The N-Word. Why You Should Say It More.
In my experience, I’ve observed that people are afraid to say IT. We’re afraid to hurt other’s feelings or step on toes. We’re afraid of being perceived as lazy or unkind or unwilling to help or do something for others. We’re afraid of our reputation downgrading or of what others may think of us. Truth be told, it does not matter what other people think of you! What matters is what YOU think of you, and if you think you deserve some “me-time” or alone time, then odds are, you probably do. No! There, I said it. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can address this issue that has been on my mind for some time now.
Let me explain. Many people, at least, many people that I know, myself included, tend to overcommit themselves. We say yes to everything! So many of us are natural people pleasers that we’re willing to burn out on the behalf of another. It’s misconstrued as selflessness, but in reality, saying yes to everything has the potential to give others power over you. You become passive! Passivity is generally not viewed as a positive trait depending on circumstances and personality types. When you are overly passive, others may take advantage of you simply because they know that you will always say yes to their every little whim. If they need help moving, or need a sitter, or a ride to the airport, or a few dollars or whatever, they come to you! Because you are a “yes woman” (or man) and although you’re probably just trying to be a nice, helpful person, chances are, you are putting aside your own needs; we all have needs. We all need a break sometimes and that’s why I’m encouraging you to learn to say no.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you need to say no to everything, but pick and choose. If you’re tired from a long day at school or work, REST! If you just need time to unwind and relax from a stressful event or happening, REST. Say no. Don’t allow others to guilt you into doing something for them when it puts your own mental and physiological health at risk. There have been countless times when I simply was not in the mood to hang out with people or drive 20 miles to see someone or do something and I said no. Were my friends disappointed? Sure. But did they understand that I just needed some time to myself to literally chill out and do nothing. Yes! And that is completely okay. We are human; we are not superheroes who can do everything all the time without feeling fatigued or drained. We need rest, even the bible says to do so.
Stop over committing yourself to the point of exhaustion. No one deserves to feel drained of energy; everyone deserves a time of recharging. For some, that may be an hour, others may require weeks or months to just take care of themselves. Perhaps after recharging and relaxing you can begin committing to things again, volunteering your time and saying yes. But don’t allow yourself to burn out trying to do the impossible! Take care of yourself, beautiful people!
How to Beat the Back to School Blues
School’s back! Although it’s been a few years since I’ve been in school, I still vividly recall feeling those “Back to School Blues” every September as I realized that my summer had been shorter and less fun-filled than anticipated. No matter what grade you’re entering, undergraduate or post-grad, in your educational career, there’s a chance that you might already be feeling overwhelmed with classes, assignments, exams or new teachers and professors. Fear not! As a “back-to-school” veteran, I have a few tips on how to beat those blues and make the most of these first few weeks back at school.
1. Remember this is a time to start fresh!
Any nonsense or drama that happened last school year has probably been forgotten at this point. Your classmates had the entire summer to forget about all of that “he-said, she-said” silliness. If you’re starting at a new school, keep in mind that no one knows you, and sometimes that can be a great thing. No one knows all of your business or any information about you. When starting at a new school, although you may be nervous about literally everything, one of the best things is that you can reinvent yourself to a degree. I’m not implying that you should create an alter-ego or use an alias, but when you’re a stranger to a student body, you can start your year on the right foot, and portray yourself how you’d like. If your reputation wasn’t the best at your former school, this is the time to start over and build a better reputation for yourself. If your friends at your former school weren’t always the greatest, make new and better friends! Starting a new year at the same school or a new school can be great if you approach it with the right attitude. Embrace change!
2. Try something new!
Nothing says “Welcome Back!” like being bombarded with all of the clubs and activities your school or university has to offer. Personally, when I started my freshmen year of college I was nearly attacked with flyers and emails and posters everywhere of all the student groups available at my school. I was extremely overwhelmed! I over-committed myself because I wanted to try everything! By my sophomore year, I dropped a good portion of the clubs I joined the previous year, but I found my niche in the music scene on campus. If this is your first, last or random middle year of a particular school, consider trying something new this year! Don’t spread yourself too thin, but if you feel like you’re already dreading this year, make it fun by joining a new club.
