I’m not the best when it comes to admitting when I’m wrong. My dad says I’ve been extremely stubborn since I was a toddler. Whenever I did something wrong and he’d yell at me for it, I’d just give him the death stare and sit there without shedding a single tear. On the inside I’m sure I was thinking “He’s SO MEAN. Why’d he have to yell at me like that?” I didn’t understand he was just trying to show me the right way of doing something so I wouldn’t harm myself by making the same mistake again in the future. It’s because he LOVED me so much and didn’t want me to hurt myself. Hmm.. sounds very similar to my reaction to God when He tells me “no” or “not yet”.
Stubbornness is a personality trait in which a person refuses to change their mind or opinion about a situation or action that they’ve decided to take. If you’re stubborn, you’re unteachable. If you’re unteachable, you will not grow. Humbling yourself and learning to admit when you’ve made mistakes is the only way to grow. Our mistakes don’t have to break us. God says you can bounce back from any failure, and I believe that is so true. Failing to take action to correct our faults is where we actually fail. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’ll continue to run into the same problems throughout your entire life – in your relationships, your career, your lifestyle, etc. Every setback has been placed in your path to teach you something very specific. It’s your choice to either learn from it or to let it make you bitter. Every detour is an opportunity to gain wisdom.
TRUE LIFE: I Was A Workaholic
I am 100% a recovering workaholic. In every way, shape, and form I glorified being busy in all areas of my life. I was a slave to my to-do list. Every day I felt like I could work until 3 AM and still not get to everything that was coming my way: emails, messages, comments, creating, writing, accounting, planning, meetings, cleaning, groceries, events, gym, friends, texts, etc. I couldn’t slow down. I’d overcommit to everyone and everything. I read books that all preached the same thing: in order to be successful, you have to be obsessed. And that’s exactly what I was doing. And it was WORKING. My business was absolutely booming and everyone and their mom was telling me how great I was doing. I was “successful”!! The books were right…in order to be successful (in a worldly sense) you need to be obsessed. But what those books don’t talk about is the price you pay for committing to this type of drive to succeed and how it effects other areas your life: family, friends, relationships, faith, health, sleep, creativity, peace of mind. This driven mindset does have the power to lead you to the top of the mountain you’re climbing, but you have to keep your balance. What happens when you reach the top only to look around and see that the other areas of your life have been neglected? There is no joy in being alone at the top. We’ve learned this lesson through countless celebrities who seem to have everything they could ever want in life, only to see them spiral into drugs and depression. I know most of you grew up with me in the Britney Spears era, so I thought this was relevant. Listen to her lyrics in the ‘Lucky’ music video ~ “She’s so lucky, she’s a star, but she cry cry cries in her lonely heart, thinking. If there’s NOTHING missing in my life, then why do these tears come at night??” I think we may know what the problem was, Brit. Winning the rat race of worldly success and social (media) popularity does not equal happiness.
WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
So it finally happened: the burnout. Ironically it happened the first time I decided to take a real break from it all on a 7 day trip to Mexico with my family where I fully committed to no emails, social media, or shoots. It was so incredible, I didn’t even WANT to look at my phone. Then the slap in the face came – when I was ready to jump back into the grind and get back to work. Something was holding me back. I couldn’t think creatively, I couldn’t express how I was feeling through my writing, I didn’t want to post anything or share anything, and my inbox was overflowing and I couldn’t respond to anyone. I could. not. do. it. This was scary for me considering sharing and inspiring people through my words and outfits is my entire career. I was fighting against it so hard and asking God, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
And that’s when it hit me. God said: OLIVIA…SLOW DOWN. He would not let me take another step forward until I understood this. On the surface, I was making more money and landing more partnerships than ever. Everything looked great and I actually thought it really was! But subconsciously it was wearing on me. The 100 mph pace of life I was trying to keep up with was not sustainable. He asked: Why are you running so fast? What are you chasing? So I searched for the answer.
I’m not in it for the paycheck, that isn’t what drives me. And my life doesn’t depend on winning the popularity contest on Instagram. It’s a big part of my life and I am so thankful for what social media has done for my business, but it’s also transformed over the last few years and placed a very harsh and visible number on what is considered worthy of a “like” or “follow”. How different would our feeds look if followers and likes weren’t public and only visible to us? What would you be posting and sharing? Somewhere along the way I got distracted from the reason behind my WHY. But my burnout brought it all back to me. I needed that reality check because I had forgotten the purpose for why I started sharing my life on the internet in 2013 in the first place.
My Why: I’m driven by the reward that comes from knowing I’m making a meaningful impact by sharing my voice through my words, experiences, and journey with Jesus while incorporating my love for fashion, expertise in petite dressing, self expression, and creativity. I work hard to stand for what I think it means to be an influential female figure in 2019, not what society seems to think it is. I’ve learned that no matter how high you climb, if you’re measuring your success, beauty and worth by the world’s standards, you will always be left feeling like you are not enough. I’m passionate about using my failures and life lessons as a vehicle to reach other women (and men that might read this!) to share the silver lining God has shown me in my setbacks. Mistakes can be some of the most powerful lessons in our lives if we can get rid of stubbornness and focus on finding the deeper purpose in the detour.
What are you devoting too much of your time to lately? Is it work? Social media? Going out too much? Overcommitting? Obsessing over your dating life? People pleasing? Figuring out how to look younger, skinnier, prettier? Slaving over your to-do list? How often are these things distracting you from the more important things in your life? Please take this advice from a recovering workaholic and SLOW DOWN GIRL. The world won’t stop spinning if you give yourself a break to clear your head and rest. I constantly have to remind myself or else I fall back into the race. Slowing down has changed my life.
I had to accept that this slower way of operating might not mean more popularity on social media or more money in my bank account. And that I might not impress the people I thought were worth impressing. But you know what it does mean? More time to actually enjoy this awesome time in my mid-twenties. Freedom from the constant pressure of my to-do list that. More time for random phone calls with my mom, sister, and long distance friends. Free time in the morning to spend time with God and get my day started off right, not rushed. More time to read books and learn. More time to write about the things I’m passionate about. More time to do random things with Conner when he gets home from work instead of working nights. More time to go home to visit Nani!
If the pace at which you’re living your life right now is requiring you to sacrifice your happiness and making you feel like you’re constantly running on E, you need to slow down. You need more time for the things in your life that truly make you feel content and add value to your life. If you are struggling, listen to what He’s trying to tell you. This is what will help you find the happiness and purpose you were working so hard to find.