The past couple of days, I’ve been in Orlando, Florida at the BlogHer conference. It was INCREDIBLE. It was the first time I’ve ever been to a conference of any sort, and I was blown away by all of the passion, information, and people that I encountered on my two day stint.
There was so much amazing knowledge that was shared, and so many insights I gleaned from my observations and conversations. Overall, though, I want to share with you the top 5 takeaways I gathered from my 48 hours at #BlogHer17
Takeaway #1: You Serve Best by Doing What You Love
As I was listing to all of the keynote speakers, it was evident that they had SO MUCH passion behind their individual projects. While each of the speakers had lofty aspirations they wanted to reach, and they all wanted to make an impact on the world, they were doing it in so many different ways. Likewise, when I dove into conversation with other bloggers, there was so much variety in what people were targeting in their blogs.
If you look at what everybody else is doing, it is so easy to lose focus on what we originally set out to do. One of the great quotes that I heard is “we envy what we don’t know”. I have found this to be true with me recently, as I am trying to solidify what impact I want to make in the world and how I want to do that outside of my teaching arena. I look at all the things others are doing and think “aw man, I should be doing that!” or “I should be doing this!”
In reality, we need to bring our focus back to us and what WE love. If we have passion, that passion will be infectious. However, if that true joy in what we’re doing is lacking, it will never end up being successful anyways.
Takeaway #2: Don’t Be Married To An Outcome
There were several speakers who touched on this idea. The notion that we are going to go from A to B to C without any forks in the road or hills to climb is laughable. Oftentimes we decide on a path and continue to slog through the mud, come hell or high water, even when stepping stones to higher, drier ground appear before us. There were many examples at the conference of people who started out doing one thing and then pivoted and did something completely different than what they originally envisioned.
This idea of letting life lead you needs to be balanced with drive and ambition, of course, but if you find that you aren’t enjoying something as much as you used to, or you discover something else that gives you more fulfillment, it is 100% ok to change direction.
Takeaway #3: Pressure is a Privilege
A couple of people discussed this idea that they avoided success because it meant that there would be a lot more pressure put upon them to perform. If you are the best tennis player in the world, people simply expect you to win, which can be daunting. However, being successful and having that pressure put upon you is a privilege in that it validates your achievements and gives you a platform from which to amplify your message.
Not having any pressure to accomplish anything is dangerous; it leads to complacency and a cycle of accepting the status quo. If you feel that pressure to get better, go to the next level, or advance your brand or business, be thankful: It means that you are making headway and an impact.
Takeaway #4: Celebrate The Power of Others
There were so many women (and a handful of men) at this conference who were doing so many amazing things, big and small. There were several keynote speakers who blew me away with their social change efforts, and a handful of open-mic night participants that moved me to tears. It was incredible to feel the constant energy, and it completely fueled my fire to do big things.
Someone else doing amazing things in no way dilutes your ability to reach success, too. If everyone helps each other up, all participating parties benefit. There are so many authentically awe-inspiring things that are going on in the world around you-get involved with other people’s success, and it can only augment yours.
Takeaway #5: Dream Big
Many times we imagine what could happen if our wildest dreams came true, and then we tamp our thoughts back down into the firm cold ground of ‘reality’. There were so many people who presented their accomplishments, and all of them conveyed them in a way that made it seem like it wasn’t an act of luck or happenstance that these things came to fruition but simply putting in the time or taking advantage of opportunities that cropped up along the way.
Our dreams are worth holding on to. There is no point in chasing a ‘realistic’ dream; than it ceases to be a dream at all. If you have aspirations that seem crazy, don’t let that dissuade you. Keep those goals in the forefront of your mind and actually believe that you can achieve them. We only have one life, and it is better to spend it working towards a bigger vision that squander it on the mundane.
Overall, BlogHer was an amazing, mindset-shifting event that had a profound impact on my mindset and awareness. While I still need time to process all of the information that I received, I am beyond thankful for the opportunity of going!
I highly encourage you to search up conferences related to your passions and professions. Not only will you return with renewed purpose, you will connect with others who are like-minded and maybe, just maybe, you will have one encounter that alters your course for good. In the infamous words of Shia LeBeouf, “Just DO IT!”