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Accidentally Inspiring.

I just got off of the phone with a friend who was telling me about her first day at work. Last week she moved to Asia for a really cool job at an international startup. She’d been looking for a job for a while and though there were inevitable moments of discouragement, she used her periods of funemployment to teach herself a ton about online marketing. When I say “a ton,” I mean that by the time she found this job opportunity, she had published an ebook with insider tips for freelance web designers, had her own digital marketing clients, and literally had created a full marketing campaign from scratch as extra incentive for the hiring managers. It turns out that without her even realizing it, the years--yes, years--she spent learning and growing on her own prepared her for her current position. Talk about taking responsibility for your own destiny.

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Her story has been inspiring me for years--since wayyyy before she got this new position--because she never stopped growing and learning throughout her journey, even when there was no clear path in sight. I’m at a place in my own journey where there is a lot of uncertainty and it’s scary. It can be discouraging to keep going when I don’t necessarily know where this path will lead.

Coincidentally--if you believe in coincidences--as I was writing this post, I was reminded of something I wrote on Facebook 4 years ago as I was deciding whether to take on an internship in Spain. That post from 4 years ago is as relevant today as it was then:

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Job searching. Solo traveling. Building a business. While rewarding, each can be very lonely. I’m eternally grateful to the people encouraging me when I feel like I’m not good enough, giving me tough love when I don’t want to hear it, and slowing me down when I’m doing too much. Some of you have no idea how much you're accidentally inspiring me.

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It’s easy to internalize rejection and believe I’m not good enough. I’m learning to use what feels like greater-than-average difficulty in grasping new dance routines, less-than-desirable professional feedback, and millions of seemingly unfair job rejections as opportunities to improve instead of indicators of my own [lack of] value.

Sometimes we can see an end result--a job offer, a raise, a new client, 6-pack abs--and forget about the journey it’s taken to get there. So to anyone who’s at any stage of their journey--whether it’s creating content for your vlogs, staying encouraged during physical or financial challenges, landing interviews in your job search, or getting through workouts while posting #fitlife selfies--I celebrate you for sticking it out. Seriously, you're inspiring.

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And while I definitely enjoy getting to celebrate--read: humble brag about--your accomplishments, I will also continue to celebrate the fact that you stay committed to your journey even when you don’t feel accomplished yet.

It helps to celebrate the people around us. People who are committed to creating their best lives. The ones who don’t give up when it would be really easy to do so. You may think someone is awesome and inspiring, but s/he don’t necessarily feel special. Your encouragement can make ALL the difference.

© taylordmills 2017