Being authentic and true

authenticity, orlando, heart mural, positivity, life, inspiration, Maybe it’s because I’m a Scorpio, but it’s impossible for me to hide my emotions.

Whether I’m stressed, or excited, or upset, I do a pretty bad job of hiding it. If I’m feeling a negative emotion, I get anxious, I stop talking and I can’t make good eye contact. You can read my poker face, because I don’t have one. It’s just not in me.

I’ve often been hard on myself for this, and it’s also caused me guilt. I’m hypersensitive, so if I even detect a slight shift in mood in somebody else, I immediately think it’s my fault or they’re upset with me. Nine times out of ten, they’re probably just having a bad day. So, that’s where the guilt comes in for me, because I know I’m sure I’ve done that to other people with my inability to mask my feelings.

Now, sometimes it is with a person I’m upset with. I really don’t get mad at people often, but I just can’t fake like everything’s fine if I have an issue with somebody. I’ll be civil, but I’m not going to go over the top and try to make it seem like everything’s OK. I don’t fake smile, and honestly, I don’t like when other people do. Let’s be real about our feelings, guys! Being fake just makes people not trust you…but that’s a topic for another day.

Really where I’m going with this is authenticity. Concealing emotions to either spare someone’s feelings to just try to convince yourself you’re fine are more outward forms of what I’m talking about. But what I really want to get to is being authentic, meaning your true self.

Like most people, I’ve pretended to like stuff so people would like me, mainly in high school and college. I once ate sushi with a group of new friends so I wouldn’t look disagreeable (I HATE sushi). I’ve sat in a coworker’s car listening to country music, assuring them I was totally good with country (again, not my cup of tea). And (this is infamous in my house), I pretended to like the film The Minority Report when I was just months into dating my now-husband (never again will I watch that thing – I think I fell asleep). These are super minor things that honestly aren’t worth raising a fuss over, except sushi. Never eat food you don’t like. I put my foot down there.

As I’ve grown up a bit (and let’s be real, I have a lot more to do), I’ve realized there’s a power in being honest about what you like, what your values are and who you are. I’m still figuring all those out, but I definitely have a better idea now. And you know what else I learned? The more true to yourself you are, the happier you’ll be. You’ll attract people who are like-minded and radiate that same energy, and in turn, make meaningful friendships and relationships. You’ll feel more fulfilled and purposeful.

In the past, I’ve wanted to appear a certain way to people and would put my needs to the side. So I said “sure!” and “yes!” a lot, even when it was difficult or uncomfortable or just plain un-fun for me. Now, I say no to things I don’t want to do, or don’t make sense to me. I say no to things that aren’t fun or meaningful to me. Do I get anxious at the very thought of it? I say no.

Does that seem negative? Well, no. Not to me. Because when I say no to things that don’t make sense for me, or require me to drain all my energy that could be spent on something more productive and healthy,  I’m saying yes to myself. I’m embracing who I am, what I want and what I was meant to do.

I’m being authentic. And I’ll say yes to that every single day.

What about you? What have you learned about being honest and authentic? Let me know in the comments. I love this stuff.

Thank you always,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

My debt to pay: A lesson in accountability

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Anyone who mildly knows me probably knows that I love Taylor Swift with all my heart, mind and soul. So naturally, when she released her latest promo single, “The Archer,” I immediately went to my room, put in my headphones and took a deep breath.

In the song, she sings “And I cut off my nose just to spite my face/Then hate my reflection for years and years.”

Admittedly, I had never heard that expression before, so I Googled. Basically, Google/Wikipedia says it’s “an expression to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem.”

Wow. That’s me.

Now, this post isn’t really meant to talk about overreacting to stuff. Have I done that? Yeah, I think everyone has. But, in one instance, it snowballed into a situation I feel bad about years later.

I think there are times when we hurt people and we know it immediately. We pour out tear-soaked apologies, and we feel instant pangs of guilt for hours, or days, or more. We know, either because it was obvious or the person told us, that we were wrong and hurtful.

