Positive affirmations are short, powerful statements. The idea is that they refocus your attention onto good things. It’s very easy for us to slip into negative thinking, so positive affirmations enable us to take control of our thoughts.
There are various types of affirmations. Some are for daily use, others are for as/when you may need them. Personally, I like to use them on days when my anxiety is high, or when my self esteem is particularly low.
It is advised that you read affirmations when you are alone and somewhere quiet. This increases the chances of you focusing on the words in front of you and really taking in what they are saying. With that in mind, feel free to save this for later and come back to it!
I have a bit of a surprise today. I’m both excited and nervous to announce that I’ve created an ebook – Blogging 101: A Feel-Good Guide to the Basics of Blogging. Over 100 pages of guidance and good vibes!
I’m going to get the price out of the way right off the bat – it’s £2.99 (roughly $4). I don’t want to spend the whole post going on about it, for you to get to the end, see the price and think “no thanks.” So, there it is. Some people probably want it to be free, others may think that’s really cheap, but it’s the price I’m comfortable with. It’s a labour of love above anything else, but I do have bills to pay. 😉
This may come as a shock, but I’ve been sitting on this secret for about 4 months. I actually started working on it before Christmas. At that point, it was a course. However, making an ebook had cheaper creation costs which meant I could keep the final price low.
The original plan was to kickstart the New Year by launching it. Yet, when the New Year came around, I saw an increase in the number of bloggers complaining about newer bloggers creating courses and ebooks. Whether it was scrolling through Twitter or in the Facebook groups, there seemed to be a lot of it going around. Or, maybe, I had just become more sensitive to it now that I was working on my own. Regardless, it made me second guess everything.
Mental health wise, January was wobbly at best. Although I knew there was no way those comments were aimed at me (as I hadn’t discussed this with anyone except Neal), they got under my skin. Imposter syndrome kicked in and I abandoned it.
Then a wonderful blogger friend of mine, Bibi, gave me the nudge I needed. She had messaged me about something else and I opened up a little about how I felt. She was so incredibly sweet and supportive that she gave me my motivation back.
Though I don’t like to give myself too much credit, I have achieved a lot. I want to share how I did that with others. There are so many unnecessary mistakes bloggers make, simply because they don’t know any better. I don’t think I’m an expert and I’m not claiming to be. But I do have some knowledge which is useful and that counts for something.
Quick Background Story
When I was brand new to blogging, I remember scrolling through Twitter and seeing someone say, “I wish there was just a simple guide to all the basic stuff for blogging.” At the time, I had only been blogging for a couple of months and there was no way it would be viable for me to create such a thing. I didn’t have the knowledge, skills or experience necessary.
But that stuck with me. The more I grew my blog, the more I felt compelled to create something like that. Or as close to it as I could manage.
I have learnt so much since I started. I get a lot of questions about how I’ve accomplished the things I have in such a short space of time. Happy as I am to answer these questions, I have been mulling over a way to share everything I’ve done, all in one go.
I’ve also thought a lot about the people who, for whatever reason, wouldn’t feel comfortable to reach out and ask. How could I help them, too, without any pressure?
The thing is, I wanted to do it my way. I didn’t want it to blend in with all of the other blogging guides that already exist. I just couldn’t figure out how I wanted to achieve that.
Then, a few months ago, I had an idea. A way to merge my knowledge with my optimism and passion for uplifting others. To achieve a balance between information and a feel-good factor. A blogging book… with affirmations worked in, too. A guide that doesn’t only boost your blog, but also your confidence.
What Can You Expect from Blogging 101?
There are no top secrets for success hidden amongst the pages. There is simply consolidated knowledge that I’ve learnt from my own experiences and spending hours and hours and hours browsing Google and Pinterest. Apologies if that’s a disappointment.
I know what it’s like to launch your blog and think “now what?” I went through the same emotions. You set up your site, write your first post and then you’re stumped. So, I started exploring and finding ways I could get my blog seen which means I’ve also had that moment of realising there was so much more to it than I thought. I can clearly remember questioning if I’d bitten off more than I could chew.
