Growing Self Confidence: Advice for Women in their 20’s

Growing Self Confidence: Advice for Women in their 20’s

Ready for this growing self confidence advice? Take it from someone who’s spent 90% of her life extremely self conscious: Confidence is liberating. I never understood how much anxiety and stress came with insecurities until I gained the confidence I’d needed so badly. 

Once you become confident in yourself and start to understand what you deserve, you will attract amazing things. How? When you know what you bring to the table and understand what you deserve, you don’t settle for less than that. Confidence shows you that you can be self sufficient enough to wait for better things to come, because you know they’re coming.

If you’re ready to let go of certain beliefs and find that confidence, here’s my advice for you:

You were not made for everyone. You could be coffee and some people will prefer tea. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, it’s just a personal preference. But their personal preference doesn’t make you any less of a person. The good thing is, you weren’t created to please others. Your life is yours and you should be living it as so. 

Recognize and use your strengths to your best ability. It’s extremely hard to be confident if you don’t know what value you bring to the table. Find your strengths and focus on them. What’s something that you’ve pushed through? What’s something you’ve accomplished? What’s your favorite quality about yourself?

Believe in your ability to work through hard things. Confidence is shown when you’re in a hard season but you know that you’re able to push yourself through it, no matter what comes your way. How can you have that faith in yourself? Look at what you’ve survived in the past. What strengths do you have that you could apply in this situation? 

You deserve great things. You deserve to be happy, unconditionally loved, and valued. You deserve to chase your dreams, feel like you’re constantly becoming your best self, find healthy relationships, and so much more. You deserve the world, and you don’t have to hold certain qualities to deserve those amazing things.

Looks do not define you. You are more than a body or a physical appearance. You are your strengths, your heart, your mind, the way you treat others, and so much more. People will not love you because of the way you look, they will love you because of the way that you make them feel. Think about it this way: I’m sure you know someone that is physically attractive, but their personality makes them a complete turn off. Right? Prime example that demonstrates that looks aren’t everything. 

Lastly, you have to unconditionally love yourself, even when you aren’t happy with yourself. At some point in your life, you are 100% bound to mess things up, fail, and have regrets. But confidence is knowing that your failure doesn’t define you. You can fail without being a failure. Just figure out how to pivot and grow from the situation. 

You are allowed to feel confident. You are supposed to feel confident. You’re holding yourself back when you hold onto the insecurities. Realize your value and don’t settle! xoxo

Becoming Independent from Other People, Objects, & Habits

Becoming Independent from Other People, Objects, & Habits

From personal experience, I believe that we can be dependent on three different things: other people, objects, or habits. There’s nothing wrong with being dependent on others in certain situations. We’re human and sometimes we need to lean on and be with others. Trust me, it’s normal. But it does become an issue when you are dependent on others to the extent that you can’t effectively go about your day without someone by your side. The same can be applied to objects and habits – sometimes they can be helpful, but they can also be harmful when heavily depended upon. 

Unhealthy dependency can take many forms. Here are some examples: 

  • Depending on a person for confidence or affection
  • Depending on others to accomplish tasks
  • Needing someone to help you process and work through hard situations 
  • Constantly wanting people around for entertainment 
  • Being dependent on an object to cope (ex: foods, substances)
  • Depending on a habit (ex: looking at your phone when you first wake up, watching hours of tv when you’re bored)

Becoming independent is not easy. It requires regularly bringing yourself out of your comfort zone to change previous beliefs and behaviors.

Independency from People

As you’d expect, the way to become independent is taking a step back from other people. My first tip is to learn how to hang out with yourself. Stop constantly asking other people to hang out just to prevent you from being bored. Instead, find a hobby that you can invest your energy in when you’re alone. And if you’re wondering, that hobby shouldn’t be watching Netflix. Find something that actually fulfills and excites you. Blogging has been a great hobby for me because I always have a go-to when I’m bored!

Ever since moving to a larger city, the main thing that I’ve struggled with is doing things in public on my own. In the past, I’d find a friend to tag along so I wouldn’t be facing things alone. While it was nice to have someone do it with me, I found myself always procrastinating to match other people’s schedules. Eventually, that got really annoying. The resolution for this has been blunt and straightforward – I’ve told myself to suck it up. People won’t always be there to hold your hand, so it’s better to learn how to do things on your own now. So, suck it up and then find a way to reward yourself after completing the task. For example, if I go to the grocery store alone, I’ll allow myself to grab a Mountain Dew. It sounds silly but I normally don’t let myself drink them, so it’s just a small reward for getting out of my comfort zone.

