behind to go on the adventure of a lifetime, while her friends, family, and colleagues cheered her on from the sidelines.

Her story is important to me because when Shannon was going through a split from her long-time partner, I found out I was pregnant. Both of our lives were changing exponentially, and ironically, they were the opposite of what we thought they would be. Let me explain.

See, Shannon was in a long-term relationship, and I’m sure she thought she would be walking in my shoes by then: having a baby, settling down, making a family.

I, on the other hand, being a career-obsessed designer, thought I would be in Shannon’s shoes: packing up, travelling the world, living spontaneously.

But as it turns out, life had something very different planned for both of us. When Shannon’s life was uprooted and changed forever, I could see life being breathed back into her soul. I could feel opportunities open up for Shannon. And when my partner and I found out we were expecting a baby, life was being breathed back into me in a very different way as well.

Life can change at the drop of a hat, but it worked out perfectly for both of us. When I began to launch my blog, I knew that I had to reach out to Shannon so she could share her story with us.

Here is Shannon’s story and advice, in her own words:

 

01. Not Having a Plan Can Be the Best Plan

I’m not going to lie — I’m a person who likes plans, making lists, following rules, colouring inside the lines. You get the picture.

But that all changed when I booked a one-way flight to Australia with accommodations for only my first seven days. Obviously, I had ideas about where I wanted to go, what I wanted to see, and how I wanted to spend my time. But, I also wanted to be able to make decisions in the moment. What I learned was that when you don’t have a plan, whatever happens will be perfect.

What I learned was that when you don’t have a plan, whatever happens will be perfect. Click To Tweet

Because I didn’t have expectations or rules for myself, everything I did was just what I wanted to do, and I can honestly say I have no regrets.

02. Stop the Constant Comparisons

Everyone’s life is different, and we are all following our own path.

It’s normal to compare your life to those around you and think: Why don’t I have that? Why am I not where they are?

I learned to accept that my life wasn’t turning out to be the same as my friends. What I thought I was meant to do and what I thought my life should look like, was not actually meant for me . . . at least not at that time. I could fight it, worry about it, and cry about it… or I could accept it and choose to find my own path, and see where it took me.

What I thought I was meant to do and what I thought my life should look like, was not actually meant for me . . . at least not at that time. Click To Tweet

I realized I had to find my own path, who I was meant to be, and what I was meant to do. It turns out, what I needed was to move to Australia, completely by myself. What?!

So I applied for a visa, booked a plane ticket and accommodations for seven days. Five months later, I boarded a plane and flew away from my home to find my own path and embrace my new life.

03. Take Risks

This might not be a new piece of advice, but… when was the last time you actually did something that scared you? Big or small. Be honest! Has it been a while – maybe too long?

I found that when you step outside of your comfort zone, you are building your confidence. Put yourself out there and try something new, or go somewhere new!

I found that when you step outside of your comfort zone, you are building your confidence. Click To Tweet

Making the decision to move to Australia was the biggest risk I had taken in my life thus far, and I am so happy I did it because the outcome was amazing. If you take a risk and things don’t work out, shake it off; at least you know you tried and I bet you will still learn something from it.

04. What My Values Are And What Really Matters

This is something I am still learning, and something that will change and develop as time goes on.

You are the only one that can decide what your priorities are and what serves you best in your life. You do not have an obligation to explain or apologize for what is important to you and what is not.

When you say yes to something (or someone), are you saying no to yourself?

I ask myself this when deciding what to do in my life. I learned how to put myself and my needs first after putting myself last for so long. I am finally spending time doing things I love and things that make my heart happy and full. I have learned to stop feeling guilty about saying no to something that I know will not serve my best interests in the long run.

I learned how to put myself and my needs first after putting myself last for so long. I am finally spending time doing things I love and things that make my heart happy and full. Click To Tweet

05. How to Put Myself First, Always

I am so happy to have learned how to value myself, although I still need daily reminders. Self-value goes hand-in-hand with discovering what’s important in our lives.

I spent most of my teenage years and early 20’s putting other people first. I was constantly worrying too much about what other people thought of me, and how my actions would affect them. I’ve finally taken the time to learn what my needs are. I’ve learned how to ask myself what I want in order to become the best possible version of myself.

