From advice

How I learned to love myself

how I learned to love myself / femmesociety.ca

 

This story doesn’t have a beginning, nor does it have an end. It’s a process and with every cycle, we become a little stronger, and a little wiser.

 

I can remember the conversation so clearly. I was 17 or so and was excited to be a senior in high school. I was in math class and our teacher was handing out our graded tests from the week before. I had so many butterflies in my stomach- partly because I was nervous about getting my mark but also because I was eager to see if I had improved from the last test. Math wasn’t my strong point. I actually re-did Math 11 in my senior year with enough time to still finish Math 12, and saw a tutor once a week for about a year or so. That test mark was a big deal for me.

 

Time felt like it was going impossibly slow while I waited for my test. When my teacher finally got to me, he handed my test over with a sly wink; he knew how hard I had been working so I took his gesture as a good sign. I flipped the test over and madly scanned over all the pages until I found what I was looking for. I actually can’t remember the exact percentage but it was a B+, which was a really good grade for me at the time. I remember feeling a wave of relief and pride wash over me. I did it! I couldn’t wait to tell my parents.

 

Unfortunately, my silent celebrations were short lived. I hadn’t even fully comprehended my accomplishment when one of my “best” friends leaned over to me and asked what grade I got. (I should mention, this girl was a smarty-pants and she knew it. I don’t think she had ever gotten below 95% in any class in her entire life.  Needless to say everything was a competition in her eyes. I should have known better.) Anyways, I proudly told her I got a B+ and before I even finished she said with disgust, “Katelyn, did you even study?” And before I could fathom a response, our lesson started and I don’t think I heard a word of it.

 

Sadly, this is the kind of story we’re all too familiar with. It’s the same story at the gym. You’re excited and feeling good because you ran your fastest circuit on the treadmill. Every week you’re making an improvement. And all it takes is one person to undercut your success; your accomplishment; and you’re back to square one. For a split second we grant ourselves love and within the blink of an eye it’s stolen from us. In today’s comparative society, we are CONSTANTLY being robbed of our self-love. We’re brainwashed to believe that followers are more important than morals, that image is more important than heart, and that perception is more important than reality. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of it.

 

how I learned to love myself / femmesociety.ca

 

Okay, so we understand that self-love is delicate and is often at the hands of other people’s standards, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, self-love, self-worth, and self-perception should NEVER be in the hands of anyone but you. I understand that’s exceptionally hard in today’s day and age of followers, likes, and subscribers, but I’m telling you, it’s just a mind game. There are a few things that have helped me in my journey to self-love and I’m going to share them with you.

 

FIRST OF ALL, STOP COMPARING.

I say this not because comparing yourself to others makes you feel crappy, but because comparison prevents you from seeing how truly outstanding you are. When I compared myself to my “friend” in math class every day, it’s no wonder I never saw my own accomplishments for what they were. If I continue to compare myself at the office, I’ll never see the breakthroughs I’m making instead of everyone else’s. I’ll never give myself the credit and LOVE I deserve. How the hell is that fair? It’s easier said than done to break the habit of constant comparison but it’s more than possible. Focus on you and what you’re working towards. I like to keep a journal of my improvements with each project I’m working on. For example, if I’m starting a new routine at the gym, I’ll write down what I did and how I felt. Maybe I only lifted a few weights and did the Elliptical for less than 5 minutes, but down the road I’ll be able to see how far I’ve come and the improvements I’VE made. Journaling your progress can be done with almost anything and it really helps with keeping the focus on your personal journey. Not to mention it gives you small victories to celebrate every day.

 

GET TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER.

For the longest time as I grew up and went through University, I always thought I had to like what everyone else liked. I thought I liked certain music, food, clothing, etc. until I was no longer in that environment and realized I didn’t in fact like trap music, for example. It sounds obvious or even juvenile to let others influence the things you like, but it’s not. The friends and people we surround ourselves with highly influence the things we do. But when you’re alone and in your most comfortable environment (for me, it’s in my bed with a cup of tea in hand) ask yourself what it is that makes you, you. The more we align ourselves with our interests, goals, and aspirations, the more we feel like our truest selves and loving ourselves is that much easier. For example, I know that helping others gives me purpose, and that I’m actually an extroverted-introvert and alone time is really important to me.  I know that I’m not naturally design-savvy but instead I’m really good at logistics and problem solving. I also know that as much as I want to have thick skin, I’m actually pretty sensitive and it takes me longer to overcome hurt than it would for someone else. And I’m okay with that because these things make me unique and undeniably myself.

 

LASTLY, CELEBRATE YOURSELF.

There’s nothing more powerful than a woman celebrating her rare intricacies. Now that you’ve spent some time digging deep and getting to know yourself better, it’s time to celebrate all that makes you beautiful and unique.  Celebrating yourself can be done in many ways but the ultimate goal is the same- to do something for yourself and no one else. It could be as simple as running yourself a bath with a fancy bath bomb that makes you feel like a unicorn princess. Total win. It could be treating yourself to that really pretty summer dress that you’ve been eyeing up for months. It could be checking yourself in to a quiet hotel for the weekend with nothing but cozy robes and room service. Whatever you come up with, just remember to celebrate the crazy, awesome person that you are. And own it.