Everything in the book, you can learn for free – if you have the hours to put into it. So, if you’re wondering what you’re paying for, it’s essentially my time. The hours of research and pulling together my knowledge into a concise beginner’s guide to blogging. If you’d rather find it all out yourself, then be my guest.
The purpose of this book is to give you a solid foundation to build upon. It does not guarantee instant success, but I believe it will help you start in the right way. If I could describe it in three words, they would be: honest, informative and uplifting. Fingers crossed, you’ll agree.
Most blogging courses I have taken and books I’ve read have been PACKED full of information. I’m hoping you will find this one to be no different. Where I do want it to be different, however, is with a bit of focus on yourself, and your mental well-being. I will shout about the positives of having a blog from the rooftops, but I’m also aware of the negatives. The stress. The comparisons. The self-doubt. So, throughout Blogging 101, there are a number of affirmations, accompanied by a short essay to give you a bit of a boost.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then some of it may sound familiar. That’s because selected parts made their debut on my blog. For the most part, though, it will be fresh, hot off the press information.
Blogging 101 Covers:
(Don’t panic if some of the terms in this list are unfamiliar. They’ll be explained!)
Writing – crafting your content, finding your style, tools to help with your grammar and spelling and how to overcome writer’s block.
Layout & Design – choosing a theme, what to have in your sidebar, creating an easy-to-navigate blog, readability and images.
SEO – keyword research, how to use your keywords, site speed, lowering your bounce rate and improving your domain authority.
Organisation – planning your time, making a schedule, how to stick to your schedule and setting goals.
Email Marketing – when to start building your list, different services available, growing your list, freebie ideas and what to include in your emails.
Blog Monetization – affiliate marketing, finding sponsored opportunities, pitching to brands and creating products.
WordPress Plugins – a few of my favourites.
You will notice that social media is not included in that list. You may be thinking, “how can you have an ebook about blogging and NOT include social media?!” That’s because I wanted this to focus solely on your blog. Social media is undeniably important in blogging, but you need to learn some basics of blogging itself before you attempt to tackle social media. There’s no point marketing something on social media platforms if you’re not maximising its potential to begin with.
I think a common error is bloggers trying to do EVERYTHING at once. Create a killer blogger AND rock social media. It’s a recipe for a headache, closely followed by burnout. That’s why we’re purely looking at the main event: your blog.
Who Blogging 101 Suitable For?
This book has been created especially for new bloggers and perhaps those who are just feeling very overwhelmed and a little lost. For those who love the idea of blogging, but struggle with their confidence and self-belief. Textbook meets self-help book.
The only expectation I have is that your blog is up and running and you know how to navigate the platform. I also assume that you are self-hosted on the WordPress.org platform or are planning to be in the near future. If you’re unsure of the difference, or undecided about taking the next step, check out is going self-hosted right for you?
I use WordPress myself, it’s where my expertise lies so it’s what I trust myself to assist you with. There may be other nuggets of information in here to help those using other platforms but please be aware that this is who my target is.
What I Can Promise Is This:
Everything you read has been researched and tested by me. If it’s in the book, it brought me results. While your results may vary in comparison to mine, all I can do is share what I did to make that happen and let you give it a go.
In addition to that, it will make you smile at least once.
What I Won’t Promise Is:
Guaranteed milestones by certain deadlines. That seems to be the thing to do, doesn’t it? “Get a money-making blog in six months!” – you know the drill.
I have no doubt that approach sells. But here’s the thing: blogging varies according to so many factors, including the amount of time you have, your chosen topic and the market at the time. I’m not here to leave anyone feeling disappointed – I’m here to help.
I worked on my blog full time from the very beginning, after I had to leave my job due to poor mental health. The time in which I achieved the things I have is not going to match up with someone who is working full time, blogging part time and maybe even raising a family.
So, I’m not going to put a deadline on this thing. It puts unnecessary pressure on both of us. What if you don’t reach the milestone in the outlined time? Does it mean there’s something wrong with you? Or does it mean that I’m a liar? Well, probably neither.
Work through it at your own pace and come back to it whenever you need to. We’ll get there together.
Oh, Did I Mention There’s A Freebie, Too?
