Moving Weekend Reflections

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Moving weekend!! I can’t wait to leave this place yet it deserves a moment of appreciation from me. So I sat outside the front door this morning to enjoy my coffee. I’ve never done that before but I’ve learned the importance of taking the time for stillness and moments of reflection and it felt like something I needed to do.

This is where I started over after a divorce, a life event that showed me how much clarity and self knowledge I truly was lacking.

This is where I came home to each night after teaching 3 or 4 classes in a row at my studio.

This is where Nick and I’s relationship grew; making dinners, watching movies, having arguments.

This is where I cried myself to sleep during the most painful emotional crisis of my adult life that made me a stronger, wiser, and better person.

This is where we brought our beloved rescue husky, Mikko, home to!

This is where I watched Nick play Twister in the living room with my niece and realized he’ll be an amazing dad.

This is where I sat at the kitchen table and made the super difficult decision to transition my career by closing my studio and accepting a job offer at the Y.

This is where I came home to after a trip to NYC where I got engaged!

This is where my sister picked me up from as we headed out on an epic road trip across the country.

This is where I grew into a woman who knows who she is and what she’s about.

But now that I’ve taken the moment to acknowledge all of this…I’m so ready to move on. I can’t wait for new dog walking routes and to live near the Red Jacket Trail! (Maybe I’ll run more frequently?!)

I love the opportunity to de-clutter and simplify that moving provides; emotionally, mentally and physically. A new place means new routines, new rituals, and new memories.

Good things await….

Persist with hope.

great leaders

Lately I’ve felt beaten down. One thing after another left me extremely frustrated and slightly annoyed at the world. It was really getting to me so I’ve been praying for God to give me strength, to put that FIRE back in my heart and a genuine smile back on my face.

We all know that motivation is like a cat. It goes away from time to time but it always comes back, right? I’m an extremely resilient person, I always bounce back. But I was starting to get impatient because it was taking longer than usual. I don’t like the feeling of having no motivation. It feels hopeless. It feels like going through the motions. It makes me feel trapped and then I start looking for an escape instead of a solution. But I don’t want a life that I want to escape from. I want a life I LOVE living.

This morning I walked into the locker room and a member I don’t know personally stopped me and said “Stephanie, I just want you to know how much I love all the instructors you have on your staff. When you first came here and brought all these new classes, I thought they weren’t for me. But they ARE for me and I am so glad you challenged us. Every instructor is so willing to help and they actually care. I’m so happy with the changes. I thought you needed to hear that.”

How would she have known I needed to hear that? I SO did but how did she know? Just like that I felt encouraged. My hope was renewed. It’s such a simple and powerful thing to hear encouraging words when your heart is hurting.

Thanks to God for hearing my prayer and sending the right person at the right time with the message He knew I needed to hear.

Now go encourage somebody.

 

“Howe to” Stop Falling Off the Wagon..

Don’t have a wagon. Have a life instead.

 

(I thought about stopping there. So if you get the point, stop reading. Otherwise you can read on while I expand and tell you about the moment that inspired what could have been my shortest post ever….)

While I was road tripping with my sister to San Diego, her home and the destination for my upcoming wedding, she exclaimed something in the middle of beautiful Utah that almost every woman on earth has said or could hear themselves saying….

“Let’s come up with a fitness challenge to do together before your wedding!”

Not that long ago I would have been all over this and we would have excitedly planned out the details and the rules of this “challenge” that would have us looking absolutely fit and fantastic in our gowns on my wedding day.

But my instincts have changed as I’ve been evolving and learning about myself and the true meaning of health. After entertaining the idea for about half a second my gut caused me to quickly say “Nope, not interested.”

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I felt kind of bad for shooting her down so fast but it was also very freeing to say it. Her suggestion was obviously well-intentioned. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to work hard to look your best for a special event, plus the chance to do something “together” from afar with my sister? Hard to refuse!

But I’ve done a lot of work on myself in the last year or so and I’ve learned to work WITH my nature, not against it. What would happen if I agreed to do this challenge with my sister? I’ll tell you..

I’d stick with our “plan” for maybe 4-5 days and then life would inevitably happen and I would get off track. Then I’d feel bad about myself and wonder what is wrong with me. A challenge that was meant to make me feel good would end up having the exact opposite effect. Then after feeling bad about myself for a few days, I’d recommit (probably on a Monday) only to have the cycle repeat itself.

