In the previous post, I detailed a way to find out exactly what makes us tick, by analysing our CV so far and what we have enjoyed about each of our previous jobs. The next thing I want to talk about, are values.

Not only must we figure out the needs and passions that drive us in our career, but what values we hold at our very core. One without the other will not work. I will provide an example….

I’m guessing it is not news to any of you that I love fashion…I have loved clothes since the beginning of time. My most favourite thing to do as a kid was play dress-ups. I can still remember being at preschool and waiting for free-playtime. As soon as we stopped our activity, I ran straight to the dress-up station. I was more than happy to play amongst the clothes for hours. I also had a very comprehensive dress-ups bag at home. It was filled with Mum’s old bridesmaid dresses, sequined tube tops from the 70s, silk blouses and even Dad’s flared tweed pants with a matching jacket. It was a treasure trove and my happy place. 

However, as I grew, I felt so conflicted about fashion. I believe, like anything, it has a good side and a shadow side. Dressing well is a lovely gift to give ourselves – to look and feel our best every day. However, fashion often makes people feel as though they are not good enough. As though you must be from a certain financial class to join the exclusive club. It is perceived as something that is to be enjoyed only by the wealthy and the unmistakably cool. And fashion types are often boxed as pretentious arseholes. 

A year ago, I had a couple of potential business ideas and decided to start this blog as a way to get my name out there. I decided to use content to indulge my love of fashion and raise my profile simultaneously. Although I have posted pretty consistently over the past year, I have never truly thrown myself into it. I enjoyed it, but something held me back from really charging at this goal and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

Turns out, I had a value clash. I had identified a passion and I was pursuing it. But by trying to follow the fashion blogging rules set down by some of the most successful bloggers in the world, I was not being true to my inner-most values.

Post often, post designer – that’s the rule. But something just didn’t feel right. I realised that I would rather post less frequently, but ensure that what I put out into the world was quality. And I didn’t want to advocate that we must dress in thousand dollar outfits to be considered stylish.

I had girls say to me “do you really dress like that every day?” and “god, I wish I could afford your wardrobe.” I realised that these girls were not taking empowerment from the clothing, some were taking disillusionment. It was just another place to come and feel like they weren’t measuring up because they couldn’t afford to shop at Sass & Bide.

This goes completely against what I want any woman to feel. I want her to feel that she has value, no matter what she wears. But that she deserves to make herself a priority and put her best foot forward. I want her to understand that her worth has nothing to do with anything or anybody outside of herself. But dressing well is a wonderful form of self–love.

I was conflicted – and this value clash was like a dam in my river. It slowed the flow of creativity and productivity. This internal battle was what is wanted meeting what is unwanted, head on.

The result being, stagnation and procrastination.

One cannot move forward if there is an equal and opposite force pushing back. We get stuck on the spot. All that energy, but no motion.

I also struck this problem when I have worked in some corporate jobs. I want to make money to do all the things I want to do. But at my very core, money is not what motivates me. So when I went into positions in which making as much money as possible was the number one objective, I suffered. I realised I needed a far better reason to get out of bed in the morning – the money was just a great side effect.

So, whilst it is important for us to first figure out our drivers and our passions, we must also find a way to satisfy our needs that does not go against what we deem to be good and right. If we do not truly believe in what we do, we will struggle to find the energy that is required to do the vast amounts of work needed for success.

Once we figure out what we love to do, why we do what we do and in what direction our moral compass points – we have taken the first, most important step in finding out how we want to design our lives. This work alone is powerful. You have just created a line of sight in your mind and narrowed the focus. You have knowledge that allows you to sift through the unwanted and the wanted on your path and choose your direction deliberately. You push forward through the procrastination, unhindered and unchained. Then, life simplifies, creating more space for all the good things that have been trying desperately to get in.

So what now for me and fashion blogging? I’m not sure yet. I have to find a way to enjoy this passion whilst staying true to what I believe. I’ll let you know when I know…

Great values are built on strong moral foundations. Men become great when they allow these values to take root within their souls and live by them. – Lincoln Patz

Next post – Managing the Unwanted 

Photos: My own


Much love XX 


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Hi, I’m Katie. I am a kiwi neuroscientist with a love for consuming and creating content. This site is where I share my personal thoughts and the thoughts of incredible minds from around the world. PhD in Neuroscience, University of Otago.

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