Another way to be self sufficient is by learning to process hard situations on your own. In all honesty, no one will care about your problems as much as you do, so you may as well learn how to handle them on your own. And again, people aren’t always going to be there to hold your hand. We all handle hard things in different ways, so it’s up to you to figure out the best way for you to go about that. (I handle problems by journaling and praying to process and understand. I also like running to release stress.) Just take the situation into your own hands and ask yourself what you need to do in order to move on. Of course, you can still reach out to friends for help or advice, but keep in mind that they aren’t your therapist.

You can also grow in your independence by practicing regular self-reflection. Why? Self reflection is taking the responsibility to grow, and that personal growth is important because you need to be happy with you in order to “hang out” with yourself, to rely on yourself, and to trust yourself. Become someone who inspires you and you will create the confidence that you need to be independent. 

Disconnecting from your phone can also be a huge help in becoming more self sufficient. Even if you are choosing to spend more time independently, you aren’t really alone until you can turn off the phone and truly disconnect from other people. Take an hour out of the day to put the phone away and spend intentional time on what’s important to you.

Lastly, to my ladies.. Stop relying on a man to complete the “manly” tasks! Right after a breakup, I was moving into a new place so I built a desk and a huge set of shelves. I had to use all of my strength to move them around my house, but I did it. I swear I’ve never felt more independent and empowered. You are stronger and more capable than you think. 

Idependency from Objects and Habits

I think the easiest way to become independent from objects and habits is realizing what triggers you to give certain responses, then training yourself to react differently. Here’s some examples:

Stress eating 

  • Object: Comfort food
  • Trigger: Uncomfortable or stressful situation 
  • Habit/Reaction: Using comfort food as a coping mechanism
  • Change: Change the way you respond to the trigger by choosing a different habit than eating when stressed (ex: run instead of eat)

Checking your phone before getting out of bed in the morning

  • Object: Phone 
  • Trigger: Waking up
  • Habit/Reaction: Checking texts, social media, etc
  • Change: Change the way you respond to the trigger by establishing a task (other than checking the phone) to accomplish when you first wake up

To bring this post to an end, I’d just like to say that independence is powerful. Being able to fully support yourself is a hard task, but it will bring you so much success. So invest energy into yourself, spend time with yourself, trust yourself, and you will do great things!

Invalid Excuses for Not Going to Therapy

Invalid Excuses for Not Going to Therapy

Therapy is a great decision for anyone. Even if you are a happy and healthy human, I still recommend therapy. It’s not just talking about your traumatic experiences with a stranger, and you don’t have to be depressed or crazy to want to go.

You can go to therapy to learn how to create good habits or quit bad ones. 

You can go to therapy to learn how to be more productive. 

You can go to therapy to learn how to manage your relationships better. 

You can go to therapy to learn how to show up as the best possible version of yourself.

So, I assume if you clicked on this, you’re debating therapy. You’re probably wondering if your reasons are valid enough to go. I’m going to stop you right here and say this: If you have to debate or even question going to therapy, your reasons are valid enough to try it. You deserve to feel your best, and you won’t ever be able to do that if you keep cramming things back down. 

I put therapy off for a really long time. I’ve always been an advocate for it and I’ve always told myself that I should go, just like I think everyone else should go, but I never made it a priority. But deep down, I knew that I needed to go. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself because I had so many other important things going on in my life. During those years, therapy was always in the back of my mind. But as I said, I was just so wrapped up in other things and I just pushed it to the side. I would push the feelings or thoughts away and I would get by for long periods of time. And when I say “get by”, that’s literally all I could do, never better. And every once in a while, I couldn’t even get by. I would go into extremely depressive stages where I wouldn’t leave my bed unless it was a necessity, didn’t want to talk to anyone, cried a lot, etc – and couldn’t stop for weeks at a time. In those occasional periods, I knew I needed therapy and I would start to seriously consider it, but the second I started feeling better, it was pushed back again. 

So now that you have a little bit of backstory, here were my excuses and why I no longer believe in them:

I said that I never had the time. One thing that I’ve recently learned from personal experience, is that we make time for the things and people that we truly care about. A few months back, I was in school and working on my blog. I told myself that I never had free time, which was true, I really didn’t because I devoted every bit of energy I had into those two things. But fast forward a bit, I’m now in school, working 2 jobs, running the blog, and 2 other platforms. All of those things were important to me, so I made time for them. 

Therapy is also important to me. Nothing should be more important than my wellbeing, so it’s time that I make the time for it. To make it easier on me, I’ve decided to do remote therapy to save time on getting ready and making a trip somewhere.. The little things do add up! 