Yep… the blog includes a download link to the printable Rainbow Blogging Bundle. You get a blog post checklist, content creation ideas sheet, monthly planner and weekly planner. It’s not available anywhere else so it’s a nice exclusive gift for you!
As bloggers, we use social media a lot. We kind of feel like we have to, right? Be it to drive traffic to our sites, secure opportunities or purely to make some friends along the way, blogging and social media seem to go hand in hand.
But how much effort should we be putting into something we can’t control?
On Tuesday night, I finally made the decision to scrap my Instagram account. Less than 24 hours later, Instagram (along with Facebook and Whatsapp) went down. I guess it just couldn’t cope without my presence.
I’m joking, of course.
But I do want to talk about Instagram – why I got rid of it and also the uncomfortable amount of panic which followed the outage.
Let’s start with how I ended up deactivating my account.
Back in October, I wrote a post about trying to solve the Instagram mystery. In it, I discussed various methods I had tried to grow on the platform. I tried a few others and saw little improvement.
So, when 2019 rolled around, I decided I’d just do Instagram for fun. I started posting less, rambled a little in my stories and did my best not to take it seriously. I wasn’t really concerning myself with follower numbers because they had become as unpredictable as the British weather.
Things were okay. Then, for the last few weeks, I’ve had this niggling feeling that I should give it up. While I was trying my best to have fun with it, I realised I wasn’t. It was sucking up my time, but bringing nothing to my life or my blog. It’s not a platform I enjoy, and it never really has been. I had seen lots of tweets complaining about the algorithm and the unfollowing games and I felt the same way. Yet, I wondered why we all cared so much and if it was even worth it.
Still, I was torn between getting rid of it and holding onto it because I know brands often appreciate an Instagram presence. I was apprehensive about the fact it could reflect negatively on me. Plus, I’m a little bit stubborn and didn’t want to admit defeat.
Every night (and I mean every night) I would have a debate with myself. It went a little something like this:
I really don’t like Instagram, I should delete it.
But then, what about brands who value Instagram over other platforms?
My value goes beyond Instagram.
But you’re a blogger, you should be on Instagram.
It always came back to the same two points, though. I don’t enjoy it and I have value beyond that. It doesn’t make me a bad blogger to not be on there. In fact, it has no reflection on my ability as a blogger at all.
I didn’t want to make a rash decision but, the more time passed, the more I believed I should step away from the platform. I am sure that Instagram CAN be great, but pictures are not my strength. Words are. That was the attraction of blogging for me. Having a space to write – not the idea of having to maintain an Instagram feed and update my stories multiple times a day.
I realise you get out of it what you put in and, every minute I spent on Twitter, I would be stressing about the fact Instagram would suffer. Then, when I tried harder with Instagram, Twitter fell to the side. That just makes me human – there’s only so much I can do. And then I realised I could remove some of the pressure by taking one of them out of the equation. The one I enjoyed the least.
So, I said goodbye to my Instagram account. There was an instant sense of relief.
I don’t want to say my life isn’t “Instagram worthy” because that’s ridiculous. However, most of my days look the same. I’m sat in front of a screen, working hard to try and get things off the ground. My time is put into writing content, working on other projects or cleaning my flat. There are only so many times I can post those things before it’s just… dull. Both for me and for anyone following me. When it comes to my blog, Instagram felt pointless. It wasn’t driving traffic, I wasn’t enjoying it and it was taking up one of my most precious resources: my time.
On the other hand, I’ve kept my hand lettering Instagram (shameless plug: I’m sunflowerscription on there). The big difference with this one is that I know what I’m doing with it. I have things I can post because I’m constantly creating different pieces. Using Instagram for that makes sense to me. Now, I still don’t love the platform in general but I can see the value of it for something like that.
I’ve tried a few things since I started blogging. I’ve naturally taken to some and failed miserably at others. That’s fine because I gave them a go and realised they simply weren’t where my strengths were. Blogging is a journey. Along the way, you will discover things that work for you and things that don’t. It’s perfectly acceptable to admit a platform isn’t suitable for you. You can then use your time to be the best at the ones you enjoy.
What Happens When Social Media Goes Down?
The following day, Instagram went down. And, my goodness, what a reaction.
