Lessons from investing (in yourself)

We had planned on going to this conference, though originally, separately — for many months.

The night before — we barely slept.

Excitement? Yes. Nerves? Way more yes.

"I'm worried I'm going to get self-concious tomorrow. All of my insecurities will come up and we're going to be around these perfect women and industry leaders — we HAVE to remember that we're on day one."

This sentiment, and different versions of this sentiment, ran through our conversations nearly all night. 

The next morning, we got ready, insecure about our outfits, our hair, our makeup, our vision — ourselves. 

This is a story about anticipation. About letting your mind, expectations, and self-doubt nearly kill your dreams.

About not taking a chance on yourself before you even know the whole story.

We arrived at the conference with full hearts, but not so clear of eyes (sorry Coach T).

As soon as we were there, standing in line among other hopeful hearts, we looked at each other. 

We fit here. 

We didn't look out of place, we didn't seem too young, too dumb, too Reno — too anything else we feared. 

We fit here. 

The day was packed full with speakers and adorable pop-ups that any girl would deem drool-worthy.

A few things happened throughout the day that we never expected — but were everything we didn't know we needed. 

Here is a breakdown of realizations and lessons — organized, mostly for me, but also maybe for you. 

1. We realized that we are not crazy. 

This is always a fun thing to find out. Shelby and I want to do a few (okay many) big things with our careers and lives that are a bit unconventional. Often, we look down on ourselves for wanting these things and many people in our lives (to no fault of their own) don't necessarily understand it.

So we are left feeling much less than right — let alone smart — often.

By inserting ourselves into a group of people chasing similar dreams, we were able to see that we are in fact NOT SO CRAZY. In fact, we think we may be spot on (to be determined). Our purpose, vision, and plan meshed seamlessly with many sentiments from "the pros" — we often made eye contact or (mostly gently) punched each other's arms with excitement when something resonated deeply with us. 

Not only had we been wrong in doubting ourselves, we found we were not alone, and that this was possible. 

Lesson: NEVER sabatoge your dreams before you put yourself in the environment where they can come true. ALWAYS check things out and surround yourself with similar minds — you'll be probably be surprised about how right you are. 

2. We realized that our passion is pretty ground shaking.

If you noticed from Insta stories during the trip — we can't stop jumping/dancing/air punching with happiness when we think about our dreams. I wish I could express in a more beautiful way how our passion feels, but essentially imagine feeling uncontrollable and unable to stop yourself from thrashing from excitement — pretty much us. 

We realized that not everyone finds this so young — we realized we are lucky. Because even if we never succeed — no one can take that feeling away from us. 

Lesson: If you feel something in your heart 1) be grateful for that and that alone; 2) FUCKING GOR FOR IT.

3. We realized that our idols, the people we always said we could never be — they're people too.

Bloggers, lady bosses, entrepreneurs — we always looked to them as superheroes — people we could NEVER be because [insert one million reasons aka excuses, here].

Yesterday, being surrounded by women we thought of as celebrities — listening to them speak — we realized that maybe, someday, that could be us too.

Lesson: Dream fucking big... because everyone's human and everyone can do it if they care enough.

4. We realized that everything happens for a reason.

We've failed a lot in the pursuit of what we want. We've gone through a lot physically, emotionally, and mentally that at the time, we couldn't understand. Now we finally see that everything we went through is part of our story and better yet, everything we went through led us to here — to now.

Lesson: It's all going to be OK.

Which leads me to my next point...

5. We realized it's going to suck for awhile, but it's worth it.

Dreams, goals — anything worth having, really — takes time, effort, and lots of struggle. Though we're on cloud nine, we realize that there are many tougher days ahead... but they will be worth it in the end. 

Lesson: Trust the process, and suck it up if you want your dreams to come true. Easy = not worth it.

6. We realized the most important thing of all. 

We realized, that after months, weeks, days, and hours of worry — not only did we fit here, we belonged here, and most importantly, we deserved to be here.

Lesson: Don't doubt yourself before inserting yourself into the situation. You deserve your hopes and dreams — and you ARE good enough. You ARE capable enough.

In fact, if you give yourself a chance, you'll probably find out that you're much, much more than that.

Anastasia Warren