Portrait

 

Be who you want to be. Sounds so simple and actually it can be.

You are who you think you are, or in other words, you can be exactly whoever you want to be.

So much of success and importantly, happiness, is borne from a kernel of self belief or at the very least, belief that you can be who you want to be and projecting that out, into the world.

The act of simply having the confidence, feigned or real, to step out of your norm, to stop that negative voice telling yourself you can’t be a ‘…fill in the blank’: writer, blogger, actor, doctor, lawyer, artist… and JUST believing you can and going for it, garners results: AMAZING, life-changing results.

I know it’s worked for me and millions of others.

As a 21 year old studying for an MA in Screen Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London 13 years ago, the only one in my class never to have directed drama before, I was overcome with the fear that I would FAIL spectacularly.

I’d written a short screenplay as part of my course that my lecturers felt was touching, funny and topical (about Greek and Turkish Cypriot warring kebab shop owners in London) yet I wasn’t sure I could get it to work off paper and onto the screen.

I put the work in, read every book I could on directing, I shadowed directors on set and had practice directing one day shoots (my first was an absolute flop but I quickly discovered that enlightenment and growth came from making mistakes).

I surrounded myself with an accomplished, experienced team when it came to shooting my film but the greatest thing, along with having all=important passion of course, was telling myself on my lecturers’ advice (over and over), ‘I AM A DIRECTOR’ -and then becoming one.

Those simple words…’I am a director’ even when I didn’t feel it, hadn’t yet proved it, but overwhelmingly wanted with all my heart, set the wheels in motion. They gave me purpose.

Taking the bull by the horn, I fought the crippling fear we creatives seem to all suffer from in some way, and rose to the challenge.

I found the strength on set to lead a professional, renowned crew, drew what others deemed moving performances from my actors and the film was a success earning me a distinction in my MA and more…

‘Rifts’ won awards at film festivals internationally, got the attention of some of the world’s biggest film producers and then when I’d bagged my first job in the film industry at distributors Redbus, now Lionsgate UK, it led to quite frankly life-changing experiences, with many doors opening and a career as a multi-award winning director making short films, drama, documentaries, music videos and commercials followed…

I started my blog Honest Mum in November 2010 on maternity leave as a way to reconnect with my creativity at a time when I felt lonely, lost, and pretty broken due a traumatic birth with my first child, Oliver. I had a need to write.

Tapping words away on my laptop and unexpectedly finding others who understood me, along with an unexpected audience outside of my inner circle, was exciting, reassuring and a much-needed confidence booster at an all-time low in my life.

And there I was, still conveying emotion on screen as I would when writing and directing, on just a smaller, no-less powerful screen!

…My confidence slowly returned (helped hugely by becoming a finalist at the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards 4 weeks after my first post went live)-and although I didn’t set out to create a business when I began, by the time my second child, Alexander was born, my blog had become my full time job.

Now, I’m still a filmmaker, (I will never not be one, it’s in my blood, it’s a big part of who I am) but I’m also a full time professional blogger, a businesswoman, a presenter and a mother- my most important job of all.

I’m whomever I want to be. My goals have shifted since having kids and who says at the age of 21, we should still want the same things at 34?

We change, the world changes and that’s the beauty of life, we can adapt and most importantly redefine who we are, or want to be.

Funnily enough once I’d become a filmmaker, I pigeonholed myself, restricting and limiting my choices.

I let the industry I was in, the film and TV world-my colleagues and myself, dictate who I could be.

I was a filmmaker so couldn’t be on camera, or write out of genre.

I was stuck.

Blogging told me otherwise.

I could be whomever I wanted to be, whenever I wanted, on my terms and in my time and I could appropriate many titles and job roles.

It was just down to me.

Yes the internet is democratic, the playing field has widened, but in any area, you have the choice to create the job and life you want to lead.
So tell yourself the same, in the mirror, on paper, or in your head if you prefer, that you are exactly who you want to be- an author, a designer, an entrepreneur, a painter, a writer, a blogger-now, go tell the world.

