Let’s talk about some things. When was the last time you did something really scary? Something really vulnerable? I’m talking hands shaking, butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms scary.
For me, it was just a few weeks ago. An active wear company reached out to me about working on their campaign for new, extended sizing within the line. Your girl is all about any strides towards size inclusion, so naturally I said yes! When I was originally reviewing the email, I thought the outfit they were sending me included a full length tank top. I conquered the fear of showing my arms long ago so I thought eh, no big deal.
Fast forward to opening my shipment. The items inside were beautiful. There was a complete, matching ensemble that was so gorgeous. It included leggings, a sherpa pullover, and…..something they called a “demi bra.” It’s basically just a sports bra, folks. Just a sports bra. I’m certain the color drained from my face when I realized I was going to have to wear just the leggings and the sports bra in my Instagram stories to hold up to my end of the bargain on the campaign. I am ALL ABOUT women of every size wearing what makes them feel good and showing it off. But I definitely have a comfort zone, and this look was not it.
I had to have a serious talk with myself. The entire reason I do what I do is because I want women to show up for their lives, no matter what they look like. I’ve come a long way on a personal level, but I am very aware that I get the privilege of curating how I show up in social spaces. I started to wonder how I could continue telling women to stop being afraid to live their best lives if in this moment, I was hiding, too.
So I sucked it up. I did the thing I didn’t want to. I got on my Instagram stories and I showed myself in the leggings and demi bra. And you know what? I didn’t die. In fact, I got so much love and positive feedback, it was overwhelming. It was truly a moment of growth, and a reminder to walk the walk and talk the talk.
It was also a reminder of how far I’ve come, and what I had to do to get there. So today, I thought I would share 5 things you can STOP doing right now to live an empowered, beautiful life. And, in the spirit of transparency, these are things I need to be reminded of, too. Let’s tackle them together, friends!
1. STOP doubting your own greatness. Your whole life, you’re going to find people who enjoy placing their own fears and limitations on your life. Sometimes it’s because they want to protect you. Sometimes it’s because they’re afraid of what’s going to happen if you rise. Just know this – you are filled with greatness. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. But do me a favor. Even if you don’t believe it, write it down and read it everyday. Say it out loud when you’re getting ready in the morning. Keep it at the front of your mind as you close your eyes each night. Our thoughts become our reality. I truly believe that. Keep believing you are the smartest, most beautiful, funny as hell, sh*t completely together babe on the planet – because it is already so.
2. STOP assuming you know what others think of you. I have been so guilty of this. I grew up with so many ideas about what people thought of me based on how I looked, and I always assumed the worst. I often let those assumptions get in the way of building relationships, giving people a chance, or letting my guard down. There will always be people who don’t like you, and that’s okay. Everyone doesn’t have to like you. But if you don’t give people a chance to know you because you’ve made an assumption about them, that’s on you. And you’ll continue to miss out on opportunities to meet people who will change your life!
3. STOP killing yourself to meet imaginary expectations. It goes without saying that social media has made this worse. Like, so much worse. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to live in a house with an all-white marble kitchen. You don’t have to go on beach vacations once a quarter. You don’t have to be doing the freaking most all.the.time. And listen, sometimes I suck at this. Sometimes I’ll go on an Instagram bender looking at pictures and rather than feeling inspired, I feel like I need a new house, new car, new life, new everything. At the end of the day, all anyone can really expect from anyone else is some kindness, empathy, and respect. Don’t get caught up in trying to achieve things no one asked you to do. It’s not worth the time and worry and frustration. Every now and then, give yourself permission to do the least. Trust me, it feels amazing.
4. STOP waiting for perfection before taking action. How many times have you had an amazing idea or a spark of creativity and then you freeze because you don’t know how it’s going to look start to finish? You don’t know every single detail of the execution? You don’t have all the answers up front? Friends, we are given that spark for a reason. The moments God fills your heart with a dream are not accidents. It took me far too long to start this blog because I was reading all the things and trying to do everything perfectly and check every item off the list and become an overnight expert in things I didn’t understand. Then I got some really good advice from someone who has been doing this a lot longer than me and essentially she told me to go with what I could manage and don’t worry about the rest. That’s what I did, and that’s why I’m writing this today, and it changed everything for me.
5. STOP thinking there’s not a place at the table for you. I was talking to a friend about this recently and how the scarcity mindset is such a lie. There’s more than enough of everything to go around – readers, followers, customers, whatever it is. Something I also heard that stuck with me is that if you choose not to share your story, you’re robbing someone else of a potential breakthrough. No one can share your story like you can. Whatever you’ve been through, whatever perspective you’ve gained, whatever experiences you’ve lived – someone needs to hear what you have to say. Don’t ever think you’re not qualified, not relevant, or not needed. Another favorite thing I heard – “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” How powerful is that?
You may be reading this and remembering a time when you felt rejected, scared, defeated, overwhelmed. We all have those moments. Even the most beautiful life will come with disappointment at times. But what’s worse – trying something and missing the mark? Or never trying at all and living with regret?
Dreams can be really, really big and scary or they can be small and sweet. You don’t have to aspire to an empire. But maybe you’ve been avoiding having your picture taken. Maybe you’ve been afraid to start that blog or Instagram account. Maybe you have an idea for a business but you’re afraid no one will take you seriously. Whatever is in your heart is there for a divine purpose, no matter how big or small.
STOP the doubt. Embrace the fear and tell it to shut up. You’ve already got what it takes. I’m here cheering for you, friends.