I think there’s one thing that most of us can agree on: change is scary. Change means shifting away from what you’re used to and moving toward something unknown. It means taking a step over the imaginary line where your comfort zone ends and something new begins.
But hold up… before we get too deep, let’s REWIND! Hey, I’m Jera, a full-time content creator, Instagram strategist, and ONE Brands ambassador. I figured with the new year and the new decade, I’d take some time to look back and share some insights about the changes, pivots, and self-reflection I’ve experienced over the last six years. I’ve found immense positivity in all those changes, and I’ve learned that the path to success isn’t always a straight line.
It all started in 2011 when I graduated from USC with a Fine Arts degree and went to work as a graphic designer for startups. It was what I’d always wanted to do, and I was SO excited! But as time went on, I realized something wasn’t clicking.
I felt more and more mistreated at work, and I was pushed to extreme exhaustion.
But wait, it gets worse. I realized I was struggling with social anxiety, and I even developed a bald patch on my head due to stress! It was a dark time, but in hindsight, I realize that hitting that low point is what led me to find a way to somehow make positive change for myself.
So in 2015, I ditched my 9-to-5 and found my real passion through exercise and social media. I started a fitness program, and I created an Instagram account to hold myself accountable and connect with other like-minded women. It was a burst of positivity that I’d been lacking for so long! My love for spinning led me to become a SoulCycle instructor, which I did for a year and a half. Pretty soon my Instagram account exploded with traffic, which was the very start of my career as an influencer. This was a transformational chapter of my life that taught me grit, confidence, and courage.
After a few years, I realized it was time to make yet another change to keep growing and upleveling. This meant leaving my fitness career and pursuing content creation full time. It was another transformational chapter, but I loved it! By 2019, my career as a full-time influencer was booming—and in the effort to keep evolving, I added something else to my resume: Instagram strategist. Today, I use my experience to teach small business owners how to master social media.
I share these shifts, changes, and pivots to demonstrate that you don’t always have to know where you’re going. You don’t always have to know what the end goal is, and you certainly don’t always have to know the answers. When people ask me what I’ve taken away from my journey, I give them three answers.
1. Be curious to try new things.
I’d never seriously considered a career in fitness, but once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And I certainly didn’t anticipate moving from fitness instructor to Instagram strategist! So when you find the inspiration to turn a passion into a job, don’t turn your back on it.
2. Trust your gut.
I knew my “real” job was causing undue stress and I was never going to be happy there, but it was still a massive leap of faith for me to actually give it up. But boy, am I glad I did. I suspect you’ve had occasions when you didn’t trust your gut and regretted it… we all have. You know what to do next time, though!
3. Allow change to happen.
Even since I struck out on my own, it’s been a constant evolution. Change isn’t always linear, and sometimes it requires multiple changes to get on the right track. So be sure to always adapt to the latest inspiration you’ve found and course-correct as necessary.
Looking back now, it’s incredible to see my path from graphic designer, to fitness instructor, to influencer, to Instagram strategist. If you had asked me a few years ago if I could have ever guessed that this would be my journey, I would have said NO WAY! But at the end of the day, it’s about allowing room to be curious to try new things, trusting your gut, and allowing change to happen even if there’s no clear-cut plan.
Change is scary, but it is ultimately the catalyst that encourages us to grow. We just gotta trust the process.
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