06. New Friendships Are Possible

I met some truly amazing people in Australia.

Not just people that were fun to hang out with, but people that I traveled with, lived with, and learned lessons from. These are people that were once strangers but that I now call true friends. Even though we’re separated by land and ocean, I know I will see them again. 

To be honest, trying to make new friends can be just as scary as dating new people, but this is a risk you should take! You never know who is out there, waiting to share their story with you.

You do not need to move to the other side of the world to make new friends, though. Join a new group, talk to someone you see often at the gym, or your local dog park. You can even reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and reconnect with an old friend. Don’t let fear get in the way!

You’ll also notice that the more you put yourself out there, the more your confidence grows and the more comfortable you will become just being yourself.

07. How to Be Alone

Personally, I don’t mind being alone. As an introvert, I actually enjoy it.

But actually going places alone — like to dinner, the movies, or the beach — can still be a scary concept. It’s like going on a first date, but with yourself.

I’ve finally learned to enjoy things that were once scary, like owning my own schedule, going where I want when I want, sitting where I want, listening to my own music, and enjoying my own company.

When you learn to be alone, it allows you time to check in with yourself and how you are feeling. Doing things alone is another risk you can take that will help you gain confidence.

Seriously — try walking into a café and sitting at a table for one. Pick any table you want. Order your favourite drink and do something you enjoy like reading a book or writing. You could even just people-watch while you sip your coffee. You can leave whenever you are ready, and when you do, walk out with your head high and a smile.

I bet your date was awesome.

08. Not Everyone is Going to Like You, and That’s Okay

While you are out there taking risks, doing new things, and meeting new people, you have to know that not everyone is going to like you. 

You don’t have to like everyone you meet, either. Remember: this does not make you a bad person. I have spent a lot of time during the past two years discovering who I am and learning to be comfortable being that person. We wish everyone would like us, of course, but first we need to like ourselves. When you like yourself enough, it doesn’t matter whether everyone else does in return.

Be yourself and let your true personality shine. The people that you attract and connect with are the ones that are meant to be a part of your journey.

09. You Can Always Go Home

Your family and friends — the people who care about you — are always going to welcome you back with open arms. No matter how long you have been away.

While I was in Australia following my own path, life at home kept moving forward. Situations and people do change, but the feeling of home will always be the same. It’s comforting to know that when you reconnect with people from your home, your relationships can pick up where they left off.

10. You Can Always Leave Again

Knowing that I am capable of moving to the other side of the world, making new friends and taking risks is empowering.

Knowing that I can move again at any time makes my life better in many ways. I am excited to see where my path will lead next as I settle into a new life in Victoria, British Columbia. As I move to a new house and start a new job, I’m sure this next chapter of my life will teach me new lessons.

I am going to try and live in the moment and continue to put myself first in order to create the life I want.

I hope that you will, too. What can life be like when we reclaim that confidence and self-love for ourselves?

• • •

If you loved Shannon’s story, leave us a comment below! Tell us what you’re thinking or share your own personal story with us.

AUTHOR BIO

Shannon Rehsler • Guest Blogger

Hey! I’m Shannon. I’m 26 years old and I live in Victoria, British Columbia. I spent a year living in Australia and my time there was so amazing. It was everything I didn’t know my life needed.

I’ve always liked poetry and writing; I had an English teacher once tell me I should write children’s books. However, most of my writing is done in a journal and for my eyes only, until I started my blog Wonderland

My goal is to be able to reach someone . . . to write something that could help someone the way writing helps me. In my spare time, I enjoy doing yoga, pilates, barre, going hiking or to the beach. A few of my other favourite things include plants, flowers, coffee and dancing.

 

6 Challenges I Faced While Launching My Business

6 Challenges I Faced While Launching My Business

6 Challenges I Faced While Launching My Business

I’m going to be truthful with you and share some of my vulnerabilities today.

 

Throughout my recent journey into building a business, I’ve had many ups and downs. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.

I’ve recently developed a new mission in life: I want to live authentically and be true to myself.

I want to be who I am and share my thoughts without being afraid of failure or judgement. I hope that if you are launching a business (or thinking about launching one), you might benefit from my personal experiences and the strategies I’ve found to overcome the challenges that came my way, which is what compelled me to share them with you today.