The time is now…

Photo by Kirsty Mattsson Photography

 

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216 Responses

  1. Jane Allen

    Aw, this was so inspirational. Yes, I can be who I want to be. It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. I’ll go out there and make my dreams come true. I may be fearful. That’s to be expected. But, I’d not allow my fears to drive me. Rather, I’d allow my dreams to lead me to that place that I’ve always wanted to be. I appreciate this share!
    Jane Allen recently posted…What is the Best Recliner for Newborn?My Profile

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  2. Mrs t

    I love this post. So fresh and inspiring. I’m a new blogger just finding my feet. X

    Reply
  3. Fiona

    This really resonates with me. Like you were, I am on maternity leave and it’s giving me the time and space from my old office job to really have a go at creating a blog, writing about things I’m passionate about and maybe even vlogging as part of this. I’m loving it, have never been happier to be honest but like you say in your post I need to tell myself “I am” rather than “I want to be”. Thanks for sharing X

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      100% you must say that-blogging is so freeing and just the most wonderful space and job, I cannot imagine life without it. Thanks for your lovely comment, give me a shout if you need anything OK X

      Reply
  4. Christina

    I just want to say that I LOVE this! I know it was from a while ago, but I certainly needed to hear it! I sit on most things I write and I think confidence and the belief that I “can” is what I need to work on the most! Thanks for sharing =)
    Christina recently posted…14things that surprised me about my first 14 days of KetoMy Profile

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  5. Wander Mum

    I love this! So inspiring! Will pin this for when I need a pep talk before I do something that scares me. it really does incapsulate a lot of my thoughts although it’s easy for doubts to trickle in now and then. Thanks Vicki. xx #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • honestmum

      So glad you’ve found it useful and inspiring, we all suffer from doubt, totally normally but never let it win x

      Reply
  6. Pen

    This is very true. A lot of life success is down to self belief and confidence but also the courage to be yourself and not trying to be someone else all of the time. Thank you for this post, and congratulations on your meteoric rise in the blogging community. I’ve been blogging for nearly one month now and a nomination for any kind of blogging award seems like a distant dream at the moment – maybe this time next year. Thanks again.
    xx
    Pen recently posted…Newbie Blogger: April 2015 round-upMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      Never feel that way, it isn’t how long you blog that matters and awards aren’t a reflection of worth. So glad you liked the post and it resonated, giving ourselves permission to be who we want is truly empowering x

      Reply
  7. casey grice (dashboard dad)

    Super super inspiring as you already know. I enjoyed learning some of your background as you inspired me. Thank you.
    casey grice (dashboard dad) recently posted…How I bottled up that Christmas morning feeling in the month of April.My Profile

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  8. The DADventurer (Dave)

    Great post and great words of advice. I’d add something poignant myself, but the words escape me 🙂
    The DADventurer (Dave) recently posted…Helping Your Baby To Love The WaterMy Profile

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  9. Michelle Twin Mum

    Blogging really is very freeing and pens your eyes to all you can achieve. I am so grateful I started mine back in 2008. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…What would you do with an extra £100?My Profile

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  10. Dawn of the Dad

    Such an inspiring post. I try to run with the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I’m starting to realise I can be who I want to be. I sometimes think it’s too little to late, but I’m starting to realise, it’s better late than never.
    Here’s to me finally blossoming 🙂
    Dawn of the Dad recently posted…Midweek MessageMy Profile

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  11. Clueless Mum

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring post, it rings true for me as I’m just starting my blog to make a little time for my writing. I think my confidence has prevented me from sharing my writing until now, I love the mentality of this post.
    Clueless Mum recently posted…50 Things That Make Me HappyMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      Thanks so much, I relate to that feeling and often get it now, channel those nerves, take a deep breath and go for it x