I didn’t really want to tell people. I never really admit when I’m not doing well. I usually wait to talk about it until after it’s passed and I’m doing better. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, scared, uncomfortable or whatever else – I just genuinely don’t want people to worry. Most people know about my disorders (for those of you who don’t know: depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD), and I think it just kinda adds on an extra scare when I tell people I’m in a tough place. So, I usually like to keep it to myself. Since then, I’ve realized that I can’t keep myself in an unstable place just to allow other people to not feel worried. 

I only felt extremely low on occasions, so I thought I could handle it. I’ve always been pretty good at solving personal problems, and it’s only been rare occasions where it was beyond me. But like I said, those rare occasions are still terrible and can last weeks. I don’t want to just “get by” anymore, I want to actually be happy and fulfilled.  

I was scared of what I’d discover in therapy. I was scared that I would come to some really hard realizations about myself or my life, and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I knew that I was on a slippery slope with my mental health in the first place, and I was scared of adding something else in the mix because I didn’t know if I could handle it. But if my experiences have taught me anything, it’s that I’m one of the (mentally) strongest frickin people that I know. I say that as humbly as I can, but it’s the truth. I know that therapy is going to be hard, but I’ve lived through all of my darkest days, and I know I will continue to do that until it gets better. 

I was scared that I wasn’t going to like my therapist. I know it sounds dumb, but I actually have good reason for worrying about this. Quick story time: To get the wonderfully long list of all my disorders, I had to meet with a psychologist multiple times. Mind you, I had NO idea what was about to hit me. I was there because I thought I had ADD. Anyway, throughout our sessions, she was incredibly insensitive to the (highly sensitive) information I shared with her. She had no compassion or understanding, she was only there to check off the boxes and leave. She also made me feel extremely dumb during every session that we had together. So, with that being said, I do have a bad past with a mental health care professional. But, obviously a psychologist and a therapist are two completely different jobs and people – and I cannot base my opinion on the entire mental health care field off of one bad experience that I had. 

I was scared about the financial commitment. Therapy is expensive, no lie. But, there are also ways to lessen the blow. Check with your insurance company, school or college, company, etc. Doing research can save you a significant amount, or may even help you find some free resources. Google is your BFF!

Lastly, I just want to talk about a fear that I’ve never had in regards to therapy, but I feel like a lot of others do.. Judgement. You’ve got to stop wondering what people will think of you. You are doing what’s best for you. You’re bettering you – for you. Other people don’t matter. Also, if someone is going to judge you for bettering yourself, what does that say about them? And even if they are judging, are you living your life to impress them? Is that worth it to you? 

One last thing I want you to think about.. Most likely, therapy is going to be hard. You have to be willing to accept the past and learn how to change for the future, and sometimes it’s not a freaking easy process. But what’s harder – going to therapy and working through it, or spending your entire life trying to avoid it and just barely get by?

Advice On Struggling with Weight and Body Image

Advice On Struggling with Weight and Body Image

To Women Struggling with Body Image

First of all, I would like to say that this message is dedicated to a woman struggling at any shape. I know that a lot of people associate poor body image with being overweight, but I completely understand that it still affects women who believe the opposite.

I read an article, 11 Facts About Body Image. It said, “Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.” (I put the link below if you would like to read more.) 

That breaks my heart. I’ve spent my entire life struggling with body image – thinking that I was “fat” when I wasn’t, dieting on and off, beating myself up when I failed at an unrealistic goal, getting upset when the scale didn’t change.. You get the point. 

I still struggle with it to this day, but as I’ve worked on improving my mental health, I’ve learned so much about body image and how to start accepting myself and appreciating the body that I do have.

I have a long list of things that I wish I would have learned a long time ago, so I want to share it with you now.

1. Weight is a number on a scale. There are so many things that go into your weight – it’s not just body fat. Your muscle, your height, how much water you’ve drank that day, how much you’ve eaten, when you weigh yourself, and so many other things play a part in the number that you see.

I weighed myself 3 days in a row this week. The second day, I was 3 pounds heavier than I weighed the first day. Today, I’m 2 pounds lighter than I was yesterday. The day that I weighed the least, I felt the biggest. 

2. I always heard people say, “weight doesn’t define you”. For the longest time, I completely dismissed that idea. But I’ve come to realize – they aren’t wrong. You aren’t a worse person because of your weight. You aren’t any less lovable because of your weight. You aren’t any less valuable because of your weight. You are still you, no matter what size you are. 

