Hello all! So last week I took a mini mental vacay from the blog – I think taking a step back to just live a little and be more present in your daily life is not only healthy but essential! (especially when you spend nearly all of your time on the computer like me: blog, school, etc). It was actually rejuvenating – I saw more of my friends and just relished in some much needed me time, something I seem to never get enough of. To set up this blog post – I wanted to talk about something near and dear to my heart: being your own freaking self.
A lot has been on my heart and on my mind since entering into the world of blogging, particularly in the style scene. There is so much talent floating around the blogosphere and yet – there’s a lot of insincerity, pettiness and all around fake bitches. Yep, I said it and it’s still just as true, even if it’s a shocking statement. Before I entered into blogging, I adored several bloggers, following them on Instagram and reading their blogs for years. Now – I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of them in person, commonly attending the same events. And let me tell you…they were awful. Now, not all of them are awful .. I’m not making that generalized statement BUT I am saying there are some serious falsies out there. To me, there is nothing more disappointing than finding out someone isn’t who they “market” themselves to be. Whether it’s because they’re actually a wallflower in real life or their own self obsession sucks the life out of me, it’s truly a massive let down.
I’ve been thinking on it for so long – because as much as I just want to call them bitchy, there’s more to the story than just that assumption. It’s no secret I love myself. It’s taken years to get here but there’s not a damn thing I would change about myself. I live my truth, I call it like it is, and I do the damn thing. My style, my makeup, my hair – I change them like the direction of the winds and while I’ve made some incredible “blogger” friendships who love that about me, I find some others are intimidated by it, or even threatened. They take those feelings and channel them into some form of not acknowledging me – entirely ignoring me at events, not following me back on IG when I’ve followed/commented/liked their crap for years, or even whispering about me to their friends.
Whoa whoa whoa.. wait a minute. Does that sound a lot like high school? Because I left that over a decade ago, and yet – this feels all too familiar. I’ve always been a little bit different, marching to my own beat instead of everyone else’s rhythm. I used to wonder if that made me weird or unwanted, but in fact, it makes me unique! Would you really want to be one of hundreds of sheep? No. You want to be memorable, whether you admit it or not. To be truthful, most of those girls are far more insecure than you could imagine – hence being uncomfortable around someone living so boldly in their own skin. And you know what? It makes me sad for them, not mad. It makes me sad they look and act like everyone else, and are so small-minded that they cannot embrace anything beyond their own comfort zones.
This stems into the whole lack of women actually supporting other women. Not just in the blogosphere but in most professional realms – women are nasty to each other. They keep secrets and hoard trade tips instead of uplifting and helping their fellow woman succeed in her own right. I’ve heard a Dallas blogger word for word say the bloggers of Dallas are to be envied because they all support and help each other. That’s the biggest load of bologna I’ve ever heard, especially from her mouth. She’s one of the worst! It’s almost laughable how fake bloggers can be – from their stories to their projected images. I hate it – and try my best to always be true to myself, even if that means me putting up a story whilst in my bathrobe, bare faced and hair all crazy. That’s ME.
So.. point of the post – being yourself and living boldly. How do you do it?
Six pointers from me:
- Own all the aspects of YOU – the good, the bad and the ugly. Know your strengths – shout them from the rooftops!, pinpoint your weaknesses and work towards improving your shortcomings. One of my former professors once told me there’s a fine line between being bold and being careless, the key being self-awareness and reassessments. For instance, I’m highly aware I can judge people too quickly based upon first impressions. I give them another chance to maybe work through their own issues and reset my opinion because let’s face it, some of us are just plain nervous or awkward when it comes to making a first impression or finding conversation. I also ask my friends if I’m being reasonable or just plain crazy.
- Admit your flaws – I embrace my imperfections. They make me authentic, unique, and less of a robot shaped by society or social media. I love that I don’t blindly follow influencers simply because everyone else does – they’re not always worth it, I promise you that.
- No means no – Knowing how and when to use NO. I’m telling you – I used to be so afraid of saying no. I thought people would think less of me or get mad or even respect me less because I told them no. Quite the opposite actually – people learn you have boundaries and grow to respect them and your opinions. If they don’t, you know they’re either an unreasonable person or simply not worth having around. Saying no is empowering, it gives rise to your own voice, self respect, and self awareness. Saying no is also a key ingredient in self love, protecting your time, energy, and values.
- Being credible – pairing your voice with actual data, whether it’s from experience or extensive research. Be the person people know to take seriously because you’re not spouting bullshit to anyone and everyone who will listen. You know I saw a fashion influencer say in their stories people turn to them for ZIKA ADVICE?! Yall I about fell out of my chair. I then had to take a walk because I was so damn angry. This person has nothing to do with healthcare nor has any form of scientific or medical degree and had the balls to lie about something like Zika and people seeking them out for advice. Um, no. Never in my mind would I think to turn to a fashion influencer about Zika safe travels. NOT EVER. How about the CDC or WHO or even a local infectious disease physician or health department? THAT IS CREDIBLE and that is SAFE knowledge. I immediately unfollowed that person because they clearly had no problem lying to their audience. YUCK.
- You have the courage to accept failure – Failure is scary, there’s no denying it. BUT failure is practically inevitable, and it’s what boosts us to constantly do better, be better, be more. Having the courage to fail only to learn and leap beyond that low point isn’t something everyone can do, but all the greats can! Failure is the momentum you need to be your own form of incredible!
- Step out of your comfort zone – this is the biggest piece of advice I can offer anyone. Comfort zones are exactly what they say, comfortable. But that comfort easily transforms into suffocation – making it all the more easy to play it safe and never really explore or push your limits. We don’t grow by being safe and we rarely stumble across new opportunities by being comfortable. Even if it gets uncomfortable because it’s new, intimidating, or a little scary, you have the courage to push through because you know it’s shaping you to be your own incredible role model instead of idolizing someone else.
I wanted to share the artwork (a surprise nonetheless) that really encouraged me to write this post. A new follower of mine, Natasha, messaged me a couple of days ago with the most incredible piece of art OF ME! She sifted through all of my posts and captured probably one of my most sassy moments on the gram. Oddly enough, I’m wearing a shirt that says in small script Be That Girl. I had just cut my hair off and was absolutely LIVING for the sunshine in that present moment. I’ve never seen myself in the form of art, but I have to believe this image completely embodies my attitude and love of self. You can visit her instagram or her custom Etsy shop for custom requests. I’ve got a humongous desire to request all custom images of me and frame them in my new cloffice once our house is built! Thank you Thank you THANK YOU to Natasha for such a beautiful piece of art, I am truly floored. You can find my Be That Girl tee on instagram at Naia Vibes.
Now share with my your honest thoughts – have you come across fake influencers or behaviors that you found abhorrent? I truly appreciate any and all honesty on your opinions.