2023 Reflection: A Year of Transformation

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares a feminine pink winter outfit along with her 2023 reflection

 

 

My end of year reflection posts have always been a bit of a mixed bag. Some years, I’ve shared lessons learned, year in review or even decade in review while others have been more detailed accounts of the year, baring my heart for the world to see. However, I never fail to go through each of my old reflection posts at the end of each year. This really puts things into perspective. It shows just how far I’ve come both personally and professionally plus I enjoy reflecting on the past and seeing how I’ve made an effort to apply the lessons I’ve learned to the present day. Each year, I’ve overcome with gratitude for the good, the bad and everything in between.

2022 was a year of growth and 2023 was a year of transformation. Funny thing is – both of these were my words for the years prior. I feel like I always seem to manifest these things whenever I share on here! My annual reflection posts are among the most personal I share on here and definitely one of my favorites to write. 2023 was a very extreme year – there were some incredible moments and some that I prefer not to relive. Regardless, it’s all a journey and I’m excited to share with you today in my 2023 Reflection.

 

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2023 Reflection: A Year of Transformation

 

 

Feminine fashion blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace shares a feminine pink winter outfit along with her 2023 reflection

 

2023 Reflection: Advocate for Myself & Set Boundaries

 

I’ve always been the person that others take advantage of but over the last five years or so, I’ve grown in more ways than I would have even thought possible, especially in this area. My previous doormat behaviors have turned into strength. I’ve learned how to and have actively practiced setting boundaries this year more than any other. Previously, I felt bad for doing this but now I know that it’s necessary for my mental health.

A few months ago, a friend told me I had changed. I asked what she meant and she said that I seemed much more strong and powerful (in a good way). I’ve never once been described as powerful (but wow, what a compliment!) and I’m not sure how I gave off this energy, but I can only attribute this to my diligence in continuing to actively grow in positive ways.

However, this year did prove to be a bit difficult in this area. I think that when you learn to set boundaries as a former people pleaser, this doesn’t come off well to others. People expect you to be at their beck and call… to say yes to everything… to not challenge their requests. Yes, I’ve learned to set boundaries but I’m also the “nice girl” and people don’t expect the nice girls to ask questions.

For so long, I cared about what people thought of me and I think this definitely affected me in this realm. Every time I would advocate for myself and stand up for what was right, I would get shut down or be made to feel bad about myself. However, that all changed this year. I was met with multiple circumstances where I was screwed over by others in a big way. Old Lizzie would have anxiously backed out of these situations and chalked it up to a lesson learned. However, new Lizzie is in the house and she doesn’t take that treatment anymore. I learned to advocate for myself in a kind and healthy way to ensure that these situations played out fairly… and you know what? For the most part, it worked. And I learned valuable lessons about business – win win! I once heard that you show other people how you want to be treated and this year, that definitely proved to be true.

I also learned that in order to set boundaries and advocate for yourself, you can’t care about what other people think. Of course, you want to be kind, fair and empathetic but you also have to do what is best for you. Which is strange because this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever put myself first. It’s not selfish by any means. When you think about it – everyone else is doing the same but no one is doing it for me. For decades, I was putting other people’s needs ahead of my own and constantly getting hurt when they didn’t do the same. If I don’t put myself first, who else is going to do it?

 

 

 

Reflecting on 2023: Seeing My Worth

 

Growing up, I constantly felt unworthy in many ways. Although I was well-behaved, talented and a good student, nothing was ever good enough. I equated other people’s issues as my own. Other insecurities and negativity became my anxiety and despair. No more of that, thankfully! 😉

When I talk about seeing my worth in 2023, I am referring to my time, effort and ultimately, the decisions I make. In my personal life, I’ve got this down pat but in my business, the line is blurry. I never want to lose potential opportunities so more often than not, I agree to things that end up taking a toll on my mental health.

I mentioned in a previous post that the blogging landscape has changed drastically since I began in 2015. That still holds true… maybe even more so. I saw firsthand this year just how much things have changed. The interest in loyalty, talent, and reputation seems to have diminished in some circles. Even with positive results, I was left to feel like I wasn’t good enough to meet unrealistic standards. I recognized that some people are treated much differently than others and relationship building is not always valued.

Ultimately, I was burning the candle at both ends to please those that would never be satisfied. I felt completely used. You think I would have learned this from my previous experiences with toxic family members and friends – better late than never, I suppose. I ended the year more exhausted than I’ve felt in a long time and the burn out is not even warranted in my opinion.

