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