In 2017, I ran the Detroit Free Press marathon. The temperature was 70 degrees at the beginning of the October race in Detroit, MI, and around 40 degrees at the end. The race was almost canceled due to thunderstorms, and all the runners faced some serious wind resistance and pelting rain. I barely finished, and it took me a little over 6 hours. Even though I covered every inch of those 26.2 miles, I have never called myself a marathoner.
I also started my flower business in 2017. It was quite a year, but more on that another time.
Since then, I have grown tens of thousands of flowers. I have designed floral arrangements for weddings, funerals, showers, parties, holidays, and every day. My wedding designs were featured in an online wedding publication. I have written business plans, wedding floral proposals, contracts, seed starting lists, and harvest schedules. I know the specific harvesting and processing needs for over 200 varieties of flowers. I have washed more buckets than I could ever count. I have worked in two highly successful flower shops, including the one I work in currently, Bloomstall Flowers in Columbia.
With all this under my belt, you would think I would feel confident and settled in my role. The truth is I really struggle to call myself a florist.
I know it's the mind f*&k combination of imposter syndrome and self-limiting beliefs stopping me from claiming the title of florist. I'm slightly more comfortable calling myself a "farmer-florist" as it encompasses both the growing and designing aspects of my work.
This year, I want to silence those self-limiting beliefs and ignore the lies that keep me feeling small. I am claiming the titles that I have earned through my continued hard work and dedication. I am a florist. I am a marathoner.
Maybe you need to claim some titles too.
Do you run a 17-minute mile? Congratulations, you are a runner.
Do you write poems and essays in a notebook that no one but you sees? You are a writer.
Whatever the thing is that you are hesitating to claim, I hope this is the season that you boldly proclaim all the things that you are, all the things that make you you. The great thing about this life is that we get to call the shots, and often the only thing holding us back is ourselves. Silence the critics inside and claim all the titles that are rightfully yours.