fixed mindset

How to keep track of your best ideas

Have you ever felt scared to step away from your laptop or phone because you’ll miss something? I used to feel that way about new ideas, until I learned how to take care of new ideas while I was away from my work. These life hacks gave me freedom and power to think even MORE creatively. Read on for my 3 life hacks to capturing your best ideas AND taking breaks from your work and phone.

7 Signs of a Scarcity Mindset

I’ve been on quite the mindset journey over the past several years-maybe you’ve been around to see my transformation firsthand. If you haven’t, lemme break it down for ya:

I used to live with a mindset that success is a fixed trait you’re born with. I could only do things that I knew I’d be 100% successful at or I’d have to live with the confirmation that I was a failure.

I also lived with a crippling belief that everything I needed and wanted was outside myself. It was not for me. And it was a limited quantity that I had to get to before someone else. You might call that competitive, but that’s not really true. It’s scarcity. Scarcity is the belief that everything you want or need is in a limited quantity and you either have to get to it first or you completely miss out because someone else got your resource first. It’s most prevalent in people’s beliefs around money, but it really relates to EVERYTHING in life!

Scarcity is a completely sucky way to live. But it’s not permanent. I’ve been on a transformational journey of finding abundance in my life and now my norm is abundant living and thinking. An abundance mindset believes that there’s enough for everyone, that new ideas, clients, money, and life is always being created, and that everything we need is on it’s way to us already.

But, sometimes a scarcity mindset can take over and blindside me. It took some time, but now I know the signs to look for. Here are mine. Wanna know my biggest signs of a scarcity mindset?

7 signs of a Scarcity Mindset

Scarcity Mindset Sign #1: I budget and look for ways to cut back in our life

While budgeting is a super helpful tool for household management, I notice myself shrinking back from financial hurdles as I cut out things we enjoy to make room for bills. I’m letting the problem be bigger than me.

Scarcity Mindset Sign #2: I overspend

Ironically enough, after I spend time cutting back, it’s almost uncanny what happens next: I overspend. I get overwhelmed by the thoughts of a joyless, bill-filled budget and...give up. All of a sudden my well planned, on-budget grocery list goes out the window and I’m buying treats and indulgences instead, mourning the loss of all things fun and lovely in life. Yeah...I can be a little dramatic at times.

Scarcity Mindset Sign #3: I try to fix past wrongs

As soon as I notice I’m spending my time trying to fix past wrongs, I know I’m living in scarcity. I can’t let the past rest and I need to figure out what I wish I would have said, plan for how to prove myself right, or even just dream up alternative endings to a situation that’s done. What’s the problem? I can’t actually go back and change anything, so I’m believing the situation I want to fix wasn’t enough. Instead of learning from it, I’m trying to change it.

Scarcity Mindset Sign #4: I complain easily (rant, vent, whatever you wanna call it)

This one is pretty self explanatory, but when I’m in a scarcity-driven state, I don’t just make a complaint, I complain about everything! From believing every driver on the road is dumb, to the number of emails i get or don’t get, to not having anything to eat or wear or do or, the only thing I can see is unhappiness. Literally everything becomes fair game for complaining. The only abundance in my life at that point is my negative point of view.

Scarcity Mindset Sign #5: Everything rubs me the wrong way

I notice that when I don’t feel like I am enough or that I have enough, everyone irritates me. No one can do anything right. Every request is a major inconvenience, and I’m constantly the victim to other’s choices. Basically, if this is you, know that the people choosing to stick by you are probably wishing it were easier to do so right now.

Scarcity Mindset Sign #6: I ask the wrong questions

I ask myself questions like  “how many bookings do I still need?” “should I cut back my paycheck if we don’t book enough?” “why aren’t people booking me?” and “where is our money going?” You can probably guess what I’m going to say about these questions: They’re the WRONG questions to ask yourself!

