How I turned chaos into a creative breakthrough

When I look back over the past year, and I think about leaving my 9-5 to focus on LISH creative full-time, I realize that there was one event that acted as a catalyst for this awesome decision - a major and quite chaotic life shift that sparked a fire inside of me and inspired a series of creative projects and decisions.  


My number one supporter, best friend, and boyfriend of 4 years moved across the country to start his own crazy journey - medical school (see our road trip here!).  So how did the anxiety and separation heartbreak affect my creativity and my business? It led to some serious unexpected breakthroughs! So I'm sharing the five ways how I turned this chaos into creativity:

1. I focused on what I loved
Think about famous songs about heartbreak. Pretty powerful stuff, right? Why? Because the artists are channeling their energy into something that they absolutely love doing. After our roadtrip, I decided to take a similar approach.  Instead of sitting around crying into my 3-day old Thai-food leftovers (which did happen one time, btw, you caught me), I literally threw myself into my business. Every second outside of my 9-5 was spent styling, photographing, writing, reaching out to potential clients, building my website, and zooming in on every tiny detail. I was obsessed with working because I was obsessed with taking my mind off of this crazy thing that was happening in my life.

2. I set a goal
Once I was focusing on the things that I loved to do, I quickly realized that I wanted to make LISH creative my full time career. That goal served as a driving force for me and my business. There's nothing like good old fashioned motivation, my friends! And although I'm still trying to find a balance to avoid potential burnout, I know that this level of intensity was necessary to leave my 9-5 so quickly. It was also strangely healing. 

3. I enforced limits & wasn't afraid to flounder
This is a creativity tip that applies in all situations. The brightest, grandest ideas weren't imagined by holding back. I was restricted to weekends for content creation because of my work schedule, but having that short time frame to style and capture imagery was a creative gold mine. Even when I thought I was in a rut or not really feeling creative at all, I knew I HAD to come up with something on Saturday and Sunday or else I would be stuck with an empty Instagram feed for the week ahead. I had to face the fear of failure head on and just go create something! Even now that I have the ability to style imagery any day of the week, I am going to enforce similar parameters on my content creation to really push myself creatively. 

4. I allowed myself to breakdown
Well friends - remember the Thai food story - yes that is a prime example of this next tip. You can't have the highs without lows, right?! I allowed myself to have those moments and then I stepped up! Don't let sadness or anxiety linger - just embrace it and move on. 

5. I confided in a creative bestie
With all of the crazy and all of the focus - it helped to have strong creative friendships so that I could get out of my own head. All friendships are important, but people who understand your industry, the process, and the journey can really help to push you, motivate you, and celebrate your successes on a whole other level! After meeting on Instagram, Natasha of Violettinder Studios is now my real life business bestie, and I am so thankful. I also have the support of a few amazing women from my time in the advertising industry - they too are  incredibly supportive and always down to talk shop. 


Cheers to the heartbreak, the anxiety, the fear & anything else that has ever held you back in your creative journey. Time to go out there and just create something, anything! 

PS - If you're eating this post up like rainbow sprinkles on a big shiny creative sundae, you would LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast, Magic Lessons - it is all about the importance of cultivating creativity.

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