What to do when you feel like you’re lacking (Haven 2014 recap)

For the past three years, I’ve had the amazing privilege of attending the Haven Conference in Atlanta. It’s an event mainly targeted at bloggers in the DIY/home niche. Every year I connect with friends that I so badly wish lived down the street from me so we could have coffee regularly.


Traci from Beneath My Heart and I enjoyed the chocolate fountain (a little too much) that Home Depot and Ryobi provided for the Haven Mavens on the last night of the conference. The food at that event was, in a word, epic!


My friend, Gail, from My Repurposed Life is one of the sweetest and most genuine ladies you’ll ever meet. She is also a repurposing rockstar with a crazy huge Facebook fan club.


 (Photo courtesy of My Breezy Room)

My roommate this year was Kala from My Breezy Room. She is as cute as a button and I love her style! She is also a bit, ahem, younger than me so she’s helping me navigate all the social media stuff I’m still not up to speed on. 😉


These lovely ladies made me laugh until I (almost) peed my pants every.single.night. On the left is Karah from The Space Between and on the right is Sabrina from Plantation Relics.


I also the privilege of catching up with one of my favorite blogging ladies, Carrie from Making Lemonade. She’s a fellow Pa. girl, which makes her extra special. 😉

In addition to kickin’ it with my blogging sisters at Haven, I got the chance to meet with representatives from brands I’d like to work with in the future. And I took away a ton of information about how I can grow my blog and DIY skills. This conference is priceless!

But despite all the wonderful friendships forged and tips and strategies absorbed, I seem to also come home from Haven each year with a self-inflicted icky feeling that I’m somehow lacking … lacking in style, beauty, business success, notoriety, accomplishment, friends, youthfulness … blah, blah, blah, the list goes on.

I can’t really put my finger on why I feel this way other than, when I see all the amazing things these ladies around me are accomplishing, I guess my default reaction is to feel like I’m somehow missing out. And this makes me sad because I know deep down that what I’m really missing is the clarity to see how abundant my life right now truly is.

I recently read a post by Michael Hyatt that explored the roots of this icky feeling. What I discovered after reading his post was that this comparison trap that often has me in its clutches is a common one.

The tendency for us to focus on what we should go after rather than expressing gratitude for what we already have is a by-product of what researcher Brené Brown calls our “culture of ‘never enough.'”

Speaking from experience, I can say that falling into this trap leaves me discouraged and even sometimes debilitated, and it masks the tremendous gifts and blessings I’m currently experiencing in my life.

So, in an effort to take the great from Haven but leave the feeling of inadequacy behind, I’ve decided to look at my experience through a different lens, the lens of gratitude. This lens has the power to focus my view on all the awesome things happening to me right now, and there are honestly too many of them to count.

If you’re like me and you sometimes feel like you are lacking, here are some tips to help change your focus and view your circumstances in a more flattering light:

  1. Start each day with praise. For me, this means that after I wake up and get my bearings, I set aside a short (but highly effective) quiet time where I begin by thanking God for all the blessings in my life.
  2. Embrace a “to-don’t” list. One of my biggest weaknesses is saying yes to too many things. Recently, however, I’ve gotten better at the “to don’ts” (i.e. saying no to the wrong activities and avoiding low-priority tasks). This practice helps me accomplish my top priorities. It also allows me to feel OK with the fact that I will never be able to do it all, but I can do the right things for me and my family at this moment.
  3. Lend a helping hand. The easiest way I’ve found to get out of the “why me” slump is to reach out and help others in need. Volunteering time for a cause greater than myself always has the profound ability to completely change my focus – in nearly an instant. The shift in my attitude and outlook that I experience after I participate in a mission trip, worship practice or nursing home visit is a blessing far greater than my contribution to the cause.

I’ll leave you today with this wise quote from Michael Hyatt:

“We will never have more of what we truly desire until we become fully thankful for what we have.”

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21 Responses

  1. gail says:

    What a fabulous post Susan! It was so great to see you again, however brief it was. As far as blogging goes, one of my favorite quotes is “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle” or something like that.
    As I celebrate FIVE years of blogging, I know how truly blessed I am to be where I am, doing what I love and loving what I do. It’s taken me nearly 60 (oh my!) years to get where I am, and I still have a lot of changes ahead. Enjoy this time in your life, because it passes all too quickly! 🙂
    Love your spunk, outlook, and “purpose”! You’re a beautiful woman inside and out.

    • Susan says:

      That is so sweet, Gail. You are truly an inspiration for what’s possible for a blogger. Maybe I can “make it” too, someday. 🙂

  2. HI, Susan, loved your post! Wish I could have spent more time with you and everyone else. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to visit and that’s what I hate. It’s so easy to get caught up in comparison. I have struggled with that my entire blogging journey, but I’m finally in a really great place and am SO grateful for all my blessings too and where God has brought me to. I’ll never be as awesome as half the bloggers out there, but you know what….readers love us just the way we are and each story is unique. That’s the beauty of blogging!

    • Susan says:

      You will always be a wonderful inspiration to all of us aspiring bloggers out there. Keep up the great work and the great conference!

  3. I love you Susan! What an incredible post! I too feel that way but also have sooo much to be thankful for! We can just do what we can with what we have and to it to the best of our ability! So great to spend the weekend with you! Miss you! Muah!

  4. Sharon says:

    Loved all your post. You are a woman of great talent and beauty. I think that yucky “comparison” feeling attacks us all at some points. Maybe it is borne out of being amazed at all the beautiful, courageous, talented, heartwarming women we meet along our life jo urney who call us “friends” and we wonder what we are, or have, to deserve this/them. Reminds me of I Corinthians 19:12 which talks about comparisons being foolish (if you look it up that it what I have taken from it, not to say the wonen you met this weekend where implying or posing themselves as more worthy than you!!). I too work hard at overcoming the “comparison” thoughts.

  5. I love this post! I love that you focused on what you truly took away from the conference and how you’ve decided to tackle it head on. You, my dear, were a true highlight for during the entire conference and I can tell you first hand you are NOT lacking. What is it they say … comparison is the killer of joy. Don’t let it kill your joy because you have so many more awesome things to focus on. Thanks for hanging with me at Haven!!

  6. Robin Kramer says:

    So well said, Susan. We all need this reminder!

  7. Loved finally meeting you Susan, PA girls UNITE!! Thanks for a great post and I love that picture. (I’m stealing it, ha!)

  8. Eileen Keane says:

    Hi Susan, I just recently found your blog and have been reading your archives. Thanks for the sharing and the honesty.
    I’m a blogging wannabe-I used to post quite frequently, but life got in the way. I’m going to continue following you; you are an inspiration. 🙂

    • Susan says:

      Thanks so much, Eileen, for the kind words. Life does have a habit of keeping us busy. But that’s what makes it great! Enjoy the cherished moments … No bloggy guilt allowed! 🙂

  9. Kim Tucker says:

    Hi Susan, I found your blog for the first time today, and I love it! Thank you for being so real!

  10. Genna says:


    It might make you feel better to reach out to your new colleagues more regularly…chances are they may feel the way you do after the conference. Try skyping and having coffee with one per month. My knitting friends and I knit together over skype. It sounds silly but being able to see that they didn’t do their makeup or need more coffee on certain days reminds me that they’re real people who crave more too. 🙂


  1. October 29, 2014

    […] Kala and I at Haven […]

  2. April 24, 2015

    […] of the many perks of attending the Haven Conference each year is that I get to take home some cool swag. (By the way, if you’re a DIY diva and/or a […]

  3. April 28, 2015

    […] Traci and I at Haven 2014 […]

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