Scarcity Mindset Sign #7: I answer emails or scroll on social media first thing in the morning

If I’m clearing my inbox, strategically commenting on other’s social posts, what’s the problem? Aren’t those smart things to do? No. Not first thing in the morning. I’m starting the day believing that my time belongs to someone else. I’m living under the tyranny of the urgent and I’m ultimately spending my entire day spinning wheels instead of moving my business forward. A few minutes answer emails or scrolling completely shifts my mindset.

Where’s my scarcity mindset coming from?

A place of not-enoughness. And how can I tell? Often, I hold this scarcity in my body in the form of physical symptoms I don’t pay attention to. If I stop, take deep breaths, and repeat my favorite phrase “I am enough. I have enough” over and over, I notice my jaw relaxed (I didn’t even know I was clenching it!), my heartrate slows noticeably (what? My heart was thumping in my chest and I honestly had no clue?) my headache begins to ease and muscles begin to relax in my back and hips (yeah, I carry tension in my hips. That’s not a thing I ever realized I’d put out there!)

So, if you’re like me and find yourself living in scarcity in one of these common ways, you can recognize that “I’m enough and I have enough.” But how do you then begin welcoming an abundance driven mindset back into your life? Tune in for my next post, where I break down my top ways to kick out scarcity and welcome and abundance mindset to thrive in my life.

Want to learn how to completely change your mindset?

Join the Create Your Breakthrough Year workshop and learn how to effect change at every level so you can gain momentum, create clarity, and nurture growth in your life and business.

Because if you don’t already have those things, you’re probably living in scarcity and holding off the very growth you want in your business.

Purchase the Create Your Breakthrough Year Online Workshop Here:

How to recognize fear in your life | Mindset tips for photographers & creative entrepreneurs

If there’s one thing that holds photographers and creative entrepreneurs back from stepping into the dream they have for their business, it’s fear. From worry all the way to anxiety, Fear has a pretty big spectrum…but a pretty similar end result-inaction. Safety. And dreams remaining dreams. Isn’t that kinda sad to think about?

So, dreamer. Are you reader to become a doer? The first step is to learn to spot fear in your life. Here are 6 of the most common manifestations of fear-do any stand out to you?

How to recognize fear in YOUR life and business

I’m listing the 6 most common forms of fear below. Oddly enough-they come in pairs-either because one escalates into another (i.e.-worry/anxiety; avoidance/self-sabotage) OR because they are complimentary fears (safety mechanisms/defense mechanisms)

Worry

Fear of the unknown takes a toll on your physical body. Letting your mind run wild in the realm of the unknown is not what your beautiful brain was meant for! And it’s gonna show in your physical body.

From tooth grinding and headaches, to ulcers and acid reflux, your body wasn’t meant to live in a chronic state of worry. While you can technically live with these symptoms IF they stay at this level…chances are they will progress into:

Anxiety

Worry manifesting itself in our physical bodies with symptoms that delve into panic reactions. When you struggle with anxiety, your body is literally pumping the breaks to keep you out of the situations that cause you this anxiety.

Our bodies move into the fight or flight stage in anxiety and amp up physical symptoms to breathing issues, muscle tightening, erratic behavior, and more. These are symptoms you can no longer live with. Something needs to change immediately when you’re experiencing anxiety symptoms.

Sound’s fun, right? Let’s talk about a different side of fear:


Avoidance

Quite simply, avoidance is that person who, when they hear anything that stresses them out, plugs their ears and sings “lalalalalalala!” until it stops. You know you’ve seen a grown adult do this! This is fear. Avoiding stressors comes from a belief that what you fear must be avoided. Bad things happen when you feel fear, so avoid it, sometimes at all costs.

This person is likely the one changing the subject abruptly at the dinner table, likes to please people and can’t afford to have someone upset with them.

Self-sabotage/self-destructive behaviors

Paired with avoidance is self-sabotage and self-destructive behaviors. It’s a “walk the plank” mentality when you realize you have to face something stressful or fearful. Since you believe you can’t handle the stress, when you realize you have no choice but to face it, you take the approach that you’re about to go down in flames. You often find yourself doing the very things you know you shouldn’t, wondering “whyyyyyyy am I doing/saying this??”