Before I delve into how concerning and uncomfortable it was to witness, I want to clear up a few points.
Number one. I don’t actually spend a lot of time on social media anymore. I tend to pop on, update, close it and come back to it later. The amount of time I put into it has reduced drastically in the past few months. I don’t feel the same pull towards it as I have done previously. The very fact I’ve spent so much time deliberating about what to do with my Instagram account shows that it still has some sort of hold on me, though.
Number two. I realise it’s important for my blog. To be completely truthful, I probably wouldn’t be on any social media if I wasn’t blogging. I enjoy connecting and talking to other bloggers, but it’s not an essential for me. Yet, I do understand its importance for blogging and business. So, when people were feeling a little alarmed because of the potential damage to that, I kind of get it.
Those things out of the way, I find it alarming the way people react when social media goes down. The main reason for that is because, realistically, it will be back soon enough. It normally goes down for a little while, gets fixed and everyone carries on as normal.
So, people seriously can’t find something else to do for a few hours? For me, it’s an “oh well, it’s down, let’s do something else”. But the sheer amount of people who decided they’d rather take to Twitter to panic about it was almost comical. I realise some of those tweets were done to be ironic or funny but I’m confident many of them were serious, too.
Worst case scenario: it’s gone forever. What then?
Though I don’t think it’s likely to happen anytime soon, Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same people. They could quite easily vanish or fade out. You know, like good old MySpace did.
If you’ve put so much into it that that’s a massive issue, that’s equally worrying. Even from a business perspective, surely you should have other means of generating it (like your own site) rather than just social media?
I’ve got to be honest. I’ve felt uncomfortable about other people’s relationships with social media for a long time. That sounds a little arrogant, but that’s not my intention. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else because my relationship with social media is different. All I’m saying is that you should have other things you enjoy doing. A book, for example, won’t let you down. And I don’t like to see members of my generation – or any other – so reliant on something which can disappear in the blink of an eye. It’s not healthy.
In fairness, there are probably a handful of people who were justified in their panic, for whatever reason. When it comes to the majority, though, I fear there’s too much invested in the world of social media.
The biggest value of having your own blog and your own site is that it’s yours. Instagram going down confirmed for me that I was right to move away from it. Not because it’s unreliable, but putting my energy and effort into something which I don’t have control over has an element of risk. Focusing on my blog and freeing up more time to work on that (or interact with the audience I already have) is a good decision to make.
As bloggers, I’d urge you to think about how you use your time. Is it being absorbed by something you don’t control, or are you using enough of it on your own site? We all put a lot into social media and maybe sometimes we lose focus. I know I do. As I’ve said, social media is important for your blog and there’s no getting past that. But your blog and content creation should always be the priority. This latest hiccup is proof of that.
I think we can all agree that reading uplifting stories is great. But what about writing them? Today’s guest poster, Rosey Lee, writes uplifting fiction stories with a little bit of hope, faith, and love. Continue reading to discover her motivations for doing so.
Reading and writing have helped me to cope since I was a kid. Like many people, I’ve experienced anxiety, and reading books offered an escape. I spent hours engrossed in characters’ lives, and I often felt comforted, energized, and hopeful after reading a good story.
Similarly, I discovered that writing felt therapeutic. I found myself working through my struggles by writing fiction stories, frequently for homework assignments. English teachers from primary school (elementary in the US) to university had a front row seat as I processed family issues, relationship drama, and whatever else I may have been dealing with at the time.
I always planned to continue writing fiction, but life got busier after university. The author Toni Morrisson once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This sentiment eventually drew me back to writing. Over the last year or so, I’ve become more serious about it. Again, it’s helped me to cope. I’ve also received a gift from writing that extends beyond myself – the opportunity to share comfort, positivity, and hope with others. My stories are intentionally uplifting. Just as I found comfort, positivity, and hope through reading, my goal is for readers to find the same in the stories I write.
Rosey Lee is the pen name I use as I pursue my passion for writing. My alter ego is a physician, so health is important to me. Most of my stories have a health element, and I am guided by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health, which holistically encompasses physical, mental and social well-being. Mental and social well-being are common themes in my stories. Sometimes mental health is the main focus of the story. Sometimes it’s in the background. And sometimes my stories reflect the connection between mental and physical health.
