Writing was for other people, or so I thought.
I have always struggled with articulating how I feel and what I think through writing. When I was approached to write a chapter for a book, you can definitely say I was surprised. My first instinct was to say no, but being an entrepreneur has taught me to say yes first and figure out the "how to do it" later. After many days of thought, consideration, and talking it over with friends I said yes. I could always figure it out later.
I had been writing for well over a year, writing blog posts, and I made writing a chapter into such an enormous job compared to a blog post. I had completely dismissed I had been writing for a while as I didn’t think blogging was a big deal. It is a horrible thing I do - I dismiss myself so easily and minimize the importance of what I do. And so, I approached my chapter from a place of fear and the thought that I had nothing to contribute that no one else already knew.
So How Did I Move Past This Fear Block?
You see, I am a professional organizer with 20 years of experience in the field of social work, and both careers have come to me naturally. I love them both as I enjoy helping others. I didn’t think this was a unique combination but, as it turns out, it definitely is. I have tremendous experience working with people who are living with a mental illness, and many people who have issues with clutter are also living with a mental health concern. My career combination allows me to support individuals who are living with ADHD, depression, anxiety and emotional attachment by helping them declutter their homes and lives. The feedback I receive from clients is I am non-judgemental, patient, and a great listener; these traits are a winning combination when working with someone on a one on one basis. And it is exactly these characteristics which have helped me grow as a person and take on new challenges such as writing a chapter in a book.
I was able to take these traits and use them towards myself:
And Just When You Think You Haven't Figured It Out, You Most Certainly Will!
I was able to look at a few aspects of decluttering and organizing one’s life and I divided it up into subheadings. I was able to pare down my words and keep it to target, and I proved my fear wrong. Most of my fears were proven wrong on this project. My chapter was returned after editing and only a few grammatical changes were made! I expected pages of red ink all over them, much like my essays in school. I was able to find topics to write about and I believe I expressed them in a comprehensive manner. My horrible mind telling me I am not good enough. I proved that voice wrong on this project and I am better for it.
I am a published author. I can say it and know it to be true. I wasn’t able to say this right away and believe it. I, of course, made it into something smaller than it was. I corrected everyone when they asked if I wrote a book, “Oh no, I couldn’t do that. It was ONLY a chapter of a book.”
I am proud of my accomplishment of becoming a published author and see it for what it is; a great achievement. This project has taught me to not belittle myself and to pay no attention to that horrible voice in my head that downplays all that I do, and all that I have achieved so far.
I am writing another chapter toward the "Dear Women" book series. I am excited by this and know I will learn just as much from this experience as I did in my first. If you are reading this and think, Wow I could never write a chapter for a book, let alone a blog post; to you I say, “Bullshit.” You don’t know how something will turn out until you try it, and when I say try it, I mean really give it your all, I know you will surprise yourself!
Have this approach with everything that comes into your life, it has served me well.
Stephanie was born and raised in the north end of Toronto, Ontario and now lives in Barrie, Ontario where she loves the small city feel to it; yet she is a short distance to hiking trails and the lake. Stephanie spent her summers in the Kawartha's; camping, swimming, building forts, fishing and around camp fires. Her time up north was one of good friendships and a sense of community, and she had freedom to explore and learn who she was. She still visits every year.
Stephanie has a background in social service work, 20 years in the mental health field, and has a flair for working with people who have depression, ADD, and emotional attachment to their belongings. She feels it is an honor to be able to support people along in their journey. Being a professional organizer has been a lifelong dream for Stephanie; she loves what she does and feels blessed to help others in this very unique way.
Being in business for herself, she chooses where she will spend her time in the community, supporting different causes. She donates her time, services and monies wherever she can, but mainly supports Youth Mental Health, Lupus, and other local businesses. Her dream is to be a philanthropist.
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