Every once in a while, you meet a person that just radiates goodness. You can feel that they lead with their heart, and when they introduce themselves and say “Nice to meet you,” you know they truly mean it. They SEE you and they make others feel seen as well. One of these gems is my friend April Lee, who’s guest-blogging for today’s “Tell Me More Tuesday.”
April is a skilled communicator, and when she’s not sharing her DIY awesomeness over at Love Our Real Life, she’s helping others share their stories as a Speech-Language Pathologist. It was our healthcare profession that connected our journeys, but it is a love for helping women lead more authentic lives that keeps us moving in a similar direction–trying new paths and sharing our journey as we go. April sees beauty in everything and she helps others to do the same, whether it’s recovering old books to make beautiful vignettes, or completely remodeling an outdoor space. Here’s just a few of the snippets of awesome April shares each week:
April is kind, witty and a joy to be around. You’ll love her take on changing lanes, DIY-style!
I’m April, author of Love Our Real Life. My blog topics consist of DIY home projects, home decor on a budget, crafts, and organization. Truly anything that is a part of my family’s life is fair game.
When Holly asked me if I would guest post on Just Change Lanes for her “Tell me more Tuesday” feature, I was so excited to try something a little different. Most of my blog posts are tutorials, giving detailed step by step instructions on how my readers will be able to complete my latest project, should they decide they want to give it a go.
But, you guys, the closer I got to Holly’s deadline, the more nervous I became. I am typically not a procrastinator, but the thought of sharing my heart on WHY I decided to make a career shift and become a blogger was kind of scary.
What if her readers don’t identify with me? What if they find me uninteresting? What if I embarrass myself with poor writing skills? What if, what if, what if!
Then, I started to consider so many conversations I’ve recently had with women in similar life circumstances. So many are ready for a change, but something keeps holding us back.
So today, I decided I wouldn’t let fear get the best of me. AND, I don’t want it to get the best of you, either. We are 100% responsible for our own futures and what a shame it would be to let fear become the roadblock that keeps us from reaching our destination.
Even though I feel outside of my comfort zone with this post, I decided there is no reason to feel completely lost. So, I am going to stick with what I do best. I will be writing this post like I do my typical tutorials for my DIYs.
Enjoy my personal step by step guide if you are considering making a change in your life!
SUPPLIES YOU’ll NEED TO CHANGE LANES:
- Hard work
- Good habits
- Support system
- Positive attitude and self image
- A “why”
STEPS FOR CHANGING LANES:
1) The very first step in making a career change is having a healthy self-image and positive attitude. This can be very challenging for many women, myself included. If you do not believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to believe in you? Stop comparing yourself to others. Find your talent and use that to grow. Often times I find I have to adopt the ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ mentality. If I act self assured, eventually I start to believe it myself. Keep your head held high, smile, and own it.
2) Determine your goals. This certainly takes practice, but I find it works really well to outline big goals, then break things down from there. What do you intend to accomplish in the next year? By the end of each quarter of the year? Each month? Each week? The more your goals are broken down, the easier it is to determine actionable steps to help you actually accomplish them. I wrote a blog post that gives all of my tips here.
3) Establishing good habits and working hard are musts! Trying something new takes a lot of energy. When I began my blogging journey in January of 2017, I knew absolutely nothing about creating a blog. It required countless hours to learn the back end of a website. I also made countless mistakes. But, with each newly acquired skill, I gained more knowledge. Even when I wanted to throw in the towel, I kept pushing ahead. Nothing worth having comes without working for it.
Making good daily habits is incredibly helpful. Blogging is a very non-traditional type of job. It would be very easy to NOT have a schedule and just write whenever. However, I know consistency is key. I schedule blogging related tasks in my calendar just as I would any other appointments. Finding ways to stay organized and focused has kept me on task. These daily habits are crucial to success and growth.
4) A healthy support system is everything. When I decided to start blogging, my husband was incredibly supportive in understanding the time I needed to learn new skills. Jason and I made the decision for me to continue working part time as a speech pathologist while I pursue this blogging dream. Having a dream for a change didn’t necessarily mean I wanted to give up the other career I’d spent 20 years building. The time commitment required for my blog has not been easy, but having him behind me means the world. Free time is hard to come by these days, but I’m loving this new passion.
With new passion, comes new energy. Despite the extra work, I actually feel more alive than I have in ages because I’m constantly learning new things. Knowing he’s got my back helps motivate me to keep up the momentum!
5) Determine the “why” you want to make a change. For me, I really needed a creative outlet. I became a speech pathologist in 1999 and although I continue to love this occupation, I needed more. I noticed how alive I felt when showing someone a recent home project. Friends would call me for advice on using chalk paint or paint color selections for their home. One of my friends even offered to pay me to help her decorate her new home!
The energy I felt from this passion of mine was my “why” that kept surfacing and I knew it was time to do something about it. I could have taken several different paths to pursue this dream. But, blogging felt like the right place for me to start. Although I still have so much to learn, acting on my need for something new has been incredibly refreshing. I’m a firm believer in being a life-long learner. Personal growth helps us feel alive.
If you are considering changing lanes and trying something new in your life, I applaud you. The first step is always the hardest step, so my advice is simply to take that first step. After that, you will likely find more clarity.
April is the author of Love Our Real Life. She loves to try new adventures, but the introvert in her also loves a quiet night at home with a good book. To learn more about April, check out her blog at www.loveourreallife.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.