Sarah Lehberger | Portrait Photographer | Fairfield County, CT » Celebrating the Dreamers and the Doers of the World

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Surround Yourself with Greatness

Do you spend your time with the people who lift you up? The ones who fill your bucket when you need it most?  It has taken me some time to get this concept… because I just wanted to be liked or loved by all.  Can you relate?

For me, it was hard navigating the waters of being in a new town in the ‘burbs, while also being a business owner, oh and then I had two little ones.  I wanted to be the fun playdate Mom while they were young, yet I was still the savvy business owner and had to choose my priorities.  I wanted to do it all, photograph everything, and still be social and make friends with everyone.  I just couldn’t keep up.  It wore me down both physically and mentally. At the end of the day, I found it hard to choose but I knew I had to.

Choosing whether to be liked by all (by being available, saying yes to everything, and being generic) or choosing to just be myself (by following my passions, saying no to certain opportunities, and being bold) even if it meant I would polarize some against me and risk being unloved.  Well, I chose to be me and to be unique, and I learned that I liked myself better this way… and that more people would too if they just had a chance to get to know me!  You know, the real and authentic me.  The bold, free spirited and honest Sarah.  The idealistic girl who sees the world in rose-colored glasses.  The smart woman who dreams big and wants to inspire and be inspired.  The Sarah who has a voice and wants to affect change in the world.

So what did I find after choosing? I found that the universe knew all along.  That the exact people that I needed to be friends with because they “got me”, they were there all along.  The ones who didn’t get me or like me, well they found new friends. And the universe, she sent me some new friends too.  These new friends… I hope they know who they are once they read this.  They’ve taken a chance on me, when they could have run in the opposite direction.  They chose to stand by me when things got hard or when I needed some (tough) love.  They were believers.

These new friends, they are also the doers and the thinkers of the world… and they have their own wild and crazy dreams! The universe, she knew I needed them: my Team-X community, my mastermind ladies, my tribe of fearless women, my coffee and goals support group, my people.  These people saw greatness in me, and I’m pretty sure that it’s the same (unique) greatness that I see in them.

Sarah Lehberger Dreamers Quote

Who is your support system that is interested in seeing you succeed?  If you don’t know, find them!  They might just be your greatest blessing and source of inspiration.  But then again, you probably already know this… and if you are like me then you are eternally grateful for them.

 

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My Truth, My Pain and My Healing…

I was a small town girl with big dreams.  I wanted to travel the world and pave my own way.  I didn’t know where I was going or how I’d get there, but I had ambition and I was tenacious.  Something told me that I was destined for greatness.  I know that sounds cheesy and absurd, but I had faith and with it I knew that I had a purpose.  I believed that I could do anything or be anything that I wanted.

Until one day when my world came crashing down around me as someone close to me humiliated and exposed me for the imperfect person that I was.  What started out as one bad decision had now snow balled into a life changing series of events that would shape my future.

I was young and still building my self esteem, and in an instant I went from this fearless young girl to a shamed and suffering soul.  This true extrovert had quickly learned to become an introvert.  This dreamer had stopped dreaming.  The darkness in me took over and I found comfort in hiding.  You see, no one can judge you, blame you or shame you when you are hiding.  It felt safe being unseen.

The truth is, what I experienced… I wish for no one.  The pain and the suffering… it was unbearable.  I tried to move on, and I thought I could fix things by being a perfectionist.  I was used to thinking that if I please, perform and perfect… than I will be praised and loved.  And no amount of pleasing or perfecting could fix this pain — or make me feel loved, like I mattered or that I was enough.

It took me a while to come to terms with what happened, but I soon realized that when someone lies about you or sabotages your relationships, when they tell you that you will never be anything or do anything that matters, when they humiliate you, when they make you feel powerless with their words or strength… you are only left with two options: 1) you can disengage or 2) you can fight back.

I spent a long time disengaged, not fully present or caring, and then finally… a light flickered in me.  This little light, in all of my darkness… it saved me.  It brought with it this courage that I didn’t know I was capable of having.  It brought this overwhelming sense of compassion and a need for connection that allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and start to be daring again.  It gave me hope… and a fearless fighter was born.

