I've always generally been a very happy and positive person, however, over the past four years or so, I've been caught in what I like to call "A Perfect Storm" of traumatic and very stressful circumstances. Many of these circumstances came from choices I made and actively put myself into (i.e.; entrepreneurism) but there were a few circumstances that blind-sided me and totally "knocked me down" and then basically "kicked me in the face," (we'll just say they involved a handful of various sh*tty people.) I've been left with the immensely painful task of picking up the shattered pieces of myself and fighting hard to fit them all back together. All I want is to figure out how to get back to the happy person I've always known myself to be.
Writing has always been a creative outlet for me, so I decided to start a blog (this one) a year and a half ago, in order to be proactive and help myself work through my own personal struggles (check out this post I wrote, when I first started blogging, about facing my fears and turning my pain into greatness.)
Looking back at how far I've come since I started, I can honestly say it was one of the best things I could have personally done for myself, as it was probably the most significant thing that helped me pull myself out of depression.
1) Blogging Helped Me Grow and I've Become a Lot Happier in General
Since the start of this blog, I have been working on a lot of personal changes.
I have always believed in the phrase, "If you don't like where you are, MOVE. You're not a tree." A year and a half ago, I realized I wasn't happy with where I was at, so I decided to work as hard as I could to try to change my situation because, well, let's be honest, what's the point in staying miserable?
I realized no one else was responsible for my own happiness besides me, so I knew it was up to me to take care of it.
Naturally, I'm a curious person who always wants to know why people act the way they do or why things happen the way they happen (which is probably why psychology has always been one of my favorite subjects.) I tend to ask a lot of questions and analyze everything, because that is what helps me get to the root of the problem, which is where I need to start in order to find answers. When I find answers, I can find closure. And when I find closure, I can find peace and happiness.
So when I started this blog, I had decided it was time to stop focusing on analyzing others and start focusing on analyzing myself.
I realized I needed to do some major inner self-reflection, in order to figure out why I act and react the way I do to certain things. That reason "why" could be the thing I needed to change (instead of complaining about it or trying to change someone else,) in order to have more control over my life and just feel happier in general.
It was time for me to ask myself some serious and uncomfortable questions, in order to try and break through the hardened, thick walls I had put up around my inner core (aka; my true self/my soul.) After all, that was where I was storing all of my subconscious and locked up issues.
I began by doing some deep thinking. I thought about which things in my life were truly bothering me and stressing me out, and then I wrote them all down in a list (I love making lists, by the way. They really help!) Once I had everything listed everything out, I delved even deeper and wrote down all the reasons why each thing bothered me or what about it was actually stressing me out.
Writing it all down helped me pull my subconscious issues to the surface, where I could literally see all my thoughts, feelings and emotions in front of me. This made them become more real; like tangible objects that could be managed and organized (another two things I love to do.)
So that's what I did; I managed and organized them.
Organizing all my thoughts, feelings and emotions led to analyzing everything better (usually by writing it out in my blog,) which led to understanding everything better, which led to helping me figure out a way to work through everything and make changes where I needed to, for me.
Making changes wasn't easy; it was a painful and uncomfortable journey. But, looking back at how far I've come, I am glad I put in the work because I'm now in a much better state of mind.
One of the biggest changes I made was learning how to set healthy boundaries for myself. I've always had a hard time saying "no" because I've always felt like it was a sign of weakness; like I couldn't handle everything that was thrown at me (plus, I think I always secretly wanted to be some form of a super-human, by taking on more challenges than the average bear... After all, I always like a good challenge!)
But, through practice and time, I've learned that saying "no" is actually a sign of strength and assertiveness. It shows that I respect myself and care about my own well-being enough to make myself a priority.
Making myself a priority is not selfish, it's necessary.
I do what I need to do for myself and my own well-being, because if I don't, then it means I'm not taking care of myself. If I don't take care of myself, who else is going to? Probably no one. Regardless, any way you look at it, no one else knows me like I know me (yay personal development!) so no one really knows how to take care of me better than myself.
What happens when you don't take care of yourself? Your health suffers. When your health suffers, you feel miserable. When you feel miserable, you have bad energy, and no one wants to be around someone with bad energy, right? You probably don't even want to be around yourself!
Saying "no" is like a filter I can set on the daily timeline of my life. It allows me to let go of what I truly don't need in that moment; something that is just a distraction or a time waster from what I truly do need. When I cut out these kinds of time wasters, I make room for... wait for it... extra time 🙂 Since time is the most valuable resource (meaning you can never get it back once you spend it,) I try to fill as much of the time I have on this earth doing whatever is the most productive and makes me the happiest.
As I've practiced this more and more, I've discovered that the more I do what I love to do, the more I attract what I want to attract, which in turn makes me even happier! It's like the "universe" rewards me for doing the right thing; for staying on my own "right track."