 

Learning to love yourself requires patience, forgiveness and a whole lot of unconditional love.I hope that after reading this you realize self-love is a journey that looks completely different to each of us. No matter what, I want you to know you are strong, beautiful, and deserving. And remember to always let your best light shine through. You’ve got this.

 

*This post was originally published on WholeHearted Woman. Thank you to my internet pal, Molly Ho, for encouraging me to write this post and for being a constant source of light and encouragement. Check out Wholehearted Woman for soul-driven stories that go beyond the surface.

 

Photo Source: Esther Funk Photography

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finding your voice

How many times has your internal dialogue told you to be more like someone else? These days it seems like “influencers” are in every direction whose voices are so loud, the smaller voices get drowned out. We hear ourselves thinking “Maybe If I was more like her/him, then I’d be more successful.” Sound familiar? With social media at an all time high, we’re hardwired to believe that we should be more than we are. Maybe it’s just easier to copy whatever that “successful” person is doing, rather than finding your voice. I get that. But let’s  turn the tables and remind you of why your voice is one of the most powerful tools you can master in all aspects of your life.

How often have you heard the following statements?

“You shouldn’t run your business like that.”

“You’d be more beautiful if _____”

“Doing ____ won’t get you noticed.”

“You’re never going to see results that way.”

“That’s a bad idea, it’s already been done before.”

These situations are probably at the worst end of the spectrum but nevertheless, society has a way of sending us these messages in very discrete ways. Finding your voice through these kinds of situations can be really tough. Where do you even start? Whether you’re trying to find your voice in your work, in your relationship, or even within yourself, let’s first consider where our voice comes from:

Your voice comes from your heart

When you speak from the heart, what kinds of things come to mind? Use your heart to identify the emotions that describe you or what you’re passionate about. We’re conditioned to believe that we’ll be more accepted if we round out our edges but those edges are what set you apart from the rest. Don’t do away with something because it makes you different, let that part of you stand out.

Your voice comes from your values

Your values are like a moral compass that guide you between what you believe to be right or wrong. In other words, they are basically an extension of what you believe in. Let’s say your values are to be honest and compassionate. Allow your voice to lead with Honesty and Compassion and these values will most definitely be heard among the crowd. And lastly, everyones values are different so don’t be afraid to let yours shine through.

Your voice comes from authenticity

This point, in my opinion, is the most important. I’m sure you’ve heard about authenticity before but nevertheless, according to Meriam-Webster, the definition of authenticity is being “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions.” I speak from experience when I say that being my authentic, true self is what made the difference between finding my voice and being a follower; someone generic. Authenticity is directly tied to being in tune with your heart and your values, so allow yourself the vulnerability and freedom to embrace the beautiful, unique person that you are. Make your voice heard. 

finding your voice | femmesociety.ca

 

Have you experienced a time when you felt like your voice was being silenced or challenged? How did you get back in tune with yourself and your voice?

Xo, Kate

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finding balance

Alright, raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled with life? From working, to raising kids, building your empire, remembering to take your car in for it’s overdue service, posting on Instagram 27 times a day, managing quarterly taxes, eating your veggies, eating normal food in general, and fulfilling your promise to use your gym membership before your year-pass runs out… With all these distractions, no wonder finding balance is so hard.

Is it just me, or is the glorification of busy just totally exhausting? As a creative, I say YES to just about everything that comes my way. I find myself taking on new projects left, right, and centre and next thing I know I’m nodding off at my desk and the coffee in my cup has gone completely cold.

For those of you that don’t know, as much as I’d love to be a blogger and wedding planner full time, I work Monday-Friday at my corporate job because I’m just not there yet. The reality of it is, sometimes I don’t post on Instagram for two whole weeks. Sometimes, a whole month goes by before I write a new blog post. Sometimes, I feel like I should quit because I’ve lost all my momentum. The guilt is real my friends. And then I had a revelation, thanks to my good friend, Emily Ley. In Emily’s new book, Grace Not Perfection (which is an absolute NECESSITY in your life and should go buy it right now) she wrote:

“When we are weak, we aren’t our best selves. We can’t draw water from an empty well. And when we are empty, we’re good for no one.”

 

Finding Balance / femmesociety.ca

 

That was all I needed to hear.

Maybe you haven’t finished editing the engagement photos you took for your client last week. Maybe you haven’t made any progress on the book you’re writing, or the website you’re updating. But guess what? It’s OK. Give yourself a break to fill your tank. We all have moments of feeling completely burnt out. Instead of being a hero and trudging though the already deep mud, stop for a second and allow yourself to re-fuel. Everything and everyone in your life will thank you.

It’s important to know that finding balance looks different to everyone, and I challenge you to find a balance that works for you and your personal struggles. Depending on your routine, allow yourself to refuel one day a week. A hot bath with my favourite candles can do wonders for me at the end of a busy week. If baths aren’t your thing, give yourself a one hour coffee break (alone!) before picking the kids up from school, meet up with an old friend over a bottle of wine, or grab some headphones and go for a walk to your favourite Spotify playlist.

Find your balance, everything else can wait.

What is the hardest part about finding time for yourself? If you could press pause on life right now, what would you during that precious time? Need some ideas for finding balance in your life? Let me know! hello@femmesociety.ca

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