Defining Success | 2016 Reflection

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At the beginning of 2016, I pretty much had one goal. I had spent the last quarter of 2015 wrapping my head around the fact that I wasn’t going back to school in the fall for the first time in my life, and I was going to give this photography thing a real shot. I worked so hard to create a website and brand I was proud of to showcase my work. I could hardly even fill the homepage with pictures at that point and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was determined to figure it out! (Fake it till you make it, ami right?!) I decided I was going to launch my website on my Birthday and just ride the wave after that. I had total tunnel vision and the launch of my website was the farthest I would let my mind wander because everything else seemed so far fetched.

mckenziecoylephotography.com goes live in 13 days!!! 💃🏻🙆🏻

A photo posted by mckenzie coyle (@kenzcoyle) on

Well, here we are and my official one year anniversary is one day and a month away! Seriously so much has happened this year, and I owe so much of that to the fact that I allowed myself to start dreaming beyond the launch of my website, and began pushing myself to set aside all fear of failure! Success starts with making a choice.

This week I've been participating in The Rising Tide Society’s #therechargechallenge on Instagram which has walked me, along with thousands of other creatives, through a series of questions helping us reflect on the accomplishments and failures of this year, along with the goals we want to set for next year. It’s so refreshing to sit down and really think about all the things that have happened this year. Most of the time I’m so focused on what’s ahead and the million things I could be doing better, that I forget what it's taken to get where I am right now. It’s so important to reflect, be thankful and celebrate how far you’ve come. No matter how big or small the victories!

Wednesday’s Recharge Challenge question was: "What does success mean to you?” This is such a loaded question, and it really got me thinking. As I've been reflecting, I decided I wanted to write a blog post about it! (Even though it's now Thursday...hehe oops!)

When I think of success, I automatically pair it with failure. That may seem weird, but let me explain. I’m truthfully thankful for failure, and I’ll be the first to recognize that it takes a lot of it for anyone to get anywhere close to where they want to be. Heck, even freakin Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lack of creativity” and his concept of Disneyland was rejected 302 times before it actually happened. God Bless. Anyways, I'm not saying to become too comfortable with failure, but rather learn how to accept it and allow it to propel you forward and become better than you were before. So many of us are so scared of failure we let it stop us in our tracks and don't allow for any growth to come from it. 

Along with failure, there are so many of us who are fearful of hearing the word "no". I made it a priority this year to not let fear of hearing the word “no” stop me, and in result so many of my personal success stories have stemmed from it. Instead of letting “reality” get in the way, what if we all chose to hold on to some childish naivety, and extend it endlessly into our lives and businesses? What if we went into every situation and forced ourselves to assume only the best, and dismiss all thoughts of negativity? 

The truth is, everything is already a "no" if we don't ask! Once we learn to not give the word "no" or fear of failure any power, we open up a huge world of opportunity! If I can do it, surely anyone else can. These are all things I have to push myself to live by daily too. Remember, one person’s “no” is almost always going to be someone else's “yes!”

With all that said, success to me is choosing to shut down self-doubt in order to make room for new and beautiful things in your life. So get out there and pursue the things that seem too out of reach! You’ll come to find that those things aren't as far out of reach as they may seem. In the words of my wise Momma, “Someone else out there is doing it, so why not you?"

Let’s all challenge ourselves, and each other, to dream big & make 2017 ours!!! Cheers!

xx Kenz