3. You don’t fail when you gain or lose weight. You don’t fail when you eat carbs. You don’t fail when you fall short of a goal. These things aren’t failures, they are natural human occurrences that everyone goes through. Weight is an ever changing thing – and you aren’t stuck where you are. You can eat carbs, you actually need them in regulation. You can recommit as many times as you need to reach a goal, and progress isn’t always linear. 

4. Have you ever said, “If I looked like ___, my life would be so much better.” If so, me too, and we were both wrong. Even the prettiest girls on the planet have problems. Maybe they’re different problems, but their life isn’t any easier just because they are pretty. They still struggle, get heartbroken, cry – you name it. They aren’t invincible people just because of the way they look.

Also, pretty girls are self conscious too. Models have eating disorders, some girls change 15 times before they leave the house, some girls spend over an hour on their makeup before they go to school, etc. Just remember, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. 

5. Spending any amount of time worrying about the way you look, is time you’ll regret in the future. I’ve heard so many older women say, “I wish I wasn’t so worried about what I looked like back then. I wish I would have started loving myself sooner, because looks aren’t the only thing that matters.” 

6. I always think about a post I read a while back. It said something like, “Picture this: You’re sitting on your porch at 70 years old. Are you going to want to remember the time you stayed at home instead of going to the beach with your friends because your thighs looked too big? Or are you going to want to remember the amazing day that you had with them because you got over it and did it anyway.” 

7. Your friends and family are going to love you, no matter what you weigh. They will love you at 90, 130, 180, 200, or 500 pounds. That’s how love works. People don’t look at you and say, “Oh she has gained or lost X amount of weight.. I can’t care about her anymore.” 

8. I used to think that boys wouldn’t like me if I was fat. First of all, I wasn’t, even though I thought I was. But more importantly – ANY man who wouldn’t like a girl because of their weight is NOT worth it. I used to think that was BS and people only said it to make women feel better, but I was wrong.. Again. I wouldn’t want my husband to only love or care for me when I looked a certain way. Quite frankly, in my opinion, any man who disregards a woman because of their weight is shallow, and probably just wants to sleep around. Find someone that loves you for you

9. If you’ve gotten through this entire list and believe nothing I’ve said, let me tell you this: You aren’t stuck in the body that you are in now. If you want to make a change, do it. It’s freaking hard, and it takes a long time, but you can do it. Just don’t change for other people, make the change for you to feel a certain way – for you to appreciate the body you’re in.  

And if you do decide to make a change, do it the healthy way. Especially when it comes to losing weight, taking the easy way out (not eating), isn’t going to give you the long term results that you want – I promise. Do it in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished.

It’s time to start appreciating our bodies for the capabilities that they give us, not hating them for the way that they look. If you are a healthy human who can get out of bed in the morning and walk around – you have it a lot better than some others. So if you can’t love anything else, start appreciating your body for that.

11 Facts About Body Image: https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-body-image

How to Become Your Own Therapist

How to Become Your Own Therapist

After being diagnosed with my mental health disorders, I’ve basically become my own therapist. Obviously, I do not recommend that everyone should be their own therapist, because everyone has different circumstances or severities of issues – and professional therapy is amazing if you can do it! I’m just personally in a stable enough place where I’m able to help myself, and I wanted to write a post for the people who feel in the same boat. 

Let’s get one initial thing straight: just because you are your own therapist, doesn’t mean that it will be any easier. Having these “conversations” with yourself still requires you to dig down deep. You will still get upset, angry, confused, or whatever feelings that you may expect from actual therapy. Growth is good, but growth hurts. 

I have one other important thing to mention.. You don’t always leave therapy sessions feeling better. Sometimes, things take weeks or months to figure out, especially if you are only working off of your own mind – because you aren’t getting any new ideas and advice. I have a personal goal of writing until I feel comfortable enough to walk away from the conversation, but that goal isn’t always met. 

So, let’s get into the specifics..

Ask yourself how you are going to set your sessions up. Make sure you dedicate yourself to being consistent with them. I would at least do it once a week. 

  • Where are you going to go? 
  • How much time are you going to block off for a session?
  • How often are your sessions going to be? 
  • How are you going to have a “conversation” with yourself? I really recommend thinking everything through by journaling or typing out your thoughts. 

Have a set of questions to ask yourself when you begin each therapy session. Here are a few questions that I start with to get comfortable with writing and get my brain flowing. 

  • How am I feeling? 
  • What’s happened over the past week, and how does that play into the way that I’m feeling? 
  • What could have gone better? 
  • What did I do well? 

After you get the basic questions down and you move forward into the “deeper” stuff, you should constantly be asking yourself why.

  • Why do I think ___? 
  • Why do I feel ___? 