I KNOW that sounds familiar to so many of you. Guess what? It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It doesn’t even mean you are undisciplined. It probably just means that you are a human and that’s your personality and you have other priorities.That’s okay. Did you hear me? THAT’S OKAY!!!!! Stop beating yourself up for it!!  Just live your life. Listen to your body. Make choices that feel good (physically, mentally, emotionally) and the pieces will fall into place.

This is one of the things I struggled with when I led my monthly challenge groups. When one of my challengers would say they had a celebration to attend and weren’t sure how to stay on track I was torn between saying “Screw it! Go have fun and get back on track later!” or “Honor your commitment to yourself,” What I’ve realized is both responses are correct. Sometimes, it IS worth it to make small sacrifices in one area of your life in order to achieve a goal. Other times, these self imposed “rules” steal the joy out of your life. It’s up to YOU to decide what is right for you. (not your coach, or your trainer, or anyone else)

Think of all the energy and emotions you could put towards something more positive if you weren’t always falling off wagons and pulling yourself back on….I’ve made the personal choice to intentionally JUMP off the wagon and stay off of it.

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I’m absolutely going to work hard to look my best on my wedding day. But I’ve also got a life to live. I’ve got a friend who just got engaged and I need to take her out for drinks to celebrate. I have a townhome full of furniture and “stuff” that needs to be moved next weekend and I’m sure I’ll skip several workouts to get that accomplished. (Moving IS a workout if you ask me) There’s also my full time job, a ton of choreography I need to learn for the classes I teach, my “28-day Self Confidence Tool Kit” to complete for my upcoming test group, and I don’t even have a dress yet for my wedding in 3 months!

My point is, I’m under enough pressure just living my very full life! No need to add the pressure of changing my body to the list. By not committing to a “plan” or a “challenge” and just giving myself the freedom to make the choices that feel right, I give myself the freedom to work on my fitness without a side order of guilt for the days when the other parts of my life take priority. If my wedding date was tomorrow, I’d be fine with that. I’m already fit and fantastic just the way I am. If I happen to get MORE fit before October 28th? Icing on the cake!!

(Love you Joelle, thank you for the post inspiration!)

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Shame is Lame

Okay first of all, I have a new favorite hashtag: #shameislame

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I have been having the BEST time these last few months. Developing my very own self confidence course, (it’s so fun to create!), reading Brené Brown’s books on women and shame (inspiration for this pic), eating and exercising intuitively, and just living my life obligation/guilt/shame free!!!! I’m so on fire with purpose and stuff that actually matters, I just don’t have time to think about calories or steps or plans that are going to change the size or shape of my body. It’s such a waste of life and leads to restricting, obsessing and comparing. It might lead to an “ideal” figure but it sure doesn’t lead to freedom.

It’s easy to change your body, you restrict calories and you workout harder. It takes self discipline which is admirable but it isn’t hard to figure out the steps to take. On the other hand, finding your self worth beyond your physical appearance and building true self confidence isn’t as easy. That’s what the “28 Day Self Confidence Tool Kit” course I’m creating is all about. It contains the steps to take and “tools” to use, at your own pace, to find your path to self confidence. The kind you can’t fake. It involves looking inward, being self aware, having courage, and being a bit rebellious. That’s a LOT more fun than self discipline 😉

It did take “ordinary courage” (Brené Brown’s term) for me to realize that my voice matters and my experiences matter. To know that I’ve got something to say and it can help so many women if I put it out there. To understand I can guide others even though I’m imperfect and a work in progress myself. I didn’t realize I was being brave by creating this course until someone said to me “kudos on putting yourself out there.” Yes I suppose that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve even noticed that since I’ve been shifting my message, my peers in the fitness industry have been shifting theirs too. I’ve been seeing a slightly different “twist” on their posts and I LOVE it. I’m not vain enough to say it’s because of me, but if it IS, I’m damn proud of that. If it’s not, I’m proud of them! It doesn’t matter why, as long as the message is changing. Fitness isn’t about shaming it’s about loving our bodies. On top of that, health isn’t all about fitness. It’s so much more expansive than that.

