Do you give yourself enough space?

That seems like a silly question, but I recently asked myself this a couple of months ago when I was at a crossroads of what I was “supposed” to be doing at this point in my career.

The truth was: I would be further if I had given myself space to be great.

We’re in the Instagram age where things seem like they need to be instant and liked for it to be mattered. But as the pop culture junkie I am, things like Beyoncé’s Homecoming and Avengers: Endgame taught me that giving yourself time to build something great is what most people don’t do.

If Beyoncé took 8 months to prepare for two 2 hour shows, I can certainly take a couple of weeks to write a blog post. In fact, as I write this, it’s about 4.5 weeks before you’ll see it.

Here’s what I realized: I’m a good writer. I went to school for it. But somewhere down the social media rabbit hole I believed that I should only blog and be more concerned with doing it frequently than doing it well. It’s a lie we’re all sold by our distorted perception of other people’s highlight reels and believing it as real time realities.

It more than likely took your favorite influencer about 25 minutes to do her makeup, another 25 to get that perfect selfie and then another 25 minutes to edit it. So, if you have an extra hour on your hands, you too can look “that gorgeous.”

While research and experience will certainly help everyone become better (yes, even if you’re trying to become an influencer) what you must realize is that you have to give yourself the space to become better.

Recently, I freed up my schedule to shoot less and think + plan more. You wouldn’t believe how much more impactful I am in my life and business now that I schedule time to think. It may seem small, but think about how many tabs are open in your head right now and how much better you would feel if you made the time to organize them from ideas to actual plans.

Designating space to work was also huge for me this past few weeks. As we get ready for a move in the fall where I’ll have a lot more space to work, I had to learn how to make do with what I currently have. Sometimes that means clearing a cluttered space and making it your workspace or visiting a local coffee shop a couple of times a week and calling it your office.

Staying in bed or sitting on the couch to do work is more a setup for failure than it is a success.

This month I encourage you to give yourself space to go from good to great so your life and work benefit from it. Summers are tough because it seems like there’s so much to do for everyone else – BBQ’s, graduations, weddings, vacations, birthdays (my niece, sister and mother’s birthdays are this month plus my parents’ anniversary!) and even pageants (next month makes it 10 years since I won Miss Liberia USA!)

But more than finding the time, make the room in your schedule to think, to plan or even to just be. You deserve that space.

PHOTOGRAPHY // Erica Simmons