I recently completed a 30 Days to Happiness Challenge. Every year, like so many, I feel the effects of the sun setting early and the transition from Summer to Fall. For the first time in 27 years I wasn’t heading back to school. Instead, Fall 2017 marked a new transition of becoming an entrepreneur. I absolutely love it. I get to make my own schedule, wake up when I want to, and “be my own boss.” Or at least that was how I was initially feeling. After a few days it hit me. I had to: navigate logistics of setting my own schedule, wake up early out of pure self-motivation, and only have myself to blame while working as my own boss. I was, and still am, loving this change in lifestyle. However, I needed to take action to keep my anxiety at bay, and balance my brain state to a level of happiness.
I came up with four daily goals to guide me towards my ultimate objective. These included:
- Eat healthy
- Learn something useful
- Try something new
My instinct this time of year is to isolate myself and deal with anxiety alone, with lots of: ice cream, pizza, chocolate, and Netflix. I decided to take the Challenge public, with hope of inspiring others who have similar temptations to ‘deal with,’ but not fix their problems. I wanted to bring awareness to the patterns we create for ourselves with our daily actions and decisions. To keep myself accountable, and to go public, I did something REALLY scary. I started going Live on Facebook with daily check-ins, recapping my goals.
Going FB Live:
Something about putting a video-camera in my face made my entire brain go blank. The first time I went Live I set my phone in front of my computer, where I had listed how I met each goal. This way, I could reference something when my mind settled into being a blank chalkboard. It gave me comfort knowing I wasn’t relying solely on my camera-shy brain, but it also made it difficult to create a natural flow.
Instead of speaking fluently, I struggled to pull my thoughts together while concentrating on the points I had written down prior to going Live. In order to feel more natural on camera, I started to speak without referencing any text. It really helped. For me, speaking about myself is WAY more difficult than speaking about…anything else. I was able to overcome this struggle by focusing on the fact that sharing my story had potential for helping other people.
I had never done a Live video before this Challenge, and I learned a couple things.
- You are your harshest critic.
- The more you go Live, the less scary it becomes.
- It is fun to connect with people who watch, whether during your Live video, or later when someone watches it as a post on your wall. I live “in the middle of nowhere,” as my sister puts it, and going Live is a good way to connect with people who live far away. They get to SEE your life instead of just reading about it in posts.
Going Live was something I avoided for a long time on My Tall Maine Life’s FB page. Once I started regularly going Live, I dreaded it less and less with each video. I learned it is a great way to: connect with people who follow you, for them to get to know you, and for people to hear your message with your own voice.