Like most things in my life, when I started this blog I had no idea what I was doing. But I told myself, “just start writing. Just write anything. You just have to start somewhere and it will figure itself out.” I played around with different tag lines. I wrote a couple different types of posts from reflective, to informative…and it has taken some time to find my voice. Not too long ago, I shared my frustrations with my mom. I felt kind of stuck. This wasn’t going anywhere. She explained to me that sometimes our fear of rejection will cause us to produce a watered-down version of the thing we really intended to create.
She asked me what my goal was in writing a blog and creating A Providence Girl.
My goal is to help women see themselves differently by using fashion to build her self-confidence. My goal is to help her understand that she is worthy of looking and feeling great about herself, regardless of shape and size. She deserves to love herself…right where she is at this very moment. My message is to share everything that fashion has done for me.
No sooner had those words left my mouth, I realized that I hadn’t been entirely true to myself with the content I was producing. My previous tagline was “fashion tells the story of who we are.” Which isn’t necessarily bad. It just lacked a clear, concise message. What exactly is the story I want to tell? What is my story? And how is that going to help you?
I had been pouring through other fashion blogs and instagram posts, learning everything I could about what type of content other bloggers were creating. I formed this idea that to be successful, I needed to produce similar content. Here’s the thing: I’ve lived most of my life as the oddball. I’ve never quite fit in with any particular group. Human nature is needing to connect and find a sense of belonging. So my thought process became this: that in order to belong, I had to be like everyone else. The problem was once I started doing that, it didn’t make it any better. In fact, I felt worse because I wasn’t being true to myself. I am someone who always finds the deeper meaning in something. I have to understand the whys and the motives behind everything. I can never be the person that says “hey look at my cute dress!” I will be the one to tell you why it is cute, why I look good in it, how it makes me feel, and why you should love it too. So I realize now that I had unintentionally been putting out a murky, watered-down version of myself.
Today’s culture tells us that in order to climb our way to the top, we have to be a certain way and fit a certain persona. We tend to hide our true selves in hopes of being liked and accepted. It shouldn’t be that way. You should feel proud about who you are. If you are strong, loud, and opinionated….than be that! But also know that you don’t have to be tough. Its okay to cry. It’s okay to tell the world: I’m broken right now and I need time to heal. We have neglected the power of vulnerability and ignored the values of grace and kindness. Confidence comes in many different forms. A quiet, self-assured voice is just as strong as the loudest voice in the room. Confidence will allow yourself to be who you really are. The question is: “how do you get that confidence?”
There are so many ways you can build your self-confidence. Health, fitness, learning a new skill, etc… Fashion happened to be my way. Finding clothing options that fit my body properly, fit my lifestyle, and reflect my personality has changed my whole mindset. Learning how to style myself, slowly helped me see my reflection in the mirror differently. As my reflection changed, my true inner being wasn’t so afraid to introduce herself anymore.
How often do you find yourself disgruntled in a dressing room because nothing fits. Chastising yourself about your perceived imperfections or weight simply because a garment that was sewn in some random factory doesn’t fit you. Well guess what….that shirt didn’t deserve to go on your body anyway! Move on, find something else where the fabric feels luxurious on your skin, fits you like a glove, makes you feel cute, sassy, sexy….whatever it is you want to feel. Once I understood that, I learned to ignore the number on the tags, and to just walk away from a style that doesn’t work for me. Remember that it isn’t this magical thing that happens overnight. I didn’t decide one day that I was just gonna be okay with who I am. It’s is a process requiring patience with yourself. There are going to be bad days and that’s ok. It’s how you recover from those days that make all the difference.
If you ask me what I stand for. My answer is confidence. But it is more than that. I stand for the journey to confidence and every bit of hard work it takes to get there. I stand for working through doubt and overcoming what you perceive as failure. I stand for deflecting unsolicited opinions and filtering out all the crap that has been fed to you. I stand for the day that you wake up in the morning, get dressed, and walk out the door without giving a damn what everyone else thinks because you know who you are and are not afraid to show it.
If you find yourself reading this blog, my hope is that you will enjoy the fashion and styling advice, but I also want even more, that you walk away inspired to find your confidence journey in order to live your most authentic life.
Featured dress is from http://www.dressbarn.com