There are a few reasons I incorporate mental health issues in my stories. First, as the WHO suggests, “there is no health without mental health”. Second, writing fiction stories that have a mental health theme is one way that I can advocate for mental health promotion and help lessen the stigma around mental health issues. Third, I hope that readers are touched by the mental health themes in my stories and find comfort, positivity, and hope through my characters’ experiences. You can read a couple of my flash fiction (short) stories for free on my website. Audioversions of the stories are also posted there.
Writing uplifting fiction stories has been a gateway to other unexpected benefits. I’ve become active on Twitter, where I enjoy sharing uplifting content and have begun to connect with mental health bloggers and advocates. There are pros and cons associated with social media, and it should be considered on an individual basis. I’ve also discovered the joys of Pinterest, which is particularly fun when I need a break from Twitter. I’ve created Pinterest boards for my short stories, as well as boards around hope and health.
I encourage you to consider writing as an outlet. Of course, not everyone will be drawn to fiction. Perhaps nonfiction, poetry, or journaling is more aligned with your interests. It’s worth a try.
Struggling for Mother’s Day gift ideas? You’re in the right place!
By now, I think I’ve established myself as an Etsy enthusiast. I shared some super cute Halloween goodies back in October and pulled together a crazy cat person gift guide as part of Blogmas. It’s one of my favourite sites, both for myself, and for gifts for others. So, you know, Mother’s Day was just another excuse to spend a few hours lost in beautiful, handmade delights.
Yep, in a couple of weeks, on the 31st of March, Mother’s Day will be upon us here in the UK. There’s no excuse not to celebrate your lovely mums but I know life is hectic so I’m taking care of things for you. Don’t worry, though, I’m happy to let you take the credit with your mum.
Please be aware that this page contains affiliate links, which are marked with an asterisk. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you purchase the product through my link (yay!).
Am I including this because it’s tiny and I can’t resist pocket-sized goodies? Probably. In any case, it’s a cute and unique way to show your mum some love.
Inside the box is a bunch of flowers with a difference. Upon opening, your mum will reveal a miniature vase with a bunch of pink paper roses. Next to that, there are the words “love you a bunch”. It’s a loving sentiment inside an adorable keepsake!
Mother’s Day gifts don’t have to cost a lot. It’s the thought that counts. I think this charming gift is proof of that!
Your mum may not NEED another mug, but it’s no reason not to get her one. Especially when that mug broadcasts her appropriate title as “Best Mum Ever”. This mug has the added bonus of a Terry’s chocolate orange tucked away inside it so it’s all the more reason to get it.
If your mum has a sweet tooth, I’m sure she’ll be chuffed with this! It contains a floral fabric hanging heart for her to keep as well as plenty of sweeties to nibble on! Amongst them, there are Love Hearts, strawberry milkshake bottles and a pink and white nougat bar. Yum!
Myself and my siblings affectionately refer to my mum as “mama bear” and I couldn’t resist including this. It’s SO CUTE! It doesn’t say mama bear anywhere on it, though, so you could just as easily gift it to someone else (like your grandma) if you wanted to.
Celebrate all of your mum’s favourite things with this print. Whether she loves George Clooney, shopping or coffee, you can list them all here. Maybe sneak a compliment or two in there as well. The A4 size is a little bit extra at £14.00.
I think this is so elegant! Your mum can store all of her makeup essentials in here to keep them handy. There are two given options – Mum or Mom – but you can select “other” and add another name in the notes when you make your purchase.
If, like me, you are unfortunate to have many miles between you and your mum, this could be a good gift to choose. The label on the front of the candle says: “Mum, even though we are miles apart, you are always in my heart.” So, as long as she has the candle, she has a reminder that you’re thinking of her, no matter the distance. You have the choice of several scents, too, such as cranberry delight and luscious vanilla!
I feel like it’s impossible to get mums to look after themselves! They’re usually so busy taking care of everyone else. This is a sweet way to give them a nudge in the right direction. It includes scented foot cream, bath fizzers, cosy pink socks, scented candle and some chocolates. Everything she needs for a little pamper session!
