2021: Year-End Review

January 1st, 2022
Location  •   New England

When the ball dropped in 2020, I headed into the new year with one intention in mind: RELEASE for 2021. And with that – it sure was a huge year of growth, trusting, and letting go.

Before I dive right into this year-end review, I find it’s important to look back on what I wrote the year prior (which you can view here). Looking back, I find it so insightful to see how I reflected on 2020 and what I was hung up on or yearning to change with the coming new year.

Traditionally, for my year-end review, I break down the year month-by-month. But I’m going to recap 2021 into how I worked on my intention of ‘releasing’ by sharing highlights with you. I spent a lot of my time in 2021 working – literally in my career and mentally processing the new “normal” – a phrase I’m not a fan of but am learning to adapt to.

2021 wasn’t the most ‘glamourous’ year for Matt and myself. We didn’t travel anywhere new or have any big life moments. Instead, most of the year was spent waiting and letting go of what’s out of our control.

OWNERSHIP: One thing I navigated letting go of was insecurities, including my image-crisis of ownership. In 2019, I went from being a ‘blogger’ solo-preuner to also owning the trophy store Mr. Trophy. Therefore, much of 2020 was spent trying to stay afloat due to the pandemic. I spent the majority of my time working at the front desk with a very small manufacturing team. It almost felt like another solo-preuner venture. But, when 2021 finally dropped and it was time to expand our team and move the company in a forward direction – I really was dragging my feet and second-guessing all my gut instincts. I didn’t want to ‘own’ my decisions.

Frankly, I was so tired from working both Mr. Trophy & the blog that I just wanted to do my job and go to sleep. With so much of my time spent at Mr. Trophy, I began feeling creatively drained or not in the mood to jump in front of the camera after a long week. I felt really uninspired and insecure with my content. And between the demand for stories, reels, and regular content I felt so far behind the whole year which led to a lack of confidence in a lot of what I did creatively.

I grappled with a mini-identity crisis every time someone asked me – what do you do for a living? Do I say, “I’m a blogger?” Do I say, “I own a trophy company?” I struggled with my career identity, especially since I felt I wasn’t giving either job 100 percent.

In the end, I worked all year on taking ownership of what a successful life looks like to me and not so much how it looks for everyone else. I focused on what success looks like as the owner of Mr. Trophy, what success looks like as the content creator for The Coastal Confidence blog and what success looks like for me personally. I OWNED that version of myself and have regained my confidence.

HUMILITY: I spent a lot of time this year crashing and burning. Not honoring the fact that I am just one human being. I thought in order to be a good boss for my employees at Mr. Trophy I’d have to be the first one in and the last one out of the warehouse – every. single. day.

My blog is my main income. So, that version of being a ‘good’ boss was putting me in a scary situation. Little sleep led to stress which led to me failing.

That is until I was led to an eye-opening podcast about Humility thanks to Alexandra from Grace Space Coaching. The podcast focused on realizing your humanity and checking yourself when you start to control what’s outside of your limits. Instead of succumbing, it refocuses you to trust that things will work out. Thus, realizing at the end of the day, we are all just human. Humans are meant to sleep, eat, move our body, drink water, and rest. These basic needs are not functions you can ‘girl boss’ your way around!

TRUST: I found my anxiety was due to a lack of trust in myself and anything outside of my control. For the first half of the year, I felt in despair and super insecure. I spent a lot of my time diving into why I was feeling this way. In doing so, I realized I was trying to control things so out of my control. I needed to release all of that uncertainty.

To do this, I focused on three words: Trust – to trust others. Confidence – to trust myself. Hope – to trust in the future.

By focusing on those three words, I was able to acknowledge the things I was worried about weren’t up to me and at the end of the day, I needed to trust that it would all work itself out. The only thing I am in 100% control of is my actions and reaction.

STILLNESS: I learned really quickly that it’s easier to be busy than still. I learned that it’s easy to wrap up your worth with how busy you are – rather than the quality of work you are doing. It’s so easy for me to feel guilty about saying ‘no.’ But, time is too precious to waste. And carving out time to do quiet work is essential in both my businesses.

To take this idea of stillness further, I would constantly check how I was spending my time. Was I spending my time contributing value to – my business, my relationships, my home life, my hobbies, or myself? Or was I just skipping from one task to the next, staying busy but really not accomplishing much?

It’s funny how through stillness, doing less has you accomplishing so much more.

All and all, I’m so excited for the start of 2022. There is a lot of things for Matt and me to look forward to. Two big trips are already on the books – along with our wedding! We look forward to bringing you all along for the ride. Can you believe we’re going on 8 years of The Coastal Confidence! It’s been a thrilling ride.

aubreysig

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