Have you seen a small child walk over to a hot stove, touch it and cry? My immediate thought is “oof, that’s a tough way to learn a lesson!” But how do you feel if the child, still crying, goes and touches the stove again? I’m thinking in my head “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO HURT YOU!” That’s how self-sabotage looks from the outside in.

From messing up a business deal, triggering an argument when you were happy with your spouse, coworker, or business partner, to forgetting equipment for a job, etc. the “I’ll probably just mess it up” mindset is basically predicting that you WILL.


Coping mechanisms

Just like a child sucking his thumb or reach for his favorite stuffed animal to help him fall asleep, we as adults can develop soothing behaviors to help us feel safe again when we’re scared. They’re not entirely bad-in fact, knowing how to take care of yourself when you are feeling scared is a key piece of self care.

Sometimes we get pushed headlong into the scary stuff before we’ve had space to see how we handle it and we grasp and something that soothes a base human need. The danger that often follows coping mechanisms is that when we learn to cope with something stressful or scary, we start to retreat. We lower our tolerance for stress or scary stuff and reach for a coping mechanism faster with each stress trigger.

It’s pretty common to find that coping leads to addictive or highly patterned behaviors. Some common ones include spending money, disordered eating (this is a big one for us women), and sexual issues, to addictive substances or workaholic tendencies.These behaviors make you feel safe when you otherwise felt vulnerable or scared.

Defense mechanisms

While coping mechanisms are the flight side of dealing with fear, defense mechanisms are the fight side. You know you’re can’t run from it. So you prepare for battle.

Defense mechanisms are ways in which you defend or protect yourself from difficult situations-these situations can be as simple as unwanted situations all the way to trauma triggers.

If you’re living in a place of defense mechanisms, you’re probably thinking through worst case scenarios, practicing responses, protecting your work, or even picking a fight so you can lay someone open with harsh words or criticism.

Of all the behaviors, defensive, protective behavior is by far the most painful to others. Like a wounded animal, a defensive person will snap and bite at you if you get too close to their pain. This person needs some pretty significant help and needs you to be extra careful around them lest you get hurt in the process.


*I want to be sensitive to the fact that fear often has a reason for living in you. And sometimes that reason is rooted in real, painful life circumstances. If that’s you, I just want to take a moment to honor you and let you know that you didn’t deserve the trauma you experienced. You are so worthy of healing and you are so worthy of having support. You are beautiful and brave.*

What does fear sound like?

Fear often starts with two little words- “what if?” Those words mean you’re living in a potential reality. And quite frankly, if you don’t learn to let go of these thoughts, it will become your actual reality. Why? Like attracts like. In this case? Worry attracts in more things to worry about.

“what if this fails?” (remember that fixed mindset stuff from some of my early blog posts?”

“what if I can’t?”

“I know what’s going to happen if…”

“I need to protect my self…”

“just in case (X) happens, I’m going to…”

“I’ll probably just mess it up.”

“What if they think…?”

“I’m not cut out for this”

“I can’t”

Conclusion

We all experience fear. And we all deal with it the best we know how-after all, we’re all just doing the best we can.

We may deal with fear in the form of worry or even anxiety, or we might avoid fear, trying to stay in our happy place until we’re forced to face our fears and then we self-sabotage, bringing our fears to life. Maybe you’re not in either of those categories, but instead, you deal with fear through coping mechanisms. You can’t avoid fear, but this helps you remove yourself from it.

Perhaps you’re one of the people who often feels defensive and a little compative when in a scary situation, leaning on defense mechanisms to get you through. If that’s you, you’re not alone. You’re not terrible. And you’re not stuck.

Coming soon, I’ll share some psychology and NLP based ways to deal with fear in a healthy way.

We’re all just doing the best we can!

What did you learn about fear? Did something specific resonate with you? Leave a comment and share. This small, brave move may help you let go of fears in your life!







