Friday, January 26, 2018

How I Learned to Stop Waiting for an Applause and Start Clapping for Myself

When I first began my blog back in 2013 (a few days after graduating from college), I was committed to sharing the real of being a twenty-something, chasing dreams, and knocking on every door. Unfortunately, some of the journey comes with disappointment and hard lessons you have to master if you want to make it.

So let's get back to that. In this post I want to share a lesson that's dear to my heart: how I learned to stop waiting for people to clap for me.
THIS. I hope y'all hear me and get this.

For a while I felt severely under-appreciated in almost all aspects of my life. Forget the fact that I felt so underwhelmed by the level of support I was receiving from  friends. Let me tell y' was rough. During the times I completed a task, submitted a project proposal, or produced content/events, the room was silent. I would look around and expect the people around me to cheer me on and rejoice as I crossed the finish line. The silence was deafening. The people I thought cared did not show up for me in the way I expected. After a while I resolved to take a break from creativity. Because if no one cares about your success there's obviously no point in trying right? Wrong. (I hope you didn't nod your head in agreement there. But if you did, I'm here for you #bossgirl).
I only grew more frustrated trying to figure it all out. I had questions: I'm doing so well, why won't you clap for me? I'm living out my dream, do you see me? I'm trying to impress you, why don't you care?

I allowed their silence to stifle my growth.

Then one day I realized I couldn't sit on the desires that God had given me. I had to take a step back and go back to my why. I had to heal and learn to love myself enough to use my gifts. I learned to understand that I was not creating nor was I created to please others. That my efforts were still powerful despite who was watching. So I kept creating without waiting for people to validate me. I continued to share my gifts as though I were unrestrained. I kept diving in, showing up, and vowing to show out, without expecting a round of applause.

If we aren't careful we can spend our entire life sitting on our dreams and talents because we expect from people what they have no authority to give us: validation. Now is the time to realize how invaluable you are and walk with the understanding that your work is meaningful despite who sees your efforts.
Remember your success is in your why, not in the level of noise people make when you achieve great things.

Rooted at it all, I later realized, was a desire to please others. I had neglected my number one assignment: to please God.

You're living your life for an audience of one - God. And so long as you're doing all that you can with everything He has given you, proceed in clapping for yourself without man's approval. We have to stop expecting people to give us what only God can give us: validation. Your ultimate reward for being obedient and using the talents He has blessed you with lies in heaven.

Believe me, the ones who did clap were ever so present. They encouraged me to do more, keep pushing, and dream bigger. They motivated me to do greater exploits with what God gave me.
Stop waiting for those who don't cheer you on. Start listening to those who tell you to dream bigger and do more. Work to please God and watch your joy rise.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

- Revelation 4:11


Monday, January 22, 2018

How to Petite: Culottes x The Monochrome Effect

Hey loves! I haven't done a just style post on my blog in ages! I'll be starting a section on my blog focusing on style tips, particularly for petite women, like moi! So when you guys see "HowtoPetite" headlining a post, get ready for style tips! (Fun fact, I'm actually 5 feet tall and quite slim, but I have to admit that the camera probably does a great job of deceiving y'all lol). If you're like me, you've probably struggled to search for clothes that are professional and/or segciii without looking like a bag of potatoes (lol). Well, I got you boo!

I'm kicking off this #howtopetite installment with my new favorite closet add-on: culottes. In the past couple months, I've added 3 pairs to my closet (it's safe to say that I'm almost obsessed). Culottes are typically known to fall right at the calve, but for us over here on the shorter side, the length can be over exaggerated, so usually deemed a no-no for us petite girls. I've shared a few style tips to make your culotte wearing more fun (especially if your favorite store does not have a petite collection).

  1. Boost the length of your legs by showing some skin and wearing a heeled shoe. I chose rose gold straps for these white trousers. Matching your shoes to your skin as best as you can make your legs appear longer. By allowing a bit of skin to peak out below the ankle (or sticking with nude tones), you lengthen your legs a bit more.
  2. Go for high waisted culottes and balance the volume. When I wear culottes I have to admit that I sometimes feel like I'm getting lost in the garment (lol). Because of all the volume at the bottom of the culottes, it can feel a bit baggy. To avoid this, I always go for high waisted culottes and paired them with a tucked in blouse that shows the waistline. This slightly accentuates my figure and lengthens the body (for those of us who have a shorter torso).
  3. Keep it monochrome and match your pants. Finally, depending on the look you're going for, you can never go wrong with matching your culottes and your top. For this look, I went a white top for a monochromatic look (which usually always works to make me look/feel more chic and mature), paired with a colored tweed blazer which was fitted so it worked to define my body and complement the contrasting wider bottoms. I loved how when pieced together this outfit produced what I like to call "the monochrome effect" (or the "jumpsuit effect"). Monochrome (wearing one color/shade) typically makes you appear taller and more slender. The monochrome theme really made the set look as though it were all one piece. I got tons of compliments and got super excited when people said they loved my "jumpsuit"!

