In our Stories of Hope series, we connect with everyday individuals to learn more about what Hope means to them, how they’ve overcome challenges and obstacles and the ways in which they practice Hope in their daily lives. We share these stories in the hopes that someone, somewhere, might be inspired by and encouraged to pursue and practice Hope in their own life. Because no one should live in despair and hopelessness. Not even you. Read the latest from of Stories of Hope series below.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Brittany and I’m the owner of Sage Glow Studio, a natural beauty and wellness content and illustration studio. I live outside of Chicago with my husband Josh and our rescue pup Samurai.
2. What life challenges have you faced, and how have you been able to overcome?
Owning my own business has presented a host of challenges and one of the biggest is fear. I’ve come to realize that fear really does nothing but harm us. It’s the opposite of Hope and not the mindset I believe God wants us to have to lead fulfilling lives. Whether in business, health, relationships, spiritual life or anything else, fear keeps us from taking chances and exploring the depths of what we can give and get from life.
Fear ultimately keeps us stuck. It causes us to get too comfortable and too complacent because we choose to look at life through a lens of worry instead of Hope. It makes us lead lives that play it too safe without acknowledging or even discovering our purpose.
But when we flip our mindset and chose to face fear head-on and take leaps of faith, we have no choice but to embrace Hope and fully trust God.
Before I started my own business, I had a really good job with a decent steady paycheck. I worked with great people, I was able to be creative, I had a nice title and I was appreciated. These were all great things, but I knew I was called to break out of my comfort zone and be my own boss. The amount of fear I experienced as I wrestled with the decision to walk away was almost unbearable. I’ve always been a perfectionist, so the fear of failure and not being able to make my business succeed almost kept me from making the move. In the end, Hope played a major role in helping me overcome fear and finally take the huge leap of faith. Sure, there are many reasons why I could fail. But Hope reminds me that there are just as many reasons, if not more, why I could succeed.
3. What is your definition of Hope?
To me, Hope is closely tied to faith. I believe having a strong faith in God has given me Hope or optimism for the future.
Hope isn’t blindly pretending problems don’t exist, but a way to see beyond them, see the big picture and trust that all experiences are part of a larger narrative.
4. How has having Hope impacted your life, and how do you continually practice it?
Having Hope has helped me to push past fear. I think it’s such an important attitude to have, but hard to practice in reality. One of the things I find helpful is being very conscious of self-talk. It’s so easy to allow doubt and fear to overshadow Hope in the form of negative thoughts. It takes practice and daily reminders, but I’ve started to replace recurring fear-based thoughts with hope-based alternatives. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly much more rewarding.
5. How has finding Hope changed the way you view rejection, setbacks or difficulties?
Hope has given me the vision to keep going despite rejection, setbacks and difficulties, which are almost a daily occurrence when you own your own business.
It’s the idea that yesterday’s shortcomings have no impact on today, and the present time is full of possibility.
If I only focused on the struggles, I would have quit a long time ago; but Hope helped me to keep going. It doesn’t guarantee a smooth ride, but it shifted my perspective to view these challenges as stepping stones and lessons to get me to my goals.
Brittany Sodora Leonor is the owner of Sage Glow Studio, a natural beauty and wellness content and illustration studio. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband Josh and their rescue pup Samurai. When she’s not creating or blogging, you can find her blending essential oils, cooking up new recipes in the kitchen or on her yoga mat practicing headstands. Learn more about Brittany and Sage Glow Studio at sageglowstudio.com and on Instagram at @sageglowstudio.
Connect with Brittany Sodora Leonor