3. Manage your time!
As someone who tends to do a million things at once, even as an adult, I remember September being one of the most hectic times of the year. It always seemed like everything was starting at full speed and wouldn’t slow down until Christmas. I felt like my time was not my own and I was running on everyone else’s time. If you’re anything like me and you feel like you’re already getting lost in the shuffle of September or the school blues/chaos (whoa, juxtaposition), try a new time management technique. Build time into your schedule for things that YOU want to do. For many students, summertime is a period of perpetual chilling. People go down to the shore, travel, vacation, etc. and once school starts up, they feel like all of that fun is over. It doesn’t have to be. You may not be able to take a swim once the fall weather starts creeping in, but you can still try to find ways to build in travel time. Perhaps you can’t just fly across the country, but maybe you can do a “staycation” where you take a local vacation and visit sites in your area and even stay at a local hotel. Summer may be over, but fun doesn’t have to be yet!
The “Back to School Blues” can hit some of us harder than others, but if you make the most of your time, you’ll find that the start of the school year can actually be more so exhilarating rather than exhausting. Enjoy your year, everyone!
Could You Have an Eating Disorder?
Last Sunday kicked off National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, a week at the end of February dedicated to raising awareness for a mental disorder about which many are uninformed and uneducated. Eating disorders (EDs) affect millions, yes millions of men, women, boys and girls of every race, religion, ethnicity and nationality worldwide! Despite the fact that so many suffer, so little research and funding has gone into the treatment of EDs compared to the other illnesses out there. EDs are the number one killer of any mental disorderand males and females alike are dying everyday due to complications from their EDs. Although there is a high prevalence, specifically in America, EDs are still an incredibly taboo topic, which is why so many of its victims go untreated. Today I want to break the stigma, if only for a moment, and talk about these awful disorders. This year’s theme of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is “3 Minutes Can Save a Life”, which is encouraging screenings for those who could potentially be at risk for developing an eating disorder or for those who are already exhibiting disordered eating behaviors.
There are a lot of misconceptions about what an eating disorder is, so let’s break it down with a direct quote from the National Eating Disorder Awareness website:
Eating Disorders are real, complex medical and psychiatricillnesses that can have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships. They are caused by both genetic and environmental factors. EDs are bio-psycho-social diseases; they are not a fad, phase or lifestyle choice. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and OSFED (other specified feeding or eating disorder).
People struggling with an eating disorder typically become obsessed with food, body image and/or weight. These disorders can become very serious, chronic and life-threatening if not recognized and treated appropriately. The earlier a person seeks treatment, the greater the likelihood of physical and emotional recovery.(http://nedawareness.org/sites/default/files/school_guide_nedawareness2016.pdf)
It should come as no surprise to you that the majority of those affected by EDs are women and girls, given the society we live in, but men and boys certainly suffer as well. The website goes on to list how eating disorders develop, the symptoms and the general treatment process, and while I’m not going to list all of that here in my blog, I encourage you to check the site if you believe that you could be at risk. Most eating disorders develop between adolescence and early adulthood, but one can diagnosed as early as preschool and suffer through old age. I also want to point out that there is nothing “beautifully tragic” or “glamorous” about having an eating disorder. The media seems to enjoy romanticizing these types of illnesses, trying to make them trendy and even cute, but there is absolutely nothing cute about having an eating disorder. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Those who suffer can sometimes have a very difficult time recovering because of the mental hold that EDs have over their victims. That being said, recovery is a choice and recovery is possible! The road to recovery from an ED can be lifelong, but once one finds themselves free from the worst parts of their ED, they can live a happy and fulfilling life.
If you suspect that you or someone you know could have an eating disorder of any type, I encourage you to get screened or talk to your doctor or someone that you trust who can help. Raise Awareness the rest of this week by wearing purple!
men Can Wear Their Confidence, TOO!
If you’ve been following our blog posts for a while you’ve probably noticed a trend. Wear Your Confidence only addresses women! Confidence and self-love aren’t just women-centered trends, they’re for everyone! So today I want to talk to the guys out there about wearing their confidence and understanding the difference between cockiness and confidence because I’ve noticed that the two are often confused (at least in my personal experience, they are). I want to use two celebrities to illustrate my point and acknowledge the differences between being confident and being arrogant; Kanye West and Jaden Smith.