This made me chuckle, and I imagine it would bring a smile to your mum’s face, too. It also reminds me of any time I’ve tried to convince my mum that I’m her favourite. She usually has a response like “you’re my favourite youngest child.” Smart move, Mum.
If you fancy being a bit more creative, a scrapbook would be an appropriate choice. Fill it with pictures, messages and memories. I’d recommend keeping a few pages spare, though – for any happy times that lie ahead.
This starts at £15, but you can choose the size and how many pages you have, and the price will adjust accordingly. It can be personalised with a message on the back cover, too!
How about a gift that keeps on giving all year round? This box has 52 cards – one for each week of the year. I feel like there are two options with this one. Firstly, you could give it to her with the blank cards and then fill them with the memories you make throughout the year. This works if you currently spent lots of time with your mum but also as an incentive to make more effort if you don’t.
OR you could write a message/memory on each card and then she can read one every week throughout the year. Again, this might be a good option if you live far away from each other. That is, of course, if you trust her not to peek at them all.
I hope you’ve found something suitable on this list or are at least brimming with inspiration! If not, there are a whole bunch of additional ideas in Etsy’s Mother’s Day section*.
Prices are correct at time of publication, and do not include additional costs such as shipping. The images in this post are the property of their respective owners.
We all want to be good enough. But for who? And what does it mean to be “good enough”?
On Thursday evening, I tweeted: “I had a really weird moment today when I thought to myself, “if I died tomorrow and I’d spent my whole life hating myself, would that have been a good use of my time?” So much energy channelled into tearing myself apart. Seems like a waste. Tiny step in the right direction.”
The thought I’m referring to came to me in the middle of my self care afternoon. It caught me off guard because my self care sessions are, ideally, a time when I don’t think about anything at all. Yet, there I was, cup of tea in hand, Netflix on the TV and one deep thought popping up to say hello.
During the course of my life, I have put a lot of energy into disliking myself. More than anybody knows, and more than I even care to admit. It really does seem like such a waste. I could have used that time and effort for so many other things. Now, just because I have realised this doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly made the switch to loving myself, but it did feel good to recognise that it’s a pointless pattern of behaviour.
It’s not exactly new information. My counsellor pointed this out to me – several times, in fact – but I think some things sit in our heads until we are ready for them. She told me that it wasn’t achieving anything. I heard her, but I didn’t process it. It stayed in there, somewhere, ready to resurface.
Now, here we are.
What Does It Even Mean To Be “Good Enough”?
That one thought has since spiralled into a whole bunch of others, which is why I’m writing about it.
Like, at what stage would I think I was “good enough”? What would make anyone “good enough”?
I don’t know if I would ever consider myself to be “good enough”. With that in mind, is it even worth the energy trying to pursue it? Maybe I need to learn to accept myself as I am, right now, and view anything else as a bonus.
If I can be sure of anything, it’s that there will always be something to worry about. My teeth. The number on the scales. The fact I’m an introvert. How my voice sounds. Feeling childish. My wobbly thighs. Wearing glasses. These, amongst many others, are some of the things I have spent time mulling over and wishing I could change. (Okay, I actually DID change my teeth through the wonders of orthodontics, but I’m 100% cool with that choice.)
Not a single one of those things makes me a bad person. I’m not a bad person and I KNOW that. I have done things I’m not proud of. I have made mistakes along the way, but I have a good heart. When I do something wrong, I try to learn from it.
Every day, I try my best. I don’t go out of my way to make others feel bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. I do what I can to make other people happy. I am loving, caring, thoughtful and generous. In reality, I have a lot of qualities I should be proud of, but, for some reason, I’d rather analyse the bad bits under the microscope.
I don’t love my body, but it’s the only one I’ve got. It makes magical things happen. My eyes have seen beautiful sunsets. I have fingers to type. My arms held my nieces when they were born. My legs take me places. All in all, my body, regardless of how it looks, is doing a good job.
Who Are We Trying To Be “Good Enough” For?
At some stage in my life, I wanted to be “good enough” for boys. Maybe just my peers in general, actually. I wanted to be skinny enough and pretty enough and cool enough so that they would like me. Personally, I don’t think that’s unusual. I really thought I’d grow out of it, though, to tell you the truth.