      Reply
  12. JoyandPops

    I love this post and it really resonates with me.
    Working from home and juggling two young children leaves little time for the plans and dreams I have in my head. I should know by now that any small step forward is an achievement and I should believe in my ability to keep going more!
    Xx
    JoyandPops recently posted…18 Free Ways To Have Fun With Your Children!My Profile

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  13. Lisa (mummascribbles)

    Thanks so much for sharing this post Vicki. I am so full of dreams at the moment and feel completely stuck because I earn way too much money to be able to give up what I do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t earn that much but it’s enough that I have to work full time in my current job. In my head though, I want it all to change. When we (hopefully) start trying for a second baby next year, I truly do not to want to have to return to a full time job away from home. I find it hard enough juggling commuting and a boy in nursery, let alone juggling commuting and a boy in school and another in nursery! I want to be that mum that is at the school gate, walking home and talking about his day. So yes, in my head, I have this timeframe that I have to do something. It’s all in my head – I just don’t know where to start when I still need to make the money I make now! But you know what? You have shown me that it is possible and that if I keep my dreams at the forefront of my head, I can do it. We just have to make our dreams a reality. Thank you and I wish myself good luck hehe!
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…The Mummascribbles guide to planned c-sectionsMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      Absolutely darling, everything starts from an idea, write down a plan of action and have some concrete goals on paper, really helps me and small steps create big change xx

      Reply
  14. Kate

    What an inspiring post, thank you for sharing! I’ve been too scared to do something I wanted to do so many times in the past. But no more, if you don’t give it a go then you’ll never know will you. x

    #BrilliantBlogPosts
    Kate recently posted…Mummy V’s Blogger InterviewsMy Profile

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  15. Kirsten Toyne

    Another great post. It is great to hear your story. Life takes us in different directions and it is amazing what comes out of it if we are open to the opportunities. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  16. Erin @Yorkshiretots

    Fantastic post! I think this is great advice for anyone but especially anyone who is looking to make a big change. (Also, I started blogging on maternity leave as well.. it was such a great ‘me time’ outlet without leaving the house!) #brilliantblogposts
    Erin @Yorkshiretots recently posted…10 for the Weekend – West Yorkshire Family Events April 24 & 25My Profile

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  17. Lucy @bottlefor2

    Thanks for resharing this post. Sometimes it is just what you need to hear. Congrats on the Huff Post too x
    Lucy @bottlefor2 recently posted…Mourning Sunday MorningMy Profile

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  18. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

    Love this message. I’m far to British (aka modest) at times. I struggle to call myself a writer and much less an illustrator. I’m actually living my ‘dream’ right now and am still shy to stand up and claim it. Imma try though! Thanks.

    #brilliantblogposts
    Mama, My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows recently posted…Parenting ContradictionsMy Profile

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  19. International Elf Service

    I couldn’t agree more. I feel so lucky that I am able to be who i want to be and that I am genuinely interested in so much that I never feel limited. I know that close friends of mine just don’t know who they want to be or how to find out and they’re getting so stressed about it. I think that’s the hard part and then once you know you can work on the execution but you do need to have a starting point. Great post.
    International Elf Service recently posted…Talking To Our Kids About DrugsMy Profile

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  20. Sammy at Seize each day

    This is a great post – thank you. Just what I needed to find and read this morning; hit the spot perfectly. xxx
    Sammy at Seize each day recently posted…Getting to the heart of the matter… #4My Profile

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  21. Natalie @ our parallel connection

    This is juts what I needed to read today. I still think I am pretending to be a blogger, a writer, a skilled professional. I always thought at my age I should have my life completely sorted out. But I don’t. Not today anyway.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      That’s OK Natalie, I had a career change in blogging and it’s liberating that you can be whomever you want to be. Please read this, hope it inspires: Be Who You Want To Be: http://honestmum.com/be-who-you-want-to-be/

