Live Loved LaShell
Follow Breanna as she runs a nonprofit , figures out life, and just enjoys each moment as it comes her way.
Please tell me I am not the only person that has new ideas, starts to put together new plans to make them happen and then you are hit with a wave of imposter syndrome and fear?
New adventures are fun and exciting, but they can also be overwhelming and straight up scary. It is easy to get lost in a cycle of allowing our minds to beat us up before we get a chance to start the big dreams we have on our hearts.
We get sucked into this state of believing myths that our minds tell us, and if you are anything like me they start to sound like this:
The list goes on and on.
Right off the bat this is enough for me to want to stop. I begin to feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and just not confident in myself or my abilities at all. But if everyone listened to the mean voice in our minds that tells us we can’t do something, then nothing would ever get done. So I figured I would share some of the steps I take to help me overcome my inner mean girl. I hope they help you too!
Another huge problem I have is not setting good expectations for my project from the beginning. I notice that when I don’t take the time to reflect and figure out what exactly I want out of the project and get really clear, when even the smallest thing goes different than the perfect plan in my head, my confidence shatters.
I’ve had to learn that every journey has twists and turns that can rock the boat, but when they happen they don’t have to be a horrible thing. By creating a game plan in the beginning of how I’m going to deal with those speed bumps I don’t feel so shaken and I’m able to continue forward versus letting fear make me stop.
Here are some of my top tips to keep you on track and help you fight the fear of starting or continuing your journey when those speed bumps pop up.
Each of these things; defining success, creating measurable goals, and breaking up your todo list will give you anchors to hold onto when fear creeps in. When your mind starts racing 100 miles per minute you can have tangible goals and steps to look at and slow you back down. Every project you start won’t end how you picture it, honestly very few things in life ever do, but even if it isn’t how you picture it, you started and with that you learn!
Don’t live a life of what ifs friend, your big, scary, crazy dreams are worth living and pursuing, don’t let that your mind beat itself up. You CAN do hard things, you just have to start and see it through no matter what.
I believe in the power and purpose of your dreams friend, and I’m rooting for you to win!
All the best,
Have you ever had it all figured out? Knew exactly how life was going to pan out, had things scheduled to a T? If you know me you know this basically explains my personality perfectly. But what happens when your plans start shifting around you, and you start to realize what you thought would be your life’s course changes completely? This was the reality I was faced with my senior year of high school, looking back I can see how life panned out exactly how it should have but in the moment it just felt like the life I had planned wasn’t for me at all. Back then I had the idea that I was going to be a doctor. I prepared for this throughout school, I took AP science classes, studied anatomy, was top of my class and I even interviewed for an eight year medical program when I started applying for colleges. From probably the age of seven or eight I had made this decision about my career, and I even made a pretty detailed plan on how to make it happen. In my head there was no other option but to become a doctor and I honestly saw no other possible outcome, at least I didn’t until I did…
This story really begins with sixteen year old Breanna, a high school sophomore. You see my sophomore year is the year that my life long plan of becoming a doctor started to unravel. That year my hometown was struck by tragedy, a middle school student died by suicide due to bullying and it wrecked my world and broke my heart. Bullying had been a huge part of my story starting at a young age, I had struggled with being picked on, isolated and left out for years, and it really peaked as a junior high student. I understood the pain and heartache that came with that experience and for a minute I remember going right back to that place. When I heard about this student and this story I saw myself. The reality that it could have been my story too really hit me hard. I remember so clearly that Sunday night and the rollercoaster of emotions that came over me as God began revealing a bigger purpose for my experiences and I knew that I had to do something, that I had to share my story and hopefully help others continue theirs. Within that moment I knew that I would not be okay with hearing another story like that one without me doing something, really anything, to help prevent it. So me being the planner that I am, got up that very Sunday night and typed up a proposal to give to my principal explaining that I wanted to go share my story to hopefully encourage students that there was life after junior high. Now you may be wondering why that was my first thought of how to help with this situation and honestly I have no idea, believing it had to be a God thing, because looking back that wouldn’t have been my first choice. I had never been a huge speaker, I had some experience with it but never at the scale that I was proposing, but somehow I just knew I needed to share my story, that it was meant to help other people who were experiencing something similar.
However, I also knew that sounded absolutely ridiculous, what school official was going to take a sixteen year old seriously with a crazy idea like that? And for the most part they didn’t. My proposal definitely helped but I mostly got brushed off, and my proposal passed around until it made it to the hands of the man who would later become my cofounder. Looking back this was a moment that changed the entire course of my life. It is crazy how you can trace back life to moments and see how and where things change. That one meeting, that one opportunity, that one chance changed everything! My meeting with the assistant high school varsity basketball coach led to an adventure I am still so in love with and completely in awe of.
Within two weeks (that’s right, two full crazy weeks!) of my late night proposal writing I ran my first assembly for a program I would later help turn into a nonprofit called Speak Love (can we take a minute and just say WOW God). That was eight years ago and it still wrecks my heart in the best way to see how this journey continues to play out.
