If you follow me on Instagram at all, you may have heard me talking about my personal mission statement in the last half of the year. Many businesses have one but do you for yourself personally? Does your family? Putting my own personal beliefs and goals down on paper was one of the best things I did for myself last year. How did I get there? Long Story… bare with me!
Back in April or May of 2018, I had attended the Babes Who Brunch hosted by The Ace Class. Mandy reached out via Instagram to invite me to this event! The event would be about networking and empowering women with Devon from Blow Bar and Sphere Is Here as the keynote speaker. I had no idea that she was going to put matters of my own personal life into such a clear perspective!
Devon spoke of her personal mission statement….*Mind BLOWN* “Do the people in your life align with your own mission statement? “Does your job or the experiences you are living align with your end goal? Do your partnerships propel you forward?”
Now I’ve written this post half a dozen times. I’ve written it on paper, on my phone, and as a draft here on my blog. It has taken many different forms but something always holds me back from hitting publish. Like an onion, there are many different layers to the stories of our lives. I want to let you into mine while still respecting the other characters in my story.
You always hear growing up that the older you get, you truly start to learn who your friends are. I never believed it, until I had children. I never imagined in a million years that I would be questioning relationships with not only friends but family too!
Things haven’t been easy family wise over the last 12 years, moving to Vancouver definitely didn’t make it easier. The last 5 year especially has been quite difficult and while things have gotten better, we are nowhere near where we used to be. Will we ever get there again? Maybe not, but I have to believe that we will get to a better place, or at least ultimately where we need to be.
Within the last 5 years, there has been a rift between myself and my oldest brother, additionally between my mother and I. It started when I was pregnant with Zoe, that trip to Saskatoon set things in motion that would drastically change our lives forever. My oldest brother found himself in some trouble and during an argument with my mom, she informed me that my parents were separating.
My parents separating was a huge adjustment, my world shattered. I had always admired their relationship, as they seemed to have such an amazing dynamic for being such different people. After 35+ years, it turns out those differences were ultimately too large. Now I don’t know their whole story, I can only speak to my own feelings.
As the story unfolded, I found myself not speaking to my oldest brother, and eventually not speaking to my mother for quite some time. Everyone felt hurt in their own way, and I also believe that everyone had placed unfair expectations on each other, myself included and maybe more than anyone else. It’s something I have come to realize about myself because of this journey
Circle back to that event, Devon spoke about the relationship or lack thereof that she has with her father. The way she worded her experiences resonated with me. As Devon spoke, my mind was reeling. This person was telling a story of her family, her life and her parents’ divorce and I could swear she was talking only to me. In her, I saw the kind of person I wanted to be, the kind of person I knew I could be and the type of grace I wanted to handle my personal affairs with.
I was brought up to accept our families traits, good or bad! It was when I met my brothers’ girlfriend, my now (thankfully) Sister-in-law that I began to see that just because we are family, it doesn’t mean that we must let people treat us poorly. We should expect better from our family. There was a period of time when my family was seriously divided. My middle brother and sister-in-law did not speak to my mom and at times, did not speak to me!
My Sister-in-law holds her family to this high standard. That high standard is not too high at all, she just expects you to be a good person. To do your part and be good to each other. Part of me admired the way handled herself and thoughts on family beyond words and the other part of me strongly disliked it. I think I disliked it because at that time, it felt like something unachievable but yet secretly, I admired it because I wanted it for my own.
Things went sideways and my sister-in-law held me to those high standards, I did not perform accordingly. I was mad; looking at it now, I was mad because I let them down because I knew I let them down and because knew I could be better.
I feel as though this generation is conditioned to want and need more. I stopped to ask myself if my mother would truly want me to just accept someone treating me poorly. That answer in my heart of hearts was NO. So I thought for a moment and asked myself, does it matter who the person is? Family, friend or stranger, would she want me or her my girls to just accept it? I know I would never want my girls to settle. It was then that I realized that I could ask for better from her, my brother, my family, and my friends!
Shouldn’t the people in your life push you to be a better person?
I went home after listening to Devon speak that day with my mind reeling. There was soo many things rattling around in my brain. Picture that game where you have to get the tiny marbles into the hole by moving the game left and right, and there are multiple marbles, this was my brain!
As a blogger, I know that there is a line of other bloggers standing behind me, waiting. There is always someone right behind you who charges a little less or will provide a little bit more. It became very clear early on that knowing my “Why” would be what helps me stand apart from the next blogger. Why do I blog? Why do I write about the things that I write about? What am I hoping my readers will take away from my blog?
A mission statement was inevitable if I wanted to grow my business, however part of my business is authentically me on every personal level, so why did I not have a personal mission statement?
It becomes hard to say no to opportunities, as you never know what could turn out to be more! Maybe if I accept less pay, they’ll want to work with me more often? Maybe if I accept product for compensation, the next paid gig will totally be mine right?
Often we let fear dictate our lives and I believe that ultimately, we need to come to terms with accepting that not everything we do is going to be amazing and that we might miss out on things. We are going to make mistakes, and sometimes plenty of them. You cannot let fear dictate how you live your life.
I created my personal mission statement as a way for me to have something to come back to for reflection. If I’m questioning someone’s role in my life or opportunity/partnership, I can come back to my statement and ask does this check off all the boxes? Does this align with my end goal? Will this propel me forward?
Creating a personal mission statement was a great exercise in setting and communicating boundaries. I had realized that I had created expectations for people that obviously were out my control. The worst part, I am realizing that I hadn’t communicated to the people in my life that had “wronged me” what my expectations were in the first place.
In communicating your expectations, it allows us to put our cards on the table. It allows all parties involved to make the choice to be a part of my life fully informed of what I need and allows them to communicate the same needs to me. Doesn’t this sound like an amazing way to live?
So for those of you who have asked, my Personal Mission Statement!