So, you’d start with your first feeling/thought/statement. Ask yourself those questions. Once you have the answer to that question, ask yourself the questions again in reference to the second statement you made. You can do this until you fully comprehend the situation or feeling! 

Most importantly, these conversations are supposed to be completely raw. You should write down every feeling that comes to mind – no matter how hard or upsetting it may be to finally admit that to yourself. Just remember, no one else is going to have this information but you. You don’t need to hide from yourself. 

Once you’ve gotten to the root of your problems, you need to create an action plan on how to move forward. If you don’t know how to create a good action plan or fix the problem – do some research! For example: You are struggling with anxiety in social situations. So go to Google, and type in how to cure anxiety in social situations or how to get better at speaking in groups

Another thing that I’ve created is my “go-to” lists. These lists are things that I can do when I’m feeling a certain emotion. 

  • If I’m feeling sad: Sleep, take a walk, listen to some good music, call a friend, etc. 
  • If I’m feeling anxious: Take some deep breaths, try to distract my mind with something positive, lay off the coffee, listen to calming sounds or go to a place that makes me feel calm, etc. 
  • If I’m feeling angry: Do a stress relief workout, take a break from my phone, do something that makes me happy, etc.

Lastly, get advice from others! As I said before, you need to make sure you’re doing your research – because that’s the “advice” you’re receiving from another person (like a therapist would give you). But additionally, you can read books or listen to podcasts regarding the issue, you can follow other people on social media who have learned to cope with the issue, etc.

So, that’s my advice on how to become your own therapist. Again, self-therapy isn’t for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help from someone else. But, if you feel stable enough, this can be a really good tool for you to grow! I know that being my own therapist has changed my life in millions of ways. I’ve learned so much about myself, quit bad habits, formed good ones, and gotten through a lot of tough situations by just writing out my feelings with myself. (If you are a person of faith, I also really recommend writing your prayers out too!) If you try any of these methods in your next self-therapy session, let me know! Have a great week 🙂

6 Unhealthy “Self Care” Claims

6 Unhealthy “Self Care” Claims

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of self care. It’s SO important. You are the most important person in your life, so you should treat yourself as such.

I’m writing this post because I think society has programmed in our heads that “self care” can be an excuse for things that you just want to do – not things that are actually good for you.

I’m not saying that you should never do these things. They aren’t bad things – they just aren’t true self care.

Here’s my rule for actual self care: If you can do this thing for yourself with 100% confidence that you won’t regret it in the future – it’s self care. But if it’s only going to feel good in the moment, it’s not.

That’s the problem with the things I’ve listed below. They’ll make you feel good in the moment, no doubt – but they won’t make you feel good in the next day, week, or month. Trust me, I’ve done all of these things, so I would know – but I think you’ll agree.

Retail Therapy – I love getting new things just as much as the next girl, I promise. But unless you have a never ending financial budget, you’ll probably regret spending $300 dollars on a Tuesday because you failed your biology exam. Letting yourself run out of gas or starve for the rest of the week isn’t self care – but it is something you’ll regret.

Eating – When I was severely depressed, this was my go to. Eating and watching some Netflix was my favorite way to relax and get my mind off things. I’d always tell myself that I had a long day so I deserved it. But did I deserve feeling upset with myself 10 minutes after? Did I deserve hating the way my jeans fit? No. Is that what happened anyway? Every freaking time.

Over Exercising – Remember how I just told you that I hated myself about 10 minutes after I ate something I knew was bad for me? Wanna guess what happened next? I’d tell myself that my body needs a run to make me feel better about myself. I’d run every calorie out but the running still never cancelled out how I felt mentally. I didn’t deserve to do that to myself. Neither do you.

Isolating for Rest – Again, something I always did in the peak of my depression. (I was so tired all the time. I would sleep a regular 8 hours, but then I’d literally need another 4 hour nap just to stay awake for the rest of the day.) Yes, I got to sleep, but I missed out on doing a lot of things with my friends. I missed out on getting a lot of things done that I needed to do. I always complained about how boring I was and that I needed to get out more.. And I felt the same way everyday – until I got medicated and adapted a healthier lifestyle to not need a four hour nap every day!

Drinking the Wine – Ladies. I know it’s good. I know. But it’s not good for you. And let’s be honest, one glass turns into four real quick. That’s all I’ll need to say about this one.

Ignoring Responsibilities – If you’ve had a bad day, or you’re extremely busy and overwhelmed, and you just need a break – I get it. I feel you. But there’s a difference between taking a break and straight up ignoring what you’re supposed to be doing. If you have a deadline that you’re ignoring – you’re still gonna have to do the work! Even if there isn’t a deadline, you’re still missing out on the things that you need to be doing to be successful, happy, healthy – whatever the case may be. It’s okay to take breaks, but that’s all it should be.