3 steps you can take now to adopt a growth mindset | Madison, WI Business coach for photographers

If you’ve followed and/or identified with my story about recognizing my fixed mindset, (my childhood story and my business story, 6 signs you have a fixed mindset) you’re likely wondering “what can I do about it?” Thankfully, with dedication, these 3 simple tools will help you start catching your fixed mindset and choosing a growth mindset! Do you already do any of these? Which has been most helpful? Comment below and share!

3 simple steps you can take to adopt a growth mindset

1. Journal toward a growth mindset

Journaling itself can be deeply therapeutic, but specific techniques in journaling can help reveal and release long held blocks and old mindset patterns. Here are a few techniques that helped me:

Morning pages

I would get up in the morning and journal freestyle for 10 minutes. For me, this looked like a lot of prayers. It allowed me to unload the negative thoughts I woke up with, worries, fears, and general overwhelm off my brain and give it someplace else to live. You can get Morning Pages journals like this one, but I personally just got up and wrote in my "ugly purple notebook." That notebook is filled with heartbreak, hope, prayers, ideas, growth, and change. It's ugly, but I love it to death!

Story Brand Productivity sheets

I’d follow up my morning pages time with a productivity sheet, helping me assess procrastination, and separate the important tasks (things that moved my bottom line forward) from the frenetic pace of the everyday to-do list. For those feeling like they're constantly spinning wheels and not actually moving their business forward, try this tool-it's amazing!

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a deeply powerful (and simple!) way to begin retraining your brain on how to think surrounding problems themselves. People with fixed mindsets often view problems as insurmountable. Any form of a next step is unlikely because just the fact that they faced opposition was a sign of failure, so the only response to a problem is to freeze. CBT suggests that you should record the problem, along with 3 truths surrounding the problem to reframe how you think about it.

Brainstorming

 I never knew how to brainstorm. This reinforced the idea that I could think of solutions to my problems and I could solve them for myself. Since problems or opposition was a sign that I was a failure, I would meet a problem and just freeze. Learning to brainstorm was the most powerful tool I developed! All of a sudden, I was making progress and these massive mountains became small mounds to simply step over.

2. Speak out loud to shift how you think

There’s a profound connection between what you talk about and what your brain subconsciously wants. The more you talk about something out loud, the more likely it is to happen.

I found that, once I listened to myself, I was extremely harsh on myself. I’d regularly walk around my home saying things like “Stephanie, you stupid idiot. Who does that?” It’s so sad to think that those are actual words that I regularly spoke to myself-things that are too unkind to even say to others. But I believed it.

I began catching myself saying those harsh things and correcting myself out loud, like this: “No, I’m an intelligent woman, created lovingly by God. I am doing too many things at once and lost focus, because I’m human. It’s okay.” It was like giving myself a little side hug and giving myself permission to be imperfect and regroup. I had no clue I was so hard on myself until I listened to myself and began changing that.

If you're not someone who talks out loud to yourself like me (haha!), it's still deeply powerful to speak truth about yourself, God, your goals, and your abilities. 

3. Seek professional help

I saved the scariest for last. Asking for help is so tough-it feels like a failure or defeat! I felt like if I told people I was seeing a counselor or working with a business coach, they'd judge me as crazy or incapable, like I was admitting to everyone I was a mess. Aren't we all? Why did I think admitting that should be a problem? But, when I swallowed my pride and reached out to people, asking for help, I found that my biggest growth happened during that season. I needed that extra support and felt proud that I asked for it! (as should you, if you do!)

 Please know that if you are working to change your mindset, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to ask someone to walk that journey with you and it’s okay to be vulnerable with someone you trust. You don't need to share that with anyone-just take the next right step.  

I sought help after my last miscarriage and after realizing that my business was in an 8 month lull of no bookings. I was broken hearted and burned out. So I sought help. For me, that looked like seeing a counselor in my church to help me mend my heart along with working with a business coach who specialized in mindset and removing blocks. I worked on my heart, my mind, and my business and it moved me forward with support, and love. I couldn’t have made such massive shifts in my life without these two precious women. 