      Reply
  22. jo

    Hi
    I stumbled upon your blog today and have to say this is a really brilliant article. I have been considering writing a blog for quite some time. I work in marketing and know how many doors blogging can open. I want to be a part of that World!
    I remember so clearly being 17, and at college, and realising I had the World at my feet, and could go anywhere and do anything. Unfortunately shortly after I began dating and later married a very abusive man. My hopes and dreams stood still. Everything suddenly felt impossible. In 2008 I finally manged to leave and a few years later married my soul mate, It’s taken me a long time to get back to being the 17 year old with the whole world at her feet, but I feel like I might be here now. I hope 2015 is my year and I must thank you for your inspiring words. You are totally right. The only thing which holds us back is our minds and not believing in ourselves.
    I’m off to follow a few dreams xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh wow your comment has raised the hands on my arms, I am so sorry for what you have been through and so glad you’ve met an amazing man and feel like the girl you always were. You are right, the whole world is at your feet lady. Go get ’em xx

      Reply
      • Jo

        Thank you for replying Vicki. I’ve loved reading all about your directing career and blogging.When I’m up and running I’ll let you know xx

  23. Al Ferguson

    This is a really good post. We all need a little reminder to get remember who we are once in a while!
    Al Ferguson recently posted…MY SUNDAY PHOTO – 3 generations out for a walkMy Profile

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  24. Sunshine Dad

    As others have said, this was definitely an inspiring read.
    I now find myself asking “Who do I want to be?”
    Sunshine Dad recently posted…Lose Your Training WheelsMy Profile

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  25. Amy

    Thank you Vicki. I have at times hit rock bottom in terms of confidence. I’ve felt that the only ‘good’ thing I’ve ever done is be a Mum. My blog has given me so much already and the hope that I can succeed in something that I’ve built up. Your words are inspirational, truly xx
    Amy recently posted…Best ever slow cooker beef stewMy Profile

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    • honestmum

      Thanks Amy, I’m sorry to hear about those big lulls in confidence, we have all been there-creatives are naturally riddled with self doubt but it’s important to push through those negative voices in our heads and push forward with our dreams. Thanks for your lovely words x

      Reply
  26. Juliet McG

    The world needs people like you Vicki. People who give others confidence and show how you really can change direction in life if you’re just a little bit brave and believe in yourself.

    Reply
  27. Paul

    An inspirational read, I find it very true that we can only find lasting happiness by being your own version of yourself!
    Paul recently posted…Water water everywhere, or not!My Profile

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  28. MummyWrites

    I’ll echo what other commenters have said, this is such an inspring post and I’m really glad you’ve shared it now as we feel the mid-Jan slump! #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  29. Joyce

    You are a great inspiration to others Vicki! You’ve achieved so much and I think your actions alone help many others to want to do so much more. Positive thinking, a strong belief in yourself and just having the confidence to get out of your comfort zone makes all the difference. A wonderful post!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Joyce, your words mean a lot. The most rewarding part of all this is sharing my journey and hearing it makes a difference, however small to others. Thanks for your support and lovely comment x

      Reply
  30. Mama and More aka Zaz

    I knew as soon as I read the title of this post that I would agree with every word! I have to say it’s thanks to you my friend that I have owned and claimed the words “I am a professional blogger, I am a freelancer” which I stumbled over before. Own, believe it, be it sister, you are so right!
    Thanks for linking this up to #AllAboutYou

    Reply
  31. EmmaK

    Ha ha yes you are so right about the crippling fear us creatives feel. One day we’re on top of the world and our creations are wonderful! The next we want to go and hide under a blanket because we don’t think we are good enough. You are right a positive frame of mind can help to banish the paranoia blues. Have a wonderful 2015! x
    EmmaK recently posted…Lemur LoveMy Profile