Self care isn’t an excuse to not be your best. It’s doing things for yourself to become your best. Let yourself take a break and recharge. Let doing nice things for yourself act as motivation to do the things that you need to do. Just don’t do these things because you’ve had a bad day or because you’re upset with yourself – get to the root of the problem and fix it instead. Most of all, don’t do the things you know you’ll regret tomorrow.

I think I’ve finally done enough preaching. Before you read this post, did you guys see these things as self care or did you see them the same way? Let me know!

Have a great week! 🙂

The Power of Compliments

The Power of Compliments

I started middle parting my hair this year. I was SO self conscious about it. I really wasn’t sure if I liked it, but I knew that I needed something new. A lot of people didn’t notice, or at least didn’t say anything.

I remember walking up to a table of my friends and the first thing one of them said was, “Wow Carmen, your hair looks SO good. Did you do something different with it?” .. I’ve never appreciated a comment more in my life – honestly. Silly right? It was such a simple compliment. She probably doesn’t even remember saying that to me.

That’s the thing about compliments. You can say something that seems so small to you, but it could mean the world to whoever receives it.

Point is, go out of your way to tell people when you like their new outfit or hairstyle. Tell them you really appreciated something that they did. Congratulate them, even on the small things. You never know the impact you’ll make.

But this post isn’t really about giving compliments, it’s more about receiving them.

I’ve just started noticing that so many people don’t know how to accept someone’s admiration! I’m guilty sometimes too, even though I’m trying to be more conscious of it. I genuinely think it’s just something that women have naturally learned to do in this age.

I have so many examples of how I’ve avoided compliments in the past (without even thinking). Someone will say something like “Hey, I really like your sweater!” and I’ll say, “Really? I’ve had it since middle school.” I’ve also had people come up to me and tell me that I looked good (regarding weight loss), and I’d be like, “Oh I appreciate that but I’m really nowhere close to where I’d like to be.” – Both of these things are true, but I didn’t just accept the freaking compliment. I avoided it.

Here’s the problem: If you reject or redirect positive comments about yourself, people will assume that you don’t believe them, which will probably lead them to believe that you don’t have much self-confidence. Then, the really crappy people in the world will use that to their manipulative advantage. So my advice, even if you don’t believe it, say thank you and move on.

Rejection is also annoying and awkward. Let’s be honest.. If you tell a friend that she looks great and she replies, “Dude I’ve been eating like crap. I probably gained 5 pounds”, what do you say? I’m sorry? I still think you look great.. hence why I just freaking told you? — Here’s what I like to remind myself: people feel good when they make others feel good. If someone goes out of their way for you, don’t shoot them down.

Lastly, let’s talk about my favorite, fishing for compliments. When you are dependent on others for your self confidence, you leave SO much room to get hurt.

If someone doesn’t acknowledge your insecure comment – You’ll probably instantly assume that they believe what you said, which leads you to doubt yourself. In reality, they could have accidentally ignored it or (frankly) didn’t feel like feeding into it.. even if they don’t believe what you said. Secondly, sometimes people will tell you what you don’t want to hear. For example: if you ask a friend’s opinion on your outfit and they give an honest yet negative response, it’ll still probably get to you.

You’ve got to be able to have your own self love and confidence. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many compliments you get if you can’t love yourself. You are the only one who can change your mind. In summary: be confident, give compliments, and take them!

Gaining Confidence – P2

Gaining Confidence – P2

A year ago, I wouldn’t have listened to what I’m about to say. I heard some of the same things and laughed. Then I moved on, living the same (insecure) life. Eventually, I realized that nothing was going to change until I made the change. So I forced myself into trying these things, and now I can confidently tell you that they’ve improved my life tremendously. 

Most of these concepts will seem obvious. On the other hand, in some of these, it’s likely that you won’t feel comfortable the first time.. or for a while. You may not even get anything out of it in the first couple attempts. You have to keep an open mind, be extremely honest with yourself, and genuinely try to put yourself in the mindset.   

With all of that said.. Here’s what I got for ya.

Be productive. At first, this seemed unrelated to confidence – but this was the number one thing that helped me. If you’re staying productive, you’re accomplishing things, and the feeling of accomplishment manifests many other things. Personally, I feel strong and capable, I feel like I gave purpose to the day, and I contributed to something – which in turn, makes me feel good or proud of myself. 

