If you’re reading this you’re probably wondering “how long has he had a blog?” Well… The honest answer is for about 2 years now. I just suck at updating this thing. My last blog post was literally June of last year. Honestly, I suck at updating social media too, so if you’re one of those people that only knows the wellbeing of someone via their latest instagram post (PS please don’t be that person) then you’re probably wondering if I’m alive. Don’t worry, I’m still kicking. Unless you are a sworn enemy, in which case you should continue to worry.

It’s time to lay all cards on the table. I’ve got to be completely honest about something that I’m learning right now. It’s something I feel is super important, and applicable in your life just as much as it is mine, your best friends, your family members’ and your worst enemies. Let me explain:

I’m going through a lot of change and in general doing a lot right now. In the last 6 months I have moved into a house, gotten engaged to Elizabeth, started planning our wedding, decorated my house (which is a task for most men. Lots of throw pillows. Thanks babe.), shot a few weddings, traveled to/through several different states, bought a new camera system, started learning a new editing program, written a script, started another script, bought new lighting gear (another learning curve), and I’m currently writing this blog from DFW.  Pause for deep breath…

Now some of you may be thinking “wow things must be great for that guy” or something like “he must really have it all together, what a great life.” And you know what, life is great. Things are great. I’m so thankful for all of these changes and new challenges. But just because things may seem great on the outside doesn’t actually mean things are great on the inside. I’m a stresser and a perfectionist, and I’m also very introverted. So when things like this all starts to pick up at once, my natural reaction is to get quiet, put my head down, and grind through everything as it comes. I tend to take life one day at a time, one event a time, one hour at a time. That’s not always a good thing, and here’s why:

Personal

Personally, when I get stressed and busy, I tend to come across as uninterested, deflecting standoffish, and maybe even downright rude. That’s never my intent but I know it happens. I’m an introverted guy and the very act of being around people, spending time with others, talking, shaking hands, having conversations… It exhausts me. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, but when the stress piles up it means I don’t have the energy for it. Rather than blocking out the excess noise and chatter, I should lean into my relationship more and ask for help. I know this, but knowing and doing are two very different things.

Professional

In the professional world, added stress makes me retreat to only working on my strengths and not paying enough attention to my weaknesses. For example: marketing. I’m NOT a natural marketer. I don’t post on social media enough when I’m stressed (because introverted, remember?), I don’t update blog posts enough, I don’t run ads, I don’t always do the best job of keeping my portfolio updated, and I certainly don’t have much consistency. Instead I just quietly work, never sharing what I’m up to, who I’m with, latest work. If you’re a business owner or freelancer, you know that goes against everything that is right about getting more work. Marketing 101: share what you’re doing. Right? Instead I just rely on my network and live right in my wheelhouse. Growing that way is fantastic, but it’ll take a lot longer if I’m not reaching out to people, brands, and sharing on social media. Again, knowing and doing are two different things.

But through all of these changes and all of this stress, and after talking with some close friends who are wiser than I am, I’ve learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes, the limitations you feel, the barriers you put up, the stress that you feel… It’s all in your head. Ultimately, YOU are the biggest factor in changing the trajectory of stress, struggles, and sacrifices in your life. Who you are and who you want to be are decided only by the decisions you make or don’t make. I’ve been so closed off to any more change that I’ve missed quite a few opportunities that have been right in front of me. I have let things that should be awesome, exciting things become the biggest stresses that beleaguer me the most. 

So in the spirit of me being more open moving forward, I wanted to share this with you. Maybe you needed to read these words and be encouraged that you can do it too. Maybe you’re thinking this whole thing was pointless and you’re just here for the cool videos (that’s totally fine, there’ll be more coming soon). Whatever you’re here for, I’m glad you’ve made it this far. Here’s to less time stressed, more time enjoying new challenges, and more growth each and every day.

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