If you see me in a t-shirt and jeans, it is safe to assume that something has gone terribly wrong. For the last few weeks, this has been my outfit of choice, because honestly, I’ve been feeling just plain old BLAH.
This summer has, by NO means, started off how I expected. I imaged myself sitting pretty at my first fashion based internship with a small PR/Marketing firm in East Manhattan, meeting fellow Fashionistas/os, while sipping lattes during my lunch break. But as of now, I am swatting mosquitoes in the peak of South Carolina’s sweltering summer (not so pretty). What sucks most about this is the fact that from November all the way up to April, I’ve applied to an embarrassing, 30-some agencies hoping to land an internship, and still no bite. Last summer I was in Washington D.C having the time of my life and now, this summer is its antithesis. I know it’s just June, but I’m stuck wondering where to go from here.
This post took be a while, mostly because the advice that you will find are ALL from personal experiences, both good and not so good, that I was forced to put into words. I’m not here to mope and complain, but I figured I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way. So instead of being Debbie Downer, I’ve put together “10 Tips on How to Go Deeper.” Maybe you need a push or some motivation to get off this plateau that you’re currently experiencing (like me lol), well, you’ve come to the right spot:
**Disclaimer: This is a long one! So grab some tea, sit back and enjoy. Or take it in chunks.**
1. Stay ready for whatever!
This is one of my top pieces of advice mostly because it’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way. You may not know it, but every time you walk out the house, go to the grocery store, or visit a local event, you could be presented with an opportunity that could possibly change your life! We never know if today will be THE DAY, that’s why you have to be ready for whatever comes. Do you have an elevator pitch? If not, I encourage you to get create a brief (and memorable) speech that will express to anyone who you are and what you do in… let’s say… 20 seconds or less. Are you a photographer? Then keep your camera on you 24/7. Are you a writer, a blogger? Then I hope your notebook is attached to your hip! I am sad, but not ashamed to stay that there have been a number of opportunities, big and small, that have passed me by simply because I was ill-prepared. Although this can be unavoidable at times, don’t let it happened to you if you can prevent it.
2. Find out why your phone rings.
This is a vital tip that I learned during my Freshmen Honors Retreat from a motivational speaker. It was over 3 years ago, but the message has stuck with me since. What does it mean exactly? Well, my interpretation of this is simple: what are you known for? You don’t have to be at Beyonce’s status to have a legacy, so what do people come to you for? Are you the stylish friends out of the group that everyone comes to for outfit assistance? Maybe people call on you whenever they are in need of a laugh or just to have someone to talk to. It’s important to find this out because it’s what makes you special and could transpire into a hobby, passion, and eventually, a career.
3. Get a mentor in your dream career.
We all have that one person who, at this very moment, we wish we could trade lives with. Get that person in your head. Got it? Now image enjoying a caramel Frappuccino with that same person. Seem farfetched? Why does it have to be? A lot of times, all it takes is a heartfelt email to gain a mentor or life coach. This may come off as an intimidating task, but remember that they are people too, and you never know how flattered that person may be that you’ve reached out to them. Now, I do advise that you start small and get under the guidance of maybe a professor that you look up to or a family member who is active in your career of interest; plus, you never know who they know! (Which takes me to my next point)
4. Be kind to everyone.
You never know who the person is that you just so happen to share an awkward elevator ride with. The waiter at Waffle House could be the niece of an industry executive looking for an intern; you just never know. That’s why kindness goes a long, way. In the right setting, your manners, sense of humor, and smile just might get you further than your resume.
This probably should have been the #1 tip. I deeply believe that no success that I have achieved up unto this very moment was attained through my works alone; I’m not big enough for that. I need something to lean on and that comes with my relationship with Jesus Christ. Maybe you’re not the “spiritual type”, but we all need something to believe in. It is my recommendation that you find time to take all of your dreams, worries, and wandering thoughts of uncertainty to the man upstairs because at the end of the day, we cannot depend on ourselves alone to reach our pinnacle of success. Pray, meditate, and find peace.
6. Create a vision board.
I am a self-proclaimed vision board ambassador. Why? Because it works. The idea of a vision board was brought to me by a mentor of mine my freshman year of college and ever since then, there hasn’t been a year to go by that I have not created a new vision for myself. There’s just something about having all of your wildest dreams on display and watching them come to life. But it doesn’t end there; you have to speak it into existence. Put your vision board somewhere you look to every day and when you wake up in the morning say (out loud) each one of your points using affirmative language like, “I Will” and “I Can.” The more you speak it, the more you believe, and soon, opportunities will be put into place to make your vision come to pass.
7. Readjust your circle.
If you haven’t lost a friend or two, you may need to. Excuse my honesty, but sometimes the loss of a friend isn’t always a loss at all; it’s growth. It can be easy to get caught up in keeping old friends around because it’s comfortable, familiar, or because we have a fear of being alone. But who wants a messy fight to be the end of a friendship just because you held on a little too long? Have you been experiencing some tension among your friends? Are you finding that you and your friends are having less and less to talk about? These can be tell-tell signs that you may want to reevaluate your circle. I’ve lost friends, let me tell you. But I was surprised to find that once I let go of them, I started to attract people who shared the same interest as me and were motivated to accomplish similar goals. Don’t be afraid to readjust your circle, chances are you’ll be glad you did.
8. Take a leap of faith, who cares if people think you’re crazy.
“If you want to get what you’ve never got, you have to do something that you’ve never done.” I live by this. If you’ve ever felt like you have come to plateau with your progress, it may be time to do something different. You can’t expect to so the same thing over and over and expect a different result, so get up and try that thing that you’ve been meaning to do but were too afraid to do. And another thing, be mindful of who you get your advice from. We may seek advice from family or friends when we’re having a difficult time making a big decision, but learn how to chew the meat and spit out the bones; take what you need and leave the rest. If you feel the need to take a step outside of you comfort zone to take a get closer to your future, DO IT; and don’t let anyone stop you.
9. Make smart investments. Save your money.
I know we’re young and feel a sense of invincibility, but practice being smart with your money. I know those new Jeffery Campbell’s look as if they were hand crafted by God himself, but maybe you can find a dupe pair for a cheaper price. Fast food is convenient and tasty during those midnight munchies, but it also adds up. I know for myself, if I calculated all the money I spent impulsively, I would probably be a millionaire by now! You don’t need everything you see, so try saving up for one big investment as opposed to a bunch of small things you’ll forget about in the morning.
10. Let fear go.
Fear is a lie. Point blank period. It’s just a trick to make you stay in your comfort zone; don’t let it cripple you.
Have you been feeling BLAH lately? Leave a comment and let me know if this has helped. I love hearing from you all! And let me know what motivates you; let’s keep the discussion going and help each other be great!