#SWAAYthenarrative

The Amazing Places Self-Reflection Took Me: Running A Business at 21-years-old

Self

I seek to find meaning in every experience that I have or in anyone that I connect with. I crave a valuable existence.


Therefore, I apply myself conscientiously and wholeheartedly in every aspect, including my life at home, at school, with friends, with family, and with my business: Nudesox.

I am a thoughtful friend, a resourceful person, and a deep thinker; my strength in finding value in various parts of my life brings me happiness and stability. Self-reflection has allowed me to really understand myself and how I can discover my purpose.

I try my best to start and end my day with reflection. One way that I have found balance in my life is through yoga and meditation, but any type of reflective thinking about the day counts! Another tool for finding happiness and peace within myself is reading a gratitude list that I add to from time to time. I find that listing events, thoughts, people, and scenarios from my past and present that make me happy, allows me to fully focus on what I do have in my life, rather than what might be missing. If I don't review my list and practice meditation, I lose focus on what really matters and all that I have to be thankful for. If you, yourself, are not balanced, how can you expect your life to be? It is easy to get caught up in the physical aspect of life, which is why spirituality and self-reflection are so important. Self-work is crucial to personal wellbeing, but it is also important to have a balanced environment, and to surround yourself with people who allow you to thrive.

Through my reflections, I have realized that my values do not necessarily align with all of my friends' or family's. Once I understood this, it became easier for me to accept that I cannot have certain expectations from people. Just because I have a certain value, does not mean that the person I am dealing with will have that value as well. This clarity has allowed me to better read people's deeper motivations. Being able to comprehend the inner workings of personal relationships has enabled me to better understand the dynamic between a brand and its customer. By discerning people's values and perspectives, I am able to predict the outcome of a situation and better prepare myself to engage with someone. In business, it is harder to know your customers' mindsets without having interacted with them several times, so it is important to make your brand valuable in and of itself to encourage buyer loyalty.

The work of self-reflection is a powerful tool in both life and business. Throughout this practice, I have gained five primary strengths that aided me in establishing my business, Nudesox, a women's athleisure sock brand in five shades of nude.

Analytical Skills

The ability to focus my mind in silence has greatly honed my analytical abilities. Having just a few moments of silence during a busy day can have a huge impact on my efficiency when completing daily tasks. Making the time to think about your needs makes you more likely to fulfill them; your priorities become clearer and you are able to achieve more after dissecting the task at hand.

Perspective

Self-Reflection allowed me to gain insight into how other people think and why they behave the way they do. When you really learn to understand yourself, it becomes easier to understand others. In business, it is important to understand your consumer and what kind of product or service they need. With this understanding, you can grow your business by releasing products that fit your customer's needs, as well as creating a community of raving buyers.

Non-Reactivity

In general, I consider myself to be a reactive person. However, learning how to meditate and finding my center has taught me to recalibrate and relax in stressful situations. By not reacting, I am able to step back and handle situations with more clarity and maturity. I have the ability to assess my options and choose the more appropriate one. It is crucial to make good decisions in business because one mistake can ruin the brand image. In daily life outside of business; just one mistake can ruin a brand's image. In your personal relationships, it may be easier to seek redemption, but it is much harder for a business to be forgiven.

Confidence

Being more aware of myself and what makes me feel good has allowed me to strengthen my character and be more demanding of what I need. Building my self-worth has allowed me to see my value and what I am able to create. That level of confidence is vital in business because without it you can't strive to do the impossible, which is the mindset it takes to be successful. The main reason why people don't take the step to start something of their own is that they believe that they are not capable of greater achievements. It is far easier to stay in your comfort zone than to abandon your routine and try something new that involves risk, but confidence allows you to believe in yourself, even if it starts out as fake confidence.

Creativity

Taking some time to stop and clear your mind gives you the ability to think deeply and openly, allowing fresh, new thoughts to become clear. By simply being conscious of your breathing, you allow your mind to expand and fill with genuine ideas that flow effortlessly. These thoughts are more pure because there is no force behind them and they emerge straight from your consciousness. Creativity is always important in running a business from the very moment your idea is born. You need to be constantly innovating to keep up with the market and stay relevant. People always want the latest and greatest, so it important to use creativity towards that.

Tips for feeling more at peace with yourself:

Although self-reflection has helped me in so many ways, there are always going to be times when I need an extra boost. These tips help me put things in perspective and return to my center when I feel a little lost.

1.Sometimes I feel like I am having a quarter-life crisis because I feel like I have so much left to do. But, being busy is a good thing; it means that you are living your life to the fullest. Regardless of that fact, it is easy to become overwhelmed by everything on our plate. Whenever you have this issue, picture yourself as a bird. Slowly start flying and zoom out of that image and picture your surroundings, then zoom out even more, and watch as your surroundings shrink beneath you. Zoom out of your city, out of your country, out of the world, and you will realize how small you are in comparison to life as a whole.