For as long as he has been in the spotlight, Kanye West has been regarded as a very talented rapper and musician, but he has also been categorized as a cocky and arrogant celebrity based on the statements he makes about himself and the way he carries himself. I think it is important for men (just as women) to carry themselves with confidence and a sense of self assurance, but in my opinion, Kanye crosses that line. In the limelight, he believes himself to be God-like and often portrays himself as religious and spiritual figures. While many of his fans find his persona to be alluring and praise him for his actions, others could argue that Kanye possibly lacks humility and modesty. Of course, one has to take into account the fact that many celebrities behave a certain way in front of paparazzi and cameras for notoriety and are not, in fact, the way that Hollywood has made them out to be, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Kanye West truly thought of himself as a higher being than the rest of the world. No matter how talented you are, and obviously Kanye is talented, you are no better than anyone else and shouldn’t treat yourself or others as such.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Jaden Smith who has recently been featured in the Louis Vuitton Women’s ad campaign. While this new addition to their campaign has received mixed reviews from consumers and non consumers alike, I personally think that it’s awesome that Jaden is confident enough to tear down gender norms and express himself in a way that he feels comfortable. There is no real rhyme or reason as to why most clothing has been designated “mens” or “womens” wear given that gender is socially constructed. With recent campaigns to deconstruct the gender norms surrounding toys, I am excited to see that clothing companies are following suit and taking baby steps to say, “Boo gender norms” and allowing people to confidently express who they are. If Jaden Smith can literally wear his confidence, so can other men! I’m not saying to go out and buy dresses necessarily, but do what makes you feel confident and feel like the best version of yourself!
I think that sometimes as a society we focus so much on building women’s confidence because women are most often victims of low self-esteem (due to society!), but there are definitely guys out there who could use a confidence boost. So if you’re a guy reading this, you, too, are beautiful and fearfully and wonderfully made. If you know a guy who struggles with self-love, encourage him! It won’t be a cure-all, but I can guarantee it’ll make him feel good about himself to hear that he is awesome and loved. Wear your confidence, guys!
Woman Crush Wednesday!
Women are beautiful! I may be biased because I happen to be a woman, but we really are beautiful creatures and I’m always in awe just how amazing women are. Regardless of sexuality, I can guarantee that most women have checked out another woman at some point and maybe would say they have had a “girl crush” or “woman crush”. Before we get ahead of ourselves, I want to be clear in saying that I am not referring to women who usually like other women, this is for the women who like men but are confident enough to acknowledge the beauty in another woman.
So what is a girl/woman crush? Personally, I’d define it as a platonic admiration of another woman, whether it be internal or external. There are so many women doing great things on this planet that it is only natural to admire their handwork and accomplishments. Sometimes these crushes come in the form of a desire to be friends with her simply because you think she’s awesome; other times, it’s a general respect for her or maybe you view her as a role model. Any or all of these feelings could be described as a girl crush. The other side of the coin is a girl crush that is almost purely physical. As I stated earlier, women are gorgeous. A well-dressed, put together woman can be very appealing to men and women alike and it’s perfectly normal to acknowledge that some women are just plain hot.
Society spends a lot of time tearing women down instead of building us up, so it is up to us to do so! Magazine ads, commercials, and all other forms of media thrive off of putting women down so that we’ll feel compelled to buy some product that will “erase our flaws”. Many companies exist solely to profit from women’s insecurities and don’t strive to help women become naturally confident. This is why I believe it’s imperative that women stick together, form bonds, and compliment each other! No one else is going to do it for us, so we should do it for ourselves.
Make your friend your woman crush, perhaps on Wednesday, perhaps everyday. Tell her how amazing she is. Tell her she’s smokin’ hot! Tell her why she’s a fabulous and fierce diva. Tell her that she’s a star. A girl crush or woman crush is about uplifting other women. It’s about reminding other women of the gorgeous beings that they are, so don’t be ashamed if you have a woman crush on someone, whether it’s a friend, stranger or celebrity. Most women would be absolutely flattered to hear that another woman thinks she’s the bees knees, just as you probably would! Make someone your #wcw today, and if you aren’t into that, make yourself your own #wcw!
Your Period and Confidence
Shark Week, Aunt Flow, The Crimson Wave, The Red Sea, YOUR PERIOD! Or whatever you want to call it. A lot of us get it and if you’re anything like me, the week leading up to your period, as well as the week of your period is just awful, but not anymore! Obviously everyone’s periods are different in every way and form, but many women can agree that it’s not the most pleasant of experiences. I don’t claim to be a period expert or some sort of menstrual guru who can cure all evils surrounding that lovely time of the month, but I have a couple of insights that I want to share about how those of us who struggle around that time can still have confidence!
