Hello and welcome to my 388375th attempt at starting a personal blog. Okay, maybe that’s dramatic, but I have tried and failed at personal blogs quite a few times now. It would be easy for me to be ashamed of that and put my aspiration on a shelf, but it’s much more exciting to pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again. Don’t you think?
So, I have been working in public relations and marketing for the past five years. During that time, I have created websites, written tons of blog content, and rocked social media … for other people. So why is it so hard for me to do that for myself?
A little more background about me, I have a masters degree in professional counseling. Self-reflection was a big part of the graduate program. When I began reflecting on my blogging failures, I realized the ugly truth. Before, I would tell myself that I just didn’t have enough time or that I didn’t lead an interesting enough life to talk about (excuses). But when I began to really think about it, I realized that I didn’t want people to truly see me. I wasn’t willing to be vulnerable. I didn’t want to go too far beneath the surface with readers because I was carrying so much shame for who I really was. I was terrified for people to see that I am not perfect and that my life is kind of effed up sometimes. My graduate studies really opened my eyes to the beauty of vulnerability and the necessity of taking an honest look at yourself. I didn't always like what I saw, but I learned that the first step in dealing with shame is to accept it.
These days, I’m much less concerned about appearing “perfect” and sugar-coating my life. Now, I embrace my story and my imperfections. I’m more willing to let people in, to connect, and share. And those connections are more authentic and deeper because of it. No more constantly comparing myself to the amazing, beautiful, talented female bloggers I see on social media. Instead, I become inspired by them. I am happy for their successes, but I don’t let it make me feel any less than. I have (finally) come to accept myself for the beautiful, messy, crazy, imperfect being that I am. It’s a process and some days are easier than others, not gonna lie.
Today, I want to share with you some of my favorite resources that helped me on my journey to embrace vulnerability, accept my truth, and begin to trust the universe.
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. This was one of the first books I read on the subject and it blew me away. It was a great introduction to my (ever-evolving) journey to self-actualization.
- You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I have listened to this book on Audible, literally 12 times. It’s THAT good. I love her crass and honest approach to self-help. It’s an enjoyable, but impactful read and it truly changed my life (all 12 times).
- Self Care. I know the term “self-care” is overused, but I think the action is totally underused! You cannot feel good about who you are if you are not treating yourself well. Self-care is not just about facemasks and fancy bubble baths. It’s about your inner dialogue and how you treat yourself, too. How do you talk to yourself? Are you giving yourself enough time and space? Are you saying “yes” when you really want to say “hell no”?
I was treating myself so horribly before, trying to please everyone (spoiler alert: it’s not possible), letting other people’s reactions and moods dictate my own, and constantly taking on more than I wanted to. It left me feeling bitter and wondering who I really was. Trying to be everyone’s favorite version of me all the time was exhausting and impossible. Once I took a step back from the people-pleasing, I finally had space to get to know my true self.
- The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. This one may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but as someone with a history of substance abuse, I really connected with this read and Gaby’s story. Definitely a little more on the “I charge my crystals and burn sage” side. You’ve been warned.
- Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa. A short and inspiring read. Great for the self-help beginner/denier.
- A supportive environment. I was so fortunate to have an incredibly supportive environment when I was heavy on my vulnerability journey. I had my classmates, my mentors, my coworkers, and so many other friends and family that helped and encouraged me along the way. A supportive environment is everything. Think of it like a trendy succulent plant. You can’t just plop one of those things in the ground and expect it to thrive. You have to have the right kind of soil and sunlight to support its growth and you have to have the right kind of people to support yours.
- Emotional Agility by Susan David. This was a GAME CHANGER for me. I wish that this was required reading for all humans, the world would such a better place. It is a long and thorough read, so definitely not for the faint of heart. I cannot recommend it enough.
- Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang. Have you ever felt the sting of rejection? This one's for you. Such an inspiring read. I absolutely love his story and his vulnerability.
- A quality journal. A journal is essential in self reflection. You can’t keep all that stuff stuck in your head. I love having a mixed media journal so I can also add water coloring, decoupage, and doodles. The creative aspect of it really works for me. Time with my journal is sacred and I attribute a lot of my healing to it.
Side Note: I read most of these books through Audible on my commute to work. If you try Audible through the link I've provided you will get two FREE books!
I hope these resources help you embrace vulnerability on your journey to your best life. I am always happy to chat, so if you’d like to connect comment below or find me on instagram!