But, I think there are also times when we don’t realize immediately that we hurt someone. In fact, there are times when we don’t believe we did anything wrong or even that the person deserved it. To reference another Taylor song, we think “look what you made me do.”

This happened to me recently. Something had continued to bother me years later, and I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just forget about it. And then it hit me. I owed someone an apology.

At the time it happened, I didn’t think anything of it. But now, as I practice more empathy, I have a new perspective – even if the person never told me they felt hurt. And again, taking cues from Taylor Swift’s public moves and seeing her reconcile with Katy Perry (yes, I know I’m insane), I reached out one last time to this former friend with a long, deep, sincere apology. I didn’t ask for forgiveness. I didn’t ask to be friends again. I just made it clear I was sorry, and that apology should’ve arrived much sooner.

One lesson I’ve learned, especially since starting my current full-time job, is that accountability is essential to growth. It makes you stronger. It makes you be honest with yourself. And, people respect you for it. Learning to not blame others and instead take responsibility for your actions is key to growing up.

I chose the elevator photo for this post because it symbolizes to me a sense of moving up and on – and taking the high road.

And even if that friend never replies to my message, at least I can move on and forgive myself, because I finally admitted I was wrong.

I think this applies to all situations – family, friends, work, even interactions with strangers. Being willing to take a step back, look at things through an objective lens and muster up the strength to say “I’m sorry” will go a long way.

It might not repair a friendship or a relationship. But it could provide a chance.

XO,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

 

My journey into freelance writing & making dreams come true

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Hi there! It has been a really, really, really long time since I’ve blogged. That’s because life has been absolutely hectic and chaotic and a lovely mess of dreams coming true. And the reason for that is some hard work happening behind the scenes.

Back in March, I experienced a setback that crushed me. It was something I’d built up in my mind, something I was sure I would get. It was huge. And when I received news that it had just slipped from my grasp, I was crushed. I even left work early because mentally I felt so defeated. I cried the entire thirty minutes home, repeating over and over again: “I thought I had it.”

My gut said yes. My gut said big things were happening, and this was it. So when reality hit that wasn’t the case, I felt so incredibly low. I felt like I couldn’t trust even my own intuition anymore, because I always found my gut to be right – about people, about choices I had to make, and even about what song would come next on shuffle. Well, that last one wasn’t always 100% accurate.

I allowed myself to feel defeat and sadness and discouragement. I wasn’t going to suppress those emotions, because what had happened was truly disappointing and I had to deal with how I was feeling. But once I woke up the next morning, I had a thought.

“I’m going to be a freelance writer.”

I had been toying with this idea for years. I wanted a way to further hone my writing skills and also build something of my own. I have my fiction writing, yes, but I wanted something that would materialize more quickly. I wanted to do any and all kinds of writing – whether it was blog posts, podcast notes, resumes, or website copy.

So, that next day, I set a goal: I would begin freelance writing on April 1 and would manifest two projects in that first month. That’s all I set out to do. Two writing projects in the first month.

I’m happy to say I had four projects in that first month, and it’s only been growing since then. I still work full time in PR and love it, but this really gives me a chance to strengthen my skills even more.

My point in writing this is that good – actually, freaking great – things can come from bitter disappointments and let-downs. If I can offer some unsolicited advice (hypocritical, because I hate when people give me unsolicited advice), take those hard times and grow. And no matter what, chase your dreams. Put the hard work in, and I promise it will be worth it.

And, I could write a whole different post on this, do not let anyone try to talk down your dreams or make you feel like you can’t do it. Chances are, they’re projecting their own feelings of self doubt on you. And you don’t need that. Show them the door.

Thanks so much for reading, and I’m hoping to make this a regular thing once again. I’m really on about happiness, inspiration, and growth lately, so you might see more of that.