Want to learn more about fixed and growth mindsets?
my fixed mindset story

6 characteristics of a fixed mindset

Should we work together on your mindset?

If you’d like support as you work to shift your mindset, let’s talk! I’m a business coach who’s been there and I have resources and support ready for you.

Here’s how you can work with me on releasing your fixed mindset and embracing a growth mindset as you build your business:

Join the Breakthrough Mastermind

Stephanie’s Private Coaching

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The 6 Characteristics of a Fixed Mindset

I got called a perfectionist every so often while growing up. I thought it was a badge of honor, to own, but inside I knew it didn't truly describe me.

Perfectionists have an internal drive to be great at everything. They put pressure on themselves even if no one saw their work and they made sure their work was it’s best from start to finish.

I on the other hand only cared about what people saw. I hid an impressive stack of incompletes, rarely got a “clean desk award,” and often got in trouble for my messy bedroom.

I only did my best work at the beginning and then, when it felt like no one would see it, I’d stop trying. While I was called a perfectionist, I was more frequently called “lazy.” I felt like I was both a perfectionist AND lazy, but couldn’t figure out why.  

Now I know that I was neither lazy nor a perfectionist. What I actually had was a fixed mindset.

I’ve already received an influx of messages and comments from people identifying with my story and wondering what to do about their fixed mindset, so let’s break down the pieces: how do you actually spot a fixed mindset?  Here are some of the key traits-all of which describe who I was perfectly. Is this you?

Are you a perfectionist? Or just struggle with a fixed mindset like me? Comment below if this resonates with you—I’d love to hear your experience!

1. A fixed mindset believes their talent and traits are fixed assets

The real rub comes when these fixed assets are challenged. When you believe you’re permanently “good” at something and then you experience failure, it’s personally devastating. For instance, that time I sang in public and my voice cracked? I had a personal meltdown. I had a crisis because if I thought I was good at music and still failed, was I really just a self-deluded washup? Often people with fixed mindsets experience mid-life crises and other feelings of worthlessness and self doubt after failure.

2. A fixed mindset is risk averse

This person avoids challenges, especially if there’s no guarantee they’ll be successful. My literal worst nightmare was team sports. How could anyone want to play team sports? Even if you’re “good at sports,” you may still lose. Losing is failure. Failure only happens when you’re bad at something.

3. A fixed mindset believes effort is for those not smart enough

You'll likely never catch someone with a fixed mindset studying for tests, prepping for lessons, presentations, or other public performances. Though they appear careless as they brush off studying, etc. the fixed mindset person carries around continual anxiety and inadequacy. Going into a test, knowing you didn’t study is your ultimate personal challenge. But the stakes are high and you can’t be sure you won’t fail. And failure can look like anything less than an A, perfect review, or glowing feedback from your new idea.

4. A fixed mindset covers their flaws and is defensive if they’re pointed out

Flaws may be human, but to the person with a fixed mindset, they are fatal and must be hidden at all times. Often, pointing out flaws in any way to a person with a fixed mindset will result in a diversionary tactic, an over reaction, or even a vicious response, depending on the threat level.

5. A fixed mindset views feedback as a personal attack

This person will sweat more over their reviews than the actual reason they’re being reviewed. In my case, I would be sick to my stomach knowing I had a teacher review of my teaching demonstration, even though I hadn’t been terribly nervous to teach.

I also held a job requiring that I garner feedback every other year from the people I managed. Each year, I  would start knowing “this is review year.” It would loom over my entire year, causing me anxiety, and shading everything I did. I would have been scheduled to administer and review these 100 feedback forms twice while in this position and my superiors forgot each time. Each time it was forgotten, I’d be so relieved that I’d celebrate. For a while afterward, I counted it one of my biggest accomplishments in that job that I got through 3 years without the bi-annual feedback forms.