So this blog post is about to get real personal, if you couldn’t tell. I didn't get my period until I was 15. Yes that’s right, 15! I was the last of my friends, probably the last in my grade to get my period and boy was it traumatic. I had to come to grips with the fact that one, I was actually biologically female, and two, I was no longer a baby. I had a very difficult time coping with this news, especially because I had convinced myself that I was actually a man or that I was some sort of magical creature who would never get her period. Needless to say, I was less than pleased about growing up in this way. My parents will tell you that 15 year old Gigi was the worst version of Gigi to ever exist. I was a hot mess. I was extremely hormonal and I couldn’t control myself or my behavior. At least, that’s what my parents would tell you. In all honesty, I was so sad and upset and angry all the time and didn’t understand why. Now I know that the horribly hormonal human running rampant in 2007 was the result of all the changes my body was going through.
Fast forward to 2015, literally last month, when my hormones got the best of me and I flipped out at work. It was very unprofessional, but I couldn’t explain to my boss that I was PMS-ing and not in control of my emotions so I just apologized and tried not to let it happen again. This past month, I decided to mark off on my calendar when my period would be coming next so that I could prepare myself for a possible “freak out”. Lo and behold, actually being more self-aware and keeping track of my emotional state helped to prevent me from becoming upset over trivial things that normally wouldn’t bother me. So if you’re someone who becomes overly-emotional or irrationally angry leading up to your period, do a self-check-in. Stop and think, “Am I upset about this because it is rationally upsetting or am I upset because my period is coming? Or both?” I’m only speaking from personal experience; I know that not all women become irrational during shark week and I also know that many women, including myself, take offense to people (men) asking, “Are you PMSing?” when you’re legitimately angry about something. So just a tip, don’t ask anyone that question unless you have that type of relationship.
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that those of you reading who consistently get your period, and perhaps those of you who don’t, already know a handful of tips about dealing with the physical pains that come with periods. Drinking tea, exercising, good old Advil, the list goes on, but how can we still be confident when the lines of our uteri are shedding and causing a ruckus? Realize that, unless you have some sort of medical or medicinal intervention, getting your period is normal! There’s a huge stigma and shame around having your period. We whisper, “Do you have a pad or tampon?” and go through extreme lengths to hide feminine products because so many of us are so ashamed of our bodies when it’s completely normal. In some other countries, girls and women are banned from public spaces while menstruating because it’s considered gross, impure, and shameful. And that makes me upset! As a society, we have to relinquish this idea we have that periods are “gross” and understand that periods are a regular part of life for the average woman. Women, it’s up to us to start this de-shaming process because men won’t do it for us.
So how can you be confident while surfing the crimson wave? Continue loving yourself and your body for ALL that it does and stop acting like getting your period is equivalent to having the black plague. Have a sense of self-awareness, stay active, and don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Happy Menstruating!
The Gift That Keeps On Giving!
The holidays are right around the corner! Is your shopping done yet? No? Do you feel like you just don’t have enough money to buy all of your loved ones gifts? Well then listen up because I’ve got an offer you won’t be able to refuse and if you act now, it can be yours, free! For a limited time only, the “Gift of Confidence” can be yours, but only if you keep reading. The Gift of Confidence is a great stocking stuffer for those friends and loved ones that you can never seem to buy anything for. The gift includes confidence boosters, self-love quotes, and a list of ways to make someone feel special. If you keep reading, we’ll send you not only one Gift of Confidence, but TWO! Give the gift that keeps on giving. Give someone confidence this holiday season. Call now!
Enough of the cheesy commercial plug! Wear Your Confidence isn’t really having a holiday promotion about Confidence gift-sets, but that little spiel isn’t completely untrue. I have often written about what it means to have self-confidence and to love your OWN self, but what about helping others with their insecurities and self-esteem? I believe that is just as important as helping yourself. I also believe that uplifting someone else can help improve your personal confidence as well. So how do we do it? While commenting on our best friends’ selfies and telling them how good they look is a quick-fix for a lack of confidence, what does it really accomplish? They may take the compliment, throw it away and go right back to dealing with their insecurities or they may not actually believe the compliment because it’s coming from someone who is supposed to tell them how pretty and attractive they are. Giving a friend the “gift of confidence” is going to be a bit more extensive than “Omg you look so good!”.
If you have a friend who legitimately has issues with self-love and self-confidence, do something special for them like hand-write them a letter. In today’s age of texting and snapchats, it seems as if we’ve lost the art of letter writing and for many, that particular medium can be meaningful and impactful. Tell them how special they are in the letter. Write to them about what makes them unique and beautiful. Don’t focus too much on the superficial; write about what’s in their heart. Explain to them why you love them and how great of a friend they are to you and others. The best thing about letters is that they’re FREE! I guarantee they’ll appreciate such a heartfelt gift and can look back on it when things are tough.