Through Speak Love I have had the ability to speak to an average of ten thousand students a year. Helping me realize that while being a doctor would have been an amazing career, it would have been a waste of some of my better talents, and would have been a huge missed opportunity for me to live in my calling. I have gotten to mentor some of the best high school students I know as they join my Speak Love Crew and make my sixteen year old dream come true every year over and over again. I have had students come up to me and tell me my story has changed their life, has given them hope, has inspired them to seek help and keep living.I have seen new dreams be born by walking this journey and every day I get to experience the joy of saying yes to a calling that I didn’t have planned for myself. Isn’t it funny how life works like that? How you think you have something all planned out and then a curve ball comes your way and everything shifts...
It still amazes me to see how a crazy idea I had at sixteen turned into a nonprofit and one of the biggest passions in my life. Has this journey been easy? No not even a little bit… I had people tell me no over and over again. I have spent thousands of hours on this dream with no guarantees that it would ever be more than a dream. I have had people laugh at me, dismiss me, tell me I couldn’t over and over. I have had people take credit for my ideas, pretend like I wasn’t there, ignore me during meetings and so much more. I have cried big crocodile tears, and told my cofounder plenty of times that I couldn’t do it, only to have him and my loved ones encourage me through the process and tell me to keep going . For every time I have wanted to quit, something or someone has given me a million more reasons to stay, and for that I am so thankful.
It blows my mind to see what can happen with support and a ton of determination. It blows my mind to see that you don’t have to have the picture perfect plan (I didn’t have a plan at all, which looking back I don’t recommend but we made it work), the masters degree in your field ( I didn’t even have a high school diploma yet when this journey started for me), or be the oldest and wisest person in the room ( sixteen year old me had very little wisdom but a lot of passion) to be successful and follow a dream. It has also opened my heart and eyes to so many challenges that come your way when pursuing your dreams, especially at sixteen and honestly even today at twenty-three. With this journey I realized how often others count out people who are younger in the business field, and how often younger people count themselves out believing that they have to do xyz before pursuing their passions. I am a perfect example of how untrue this is, my journey is evidence that some of the most meaningful ideas and projects can not only come from but be run by teenagers and young adults just starting their careers. My life is a reflection of what can happen when you are willing to take a chance and say yes to some crazy idea someone tells you about, because never in a million years did I believe that a sixteen year olds late night proposal would become a full blown nonprofit and life mission, but here we are.
So what dream is weighing on your heart? I sit back and can’t help but wonder what crazy dream/idea is sitting waiting to be pursued and brought to light.
I know that there are so many people like me with a crazy dream that has been plopped in their lap and they have no idea where to go or how to start. I know there are people who have everything figured out, except for that small nudge in a new direction asking them to do something insane and take a leap into a project that is important to them. I know there are countless people who have taken this small leap only to be put down, locked out, and told that there is no way they will succeed or do the thing that lights them up like nothing else in the world does. I know there are people needing to hear they can do it, their dream does matter, this crazy goal is achievable. So, this year I am hoping to help others pursue new dreams and encourage them to take those big leaps of faith for the things that bring them big crazy joy, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else yet. I am ready to find joy in sharing a new (scary) exciting project with each of you on how I am hoping to make this happen...(more to come but y’all… I am so excited about this new little dream that has been growing on my heart!)
But for today, I hope this small part of my story rekindles a little fire in your heart to take a look at your dreams. Nothing is too crazy, too unrealistic, or too impossible to accomplish with the right plan, someone to support and push you, and a heart for the work you are wanting to do! Make 2020 the year that you dust off that idea that lights you up but lives on a shelf because of fear. Make 2020 the year that no matter your age, experience, or occupation you believe you are capable of even more than your wildest dreams. Your story has a purpose only you can fill and only you can discover. Personally, I can’t wait to see what it is!
Until Next Time XOXO,
I am a recent college graduate and have no idea what to do with myself.
I was fortunate enough to graduate with my BBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico (Go Lobos!!). Leading up to graduation I had SO many emotions, my poor family truly loves me y’all cause I was a mess. I battled with thoughts like “who am I if I am not a student?” School is something I have dedicated myself to doing extremely well in. I made A Honor Roll all throughout primary school, graduated #5 in a class of almost 500 students in high school. I made Dean’s List all 7 semesters of college and graduated Summa Cum Laude… That’s the thing about throwing your entire life into something, when it’s gone you question your identity, your worth , your value. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with striving to do well in school, but I did so much more than that. I allowed myself to be consumed by my education. It became a hiding place, a central intricate part of my identity and then I graduated. I graduated and the identity I had assigned to myself for the majority of my life was no longer valid, making me question my value, my purpose, my worth.
I was faced with the question, “Who am I if I’m not a student?” I wrestled with this question for weeks when finally I came to a new question, “Who do I want to be now that I am not a student?”