My fight has been a mighty soul searching one.  A mission to use my gifts and to find my voice.  A mission to find my purpose.  A mission that heals my heart and celebrates women.  These are just some of the things that I’ve learned along the way…

•    I learned… that I’m unstoppable, adventurous and bold.
•    I learned… that I’m far from perfect and I am OK with that, because there is beauty in imperfection.
•    I learned… that I will never be successful unless I am happy.
•    I learned… that it’s OK to take risks and to fail in order to grow and learn.
•    I learned… that my gut instinct or women’s intuition is always right.
•    I learned… that if I’m afraid of taking a leap of faith, it is probably worth doing.
•    I learned… that I need to take better care of myself, because no one else can do that for me.
•    I learned… that without my girlfriends, I would be nothing.
•    I learned… that in my own eyes I am more than a bride, a wife and a mother.  I am a woman.
•    I learned… that my fight is for the truth, for women’s rights and for humanity.
•    I learned… that I need to start a gratitude journal, so I can be reminded of all that is good.
•    I learned… that I matter and I am enough.

I have also learned… that I finally have a new mission and purpose.  I need to work with women who are just like me.  Women who are unstoppable and who’s self-worth is tied to more than just the titles that she is given, the many hats (or roles) she wears, or her outer appearance.  Women who on the inside (at their very core) are spirited, nostalgic and fearless and want to embrace it.  Women who have faced many obstacles, and yet in the face of adversity… they rise to the occasion and live to tell an incredible story.  Women who believe they matter, and especially those who might need a little reminder that they are enough just as they are… imperfect and unstoppable.

If you are longing to celebrate your accomplishments and passionate about the spirited family and life that you have built, I look forward to working with you and welcoming you into my sisterhood of fearless women!

Hugs and Kisses, Sarah

 

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Personal Growth + Moving Forward

Have you ever experienced a life altering event that stops you in your tracks and makes you take stock of your current life? I have a few times now, some of them within the last twelve months actually. The thing is, once this happens… you get really focused about changing things and your determination kicks in, until all of a sudden… you feel this immense fear and the thought of failure creeps in. Then the weight or gravity of it all sits on your chest and it feels as if you are holding your breath.

Yeah, I know this feeling all too well.  But the good news is, when you face your fears and you stare them in the face… it means you will finally come out on the other side.  And on that other side (of fear or failure) is growth.

You see, I had tried to be everything to everyone, and I forgot what I needed the most to succeed.  I needed to be happy.  Every day I felt like I was going through the motions. Sleep, wake, eat, kids/taxi, work, kids/taxi, eat, sleep.  There was too much busy in my days and not enough LIFE in them.  I wanted to start living again.  But even more than that, I needed to find my purpose.

So I decided to take a leap of faith. Screw comfort.  Screw familiarity.  Screw fear.  I was ready for change, and I was ready to be fulfilled again.

Providing beautiful photos was no longer enough.  Pushing a button on a camera… it’s not enough.  I want to use my gifts and talents to do something that speaks to my heart at it’s very core.  I want to do something that makes me truly happy.  I enjoyed photographing weddings and babies and everything in between, but I just felt like something was missing.  I recently realized that I didn’t have a mission.  I didn’t have a purpose.

I have re-branded (as you can see here) and changed my business model, and I’d like to shout from the rooftops — that I finally know my purpose!  Clarity feels so good again!!!

Moving forward, I will be devoting my time and creativity to celebrating the accomplished woman, her family legacy, and her spirited adventures. Can you hear my exhale?  I’m sure it will develop more with my own personal growth, but the truth is… I haven’t felt this excited about anything in a very long time!

Why the accomplished woman you ask?  Well, that will be another blog post and you’ll just have to check back often or catch my Facebook posts to find out!  So take a peek and look around, and get ready… as I take you along on my new and exciting adventures!

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
― Albert Schweitzer

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