Stay healthy. I started a “health journey” because I wanted to look good. And I’m not gonna lie to you, it feels better to look better.. but that’s not the best part. The reason that I continued is because of how it made me feel. I felt confident because I was strong enough to show up everyday. I was confident in the fact that I worked hard to earn the better body. – It’s weird because your mental state affects your physical state, and vice versa. If you mentally tell yourself that you can do something (ex: 10 push-ups), then 9 times out of 10, you’re gonna find the strength to get them done. Then you leave stronger. On the other hand, when your physical health improves, it makes you feel healthier and proud of the work you put in. The point is: When you put in the work to feel better about yourself, you’ll be proud and confident. 

Dress confidently. This one is simple. At least for me.. If I know that I look like crap, I feel like crap. I don’t want people seeing me like that! I obviously don’t dress to impress on a daily basis, because sometimes getting out of bed on time is the victory.. but I usually try to at least do something that makes me feel a little more confident. These can be super simple things, like putting on a necklace, or even just spraying a perfume that I really like. You don’t have to look like a model every time you leave the house, but at least do something to avoid feeling like hiding in the corner whenever you’re in public. 

Realize that social media doesn’t represent real life. People say this all the time, but it’s true. You never know how many tries it took to get the perfect picture or how long it took to edit. It’s especially not always obvious when women edit to change their features. And a lot of times, we don’t personally know these people. We don’t know how they truly live, what they go through, etc..

Know that we all bring different things to the table. There are people with 100k on Instagram who are jealous of the women finishing their masters degree, and vice versa. Some of us want to lose 20 pounds while others want curves. So it’s okay to know you aren’t perfect and it’s okay to want something different for yourself – but also realize what you bring to the table and what makes you worthy. 

Focus on solutions, not problems. Focusing on what you ‘lack’ and constantly feeling sorry for yourself will never make you better. I always used to think, “Oh, well I have depression so I’ll always be sad” or “I can’t get better because I have depression.”… BS. That was me (unknowingly) throwing myself a pity party. Once I asked myself what I could do better – I focused on positive thoughts and improving, and I literally pulled myself out of my own depression. Once you’re able to focus on the good, and how to improve what you want to change, you don’t stay in the insecure mindset of  I’m not _, or I can’t _. 

— Alright, we’ve gotten through the somewhat obvious concepts. Now, I need you to have a little bit of faith in what I’m about to say.. 

Write down affirmations.. Everywhere. I swear, I thought I’d never heard a dumber idea in my life. Writing something like, “I am worthy” on my mirror sounded SO stupid. And yes, if you write that on your mirror and just stare at it, it is kinda stupid.. But what I didn’t understand was that you have to dig deeper and genuinely think about what you write down. You should apply the statement to your life. Why is it true for you, or how can you make it become true? I went from thinking “Oh, I’m worthy? Yeah.. ok.” to “I’m worthy because I always try my best, I care for others, etc.” Writing these things down, makes you search for the reasons that these positive things are (or can become) true for you. 

Write down the things you like about yourself. When I tried for the first time, I couldn’t think of a single freaking thing. Eventually, I made myself sit there until I thought of 3. I sat there for an uncomfortable amount of time, but I finally wrote, “I like my eyes, I am proud of how I care for others, and I don’t easily give up.” I wrote that years ago.. But it’s still stuck in my mind. So, even if you don’t think you’ll find a single thing, sit down until you hit 3. Once you’ve found those things, appreciate them and find out how you can take advantage of those positive aspects.

So, those are the main things that helped me start to believe in my capabilities and grow some confidence! Having self confidence is extremely important, and a gradual process, so be patient with yourself!! I hope you will find some of these concepts helpful, or at least feel inspired to look more into it! 

See you next week 🙂

Gaining Confidence – P1

Gaining Confidence – P1

Why are there SO many women in the world that choose to pick themselves apart instead of putting their energy towards fueling the good in them? I mean really, who’s frickin bright idea was it to start that BS? 

I don’t say that to hate on the girls who lack self confidence. I definitely used to be one.. I could have been like president of the freaking club. I still have issues with it every once in a while, but that’s okay – everyone does at times. 

I originally thought of listing ideas that would help instill confidence, but I think it’s more than that. I think it’s important to understand why you feel a certain way. 

So, what drives your insecurities? Obviously, it’s different for everyone, so I encourage you to see how this plays a role in your life. 

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • We’ve heard other people talking bad about themselves, so it’s something we’ve (unconsciously) learned. 
  • We compare ourselves to others, even though everyone brings different qualities to the table. I could be jealous of someone for being in great shape, and that same person could be jealous of me for starting my own blog. We just all focus on different things at different times. 
  • We don’t want to seem conceited or self centered. But if you think about it, is that really the worst? You’re choosing to talk bad about yourself because you’re afraid that others may judge you for being happy with/for yourself. 