2.I am the type of person who puts pressure on myself to be successful and to be successful fast. When things don't go my way or as I planned, I stress out. I think it is fair to say that a majority of us think about ourselves and our lives in relation to time. We tend to map out the way we want things to work out, or where we want to be in X number of years. One thing that relieves this type of pressure is to think about each year as a percentage of our lives. Let's say that with the progression of technology and advancements in medicine, we live until we're 100 years old. That means that each year is only 1% of our entire existence. That's nothing! When you train your mind to have a wider perspective on life, time starts to feel like less of a burden, and more of a tool to progress along your journey.

3.If you don't relate to the stressors in these examples, the next time you feel overwhelmed in any way, you can always just stare into the sky. There is something so peaceful about spacing out into the stars or clouds. It is another way to remind yourself how tiny you are in comparison to the universe. If you can't find a clear sky nearby, just visualize yourself in relation to the sky and remember that in the end, it will all work out, even if it is not the way you pictured it. No matter which industry you work in, or how old you may be, just know that you are capable and can reach your goals through self-reflection and a passionate determination to be of more value to society.

5 Min Read
Career

How Fitness Saved My Life and Became My Career

Sometimes it takes falling to rock bottom in order to be built back up again. I learned this many years ago when the life I'd carefully built for myself and my family suddenly changed. But in those times, you learn to lean on those who love you – a friend, family member or someone who can relate to what you've been through. I was lucky enough to have two incredible women help me through one of my lowest moments. They taught me to love myself and inspired me to pass on their lessons each da

If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today.

In 2010, I was a wife, a mother of three, and had filtered in and out of jobs depending on what my family needed from me. At different points in my career, I've worked in the corporate world, been a stay-at-home mom, and even started my own daycare center. Fitness has always been a part of my life, but at that point being a mom was my main priority. Then, life threw a curveball. My husband and I separated, leading to a very difficult divorce.

These were difficult times. I lost myself in the uncertainty of my future and the stress that comes with a divorce and found myself battling anorexia. Over a matter of months, I lost 40 lbs. and felt surrounded by darkness. I was no longer participating in my health and all efforts to stay active came to a halt. I didn't want to leave my home, I didn't' want to talk to people, and I really did not want to see men. Seeing my struggles, first my sister and then a friend, approached me and invited me to visit the gym.

After months of avoiding it, my sister started taking me to the gym right before closing when it wasn't too busy. We started slow, on the elliptical or the treadmill. This routine got me out of the house and slowly we worked to regain my strength and my self-esteem. When my sister moved away, my good friend and personal trainer started working out with me one-on-one early in the morning, taking time out of her busy schedule to keep me on track toward living a healthy life once again. Even when I didn't want to leave the house, she would encourage me to push myself and I knew I didn't want to let her down. She helped me every step of the way. My sister and my friend brought fitness back into my everyday routine. They saved my life.

I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again. My friend has since moved away, but, these two women made me feel loved, confident and strong with their empowerment and commitment to me. They made such an incredible impact on me; I knew I needed to pay it forward. I wanted to have the same impact on women in my community. I started by doing little things, like running with a woman who just had a baby to keep her inspired and let her know she's not alone. I made sure not to skip my regular runs, just in case there was a woman watching who needed the inspiration to keep going. These small steps of paying it forward helped me find purpose and belonging. This gave me a new mentality that put me on a path to the opportunity of a lifetime – opening a women's only kickboxing gym, 30 Minute Hit.

About four years ago, I was officially an empty nester. It was time to get myself out of the house too and find what I was truly passionate about, which is easier said than done. Sitting behind a desk, in a cubicle, simply didn't cut it. It was hard to go from an active and chaotic schedule to a very slow paced, uneventful work week. I felt sluggish. Even when I moved to another company where I got to plan events and travel, it was enjoyable, but not fulfilling. I wanted to be a source of comfort to those struggling, as my sister and dear friend had been to me. I wanted to impact others in a way that couldn't be done from behind a desk.

I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again.

When I heard about 30 Minute Hit, I was nervous to take the leap. But the more I learned about the concept, the more I knew it was the perfect fit for me. Opening my own gym where women can come to let go of their struggles, rely on one another and meet new people is the best way for me to pass on the lessons I learned during my darkest times.

Kickboxing is empowering in itself. Add to it a high energy, female-only environment, and you have yourself a powerhouse! The 30 Minute Hit concept is franchised all over North America, acting as a source of release for women who are just trying to get through their day. I see women of all ages come into my gym, kick the heck out of a punching bag and leave with a smile on their face, often times alongside a new friend. 30 Minute Hit offers a convenient schedule for all women, from busy moms to working women, to students and senior citizens. A schedule-free model allows members to come in whenever they have a free half hour to dedicate to themselves. Offering certified training in kickboxing and a safe environment to let go, 30 Minute Hit is the place for women empowerment and personal growth.

Through my journey, I have learned that everyone is going through something – everyone is on their own path. My motivating factor is knowing that I can touch people's lives everyday just by creating the space for encouragement and community. It's so easy to show people you care. That's the type of environment my team, clients and myself have worked hard to create at our 30 Minute Hit location.

Fitness saved my life. If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today. The perfect example of women empowering women – the foundation to invincibility.

This article was originally published September 12, 2019.