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        Hi there, friends! It’s been a little while since I’ve seen you, and it’s so great to be back. This semester has really picked up the pace in the past month and has cut into my photography time quite a bit. I have been loving it, but I do miss being behind the camera! However, as the cooler weather begins to finally set in, I don’t have reason to complain. Walking through a wonderland of a breathtaking orange and yellow hues has been nothing short of magical. The year’s end usually brings along with it times of reflection when I tend to look back on all that has happened this year and marvel at how much has changed.
        I have been working on a variety of different projects for my design class this semester, but I’d have to say our most recent assignment might have been my favorite. The title of the project was “Advertise You,” and we were tasked with developing a creative personal statement to present to the class. The idea of formulating a personal statement  wasn’t a completely foreign concept to me, but when I first started working on the assignment, I was riddled with doubts about not being able to measure up or truly portray what I said my ideals were on paper. The purpose of the assignment was to clarify and communicate what I already internally believe about myself, but at this point in my life it feels like there are so many things I am discovering and learning about myself that it felt almost impossible to explain.
        “What do you intend to do with your life?” Some form of this question has been asked of you at one time or another, and if you’re anything like me, I think to myself (while politely responding with a generic answer about my future career goals) “Am I not doing something with my life right now? Don’t you see me standing here in front of you? Living?”
        Now, I know what you may be thinking. I know that, more often than not, people are trying to make polite conversation and that they mean well, but when was the last time someone really asked you about your current season of life? I’m not taking about your career objectives, family situation, financial goals, and the like. But what if someone came up to you on the sidewalk and asked,

               “What are you doing everyday to become a better version of yourself?”

        Now that would be a powerful question! That person would definitely have my attention, and if I’m completely honest, they might scare me a little. I love planning and imagining the future, but far too often I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in other worlds whether they are in our hands or in our minds. Consequently, we sometimes miss out on seizing the present. So here’s my question for you…doesn’t the future start now?
        Start off this weekend with some time to reflect. Define yourself on paper. Use my personal statement as inspiration if you want! Or scratch some notes on one of those hotel notepads. It doesn’t matter. But write down your core values, how you define your personality, and a promise that you desire to deliver. It can be job-related or it could be totally personal. Either way, you’ll be amazed at how much clarity it will bring! No one is perfect, and maybe you don’t hit the mark every time, but this should be a compilation of what you are striving to be each day. Self-awareness doesn’t mean you’ve got it all together. It means you are able to be introspective and understand your shortcomings as well as your talents and the inner qualities that make you irreplaceable. Because Matthew said it best, 

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Stay sweet, friends! You’re doing great things!

Posted in: Uncategorized

October 30, 2015

The Importance of Self-Awareness | Personal Post

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Nichole Lauren is a photographer & business coach in Greenville, SC & available for travel worldwide.

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photography + Education