Yet, now, here I am, with a man who loves me completely, and I’m still fixated on this idea of being “good enough”. I am enough for him as I am (which is what I should have always been aiming for but it doesn’t seem so straightforward when you’re a teenager!). He loves me whether I’m happy, sad, gobbling a pizza, singing out of tune or taking up all the space in the bed. He doesn’t care what the scales say. I can act like an idiot around him and it makes absolutely no difference. He loves me unconditionally, and it’s wonderful.
I was good enough for my parents from the second I was born, because I was theirs. They have never done anything to make me think otherwise. My siblings have always supported me. I am good enough for them because we are family. That’s all that matters.
When it comes to friends, I don’t have many, but the ones I have build me up. They don’t try to change me. They are my friends because they like me as I am.
These are the people who matter, and I am enough for them. If I was different, would I even be fortunate enough to have these people in my life?
I Have Always Been Enough.
There have definitely been people who have made me feel otherwise. I have had some awful things said to me, but how long can I allow that to shape the person I am today? Most of it was so long ago now, yet I’m still allowing it to linger.
Besides, of everyone I’ve ever met, do you know who has been the most unkind about me?
I’m always so hard on myself. And I’m tired. I mean, jeez, if someone else said the things to me that I say to myself, they certainly wouldn’t be allowed to stick around in my life.
I am so fixated on the idea that I could be better. I’m a perfectionist. I’ve put myself on an impossible path here. I’m stretching out for something I will never reach. Nobody will. I know there will always be something else that I feel I’m not doing quite right. Some things, I could change, and maybe I will. But I’ve got to let this pressure go.
There’s a John Mayer lyric (isn’t there always?) which is “what about this feeling that I’m never good enough? Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?” I think about it a lot. I can’t say if I’ll ever be comfortable in my own skin. There’s a long way to go before the inner torment ends. But, I would like to think that day will come, and I am one step closer.
As for you…
You Are Good Enough.
Right now, in this moment, you are enough. I want you, if you can, to give yourself permission to accept that. And if you can’t, then ask yourself the above questions. If you were “good enough”, what would that look like, and who would it be for?
Don’t chase “good enough”. Just be good and let that be enough.
Somewhere in the future, you may try to change things about yourself. That’s a choice you have every right to make. But I hope you make it because you know it will improve something which is already wonderful.
I hope you can embrace yourself as you are because, until you learn to do that, I don’t know if you’ll ever be “enough” for yourself. You will continue chasing and trying and pursuing and it won’t matter. Until you stand up and say “I’m enough”, you are always going to be searching for better.
You have always been enough.
One day, we are all going to die. It’s not a nice thought. I actually have a very intense phobia of death and dying so I do my best not to think about it. But I think your life begins the moment you realise it will end. That we don’t have an unlimited amount of time. We just have the here and now. We must use that time wisely.
And, I don’t about you, but I can think of a whole load of things that are more fun than picking out our flaws and setting impossible standards. It won’t be easy, but let’s try to just get on with living. Celebrating who we are, in all our flawed, odd, imperfect glory. Filling our heads, hearts and lives with good stuff. Anything else is just a waste of time.
There’s no excuse needed to celebrate inspiring women but, seen as though Friday is International Women’s Day, we’ve got one.
1. Lea Coligado
Lea is a software engineer from Texas. That’s a fact I love in itself. But in her spare time, she works on her blog, Women of Silicon Valley, which she launched to celebrate the ladies in tech. Women celebrating women is always something I can get behind!
The blog has a similar format to Humans of New York, as it is generally a picture with an anecdote. Lea has featured all sorts of badass women, including employees of Google and Linkedin.
2. Maria Scorodinschi
In the earliest years of her life, Maria witnessed domestic violence within her family. She grew up believing she wouldn’t accept such behaviour, if she ever found herself in the same situation. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened. For eight years, Maria suffered at the hands of her husband. She eventually decided to leave for the safety of her children.
It takes a lot of strength to walk away from that. While that alone is admirable, how she has used her experiences is commendable. Maria has become a “Positive Champion” and helps others in Moldova to break free from domestic abuse. She uses her story to show other victims that it is possible to remove yourself from that awful situation.
