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  • Kristin Westfahl

2021: A Year in Review, Lessons Learned

I’ve been thinking about what I wanted my final blog of 2021 to be. It seems cliché but I’ve been reflecting over the past 12 months a lot lately and I’d love to share with you all of the helpful realizations I’ve experienced, in business and personal.



Top 5 Lessons Learned of 2021:


MINDSET IS EVERYTHING


I cannot stress this one enough. Mindset is everything. I was recently watching a documentary over Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s rivalry with my mom. We discussed how the Boston Celtics were not the better team, but they had the mindset to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtic players would work overtime on getting in the minds of the players of the Lakers. I can’t remember which player was talking, but during his interview he shared that on the court he would look at his teammate and talk shit on the Lakers player that was guarding him. He would say something like “he can’t guard me, I’ve got him beat” to his teammate, in front of the guy guarding him. The Celtics player shared how he could see it on the Lakers player’s face that he had him beat, mentally. If that story doesn’t stress to you how important mindset is then I don’t know what to tell you.


My parents, everyone around me, teachers, coaches, etc., would always say “you can do anything you set your mind to” and I think as children we believe it because it’s something inspiring that adults always tell you. It wasn’t until later that I truly understood and believed it. You truly can do anything you set your mind to. I could probably write an entire blog and do a podcast episode over mindset, but let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes to hopefully get the message across,


“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right" - Henry Ford

JUST KEEP SWIMMING


This one is from one of my favorite Disney films, Finding Nemo. It seems obvious, but I felt it needed to be on the list. It’s really easy to get caught up in social media and that all of our hard work is never enough. I’m speaking from experience. I’ll jump online and all of a sudden I have anxiety. Why, you ask? There are so many reasons why social media causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. Too often we see a picture and it’s perfect. It’s photoshopped and maybe it’s highlighting something that someone is celebrating that we are working hard to achieve and we haven’t yet. Suddenly we feel like we aren’t enough. It’s so easy to see a picture of someone celebrating an achievement and instead of thinking about the obvious - that it’s probably taken them a long amount of time, hard work and dedication to get there - we only see the rewarding piece of it.


I really had to think about and be intentional with my time on social media. When I see something that makes me jealous, I like to sit back and think “okay, why is this a trigger for me?”. Is it something I want? Something I desire? Why? Okay, how can I achieve this myself? And most importantly, I want to remember that this is a huge goal I’m striving to achieve and that it will take time, hard work and dedication. I’m on my own path, maybe I’m just starting or maybe I’m halfway there, either way, the timing is always right. If it happened for someone in 2 months and you’re still working on it 5 months later - trust that the timing is working out for your highest favor and the results will be even better than you could ever imagine.


In summary, I advise you to use social media and how it triggers you in your favor. If you get mad or jealous of something you see - unpack it. Use it as motivation and get it yourself. Just keep swimming, trust the timing and trust in the work you are doing to achieve it.


SELF CARE, GRACE & GRATITUDE


This is a big one. It’s relative to the previous 2 mentioned. In order to have your mindset right and have the longevity to just keep swimming, you have got to make taking care of yourself a priority. When I look at the successful people that I admire on social media every single one of them has a self care routine. One of my favorites, Ed Mylett, he is always reminding me that self confidence comes from keeping promises to yourself. Self confidence and self care are one in the same if you ask me. When you keep those promises to yourself, such as, I’m going to take an hour off work today to check in with myself, or I’ve reached that small goal of mine, I’m going to treat myself, you’re basically telling and showing yourself that YOU matter. You’re important. A lot of us, myself included, are guilty of treating ourselves horribly. We feel the need to push ourselves and be our harshest critic.


NEWSFLASH: Would you talk to a 5 year old that way? Would that work for them? No, it wouldn’t. Would you talk to someone that you love and care about deeply that way? No. If you did, they wouldn’t be around for long. So ask yourself, “why would you talk to yourself that way?”. You shouldn’t.


Your mind and your body hears you when you are hard on yourself. Take it from me, don’t let yourself get into that vicious cycle of self abuse. Stop it now. Start talking to and treating yourself as if you were cheering on a loved one and see how it changes your mindset. See how it affects your business, your personal life, your relationships, etc.


I’m sure you’ve heard that when you talk kindly to plants, they grow bigger and brighter. If you haven’t you should research that and while you’re at it, look into the water experiments by Dr. Masaru Emoto HERE.


Also, if you want to learn more about self care and balance: check out my previous blog How to Balance Life and Why Self Care is Crucial HERE


CONSTANTLY GROWING, LEARNING & PIVOTING


One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year is to get comfortable learning. Constantly learning.


I’m literally researching daily how to do this, what to work on next, how this works with my brand and my overall goals, etc. As an entrepreneur, we have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Our business is constantly growing and more importantly WE are always growing. If you’re standing still in business and in personal life, you’re going backwards. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but make the commitment to always better yourself and your business. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it’s typically to shape us into the person we are meant to be in order to have everything we want in life.


Be open to everything life is trying to teach us and have a hungry appetite for learning and growing. Life will take you to magical places if you let it.


LIFE IS TOO SHORT


Life is too short and I know you’ve heard this before, but I need a constant reminder so here is yours. Life is too short to be angry, upset or have regrets. Don’t you do that! If you have a moment where you need to feel and work through your emotions - do it. Do not however, take forever to sulk and sit in those negative emotions for they may soon become “normal” for you. Then you’re stuck in that vicious cycle I mentioned earlier and you will never accomplish anything by being a victim and stuck in a negative rut.


Life is too short to not make it everything you want it to be. Want to travel more? Do it. Want to work less? Find a way to make it happen. Want to buy that car? Work hard and afford it.

Sit down, be intentional, take care of yourself and make all of your dreams come true. No one will work harder for your dreams than you will and life is too short not to work for everything you want out of it.


I’ll finish with another Ed Mylett story, because I love him so much and if you’re not listening to his podcast HERE you’re missing out. Ed is always sharing this story he has where when he thinks about being on his deathbed, in his final days of life, he pictures that he is greeted by all of the versions of himself that God had intended for him. Ed says something like, when that moment comes and I meet all these incredible versions of myself, I greet them as if they are dear friends. I meet them as if I know them well because I worked my entire life to become these magnificent versions of myself that God had planned for me. I gave it my all, I left nothing on the table. With that, I can pass knowing I have no regrets, nothing left to be said. The alternate being that these best versions of yourself are strangers. You don’t know them because you didn’t give it your all. You gave into the fear or the lie that it was too hard.


Please strive to be the first one. Meet those amazing versions of yourself. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for us. Do it for the rest of the world because you are here for a reason. God has a plan and a purpose for you. Even if you were to only impact one other human being in this world for the better - it is worth it. I bet you impact more than one person too when you do everything your heart desires. We have these desires for a reason and life is too short not to go after them.


Have a wonderful New Year and I cannot wait to see what 2022 brings us all. I know I'm working on some incredible projects to launch in January that I cannot wait to share with you all.


Don't hesitate to reach out! I'm always looking to connect with incredible entrepreneurs. Contact me HERE or at hello@kristinwestfahl.com.




Signed,




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