A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}

Queensland Homes Modern Coastal Island Decorating
 Queensland Homes  – Bayden Goddard, BGD Architects

Photos Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style

I had a crisis a few months ago. I’m over it now, but don’t worry. It’s not the sort of crisis where you are admitted to the ER or need to be talked off a precipice. But rather, the sort of crisis where you suddenly realize once again, you are feeling in over your head for whatever reason. Perhaps you are trying or starting something new and scary, or perhaps you are decorating a new-to-you house. Decorating can be scary, right? You have to find your own way and might even fear you have to make all the right decisions if you are going to succeed.

Island Coastal Style Kitchen Studio McGeeStudio McGee

I’m no stranger to these sorts of crisis moments. Yes, I’ve moved to quite a few styles of homes so I’ve had to find my own way in new places often. But even outside of home decor, back in the day (when I first started blogging in the darker quieter ages of blogdom) I had a blog style crisis. As far as I could tell, there were basically three kinds of bloggers in the home blog world in 2007. There seemed to be creative bloggers, homemaking bloggers and design bloggers.

Now, likely there were more types of bloggers, or maybe they weren’t quite as defined as I thought. Perhaps I was all wrong and clueless (likely), but that is just what I perceived as a newbie to this strange new world of “BLOGS.” I assumed everyone else knew what they were doing and they were all doing it the right way within the boundaries of those labels.

Coastal Style Blackband Design Master Bedroom
Blackband Home & Design

Since (in my typical indecisive form) I couldn’t decide which type of blogger I was or should be, I just made up what I was going to be and do. I just did what I loved and felt like doing. I made it all up in my mind. That’s scary, but it’s reality. I didn’t have a clue what the correct way was to blog, so I just DID whatever I could. Sometimes I was a homemaking blog, some days I guess I was more of a design blog, but every now and then I was just feeling creative so I dabbled in a few rare and embarrassing crafty moments. Basically, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT. I still don’t. That may be pretty obvious by now, ha, but still, for better or worse, I kept going.

I could go on here and explain all the times and ways over the years I have had no idea what I was doing, but suffice it to say, it’s an awkward amount of times. Was I confident in everything I did in the past? No. Am I confident in everything I do now? Nope.

So why am I bringing this up now? (i.e. Do I need therapy?) 

Maybe, but not really. I’m fine! Really, I just hope it will encourage you to know a little secret I’ve learned. The truth is, I’m not the only one who wings it. Maybe I do it more than some folks, but the truth is NO ONE who is creating something totally unique or brand new to them knows what they are doing at all times. Most people are just winging it until it comes together in a satisfactory way (or it becomes obvious that it is time to try something new, ha).

They aren’t necessarily faking it, they might be, but sometimes that’s what you do when you have no clue what to do but you have to do something. It should be called experimenting with confidence. Even if people might look like they have it all together and are confident in who they are and what they do, inside they often feel like they are just making a lot of it up as they go.

Island Style Shutters Historial Concepts Southern Livingvia Historial Concepts Architecture & Southern Living

People who try new things can learn from their mistakes and what they’ve done successfully in the past. And those mistakes and successes will definitely shape what people know to do in the future. But when they were making the mistakes and heading towards those first time successes, most of the time they didn’t actually KNOW in advance what would work and what wouldn’t. They just kept trying. They might have good instincts, a good eye or good training. Those things are helpful. But perseverance is often a big part of success.

Everyone can assess what has worked for them in the past (or what they have learned or believe to be true about the current situation), but to truly feel pretty confident about what will work NOW, you either have to have done that exact thing before under the same exact circumstances, or what you do will involve floundering a bit through trial and error. New things are just that…new.

Coastal Style Living RoomHouse Beautiful

Every time I’m faced with a new room to decorate, a new house to figure out, a new post, a new challenge, a new budget, a new book to write, a new look to create, a new opportunity, a new idea, another teen to parent :), whatever it is that I have to put my heart into on any given day, it feels like a huge RISK.

I worry that I could totally embarrass myself or fail or stress out if I don’t know everything I need to know in order to succeed. I can start to fear that maybe I’m a fraud. Ha. Not really, but more like I might be a little bit in over my head, until I talk myself down off the ledge and remind myself of the things I already know.