Let’s get real: I obviously came across more (oh, many more!) than six challenges in the process of launching my business, but after reflecting on it, I think they all really come down to these six main setbacks:

  1. creative block
  2. feeling inadequate
  3. overwhelm
  4. loss of words
  5. needing to hire help
  6. every-day challenges

Can you relate? If you’re currently in the process of launching your own business, you might be going through one of these right now. Below, you’ll find my strategies for coping and keeping your eyes on your goal, without driving yourself nuts in the process.

• • •

I have spent the last few months battling each day with contrary emotions like doubt and perseverance, apprehension and excitement, fatigue and inspiration. Most days though, what really gets me is the dreaded creative block.

Hell, I even have creative block as I’m writing this to you right now. But I won’t let that stop me.

All right, ready to dive into the six challenges I faced while launching my business? Let’s do this.

• • •

01: Launching a Business With Creative Block

Creative block strikes when I’m in front of a computer. My mind goes blank and I can’t figure out the first word to type ( or second, or third…). The voice in my ear is whispering that I’m not good enough, that no one will want to read what I write, and that I should just give up already. Sounds familiar? You’re not alone.

But guess what? I’m not going to give up. Because even if no one reads this, at least I did it for myself and showed that little whispering voice who’s boss – and so can you.

Today, I listened to Amy Porterfield’s recent podcast episode (#217: Why You Aren’t Taking Action with Brooke Castillo) in which she featured life coach Brooke Castillo. Brooke shared a puzzling idea: we should aim for “B-minus” content.

Um, what the?

B-minus? How can that be right, when we hold ourselves (and our business) to a much higher standard? Well, it doesn’t mean we’re going to produce “B” quality services or products. It means that for our own content and marketing, we should aim for finished, not perfect.

That’s why I am sitting here, writing a post for you even though I know it won’t be perfect. But regardless of perfection, the result is I am getting my message out to you and the world to read. And that beats perfect any day.

Brooke said it best herself: “B-minus work can change people’s lives. Work that you don’t produce at all, does nothing in the world.”

With Brooke’s words in mind, I can push through my creative block – and so can you.
If you have any boss tips on dealing with creative block, we want to hear! Please share with us in the comments.

Below, we’re diving into business launch challenge #2…

02: The Imposter Syndrome

Throughout my business launch, I’ve had many days where I feel like I’m not good enough, strong enough, you-name-it enough for entrepreneurship. In case you haven’t heard the term before, it’s known as “imposter syndrome”.

I hear the doubt in my own head, and I hear it come out of my friends’ mouths, too.
“I’m not good enough.”
“There are people out there that know way more than I do”.

First, you ARE good enough. Second, I’m sure there are people that know more than you. But they are not you. They can’t offer the same things that you can, because you are a unique, strong person with your own entrepreneurial superpower.

You just have to figure out how you can offer that superpower to your customers. You are worthy. You can do it. Stop watching the competition because that’s only going to impede your progress.

Researching your competition has its time and place, but not during every second of your journey. When you are creating content, or even just trying to get your business off the ground, focus on yourself and what YOU have to offer.

How do you deal with imposter syndrome? Got any tips to share? Please tell us in the comments.

Now, onto setback #3 (if you’re a mom like me, I know you’ll relate to this one).

03: The Intense Overwhelm

I’ve also had days when overwhelm has struck me in the side of the head. Days when my chest is weighed down, and my breathing feels restricted from the pressure.

Overwhelm has been a big one for me, in my personal journey toward launching a successful business. Overwhelm rears its ugly head when I think about all the different stages of launching a business (there’s a lot!). Even on good days, it’s overwhelming trying to launch a business with a 9-month old, a dog, and a home to run.

But I will not let that overwhelm overtake me. I am strong; I will persevere because my ultimate goals are so worth it, and I know yours are too. If I can manage to take a step back from my work and just find time to breathe, the overwhelm starts to subside. Getting outside in the fresh air for a quick walk can also help snap me back into reality.

What do you do to fight overwhelm? Got any self-care practice that works like a charm, every time? We want to hear about it! Please share in the comments.

Moving onto challenge #4.

