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The Person You Want to Be

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Hi, I'm Erin!

I am a photographer and writer passionate about the outdoors, meaningful travel, and living deliberately. I hope to use my platform online to show the beauty and complexity of the world we live in, and to encourage genuine connection to the outdoors, culture, people and wildlife.

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I have never found motivation in comparing myself to someone else.

And I am really good at comparing– I seem to do it a lot, especially when I’m feeling insecure or when work is slow. Maybe it’s a product of society, my own insecurities and doubts, my own judgment. My own hopes and dreams and the ways I’ve realized them, or the ways I haven’t.

There are still moments when I am diluted by the trap of comparing my struggle to someone else’s success.

One day in college, I was sitting in this loop of comparison and judgment. I already knew I had a long way to go, I just didn’t really know where I was trying to get to. I wrote down this question:

 

Who is the woman I want to be? What is she like?

 

I made a list of things about the person I wanted to be– the things I wanted to be defined by.

The woman I want to be is gentle. She does not judge others for their demons. She does not judge herself for her failures.

The woman I want to be is graceful and confident. She doesn’t wait for new cards, but plays big with the ones she already has.

She knows her greatness, and doesn’t waste time on those who undervalue her. She is tall, so she wears heels. She sings in the car and the shower and the grocery store.

She is humble. She seeks feedback and listens. She wants to be better and knows that self-improvement does not always flow easily.

She gives graciously even when she does not have much to give.

The woman I want to be wakes up and is thankful before she is anything else. She makes her coffee before the sun rises. And at midnight, she drives up to the lookout above town, just to be closer to the stars.

She is a firecracker, but she is tactful when it matters. The room feels different when she walks in.

She has strong boundaries. She understands her needs and makes them known. She does not settle.

The woman I want to be asks questions. She asks them well and she asks them often. She listens to the experiences of those who are different than she is, and she takes no answers personally.

She is thoughtful with her friendships and with her love. She gives neither away without consideration. She invests deeply, but is not afraid to walk away.

She is willing to be wrong. She is willing to sound stupid. She knows that she isn’t right all the time and that she never will be. She finds strength in vulnerability.

The woman I want to be says no when she is overextended and asks for help when she needs it.

She stands up and speaks out for what she believes in, even when it is tiring, because it is the right thing to do.

She chases her dreams, every day, without apology or restraint. She looks doubt in the face and declares, “I see you, and I’m moving past you.”

She is a powerhouse; a warrior for her truth. And I will work to be more like her every day.

You are living in the space between the person you are and the person you want to be. The only one worth comparing yourself to is past versions of you. Who are you today? Who do you want to be? Who will you be tomorrow?

 


 

Feature photo by Ali V. – website and Instagram.

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  1. Simone says:

    This is such an important exercise, imagining and planning for your future self. Thank you for the reminder, and as always, thank you for your willingness to share and be vulnerable.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Erin,
    I absolutely love this. What a powerful way to reflect and become. Thank you for sharing.
    Lindsay

  3. Lucie says:

    What an inspirational post! Thank you, Erin, for writing this sentence because it’s my mantra now. 🙂

    Lucie | http://www.inbluebox.com

  4. Karleen says:

    Erin,
    I can relate to this so often, I’ve noticed that if I don’t continuously work on my self doubt it comes creeping back in unexpectedly. It’s not something you just decide one day and then forget about it. This has been the hardest part for me- reminding myself to work on it before it comes out.
    I also really like the part about not taking things personal. It saves you a lot of hurt.
    Thank you always, for your insight.

    • Thank you Karleen! Not taking things personally has been one of the biggest and best lessons I have learned. It’s crazy how freeing things become! Doubt will always creep in– I deal with it all the time– it’s just about building a relationship where you can see it, work with it, and eventually push through it. Much love. xo

  5. Thank you Erin for such an incredible post. You are a woman after my own heart.
    I too sometimes start comparing myself and your absolutely right, From now on
    I will only compare myself to my past versions. This will be a handy tool to have and
    use for those days when I don’t feel quite up to par. Have an awesome day!!!!

  6. Wow this post is so inspiring, I feel like it’s exactly what I needed to get through today. I’m going to try this today, writing out exactly what I want to be. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Kelsey x | http://www.seaofwanderlust.com

  7. Johnie Gall says:

    This is lovely Erin! I’ve done a similar exercise in the past few months and it’s helped guide me through a lot of tough decisions. I especially connect with “She is willing to be wrong.”

  8. Mandee says:

    Absolutely love this post, Erin! Thank you so much for sharing. The woman you aspire to be is amazing, as is the woman you are right now. I needed the reminder to stop comparing myself to everyone else.

  9. Jenna says:

    Freaking fantastic, girl. You words resonate with me always.

  10. Diana says:

    This post resonated with me so much, I feel as though writing down who you want to be can help you truly realize it and make that a reality. I would like to refrain from judging others for their demons, and to stop comparing. Comparing is so easy but such a terrible thing for our self-esteem. Thank you for another inspiring and beautifully written post!

    http://mylovelierdays.com

  11. Laura Audette says:

    Truth

  12. Tom says:

    Perfect timing, this really helps. Thank you so much!

  13. Ellen Loughney says:

    Hi Erin. I loved reading this. It’s like a “centering prayer” in a way… a great tool to re-focus at any age or any stage of life. I plan to share it… it can be so helpful to many who are pondering the next move in their life.

    • Thanks Ellen! And thank you for sharing. I come back to this idea often for myself whenever I am feeling doubt or fear– all normal stuff, but stuff that can get in the way of being the best version of yourself. xo

  14. I think about this often in terms of what I want to do, the things, not what my output, with those things or not, should be or that I want it to be. This is such a great exercise in self-reflection and personal development. I see the value in all of the things you posted and will practice this exercise as well to come up with my own list – firecracker will definitely be towards the top of my list 😉

  15. Katie says:

    Hi Erin! First of all I want to say that I really respect what you do and what you are all about! It’s been such an encouragement and an inspiration to start reading your posts and follow you on social media. I remember writing a similar thing of what I want to be when I “grow up” lol 😛 I go back to it every so often and remind myself of those things I wrote when I was graduating college. Its crazy how sometimes we can start comparing ourselves! I hate it! Anyways thanks so much for writing this post! I’m going back to my list right now! 🙂
    By the way, we just started a blog that we will continue on with during our world trip. It’s a trip that we are taking to adventure, learn, and serve the local people! thatoneadventurecouple.com

  16. Hello Erin! What a nice post! Thank you for sharing with us!

  17. I loved reading this and it has inspired me to write my own list of the person I want to be. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Yeeling says:

    Thanks for sharing these personal reflections. Definitely made me think about myself and who exactly I’d like to be. Although, it’s a tough one to figure out but I’ll try practicing what you did with making a list and see if I get some clarity. 🙂

    Love from Singapore,
    Yeeling

    http://artelounge.net

  19. Matthew says:

    Great post Erin and what an awesome exercise. Lots of love from South Africa. 🙂

  20. Simone says:

    Wow! Something about this really resonated with me. I think I need to spend more time practicing this – thanks for sharing and beautifully written 🙂

  21. Ly says:

    Erin! I love this post. I have done the same exercise sometimes myself, when feeling out of balance, in doubt of myself and my choices or facing decisions. I too resonate with every one of these goals, so deep, so pure and so good 🙂 now back to reading rest of your blog…
    All the best, Ly

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