Y’all what a freeing question! For the first time in a very long time I had the feeling that I could be absolutely anyone or anything. I had the time and the resources to explore new things to make new mistakes and to pursue my passions that had been put on hold in order to excel in my education.
Maybe I will find something new to throw my life into, or maybe, just maybe I will find joy in many new somethings. Personally, I’m hoping for the latter because then instead of a ”student” or an “XYZ” I get to just be “Breanna” and I’m really looking forward to discovering just who “Breanna” is.
So what is the label you have attached your identity to? Is it student? Teacher? Mother? Friend? Daughter? Dancer? Athlete? Musician? Something else entirely? Whatever it is I challenge you to step back and rediscover the you behind the label. The one certainty of life is that nothing will ever remain exactly the same. Seasons change, interests shift, people grow up and you eventually graduate. We change and the labels we give ourselves will also change, when it does you have to be comfortable with the you that is left behind. I hope you take the time to love the true you right here, right where you are. Don’t be like me and have a straight identity crisis at 21, you have the ability to separate labels from identity, all you have to do is make the decision to.
Hoping this realization is as freeing to you as it has been for me. Praying this next season is beautiful, vibrant, fruitful, and oh so freeing!
Hey sweet friends!!! Welcome back to the blog. I have been working hard to get back to this, to get back to falling in love with not only writing, but with my life as a whole. As I was reflecting on why this blog was important to me and who I was hoping to reach, I wrote the phrase “she is tired of living her life apologetically.” Wow, talk about a wake up call because I have been living life apologetically. I have limited myself to the expectations of life and forgotten that it is okay to live outside of the box. It is okay to be a little unorthodox, to love yourself, to love life hard in whatever way that makes you happy. Living life in a bubble full of others, wants thoughts and expectations is exhausting. Life is short, take a chance, eat the extra piece of cake, go on the spontaneous road trip, love others HARD! You never know what will happen. Life has no problem with kicking our butts and laughing at us while it happens, it is important to snatch our small moments of joy. Coming from a perpetual people-pleaser this is a hard truth to swallow. It is also not an easy truth to live. So I thought I would share some of the things I am changing (or at least working on changing) to keep from living apologetically.
1.Schedule (at MINIMUM) 2 hours a week to do whatever makes my heart happy: nap read, watch a movie, sit and stare at the wall, whatever I want, without an explanation to anyone. NO guilt, no excuses.
2.Stop overbooking myself. My people pleasing heart hates to tell anyone “no.” This is all fine and dandy… at least until it isn’t and I’m on day 5 of less than 4 hours of sleep, not living my best life, while disappointing everyone I made commitments to in the process. Learning that it is okay to limit the time and energy I give out to others so I can give my best to what I’m working on is a crucial lesson for me.
3.Embracing the imperfections of life. Somehow it still disappoints me that I have an inability to be “perfect” or create “perfect” situations. I completely know and understand that perfection isn’t a possibility yet I still find myself feeling disappointed when I don’t meet my own personal impossible standards. This year I really want to lean into the imperfections, the messiness, the random left turns that throw me for a loop. I am slowly learning that my life is happening in these imperfect moments and instead of enjoying them, I am running from them.
These are my three big growth areas I hope to improve in 2019. Maybe these are your big areas as well, or maybe it is something totally different. Take some time to really do a heart check and decide what is preventing you from living your best beautiful life. Live life unapologetically friends, you deserve it!!
Isn’t it funny how you can be so determined and ready to go on a project and then life happens. In January 2018 I was SO excited to restart my blog and redevelop this “brand” I’m creating…. but then life happened. Now here we are, a year later and this is the first post since that New Years one… LOL! However I truly believe in the saying, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail” I can say that when it comes to this website and this blog I have failed to plan properly. I was obsessing over doing this “perfectly” of always having the perfect post with the perfect message but guys, I’m not perfect! My life is crazy, and frustrating, and beautiful, and fulfilling! There are ups and downs and unexpected twists and that’s okay! Embracing this new perspective along with a radical shift in my faith I realized I was missing the bigger picture. My imperfections aren’t a weakness but a strength, by being transparent about the fact that I’m a mess just like everyone else, I’m hoping my trials and struggles will make those inspiring messages of overcoming battles more relatable. I’m praying that this blog will become a place where anyone, no matter your walk, no matter your struggles, no matter what you are looking for you will find something you can relate to and find inspiration from. It’s about to get real here at www.breannalashell.com. I hope you will follow me on this journey and it can be a great tool, or at least some comic relief, for whatever path life has you on!
If there is something you would like to see make sure you are following me on social media and let me know!! There will be other content there that I simply can’t fit on the blog and I would love to hear what you are enjoying, not liking, or hoping to see more of!
For those who don’t know my handles here they are or you can click any of the social media icons on the website:
@livelovedlashell_ on Instagram
@breannalashell on FaceBook
Much Loves Always,