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  32. Samantha Rickelton

    Such an inspiring post – I always struggle when people ask me ‘what I do all day when I’m not at work’. This year, I am no longer going to struggle with this! I am a writer and proud! #allaboutyou
    Samantha Rickelton recently posted…Breakfast at The Running Fox Bakery, FeltonMy Profile

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    • Honest mum

      Yes you are lady, so pleased you like this post, thanks x
      Honest mum recently posted…Brilliant Blog Posts 22nd January 2015My Profile

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  33. brummymummyof2

    You know I think you’re inspiring!!! I think starting the blog I have found a little bit of my own voice. It’s exciting and an adventure. I love teaching but this has given me something for me and it’s brilliant. Fab post lovely. Can’t believe you were up for an award a month after your started. That’s amazing!!! xxx
    brummymummyof2 recently posted…The Seven Deadly Sins Of ParentingMy Profile

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    • Honest mum

      Thsnks sweetie, you are brilliant lady, you have a strong voice, are so funny and such a gorgeous lady inside and out, thanks for your lovely comment chick x
      Honest mum recently posted…Brilliant Blog Posts 22nd January 2015My Profile

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  34. Joy

    What am inspirational post. I really want to take my blogging seriously this year instead of seeing it as a hobby and seeing you juggle it was is great!
    Joy recently posted…#HipsterMixMy Profile

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  35. Colette B

    I think my biggest downfall is referring to myself as “just” something rather than seeing the worth in each of those roles. I am definitely gaining confidence in my worth as a writer though!
    #BrilliantBlogPosts
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  36. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Such a wonderful, wise and inspiring post darling! I couldn’t agree with you more.

    It all starts with self belief, add to that some get up and go, a dash of excitement, lots of creativity, a strong work ethic and a will to succeed and the world is our oyster! 🙂

    Wishing you another incredible year of blogging success my lovely friend. xxx

    #brilliantblogposts
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…Books that could change your life this year (quite possibly)My Profile

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    • honestmum

      Thanks darling, totally agree you wise lady. Self belief, passion, always honing talent and tonnes of tenacity equals success. Here’s to a wonderful, happy, healthy and productive year for us all. Lots of love to you xx

      Reply
  37. suzanne3childrenandit

    I absolutely agree with these sentiments – it’s all about self-belief for sure. Three years ago (shortly before my 40th birthday) I decided that I wanted to become a freelance journalist/writer. I then started a blog and still would not consider myself a ‘writer’ despite having had many posts published on other, much bigger sites! Nonsense really, I just have to believe in myself. Happy New Year to you too.
    suzanne3childrenandit recently posted…Catching the Skiing Bug #LoudnproudMy Profile

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  38. The Breastest News

    Great post 🙂 I definitely think a positive attitude and grabbing life by the balls helps keep you motivated. At the end of the day people around you can help but it’s only really you who can make the biggest difference x
    The Breastest News recently posted…Pregnancy: 40 Weeks C-Day!My Profile

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    • honestmum

      I totally agree sweetie, keeping positive, supportive people who make you happy is important but we are the only ones who can make things happen for ourselves, Happy New Year x

      Reply
  39. Christine

    Very inspiring. I often hesitate to call myself a blogger as it’s my hobby, not my job, but perhaps I should make more of an effort to!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      It doesn’t matter, it could become your job if you wanted it to and you deserve the title, you blog therefore a blogger. Own it xx

      Reply
  40. Isabella

    Thank you for these inspiring words, Vicki. They are really motivational. I’ve only been blogging for less then two months and hesitate to call myself a “blogger”, which probably holds me back a bit in growing my blog properly. Maybe I need to start thinking of myself as a proper blogger and really take the time to push it, and then I will achieve my goals. I will take a leaf out of your book. Thank you for starting the year on such a positive note! x

    Reply
    • Honest mum

      It’s not time reliant, how you see yourself lovely lady, you write therfore you are a writer, thanks for your words x
      Honest mum recently posted…Brilliant Blog Posts 22nd January 2015My Profile

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