04: Putting Feelings Into Words

How can I put my feelings into words?

This little speedbump gets me every time.

It often feels as though I have lost my voice, and that I’m not sure how to channel it again. Even though I love writing and used to journal as a teenager, it’s still a challenge for me. Every. Time.

So, how the heck do I get over this? Here’s how: I write. I write even if it’s garbage, and even if it doesn’t make sense.

You should try it — write even if you don’t know how to spell. Better yet, purposely write bad stuff (more on this below). Once you get all of your ideas out on paper (or the computer), you can go back and gently craft your language to make it say exactly what you want it to. That’s called editing, but before you can edit, you need to write it down in the first place.

Which leads me to my next point.

05: Knowing When to Hire Help

If you’re not so great at grammar or writing, and you’re letting that stop you from launching your dream business, here’s a revolutionary thought: hire help. You can hire someone to assist you with anything that you are not efficient at. If your time is money, you are wasting money spending too much time on something that you could be outsourcing.

The key to having a profitable business is to automate everything you can, so you stop trading your time for dollars. Remember that time is not renewable. We will never get our time back, so we should start thinking of strategies to help keep our time to ourselves.

If you have the means, spend money outsourcing your administrative tasks to a virtual assistant. You can also outsource your writing, editing, marketing, design, and even your cleaning!

Personally, I don’t want to wake up forty years from now and look back at my twenties to realize I spent every waking moment doing chore, after chore, after chore.

What do you outsource to help power you through your business launch? Share with us in the comments.

Finally, here’s the last setback I wanted to talk about today.

06: Working Through the Challenges

Like every human on this planet, I have things on my mind most days. Some stuff is hard. . . Really hard. Life’s challenges can easily get in the way of the tasks I should be doing, like running a business and being a good mom.

I’ve found that in order to work through these challenging thoughts and situations, I need to take some time to myself. I need to spend time on my own.

Keep in mind though, my alone time is never really alone time (ha! What’s that again?). I have a dog and a baby, so these two sidekicks are always by my side. But I strive to find those few moments when my son is quietly playing by himself, and my dog is asleep at my feet… That’s when I can really dive into my thoughts and be present with myself.

I think as humans (and especially women, am I right?), we tend to forget about ourselves. We forget that we are people. We lose our concept of self and abstain from treating ourselves the way we should.

Think about it this way: if someone close to us was troubled, their sadness and hardships would probably become our own. We would, presumably, ask them what is wrong and how we can help. We’d probably listen to that person and give them our love.

Why don’t we do that for ourselves, too?

Try This: Create Bad Stuff On Purpose

Earlier I mentioned creating bad things on purpose. Isn’t that counter-productive?

Well, it may sound like it, but just hear me out. Someone gave me this advice recently on a Facebook post, and once I tried it, my productivity shifted and improved wildly

Purposely creating bad stuff takes away the pressure to be perfect, and all of a sudden, the creative block starts to lift.

Just knowing that your only goal is to produce bad or mediocre material. . . that makes it easier, doesn’t it?

Have you tried creating bad stuff on purpose? I’d love to hear how it helped you – please share with us in the comments!

My Mission

I don’t know if any of my ramblings have made an impact on you. I don’t know if it will affect you as much as it has affected me while writing it. But regardless of the outcome, I will relentlessly work toward my mission and the goals that I have set for myself; I want to share my truth and live authentically, and in-turn I want to work with people that are like-minded.

It’s common to attempt perfection while living in the age of social media, but I think there is value in sharing real, authentic moments like these. Someone may find value in my story when they see that life isn’t always perfect.

• • •

If this post has helped you in any way, I’d love to hear it. Please leave a comment below or send me a message.

AUTHOR BIO

Erin Blondeau • Graphic Designer

I’m obsessed with anthropoids, the 1960’s, and anything true crime (SSDGM). I’ve been a graphic designer for five years; I studied graphic design, communications, and anthropology (my FAVOURITE subject) at Vancouver Island University and Camosun College. My true passion lies not just in design but in humanity. I love all aspects of human nature, from evolution, to pop culture, to history.

BRANDING FOR ETHICAL + VISIONARY BUSINESSES.

email us: hello@culturabrandstudio.com // follow us: @culturabrandstudio

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