6. A fixed mindset is threatened by the success of others

Since your traits and talents are fixed, you tend to believe that your success is also fixed. If someone else finds themselves experiencing exponential growth, success of any kind, or just happiness apart from their success, you feel both threatened and completely confused. What is their magic sauce and why don't YOU have it?? 

Isn't this a tiring way to live? If this is you, you feel like your life is a constant game of showcasing strengths and desperately covering weaknesses. You may not have all of these traits, but the ones you do seem debilitating, manifesting themselves in the form of anxiety, headaches, stomach issues, jaw problems, social issues, etc. 

It’s hard to be a business owner with a shoulder full of constant doubt and anxiety. In fact, it’s common for people with a fixed mindset to burn out in business ownership after they experience their first difficult form of opposition. So, if you’re a small business owner and need help shifting your mindset, know this: it’s possible! As Marie Forleo often says “everything is figure-outable.”

If you’d like personal help shifting your mindset, I'll be sharing some of my favorite tools for change next. But one of the single most powerful agents of change is having someone walk that journey with you. If you'd like help breaking your fixed mindset, let’s chat! I’d love to walk with you on a journey diving into your mindset, finding and shifting core beliefs about yourself and your business. It has been life changing for me and I know it will be for you too.

Want to learn more about a fixed mindset? Read my story here

Do you need support letting go of your fixed mindset so your business can grow? Here are the most popular ways you can work with me:

The Breakthrough Mastermind

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How to Spot a Fixed Mindset | My Story (Pt 2)

Growing up with a fixed mindset meant that, unless I lived a very specific set of circumstances, my life was going to unravel. And, little did I know it, but the unraveling was coming.

Pushing others, but backing myself into a corner

Shortly after Stephen and I got married, Stephen share more of his heart with his business. I grew excited to support his vision, and even pushed him wayyyyy outside of his comfort zone. Shortly after Stephen started feeling a bit more confident in his business, he bought me a camera and booked his first wedding with me as his second shooter.

All of a sudden all that encouragement and pushing I did was back on me and I was backed into a corner! I swallowed my pride and took on this ONE WEDDING, telling him that I felt better behind the scenes. I could answer his emails and keep track of his numbers. I set up a few spreadsheets, and kept up with his inbox pretty well, until he saw my emails and began weighing in on how they were worded. I immediately told him I couldn't keep up with his emails and sent them back to him.

This kept happening. I’d try something, it wouldn’t go as planned, and I’d write it off as a “never again” task. If Stephen brought up trying a new marketing idea, or testing out a new client response, I would get so defensive that I’d start crying within a minute of the conversation, leaving him completely bewildered.

Despite this difficulty, we began booking at a fast pace, raising our prices aggressively, and still finding ourselves at max capacity. I figured I didn't need to work on these glaring personal issues because I had bigger things to do. 

How my fixed mindset met its limits

A few years into this venture, I lost my main job, which became the first part of my unraveling. My education job had been safe, easy, and what everyone else thought I was “meant to do.” Losing that job as I sat with a friend in the Target Starbucks made my head spin. I was terrified to tell anyone I was no longer a teacher. It’s what I was “supposed” to do-I had a degree in it!

Due to the high number of bookings we already had for the following year, I decided to test out the concept of working for the business full time. I quickly realized that I’d have to do the tasks I feared most and assumed that I’d figure it out or make Stephen keep doing them. But figuring it out turned into procrastination, anxiety, sleeplessness, chronic headaches, jaw clenching and teeth grinding, and a constant stream of emotional highs and lows.

I was resting on the laurels of my husband’s hard work, marketing for us and planning our strategies, things which he passed off to me, not knowing that I was avoiding them out of intense fear. I didn’t realize it, but my fixed mindset was running on borrowed time and about a year into my full time business ownership, the debtors came calling.

The year that my mindset met it's limits, I had big plans. We had 20 beautiful weddings on the books, and I was going to land a ton of blog features to gain publicity as my main marketing plan. As we photographed beautiful weddings and neared 6 figures, the numbers looked good, but my one trick marketing pony wasn't working. 