In the same way that you would remind yourself to be confident, remind them! Leave them notes of affirmation, show them that they are worthy of love, and encourage them! If you hear them say something negative about themselves, change it into a positive! Encourage them to hang out with positive people who are going to build them up and not tear them down. Be that positive person for them! Buy them the Boost Your Confidence with Compliments on the WYC website! (hint hint) If you don’t have the money to spend, make your own compliments booklet specifically for them. Be an open heart and ear to listen to them when they’re having trouble loving themselves. If you’re a good friend, you probably do these things already, but this just serves as a reminder that everyone could use a pick-me-up every now and then, even our friends.
As you grow in your confidence, help someone else grow in theirs. You may be the only person to say something nice to them in the span of an entire day or week, and you may be the reason that someone makes a choice to love themselves, even if for a single moment. Give the gift of confidence, someone will be glad you did.
Nobody’s Perfect (So Stop Trying to Be)!
**Trigger Warning-Self Harm/Eating Disorders**
This should go without saying, but no one is perfect. Of course we are all made in God’s image and He is perfect, but we are inherently born into a flawed being. We are human! We make mistakes and that’s okay! As humans, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be this perfect person, and we idolize these celebrities that we perceive as the epitome of perfection, when in reality, they deal with issues just like we do and they make mistakes, just like we do.
I mentioned Demi Lovato in my last post briefly, but I want to talk a little bit more about her because I think she’s amazing and she’s a great example of a celebrity who has been able to let go of idealized perfection and be her authentic, flawed, human self. As many know, a few years ago, Demi Lovato opened up about her struggles with bulimia and self harm, two taboo mental illnesses whose victims often suffer in silence. Many celebrities who have dealt with eating disorders are often blasted in the tabloids and often deny their illness because they are still trying to maintain a false air of perfection; however, Demi Lovato was open about her issues and checked herself into treatment. By admitting that she did, in fact, have an eating disorder and an issue with self harm, she sent a viral message to every young (and not so young) person watching her that it is okay to have flaws! It’s okay to not be perfect. We all deal with individual problems and if we don’t confront those problems because we’re too scared of not seeming perfect, we’ll find ourselves in great deal of trouble. Today, Demi is generally regarded as an inspiration and amazing role model for girls because of the message of self-love that she preaches. She wrote a book in 2013 called Staying Strong that includes various daily goals and promotes self-love and self-care. Hats off to you, Demi Lovato!
My entire life, I have fought an internal battle of perfectionism, which has certainly reared its ugly head in different aspects of my life. I’m happy to say that I’m doing much better now, but I definitely understand and can relate to people when they express that they have control issues due to perfectionism or anything of that sort. Society certainly doesn't make it easy on us. We are expected to have everything together and in order in our lives and look perfect all the time! It’s unreasonable and unrealistic because no one is perfect. Even the most seemingly put-together people are unhappy with something in their lives, including celebrities! Celebrities struggle with low self-esteem and insecurities in the same way that we do, and I personally believe we see so many celebrities “going off the deep end” because they are forced to hide their problems due to an overwhelming fear of public scrutiny and losing their “perfect” status.
So stop trying to be perfect! You will only upset and disappoint yourself because perfection is an impossible ideal. No one can legitimately attain such a status and it’s okay! You should love you for you, flaws, mistakes and all! Embrace YOU because no one can do you the way you do you, boo.
What's wrong with being confident? Nothing Demi Lovato, nothing at all! There’s nothing wrong with being confident and sure of yourself, but what happens when you don’t feel that way? Let’s be honest, we don’t always feel amazing and confident 100% of the time. I want to let you all know that it’s okay to not feel your absolute best all the time because we are human! And humans are fallible and can’t be expected to be our most perfect selves every hour of every day. I want to share 3 tips on being confident even when you don’t feel that way.
1. Think Positive Thoughts
Thoughts turn into words which turn into actions. Your thoughts play a vital role in the person that you are and present to the world, so if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, there’s a good chance that your entire disposition could become negative. I know what you’re thinking, “Gigi, I can’t control my thoughts, they just happen!” and that is completely valid. When I say “Think positive thoughts” I mean change your negative thoughts into positive ones. Recognize when you’re thinking negatively about yourself and find a way to shift that thought into something positive. So the next time your brain says something silly like, “You’re so ugly and unintelligent”, think back, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and God made me in His beautiful image!
