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:

  1. Exercise
  2. Eat healthy
  3. Learn something useful
  4. 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.

  1. You are your harshest critic.
  2. The more you go Live, the less scary it becomes.
  3. 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.