It was our biggest year yet and I was positive I’d have a lot of press surrounding our work. As that year came to a close, I began to panic. My one-trick marketing plan hadn’t worked and we had zero weddings booked for the following year after our largest fiscal year ever. HOW HAD THIS HAPPENED???

I’d wake up daily feeling this deep sense of inadequacy, spend my days spinning in circles, and wake up in the middle of the night panicked about the year to come. I started looking up grocery store jobs and substitute teaching again.

What caused my fixed mindset to unravel

Here’s what happened: Stephen’s hard work had an expiration date. It wasn’t going to last forever, but I was coasting on his marketing groundwork, trying to ignore the fact that I needed to learn some important skills before time would run out. But I didn't. And time did indeed run out.  

I was ignoring marketing because I didn't understand it. If I didn't immediately understand it, it meant I was "bad at it" and would need to put forth effort. I was too scared to learn and try strategies in marketing and as I approached this expiration time frame, I grew paralyzed at the idea of failure. So I made it my practice to “sit really still and breathe.” No, it wasn’t a meditation practice, it was all I felt I could do without taking risks. With the pressures weighing down from all sides, I felt so trapped that the most I could do was just breathe and not move. If I so much as twitched, everything would come crashing down on me.

I finally confessed my panic to Stephen and told him about our booking issues and how they related to my avoidance of the things I couldn't understand. Now he knew what I had done and we were on the same page. As we were beginning to brainstorm solutions, my life turned upside down and that conversation had to wait. And here’s where the rest of the unravelling happened.

A season of loss and rebuilding

As we began the new year, I was ready to toast to the baby we expected to bring into the world in August. But instead, I was met with a miscarriage. During the process, my doctor and I found that I had likely had previous miscarriages and just didn’t know what they were. I was shocked and devastated. Shocked that this had actually happened, and devastated that my body had failed me.

Shortly thereafter, I lost a business deal and friendship that left me heartbroken. The business deal promised to provide a year’s worth of income and the friendship had been a deep and sweet one. My life had again unraveled and I was in the midst of a depression. Again, I felt like everything I touched was falling apart and, if I just sat still, nothing bad would happen anymore.

It was at this time that I was at my lowest. I was a failure in business, my body had failed me, and I couldn’t identify who I was and what my purpose was. I ate for comfort and gained 30 pounds during my season of heartbreak. I felt like I had nothing else. It’s honestly still so raw to talk about this dark time in my life. I feel so sad for that girl and still carry her pain.

But it was during this quiet season that God picked up the pieces and began rebuilding. I hired a business coach and began seeing a counselor. During the dark, quiet times, I began reading, journaling, listening to podcasts, and learning. And I began feeling sparks of interest again. I have what I call my “ugly purple notebook” that I have lugged all over my house for the better part of  a year, filled with prayers, anguish, heartbreak, to-do lists, panic, more to-do lists, but slowly, it started filling with hope, interest, excitement, ideas, and plans. As I learned and grew, I started seeing my depressive fog lift. I began learning how to identify and shift my mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

Now, for the first time in my life, I’m bringing in money all by myself! I’m marketing not one, but two businesses on my own! I’m coaching other creatives, feel completely alive in what I do, and have something to say. I’ve learned to grow, assess old habits creeping in, and feel confident stating my value to potential clients. I am so deeply proud of myself and thankful for the journey God has given me. That I can say that I’m proud of myself is a sign of growth in and of itself! Now, I’m the one bringing up marketing strategy conversations with Stephen and, if he points out a weak area, I’m not dissolving into tears, I’m instead strategizing a plan to grow and learn from it.

My story is one many people share. In upcoming blog posts, I'm going to lay out the key identifiers of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, my favorite resources for change, and steps you can take to shift your mindset. If you identify with anything I’ve shared so far, please shoot me an email-I’d love to hear your story.