10 Things I Know for Sure

  1. A brave no is just as powerful for success as a timid yes.
  2. I don’t have to do something expected (which eliminates the guesswork and fear about what exactly IS expected!).
  3. I don’t have to worry, unless I am making the type of mistakes that are fatal.
  4. I can seek advice from others and learn from smarter people, I am not alone.
  5. I have already learned important lessons that I can apply to any situation.
  6. I will grow from constructive criticism, but other people’s critical spirits won’t define me or my failures.
  7. There are always people who are better at what I do, but there is only one person who can be me.
  8. What I have to do, want to do, or feel called to do, is worthy of pursuing, even if I can’t do it perfectly.
  9. I can confidently do my own thing in my own way, even if it is through trial and error.
  10. I’ll love the result, be proud of my effort, or at least learn from my mistakes so I can improve going forward.

That’s it. Those ten truths are really what we need to hold on to when we are venturing off into new territory or afraid we might fail.

If you are willing to try something new, you’ll end up a little bit wiser or a little bit braver, or both. 

:)

True Confession: This started out as a post I was going to call Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style (whatever that style is, I might have just made it up). But somewhere along the way, I got inspired in a different way and starting writing a totally different post. Was it about blogging? Decorating Style? Book writing? Trying new things? Success in business? All of the above? See? I have no idea. Awkward, right?

Colorful Coastal Island Style - Coastal Idea Home Historical Concepts
Historical Concepts – Coastal Living Idea House

The Little Known Secret to Success - 10 Things I Know For Sure - The Inspired Room blog

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Beauty Begins The Moment You Decide To Be Yourself

The Inspired Room Family Room - Fireplace

If you ask any interior designer or design enthusiast for ideas about how to decorate a home, you’ll likely find enough opinions to make your head spin. Some ideas you might like, some you won’t, some will leave you scratching your head. Everyone has their own style and way of approaching design, but not everyone will understand your preferences and how you want to live in your home. You have to seek out ideas that resonate with you and apply them in your own way.

As you might know, I see design as a process of discovering what you love and embracing what inspires you in whatever season you are in. Since I’ve studied design principles and my own home preferences for decades I feel like I have a good sense of the look I like and I know what has worked for me. But I’m still always evolving in being ME and learning how to embrace my own style.

Beauty Begins the Moment You Decide To Be Yourself - Coco Chanel - Hand Drawn Quote by The Inspired Room

There isn’t only one way to decorate a home. Even if you don’t feel like you have a strong opinion on design yet (or decorating just isn’t your thing) you still might have a sense of what you like when you see it. You know what will feel comfortable to you, you are drawn to colors and textures that appeal to you, and your heart might even perk up when you see a pattern or a style that inspires you. Your home should be personal and reflect the people who live there, so what you surround yourself with really matters!

I wasn’t sure if I should feel sad, or just laugh at the irony of her words but a recent Amazon reviewer of my coffee table book The Inspired Room shared that she didn’t like my color palette, didn’t like how we arranged our chairs in the kitchen, and basically said I decorated my house all wrong, in her opinion. She concluded her lengthy commentary by implying that bloggers shouldn’t share their homes or decorating ideas because that is like the blind leading the blind. 

Sadly, I think she misunderstood the point of the book (and blogging for that matter) and missed the whole philosophy behind it. 

The Inspired Room - Gathering Room

I don’t believe that the only acceptable way to decorate is to do it my way. Certainly not! I am willing to open my home not because it is a perfectly designed space (it isn’t!), but so I can share attainable ideas that have worked for me in my home. My hope is that you’ll feel inspired to embrace what YOU love and feel more confident and excited about using what you have.

I think when you are encouraged to be true to who you are, you’ll start to love where you live, too.

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel

I’m well aware my imperfect home or decorating advice will never grace the cover of Architectural Digest. Amen and bless. I’m more than OK with that, though, because somehow in spite of my limitations and its imperfections, it still nurtures our family and is a place we love to come home to. And isn’t that what really matters? After nine years of sharing the significance of embracing authenticity at home, I am convinced we still need this message. Maybe now more than ever!

How do you try to embrace authenticity in your style?

**You can find The Inspired Room book here. Thank you to those of you who resonate with this message and have always encouraged me to keep on sharing it! You are my people. If you are new here, welcome! You can sign up to stay in the loop of blog posts via email, here.**

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