Please don’t take this as me being negative or ungrateful in any way because that’s simply not the truth. I guess that, more often than not, I see the world through rose colored glasses and sometimes the rainbows are nowhere to be seen. However, I felt that I handled myself extremely well in this area. I am actively applying the lessons I’ve learned in years past. I’ve become incredibly self aware and know that it’s not worth it to burn myself out. I am worthy of time away for myself and although some may not see always see it, my talents, skills and knowledge are also of value. In the future, I will ensure that I better align myself to those that see that.

 

 

 

2023 Reflection: Increased Confidence

 

Gaining confidence has been a long journey! I’ve been told by so many people that I “look” so confident or “seem” confident but this wasn’t always the truth. It took many years for me to love and appreciate the body I was born into and to get over the bullying I received as a kid. It also took a long time to become confident in my skills as I never felt I could measure up to others. Now, I know for a fact that I can. I love my body and myself. I’m proud of my talents and the skills that I’ve learned and applied over time. And I hope to become even more confident in 2024 in all areas of my life.

 

 

Reflecting on 2023: My Transformation

 

The past two years have been an incredibly transformative time in my life. In 2021, I started to feel the need for change. I felt stagnant both personally and professionally and felt like I just needed a shift.

In my personal life, I went through a huge transformation internally years ago. This started to extend outward last year as I rediscovered the new and improved Lizzie. I did a MASSIVE closet clean out for a good chunk of the year. It felt so good to get rid of all the things I no longer gravitate towards. I still have some fine-tuning to do in this area so I’ll be doing another minor clean out again soon but I feel like I’ve discovered who I am and who I want to be and that’s very exciting!

In my professional life, the biggest changes were made with the blog. Early in the year, I decided to make some choices that were very scary but ultimately it ended up being the best thing for my time, efforts, and business. Some of these big changes included saying goodbye to my beloved link up parties. Although I did this halfway through 2022, I really saw the effects in 2023.

After 7 1/2 years and 500 link parties, I was terrified to lose my community and the friendships I built. But that didn’t happen at all! I received so much support and I was scared for no reason. I also made the choice to say goodbye to my Month in Review series, something I’ve been sharing for many years now. While this is one of my more personal post series that I enjoyed, I simply found that I no longer had the time required to uphold such a series. This was one of those circumstances where I had to choose my mental health over work. Previously I would have chosen work but I’m new person and health is my priority. Perhaps, in the future I’ll bring it back but for now, it’s a sweet memory <3

I also realized that I don’t have to overcomplicate things and work myself into the ground to get things moving. I’m definitely learning how work smarter and how to balance everything, something I’m so proud of. Going into 2024, I’m excited to think of all the positive changes on the way and how I plan to reimagine Lizzie in Lace (and myself) in the most authentic way.

 

 

 

2023 Reflection: Romanticizing Everyday Life 

 

I think many of are in the position of wanting to romanticize our everyday life in simple, yet meaningful ways. I have actually done this for many, many years (probably since high school) but now I’m more intentional about it. Earlier this year, I wrote an entire post on How to Romanticize Your Life and trust me, I have taken my own advice. Whether it’s a dreamy at-home spa day, 30 minutes with a good book and luxe candle or a pretty picnic for no one but myself, I’m dedicated to creating memorable experiences. And it doesn’t even have to be experiences or anything crazy. Simple wearing pretty pjs, bringing home fresh flowers or putting on a record could emulate feelings of joy. It’s about making simple everyday moments even more special and I plan to do more of this in 2024.

 

 

 

Moving Forward

 

I’ve been choosing a word for the year for the past few years and for 2024, I’m not quite sure what I that to be. Last year, I chose “action” and I would say that it manifested pretty accurately. It was an action packed year but I also took action on projects and made plans/goals for the future. I think for 2024, I will have multiple words for different areas of my life. What I do know is that I want to evoke more glamour into my everyday life. I also want to travel more and create more meaningful relationships. There’s so much more I could say but I’m going to save that for my 2024 Goals post (my very favorite to write each year). Stay tuned!

 

 

In the meantime, I appreciate you reading my 2023 reflection! Feel free to share your own experience below, if you’d like <3

Also, thank you always for your support, motivation, friendship and love. I’m so grateful for all of you, whether we have met in real life or online or not at all. You all mean the world to me. Wishing you a lovely holiday season and the most magical new year!!

xo

 

 

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