It’s time for another Take Over Tuesday and today we are absolutely THRILLED to have our friend Kiersten Dewey joining us. (You might also know her from her AWESOME Instagram page, Nannygoatpillows.) We met Kiersten a few months ago at a bloggers conference and INSTANTLY became friends with her. She has the most contagious smile and is so dang friendly! We just love her and know that you guys will too! She has such a great message to share with us today and we hope that you feel as uplifted and inspired after hearing from her as we do each and every time we talk to her.
Alright Kiersten… Take it over girl!! (ps. Isn’t she GORGEOUS???!!!)
Hey everyone! I’m so excited to talk to you guys! For real, I love sharing some of my experiences in hopes that it might build you up just a little bit higher. Because let’s be honest, this life can be rough and there’s A LOT to compete with….so it feels anyway…and we lean toward underestimating ourselves rather than really fueling our potential.
Let me tell you a little about me….I’ll keep this part brief so that we can get to the good feeling stuff..but truth be told, we can’t recognize the joy if we didn’t first feel the pain.
I am from a very large family and we grew up poor. Thankfully we had what we needed but where we lived, being poor affected our social status. To go along with that, my hair was never brushed, my teeth were never brushed, I wet the bed and smelled like pee, my clothes were dirty or torn and my mom gave me ugly haircuts(sorry mom, but it’s true). I’m telling you, I didn’t have a lot going for me. I was a nice, likable kid who was actually athletic and under other circumstances I could have enjoyed greater success earlier in life. Needless to say, I didn’t have many friends all through school. I eventually dropped out in the 8th grade. I moved out of my mom’s house when I was 16 (I lived with a sister but I paid more of the bills than she did.) I worked and lived and took care of myself for more than a year. For different reasons I decided to move home. During this time I was compelled to go back to school (that’s a whole other post) and I was able to graduate with my class, yippee and wahoo for me!!
The reason I am sharing that story is because my whole life was determined by fear! Every choice I made…or didn’t make. Every activity or sport that I did NOT participate in. Every opportunity that I passed up. I was afraid of rejection. I had become so insecure that I had to become indifferent. Indifferent to school. Indifferent to my lack of friends. Indifferent to my life desires. Indifferent to goals. So much so that I still find myself retreating to indifference without even realizing it. When you’re “indifferent” nothing hurts, right?! That’s what we tell ourselves. And I guess it’s a little true BUT….when nothing hurts, nothing feels good either. That is what I have learned. And I’m telling you, I have a life full of regrets that I cannot go back and change. Things that I missed out on. Opportunities that I was too afraid to take. Ways I could have saved myself a lot of stress and heartache had I not been indifferent to homework and school and let down etc., etc…
I want you to know that someway, somehow, somewhere….I grew to love myself! And it wasn’t because I changed for the world. There was a change, but it happened on the inside. It was when I changed my mind. And it was NOT over night! It is still a process, but baby, you can still move mighty rocks even if you can’t move mountains…….yet!
HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN START…….
Self love– I’m dead serious! Fake it ’til you make it. If that means giving yourself compliments in the mirror, then do it. If that means shutting down those negative thoughts(do this one for sure). If that means turning the dang t.v. off, closing the magazine, getting off social media that makes you feel like a failure, DO IT! And then REMEMBER, REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY YOU. AND YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN GIVE AND DO AND OFFER WHAT YOU DO. And there are people(not everyone in this world, but a lot of people) who need, I mean NEED what you give. You are so unique and the talents you have, the experiences you’ve lived through, the disposition you have, your quirky personality make you just the right recipe for the people around you. Even your weaknesses and failures! There are people who need exactly all that! Did you ever realize that when you fail, or fall, what you learn not only improves your life, but improves the lives of the people who are lucky enough to be associated with you. The example you set, the advice you give and the support that you are. So LOVE YOURSELF the way others love you.
“Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone will always be younger. But they will never be you.” -Tanni Sattar
Stop comparing– “Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Why is it so automatic that women(and some men, I assume) compare themselves…..starting at a young age? I can’t completely answer that..although I can think of a few culprits. But the fact is that we do. We compare. What can we do about it? We can QUIT IT!! Just quit it. It will take practice and constant thought, but it can be done. Quit it. Learning to love yourself will really help in this department. Once you start to appreciate who you are and what you have been given to work with, you will start to worry less and less about the inevitable gorge that separates you from someone else. Just like the quote above, there will always be someone who has more….in every category. And if you constantly wish for what other people have, you never give yourself the time to enjoy what you’ve got…and guess what? Life passes you by whether you’re present or not.
“Because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her.” -Lao Tzu
Surround yourself with GOOD- Good people, good media, good atmospheres and good attitudes. You become who you surround yourself with. So if you spend time with negative people…you will become negative. If you surround yourself with positive, like minded people, you will become positive. The same goes for the things that you watch, read or participate in. That’s gospel truth! Plain as pudding. Truer than true. There’s no getting around it. Just believe that it’s the way it is and then make the appropriate changes.
“If you live for other peoples acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” -unknown
Make small, reachable goals- I mean start small! Let’s not kill our dreams before they even have a chance to grow. It can be small because it isn’t the actual goal that matters….it’s the way you feel when you’ve achieved it. It’s amazing what a little bit of confidence can do for your soul! One moment you’re unsure about getting through the day and the next, you’re pounding your chest and flexing all of your muscles because you feel like you can move mountains(maybe that’s a little manly, but you get what I’m saying..). Any success make you feel like a rockstar! So get out there and make some easy goals…and I’m sorry if all of your shirts tear from that wild muscle flexing.
“It’s only a failure when you quit!” -???
Improve what you can and be satisfied with what you can’t- This too, will take practice. And it’s important to understand that self improvement is necessary part of life, and it is a good, good thing. BUT….we need to be able to draw the line between, “will it make me better and benefit myself and those around me?” OR, “Will it stress me out, tear me down and negatively affect the people that I love??” Some things are simply unreachable! I cannot have a different body type! But I CAN improve the body type that I have! I cannot have Celine Dion’s singing voice. But I CAN improve the voice I was given. I cannot compete in a triathlon…….I’m deathly afraid of water and there’s is NO WAY that I’m going to. But I could if I wanted. My nose is my nose. My butt is my butt. My short stubby toes, are MY short stubby toes. Again, some of these things can be adjusted(for a lot of money) and that’s not always a bad thing(depending on your reasoning) but the reality is, most things can be adjusted but not changed. So, work with what you can and be satisfied with what you can’t. Take it one step further and learn to LOVE what you can’t change! Not just live with it, but love it. I dare you!!
I still find myself consumed with fear sometimes…and maybe that will never go away. But I promise you that I now spend most of my time happy with who I am…even thankful. I’m not conceited, I’m comfortable. And although there are 5 million things I still work on and many moments when I’m super glad that I am not on a reality tv show where my behavior was caught on film….because I would have no friends and maybe be in jail…..my point is, that although I am forever imperfect, I am perfectly happy with who I am!
And I know, know, know that you are not perfect BUT you are perfectly awesome just the way you are!