Be who you want to be. Sounds so simple right, and actually it can be.
You are who you think you are, or in other words, you can be exactly whomever you want to be.
So much of success and importantly, happiness, is borne from a small kernel of self belief or at the very least, projecting the hopes you can be whomever you like onto the world. A fake it until you make it stance until you truly feel it.
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, honing your voice, studying etc 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 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 directed one day shoots for myself (my first was an absolute flop but I quickly discovered that growth and enlightenment was synonymous with 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) that, ‘I AM A DIRECTOR’ -and then becoming one.
Those simple words…’I am a director’ even when I didn’t feel it in my bones and certainly hadn’t yet proved it, yet overwhelmingly wanted with all my heart, set the wheels in motion. Those words gave me purpose and ammunition.
Taking the bull by the horn, I fought the crippling fear we creatives seem to all suffer from in some way or other, 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 actor,s and the film was a success earning me a distinction in my MA and much 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…
I started my blog Honest Mum in November 2010 whilst on maternity leave as a way to reconnect with my creativity at a time when I felt utterly broken post 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 boost 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 later in life anyway?
We change, the world changes and that’s the beauty of getting older, 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, seeing myself through a limited lens.
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 for example.
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 job roles and often simulataneously.
It was just down to me.
Yes the internet is democratic, the playing field has levelled (thankfully), but whatever sphere you’re in, don’t limit yourself.
Now go tell yourself in the mirror, or on paper, or simply in your head, that you’re exactly who you want to be- an author, a designer, an entrepreneur, a painter, a writer, a blogger-now, it’s time tell the world.
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My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home (UK 2nd Edition)