3. Hannah Gadsby
The Australian comedian is openly lesbian and does a lot of work supporting charities. She has also been diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Neither her sexuality or her diagnosis get in her way, and that’s how it should be.
It was while I was watching her stand up, Nanette, on Netflix that she came out with one of my all time favourite quotes:
“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.”
Beyond that, I won’t say much about the routine because you need to watch it to appreciate it. I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say that I hadn’t seen anything like it. It shocked, moved and entertained me in so many ways. There was a palpable sense of strength and resilience from Hannah and it was fantastic.
4. Peggy Whitson
Peggy Whitson is a former astronaut. Prior to her retirement in June 2018, she was doing all sorts of awesome stuff. During her career with NASA, she spent a total of 665 days in space, which is more time than any other American astronaut – male or female!
As if that wasn’t cool enough, at the age of 57, she was the oldest female astronaut in space. I hope I’m that awesome at 57. Maybe not because I’ve been to space but something equally brag-worthy.
5. Emily Coxhead
I discovered Emily after my mum bought me one of her calendars for Christmas. Having followed her on Instagram and done a little bit of research since then, she’s become someone I really admire. We both have similar ambitions with what we do, in that we both just want to spread a bit more happiness. And let me say, Emily is nailing it.
In 2015, she launched The Happy Newspaper which is full of only the good stuff that’s happening in the world. Goodness knows, we need it. She now has a delightfully colourful range of greeting cards and stationery which can be found in stores such as John Lewis. If you want more feel-good vibes in your feed, check her out on Instagram.
6. Jameela Jamil
While you may know her from presenting T4 or have seen her in The Good Place on Netflix, it’s her activism off-screen which has caught my attention. She regularly uses her social media platforms to protest against airbrushing, steer people away from diet pills and encourage others to celebrate qualities beyond their appearance.
In March 2018, she launched the Instagram account, I Weigh, which accepts non-edited selfie submissions from followers. Rather than focusing on physical features, they are instructed to celebrate things they are grateful for or proud of. It’s a wonderful initiative and a clear demonstration of a celebrity using their influence for better.
7. Nadia Murad
In September 2014, Nadia was captured by ISIS. She was held as a slave for three months, during which time she was beaten and also raped. She managed to escape when one of the captors left a door unlocked.
Following her escape, she shared her story and worked tirelessly to help others like her. Though she has admitted having difficulty opening up about her story, she recognises its importance.
Last year, in 2018, she was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual abuse as a weapon.
8. Hayley Williams
Hayley Williams is the lead singer of Paramore. While her amazing songwriting, powerful voice and enviable style are all worth mentioning, there are a few others reasons why she’s on this list.
Firstly, she has been very open about her mental health struggles. She has freely discussed attending therapy and the benefits that has had for her, and there have been numerous occasions on Twitter when she has urged her followers to seek help if they need it.
As well as that, she now has her own hair dye company, Good Dye Young. The hair dyes are vegan, cruelty-free and available in some truly stunning colours. So, now, not only does she rock the stage, but she’s nailing business, too.
Finally, I think she’s a great role model for young girls. She doesn’t fit into a box – she’s boyish and girly, strong and sweet, pretty and powerful. For me, she highlights how girls can be whatever they want and there’s no need to get caught up in gender stereotypes. Wear what you want. Be what you want.
9. Ellen DeGeneres
I imagine you are already well aware of Ellen DeGeneres. It just didn’t feel right not to have her on this list.
When Ellen came out as a lesbian, it could have ruined her career. It was uncommon for celebrities to be so open about it at the time. Luckily (for her and the rest of us), it didn’t hold her back. She’s proceeded to do lots of inspiring things such as raise millions for charity and touch lives all over the world.
I think what I admire most about Ellen is her compassion, and how it never fails to shine through. She cares, and you can see that in her eyes. She wears her heart on her sleeve and seems like such a special lady. I wholeheartedly believe the world needs more people like her.
If you want to read about more inspiring women, take a look at the Women Empowerment tag I participated in!
Who would you add to this list of inspiring women and why?