I have a confession to make: this time of year has always been a low point for me. 

While everyone else was busy making resolutions, I’d be in a funk, wallowing in What am I going to do with my life? misery, questioning my purpose and existence.

Heavy, I know. 

Especially for someone who has been called a “glowing ball of happiness” and prides herself on being infectiously positive.

But after years of feeling stuck, I found a turning point in 2017, though I didn’t fully realize it at the time.

My life began to change once I did one thing: stop hiding.

For as long as I could remember, I had been hiding in plain sight. Hiding from my true self, a creative person. A creator. A writer. 

I had subconsciously placed myself at the periphery, yet longed to jump out from the shadows and into the action. I hadn’t fully stepped into the role of what I love to do: communicate with emotion to connect with others. 

It sounds simple, but in practice, it was incredibly hard to do. Why? Fear.

I was scared. Scared of being vulnerable. Of facing ridicule. I questioned why I had the audacity to think I could pull this creative thing off. I was plagued by “imposter syndrome,” foolishly believing I wasn’t good enough.

It was safer to hide.  But the more I retreated, the more I felt like every day a little bit of me was dying inside. I wasn’t just stagnating; I was withering away.

That all changed earlier this year when I mustered up my courage to step into my true self.

When I stopped hiding, amazing things began to happen. People “saw” me. The right people. And I’m not just talking about the clients who put their trust in my creative abilities or those who engage with my content. The most important person who finally saw me as the “Creative Amy” was the woman staring at me in the mirror.

Real change happens when you align your attention with your intention and then take action. 

In my case, when I finally embraced my true self:

· I shifted my consultancy to a strategic writing practice, helping fantastic clients tell their unique stories to build their brands and reputations as thought leaders.

· I was told — more than once — that my content had inspired and motivated others, which inspired and motivated me to continue on my path.

· I was invited to speak at several events on content creation and strategy, communication, connection, and branding.

· I connected with thousands of people across the globe and amassed an engaged following of like-minded, positive individuals.

· I started to thrive in every area of my life. Personally and professionally, I gained clarity of purpose, true fulfillment, and happiness once I was free to be me.

· I co-authored my first book, designed to help others find their own creative catalyst and unleash their potential.

And most importantly, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the new year.

Here’s to new beginnings, to lessons learned, and to finding your place in the sun.