2. Say Positive Words
This is similar to thinking positive thoughts but instead, you are making a vocal and verbal declaration of confidence and self-love! Hearing words out loud can definitely be impactful if you’re not feeling confident. The world won’t always tell you how great you are, so it’s up to you to do so. Stand in front of the mirror and list a few positive affirmations each day if you have to! It’s important that you hear how wonderful you are, especially from yourself.
3. Hang Around Positive People
I cannot stress this one enough! Misery loves company, so if you are surrounding yourself with people who are constantly putting themselves or YOU down, you are going to be affected. Positivity is infectious! If the people in your social circles are positive and uplifting and confident, it will rub off on you. They’ll be there to pick you up when you’re feeling down and remind you of your strengths and what makes you great. No one wants to lose friends, but if your friends are perpetually negative energies and influencing you negatively, you may want to consider finding new friends that will encourage positivity.
4. BONUS!!! Hang Positive Words Around your Room/Locker/Office
Seeing positive words can absolutely build or bring back confidence! I’ve seen people graffiti on bathroom mirrors positive phrases about self-love and self-esteem. (I actually instagrammed it). Now I’m not suggesting you deface public property, but a post-it note here and there in your own space wouldn’t hurt. A poster in your bedroom or locker that promotes positivity could serve as a daily reminder that you are special and great! While it may be cliche, I have a framed portrait of the words, “Live Laugh Love” above my bed and it reminds me to do just that! Continue living, loving, laughing and enjoying life.
There is nothing wrong with being confident! There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself. Society thrives off of putting people, specifically women down so that they’ll feel bad about themselves, but when that happens, remember these tips! Surround yourself with positivity and God’s never-ending love!
I KNOW Who I AM!
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a Women’s retreat at Restoration Station Christian Fellowship called Potter’s Clay. The theme of the retreat was “I Know Who I Am” which featured four dynamic female speakers who spoke candidly about their lives, insecurities, and spiritual journeys towards finding their purposes and destinies. They also encouraged and uplifted the women in attendance regarding finding their own purposes. Each speakers’ message differed from the next, but the content seemed to overlap, which many of the women believed to be confirmation from God. Although I was vending the event for Wear Your Confidence, I was still able to participate in the conference and a few of the activities.
The first speaker on Saturday was Pastor Kim Freeman from Canada, who I met over the summer in her home town. I particularly enjoyed her take on the retreat’s theme because she spoke about not fitting in and how okay and even important it is to stand out from the crowd. As far as pastors go, she definitely has an eccentric look and personality. She’s very outspoken, edgy, and opinionated, not to mention she sports very unique hairstyles and clothing; for many tradition church-goers, she doesn’t fit the mold of a female preacher and that’s what makes her great! As a younger woman, she was forced to dress and act a particular way in order to appease the old fashioned, more traditional church people that didn’t understand her uniqueness and her call to “not fit in”. I found her message so important especially when it comes to WYC because a huge part of being confident is understanding that it’s okay to not fit in. It’s okay to embrace your individuality and love the person that God created, not the person that man thinks you are or should be. Knowing who you are is also imperative to having confidence because once you know who you are, you can love who you are.
Another recurring topic of the retreat was about the “Enemy of Insecurity” and the circumstances under which our insecurities develop. It’s important to understand your insecurities and those defining moments that have helped shape you into the individual that you are today. Insecurity, during this session, was defined as “I am never _____ enough”. A great point that Pastor Joy Morgan, the host of the event, made was that if God needed you to be smarter, prettier, skinnier, etc., He would’ve made you that way. He made you the way that He intended for you to be so that you can walk in your purpose. This personally resonated with me because many times I have wished that I were “better” than how God made me to be not realizing that He made me this way because this was the way that He needed me. Knowing who I am includes knowing my insecurities and fighting through them so that I can ultimately discover my destiny.
Initially I walked in to this conference just expecting to sit in the back and vend, but I walked away with a greater sense of my purpose and how I can overcome my insecurities to fit into God’s mold rather than everyone else’s. I’m realizing that God gifted me the interests and talents that I have because they are a part of my purpose! Take time to get to truly know yourself. If you’re someone who constantly wonders why you were put on this earth, take a look at what you love to do. What excites you? What groups of people do you want to work with or for? Answering those questions will help you know who you are and what you were created to do. I can confidently say that I’m starting to really know who I am.