XO,
Elizabeth

 

 

Looking back & ahead: New Year’s resolutions

 

I love the idea of a fresh start. The notion of reinvention and rebirth is fascinating and inspiring, and it’s something I think about often. That’s one of the reasons I love this time of year. Like most people, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting as the year draws to a close. Things I accomplished, things I learned, things I’m proud of, and things I could do better in the new year.

Here, I want to explore some of those and share what I’m aspiring to do in 2019.

2018 in review

What I’m proud of…

  • Finished writing my first book
  • Had my manuscript requested by agents
  • Launched my blog (woohoo!)
  • Transitioned my Instagram to a business account, focusing on Disney content
  • Completely revamped my mindset
  • Found joy in simple things
  • Started writing my second book

Lessons…

  • Happiness starts with the internal – not external. It’s on you.
  • Don’t let negative opinions dim your shine.
  • It’s scary to put yourself out there, but it’s so worth it.
  • Toxicity and negativity have no place here anymore.

Looking to 2019 

Goals…

  • Maintain a healthier lifestyle
  • Finish and revise my second book
  • Read two books a month
  • Buy more pink clothes
  • Keep a positive mindset

In short, my rule for 2019 can be summed up in three words: Good. Vibes. Only. As great as those external resolutions are (being healthy, financial responsibility, etc.), for me, the most important goals have to do with cultivating a good attitude. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. For me, it’s been life-changing.

And lastly, I want to say Happy New Year to those who follow and read my blog. I really appreciate it, and I look forward to awesome things coming in 2019!

Have your own goals and resolutions for the new year? Drop them in the comments below!

Happy New Year!

Elizabeth

 

 

Making positivity a priority

DSC_0763I wasn’t always the most positive person.

It wasn’t so much that I was overly negative before, but I’d say I was easily discouraged and highly impatient. Sometimes, I still am (no one is ever going to be perfectly positive), but I have learned to look on the bright side a lot more.

Often, whether it was school or starting a new job, a creeping self doubt would emerge because of internal frustration. Why wasn’t I a master at something as soon as I started? Why did I make mistakes? Did literally everyone know more than I did? This is incredibly flawed and unrealistic thinking, and it’s one of the things that caused a lot of anxiety and negativity in my life.

The good news was that I could change it. And I did.

Choosing to look at life through a positive lens will not only make you happier, but you’ll also become much better at problem-solving, and your work/school/relationships will likely improve.

The truth of it is that being positive is more difficult than being negative. It just is. Having a pessimistic attitude is pretty easy – especially when things aren’t going your way. Giving into discouragement is a breeze when you aren’t employing positive thinking regularly. And, hey, I am still guilty of it.

One thing I’ve learned over the past few months is that it takes strength to be positive and to show that attitude to others. I feel that people who choose to be positive are sometimes viewed as naive or oblivious. But in fact, when faced with adversity, it takes a rock-solid person to say “this is happening, here’s how we’re going to make it better or deal with it.”

Unfortunately, negativity is powerful. There’s no doubt about that. For example, think about your favorite band. Imagine telling someone you love that band, and that person saying “they suck.” How do you feel? Dumb for liking that band? Feeling like you have bad taste? A hesitation to be open and passionate about what you love in the future?

Reject those feelings, and recognize you’re dealing with a negative person. And ultimately, I’m not saying to agree with everyone to appear positive. It’s fine to voice your opinion if you don’t like someone’s favorite band/book/movie, obviously, but frame your thinking and words in a positive way. It’s better for everyone all around.

And most importantly, never let anyone dictate how you feel. Never let anyone dim your light or detract from your passion.

But just as negativity holds power, so does positivity. One of the most powerful things about positivity is its ability to be contagious. I started at my current job almost two years ago, and I was blown away by how positive and encouraging my colleagues were – and are. Sure, there are stressful times where it’s hard to look at the bright side, but they’ve taught me that everything is an opportunity to shine.

All in all, it takes a conscious effort to be a positive person. Sometimes, it’s much easier said than done. But if you take the time to be mindful and intentional with positivity, your life will be a lot better for it.

XO,
Elizabeth