If I'm going to be rewarded in the biggest way for doing "the right thing," I'm obviously going to do more of "the right thing," because, well, rewards make me happy 🙂 Plus, I want to prolong my happiness for as long as I can!
Case in point; this blog. I was doing a variety of different side jobs over the past 2.5 years (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Postmates, Herbalife coaching, dog walking/dog sitting) while trying to build my website design business, as well as this blog (I know, I know... it's a lot. I told you I'm an over-achiever! But I also like to be a so-called "guinea pig" and try new things 🙂 )
I knew these side jobs were only temporary, and they were only being used to help supplement my income, but there was a point that came with each one (some quicker than others) where I realized they just weren't worth my time anymore (I no longer needed to trade my time for money because I already figured out a way to make money passively.) Plus, many of these jobs caused me great internal stress and frustration, which was, plain and simple, not my end goal.
I had this burning desire to create and had all these ideas brewing inside of me, but the problem was I needed more uninterrupted time in my days so I could get in my "creative zone" and stay there. That's when I realized that I was really the only person stopping me from doing that.
It was time to get out of my own way and have some faith in myself!
We all have choices, and I was done with fighting stress every day and holding myself back from what I already knew (and had proven!) I could excel in, so I made the choice of letting go of my side jobs, one by one, and started putting a lot more focus and energy into building my businesses.
That's when even more amazing things started happening! Putting more focused energy into my two passions, has helped me learn a lot more, earn a lot more and has made me so much happier on a daily basis!
Which leads me to my next highlight...
2) I've learned a Lot More About Blogging Since I Started, Including how to Majorly Monetize it!
I've always wanted to find a way to make enough passive income (and on my own terms) so that I could have the time freedom to do more of what I love.
In one year, from December 2014 to December 2015, I've made roughly $20,000 of passive income off of this blog alone! And without putting ads all over my site 🙂
Let me just pause for a minute to acknowledge how freakin' AMAZING this is! 😀 😀 😀
$20,000 is more money than I made my first year as struggling freelance graphic and website designer!
My turning point started on December 20th of last year with this little experimental blog post, combined with some very basic SEO I had just taught myself. It helped me earn $500 almost instantaneously and has continued to work for me, exponentially, ever since! It also happens to be my most read blog post on this site.
Check out this screen shot of my all-time top posts and pages as of 12/22/15:
Earning the passive income from my blog every month has allowed me to do more of what I love, which includes traveling (I can work anywhere!) designing and learning more about blogging. My next step is to work on turning it into a full-time income, including teaching others how to do what I do so they, too, can have more time-freedom. I have so many ideas running through my head, and I just can't wait to apply them, so stay tuned!
If you're looking for any kind of website design, graphic design, blogging or marketing help, contact me!
You can also check out my business website at www.whippeddream.com.
Blogging has helped me work through a lot of my issues and has helped me make more income than I ever made working for someone else. Plus, I don't have to work crazy amounts of hours, trading all my time in exchange for the amount of money I want/need (to spend on things that I have no time to really enjoy.) I can work as little or as much as I want, and I can work anytime of day or anywhere I want, relatively speaking.
I think society is starting to catch on to this new concept but I still hear from so many of my friends and family about how they are work, work, working so hard, just to keep their "head above water" and be able to pay their bills.
My goal is to help bring awareness to society, that they don't need to follow the crowd and do what "everyone else" is doing. There are other ways you can lead a more full-filling life, without all the stress. If you are open to thinking "outside the box," I urge you to do more research on this subject of earning passive income. Hell, you can even continuing following my blog and my journey for ideas and new concepts!
For starters, here is a quick list of people and blogs I personally follow, who are killing it in the passive income industry:
Learning how to create passive income for yourself is going to take some work, but it has only taken me about 2 years to figure it out on my own way. If you can handle just a few years of trial and error, in exchange for a lifetime of guaranteed less work and less stress, would you try it for yourself?
There are lots of people out there who teach people who to do this, and I want to be one of those people 🙂 So if you're interested, make sure you follow this blog!
A Few More Words...
I'm very proud of myself for both pulling my own self out of depression and finding what I believe is "my calling." It's crazy to think that through my own self-discovery, I could have a successful blog, but if this is what I'm meant to be doing, I couldn't be happier! I have fallen in love with blogging and can't wait to see where it takes me!
Depression sucks and being unhappy sucks. I think the best thing we can do to pull ourselves out of an unhappy situation is to work on making some changes to our life. I highly suggest working on your own personal development and self discovery, because that can change your entire mindset, which can change your entire world! Figuring out how you operate and what makes you happy, sad, stressed, depressed, etc, can help you make better judgements in order to get to a happier, healthier life. Furthermore, writing stuff out really helps! Try it!
Check out my Pinterest Personal Development board for some inspiring quotes and ideas, to help you get on the right track 🙂
And best of luck out there!!