Life

2019: A Year of Opportunities

Let’s start with some real talk: 2018 was tough, y’all.  During the last few months I was wearing myself thin – trying to finish up my schoolwork for my degree, feeling the weight of my sister’s absence around our birthdays and the holidays, and struggling with some changes to my vision.  Around mid-November, I knew I was going to be dragging myself across the finish line into 2019

So here we are, 2019! While I’m not completely free from the entanglements of last year, I did check off #73 from my Bucket List, providing me two things I desperately needed last year: more time and opened doors.   While thinking about what I ultimately wanted out of 2019, I kept being pulled in the same direction.  One going towards a word that wasn’t only motivational, but that also holds me accountable and proactive in my approach to the year.

Turning 2019 Into the Year of Opportunities Pinterest image, with title in purple letters over top a black and white calendar, keyboard, and notebook

Opportunities.

I want to start off by saying when I refer to opportunities here, I’m not strictly speaking about blogging.  My last few years I’ve been operating in what I consider “maintenance mode.”  For multiple reasons, I did not feel in a position to take a leap forward in most areas of my life.  But this year, it feels not only possible, but necessary.

My ultimate goal for 2019 isn’t to be offered or accept a specific number of opportunities. Above that, a successful opportunity-driven year for me will involve building the foundation and learning the skills that elevate me to someone people want to work and connect with on a professional and personal level.  By doing that, I’m putting myself in a position to have opportunities not only be something I aim to thrive with in 2019, but for years to come.

So, what is my approach to raising myself to a level where I am deserving of earning, going after, and delivering on opportunities that may come my way?  I am glad you asked!

Building Towards Opportunities

White tablet and pen, showing a weekly planner on the screen - perfect for scheduling events and a to do list for a year of opportunities!

Although I can easily make an argument for what makes my perspective a unique one in most situations, the area that I know I can improve? Showing up and making the actual argument.

Opportunities are always going to elude me if I’m not making myself a known presence.  While I give myself my leeway last year for taking a step back and observing rather than participating, 2019 is the time for me to consistently engage with those in my circles, both digitally and in person.  That includes everything from posting here regularly and on my social media platforms, to strengthening my connections with those I have and want in my life.

There’s also so much I can still learn about using my time and resources more efficiently. Just because I’ve finished my degree doesn’t mean my education needs to end!  I have stacks of books and online resources waiting for me to give them my attention. I’ve also signed up for my first conference put on by the amazing women of FLOCK Presents! In addition to networking and inspiration I’m sure to take from this event, I get to listen to and learn from people I respect and admire. And y’all know I’ll be giving you a recap after I return, so stay tuned!

Earning and Seeking Out Opportunities

The following quote from Disney's The Princess and the Frog is printed on a purple background: "You wish and you dream with all of your little hear. But you remember, Tiana, that the old star can only take you part of the way. You gotta help it along with some hard work of your own, and then, yeah, you can do anything you set your mind to."
One of my favorite quotes featured in It’s Your Universe by Ashley Eckstein

Nobody who leads successful and fulfilling lives simply waits around for opportunities to be offered to them. Those are people who take initiative and see what the world has to offer. For me, this is going to mean kicking self-doubt to the curb and acknowledging that not every attempt at this will be successful.

Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and reaching a little higher for experiences that excite me will get my name in front of new people, let them see my potential and, even if it doesn’t pay off with an opportunity, will always be a learning experience. Another aspect to consider: what if the perfect opportunity for me in 2019 is one that isn’t going to be offered to me by someone else, but something that I can offer to others?

Making the Most of Opportunities

Animated gif of Leslie Knope listening to headphones and pumping fist, with yellow printed text noting "Do it. Fierce. Power."

What good is earning opportunities if I squander them? I had some amazing experiences in 2018 that, while fun, I didn’t see through to their full potential. To an extent, a part of this is the result of stretching myself too thin and not planning out ahead of time what my goals were during and after these events. But the bigger issue was worrying too much about leaving a bad impression with the people in attendance or who would be reading about it afterwards. I ended up doing something worse – leaving no impression at all.

So my sub-goal for 2019 is to leave that self-doubt behind. Trying and falling short is always better than willingly holding myself back so I don’t even have a chance to get off the ground. Any time I feel myself holding back due to insecurity I’m going to remind that avoiding something because I’m afraid I or it won’t be perfect is a flawed approach to life. Anything I can put out into the world is an chance for feedback, which leads to opportunities to improve.

I’m excited to get to work and see where this year takes me!  Let me know in the comments about your own goals or words for 2019!

Theresa is a Maryland native who is grateful to only be a 2-hour flight from Walt Disney World. She loves exploring new locations & cuisines, and can beat anybody in a game of “Oh! You know what else that actor was in?” Although myopic macular degeneration is deteriorating her eyesight, it hasn’t dampened her spirit or sense of humor; she likes to tell people this simply makes her a “temporary visionary.” Click here to read more or send an email to insightfulllife@gmail.com!

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