Unless you want to (of course)
Unless it’s something you want to do to feel better on the inside. Unless you’re doing it for health purposes, to boost your energy, build positive emotion, or love the skin you’re in, don’t change how you look for someone else. And definitely not to match the ever-changing societal standard that dictates how women (and men) “should” look.
Sometimes, you might be tempted to wait for someone to give you the green light on something you know deep inside you want to do. Maybe you want to change jobs, move to another city, or break up with your significant other, but fear is holding you back.
Often in these situations you turn to those you trust ask them, “What should I DO?”
But the best decisions are the decisions you make for yourself. Even if they don’t turn out as you planned, you learn, grow, and find your way forward. You know what’s best for you, more than anyone else.
Fashion comes and goes, but nothing looks better on you than the outfit you feel good in. You ooze confidence when you wear something that makes you want to strike a pose, take a picture, or go out there and strut your stuff. Clothing that you love will build your confidence and boost your emotions. Forget the fashion “must haves,” they’ll change by the time you finally get comfortable wearing that awkward item you purchased to stay on top of the trends.
Do you trigger as bad as I do when you see a headline that tells you how you “should” dress now that you’re in your thirties, forties, fifties? Despite popular opinion, we are all entitled to wear whatever the h## we feel like wearing even if we are “of a certain age.”
And if you open an article that tells you how to “hide your flaws,” under the guise of how to “flatter your figure,” start a new search. Wear clothing YOU want to wear, no matter your age, hip, or breast size. Clothing that makes you feel like the best version of you.
The new year is the perfect time to do a life audit, to determine what’s working and what’s not. And if that guy, that girl, that job, that city, isn’t making your heart sing, maybe it’s time to flush that phrase, “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t,” right down the toilet.
Guess what, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but you won’t know until you try. Things may not turn out the way you want them to, but you’ll adapt and find a new way forward. Not to mention, you’ll feel empowered knowing that you got out of a bad situation.
Maybe it’s the picture-perfect world of social media, aka the “best of" episode of everyone’s life, that leaves you feeling like you're the only one who's floundering while everyone else has it all figured out. While some might have it together more than others, we’re all a work in progress. You don’t have to have all the answers, you just have to trust that you will figure it out as you go along.
Boundaries are all about being able to say no, to salvage your self-esteem and draw a line in the sand. This is what you will accept. This is what you won’t. Saying no to someone else is a saying yes to you and your needs, and that is how we build self-belief.
None of us need some random dude to tell us how to feel or how to look to make him feel better. Wear that RBF with pride, and if you feel it, own it. Enough said.
We know who “our people” are, the people who point out our positives, make us laugh, and build us up, even when they don’t have to. We also know who is honest and authentic and who we can trust. As much as possible, spend time with people who make you feel connected, who refrain from judgement, and who inspire you to be the best version of you.
You look to others for support, guidance, and mentorship. We all do. We may admire their strength, their confidence, the way they navigate their lives, but to try to be anything other than who you are is a personal betrayal. You are exactly the person you need to be.
You have unique gifts to share with the world, and a unique way of showing up that exemplifies who are inside and out. Own it. Build on it, and be proud of it. After all, you’re the only you, you’ve got.
Wishing you joy, health, and happiness in 2022