Those were just a few things that pertained to my struggle. Once you figure out what specific things trigger your insecurity and why, you’ll be able to solve those issues, or at least avoid the situations/environments that lead you to them.

Also, be aware of how you speak to (or about) yourself. Ideally, you’ll be majorly positive. If not, try to recognize when you’re talking poorly. When you realize it, you should follow that statement with a positive aspect or quality in you.

It’s like promoting/marketing/selling yourself. If you have a product, you don’t focus on telling people about the bad qualities, you maximize on the good. Take an iPhone for an example.. They have some negative qualities. They shatter easily, battery life can suck, whatever – but they still dominate the market because of the good features, like their sleek design and the face recognition for example. 

My last piece of advice (before part 2) is kinda reiterating what I said earlier. You have to be careful in choosing your environment and the people that you surround yourself with. 

  • If we constantly spend time on social media, it’s pretty common to start comparing ourselves to others. 
  • If we’re being honest with ourselves in realizing that we’re spending time doing the wrong things with the wrong people, we obviously aren’t gonna feel good about it.
  • If we surround ourselves with people that treat us badly, we’ll start believing in that. 
  • If we surround ourselves with people who talk down on themselves, it’s likely for us to do the same. 

** Okay – that’s all I have for part 1. For part 2, I want to talk about ways that we can personally manifest our confidence. See you next week 😉

How to Make Yourself a Priority

How to Make Yourself a Priority

You have 6 hours of homework to do, but Bailey’s birthday lunch is today. 

You haven’t slept in days, but Grace asked you to take her shift tonight. 

You just want to lay in bed and watch the last season of Friends, but you have a sorority event at 8. 

Why do we ignore our needs to please others? Why do we go out of the way for people who wouldn’t do the same? Why are they more important? 

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve replaced my own wants/needs for someone else’s. I loved being the friend that anyone could count on, I took pride in it. But it was frickin exhausting. I constantly missed out on the things that I genuinely wanted to do, I barely slept, I didn’t get things done when I wanted to do them, the list goes on. The funny thing is, that’s not even why I stopped. 

I stopped trying so hard to please people because I realized 5 things. 

  • No matter how much I gave people, it wasn’t enough. 
  • People usually didn’t realize the sacrifices I made for them, or they just weren’t thankful.
  • They never reciprocated the energy I gave them. 
  • People started to expect things of me, and got upset when I couldn’t comply.
  •  I realized that their needs aren’t more important than mine.

So, how do you make yourself the priority? 

Create non-negotiable rules: If you do something for someone, you should be able to do it without inconveniencing yourself. Make sure to establish your ground rules before agreeing to help. – I’m happy to give you a ride to campus as long as you can be ready by the time I’m leaving. 

Learn how to say no: It’s okay to say no. It’s even okay to let people be upset with you for a moment. (That took me forever to understand.) Just be firm and respectful. – Thanks for the offer, but honestly, I haven’t been lazy in forever and I just want to chill and watch Netflix today. 

Realize when it’s time to take a time out: It’s normal to get tired. Physically tired, tired of someone else, tired of doing something, etc. Learn when you’re reaching your limits and take a time out before it’s too much. – I’m kinda run down from going out every weekend, I’ll catch up next Friday. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you have a million things to do and you’ve made a few too many commitments, it’s okay to ask someone to help out. Everyone needs help every once in a while. – Hey Claire, I’ve got a paper due at midnight on Monday and would really like some more time to work on it. Would you mind taking my shift at 6 tomorrow?

Don’t let people manipulate you into things: This is the hardest task of them all. Don’t let people tell you that you should do something because they’d do it for you, or that you’re a bad friend if you don’t, or that you aren’t worth their time if you can’t.

 

Schedule each day around your wants/needs: What are your top 3 priorities everyday? Are they the same or different each day? Block out a certain amount of time each day for each purpose. This could be 5 minutes, an hour, whatever you want it to be. – I want to go to church more, so I’m going to start blocking off Sunday mornings to go. 

Self reflect: If you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day, you’re too good of a friend, you miss out on things you want to do, or you just aren’t happy for some reason – you’re probably not putting yourself first or prioritizing. Find what makes you happy and make the time to do it. Going to the gym makes me feel good, so I wake up at 7 every morning to make the time before work/school. 

Remember that you deserve to be your top priority. Know the difference between helping someone and being their servant. Don’t be afraid to have the hard conversations that will allow you to do what’s best for you.