I hope this was a tad helpful for some of y'all! Let me know where you girls shop for culottes! (I obviously need to add more to my closet). Oh and you can see other ways I've styled culottes here and here. Happy styling!


Culottes: Topshop (shop similar style here)
Ivory Strappy Cami: Miss Selfridge (shop here)
Short Jacket: H&M (shop similar style here)



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How Discipline Can Help You and Your Brand (Offline and Online)

Okay so we are nine whole days into the new year, and while some of us felt the high of inspiration during the first few days of the month, that inspiration has died down for others. You might still talk about your goals and share them with others (because this makes them more real, right)? But after a while, your lack of discipline and your desire for inspiration will hold you right where you are and keep your goals from coming to fruition (reality check!). It's true that you can't always feel inspired, creative, or motivated. We can't always depend on this high to fuel our work. You can have every intention to thrive and accomplish every task, but if you never discipline yourself to sit down and work, honestly, you might never achieve what you need.

Let's talk about discipline:
Discipline is more than motivation. Discipline pushes past the desire to quit when inspiration or motivation run out. Discipline is the habit of acting in the moment based on a decision you made in advance, regardless of your feelings. It's the action that binds you by your will, not your emotions. - She's Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst
Through my experiences with my brand and with clients, I’ve worked out tips to stay disciplined so that your brand (and you) can flourish this year (even when you feel like hope is lost).

1. Implement the "first five minutes rule":

My friend and client, Mahawa Kamara (founder of The Soap Connoisseur) recently told me about the “first 5 minutes rule” she started implementing. She schedules time to work on a task and in that first five minutes she must work on it, non stop. This is for tasks you’ve been reluctant to do because they might seem difficult or overwhelming. Do it any way…commit to working for just 5 minutes. Oftentimes you’ll find that an hour has passed and you’ve actually completed your task!

Check out The Soap Connoisseur here.

2. Create a routine and be consistent:

Online (as a brand): If you’re a fashion or beauty brand, creating a routine is similar both online and offline. Your goal is to build trust with your followers, so a routine is extremely beneficial. Set up a specific time to post to your social media accounts (this can be daily or any day or time you choose) Maybe you create a routine of posting to your social media account every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8am and 12pm (hint hint…these are great peak times to post online!). 
Another routine measure you can consider is creating a set time to respond to emails, send out newsletters, or check in with customers/clients. Whatever it is you choose to do, be consistent.

With my brand, Beneath Your Beauty, I’ve found that creating a consistent routine with our social media content + events helps to keep our audience engaged and expectant of what’s to come.

*Check out our Instagram here

Offline (personal development): Creating a consistent routine offline can be something as simple as waking up every day at 8am and getting out of bed immediately; going on a run every morning before work; or maybe a little be more complex like dedicating the last hour of your day to reading and studying instead of scrolling through social media. Over the past several years, I've committed to not checking my email or text messages first thing in the morning, and instead dedicated my first and last hours to devotion and quiet time.

I’ve found that committing to one thing every day and doing it the same way, helps to keep me organized and work more efficiently.

3. Remove anything negative from your life and get rid of anything you might call a temptation. 

Delete and block! You don't have to see everything! You don't need everything in your presence, especially if it is draining your energy or causing self-doubt. As my friend and client Raj Will mentioned, be weary of only consuming content when you should be creating.

Check out his work here.

4. Get an accountability partner:

There’s nothing wrong with sharing your goals, with the right people of course. Share your goals/to-do list with at least one person who can hold you accountable and perhaps even give you deadlines for certain tasks.

I had the opportunity to chat with Federica Boaeteng, founder of Fash.Ed. When speaking about my goals, she literally gave me dates for which she wanted to see me accomplish them! In an effort to keep my word, I’ve been fervently working to meet these deadlines.

Check out Fash.Ed here.

I know there can be times where we feel uninspired to move forward with our visions (even in light of the “new year, new me” rhetoric). Yes we’ve all proclaimed that this year we will work harder, stay up later, and dream bigger. But how do we do this when we feel blatantly uninspired. How do we keep building our brand when it seems like absolutely no one is paying attention? Try applying these measure and watch and see you and your brand flourish in the right direction. Happy New Year, loves!


Blogger Template Created by pipdig