I challenge you to say BYE to perfect and HELLO to courage! Choose to be content and confident now. Today. Stop putting it on hold. Everyone already knows you aren’t perfect so take the pressure off and stop trying to be. Be your dang self, no shame allowed!! THAT takes courage. #shameislame

 

In This Skin

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Waking up in Ely at my fiancé’s family’s cabin, I’m remembering that it was 3 years ago on 4th of July weekend that I came with to the cabin for the first time. I was your typical girl during the first several weeks of a new relationship. You know, going shopping for the perfect “I’m not even trying” outfits, putting on make up immediately after waking up, making sure your hair is just right, etc.

Ha! How much has changed! Now we practically compete when we come to the cabin about who can wait the longest before changing clothes or showering (okay we’re not that gross, but sorta we are!) I do NOT care about make up or how my hair looks and I certainly didn’t go shopping for this weekend.

That early dating stuff is cute. I’m making fun of myself but there’s nothing wrong with it. However I’m glad that stage fades because it’s too much work! (much like striving for perfection in the rest of your life is exhausting and overwhelming) It sure is wonderful how over the course of a relationship you settle in and become comfortable just being “you”. We should all want that for our lives in general, to be able to settle confidently into our true selves without all of the people pleasing, pretending, shame, or judgement. Just pure freedom to be as you are.

In the same way our relationship has changed over the last 3 years, I’ve changed as a woman. I’ve been on a huge journey of becoming comfortable in my own skin, letting go of the this myth of “perfection”, and just being totally 100% Steph. Take it or leave it. (I’ve always kind of been that way but now it’s more intentional) So many are looking for fitness and weight loss to make them confident in their skin. I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself into loving yourself. Those types of goals are secondary to the real work that needs to happen on the inside first. Once you love yourself, you can better yourself.

I’ve done this through lots of journaling and blogging, reading many books, and applying lots of real life practical strategies to my every day life. Basically I’ve gotten to know myself really well, learned to accept myself flaws and all, then LOVE myself as God loves me, and finally just BE myself. It’s a journey. It’s not like I’m “done” I’ve just gone far enough down the road that I’m ready to take others with me on this beautiful journey!!

This is what I’m going to be focusing on now. It’s where I can help so many others by guiding, supporting, and encouraging them through the process of self discovery, self acceptance, self love, and finally self confidence. I have 10 women in the test group for my ’28-Day Self Confidence Tool Kit’ course starting on August 1st and then I’ll go from there!! Stay tuned!!!

No More Playing Small

“It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us!”

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I am done playing small. I’m stepping into my light. You see, I’m really good at being open and vulnerable when it comes to my shortcomings and my flaws. I think it’s important to be “real” and authentic. I  sincerely hope that by my doing so, I help others see that they don’t have to be perfect either. It’s OKAY to stop “shoulding” all over yourself and just be beautifully imperfect you.

 

 

But can this also be a defense mechanism? When we call out our own imperfections before others can point them out? “Yep I’ve already acknowledged that so now you can’t say anything about it”. I don’t know, it might be. Something to ponder.

 

 

What I do know is that I’m deciding to stop focusing on my “darkness” and I’m ready to step into my light. I’m ready to say, “HEY I have a message to share with others and it’s valuable. I have unique insights and perspectives on stuff that matters, like body image and self confidence and leadership (you don’t need a title to be a leader). I’ve been through the trenches, I’ve done the hard work to grow into who I am. I’m wiser than my years because of my experiences. I’ve been smaller than I am now and I’ve been bigger than I am now. I’ve been in better shape than I am now and I’ve been in worse shape than I am now. But I’ve never been more confident than I am today. You see, none of that matters because it’s not even connected and I can help YOU get there too. It’s a process and it’s personal and I’d love nothing more than to coach you through your own journey.”

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This is my mindset as I spend today working on my “28 Days to Self Confidence Tool Kit” which I am launching on August 1st with my test group of 10 women. Women who have reached out to me saying they NEED this in their lives. They need to believe in themselves, to know their worth is so much deeper than a number on the scale or an image of perfect abs. They are ready to feel free and hold their heads high and I know I can help them get there. Yes, little old me. That is my light and I’m not going to hide it (or be scared of it) anymore.

The world is waiting for you to shine from the inside out, share your authentic gifts with others, and do work that nourishes your heart and soul!

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“Howe to” be Healthier and Happier by Journaling

From June 2014-June 2015 I wrote 13 blog posts.

From June 2015-June 2016 I wrote 45 blog posts.

Based on those numbers, it’s no coincidence that I’ve experienced so much personal growth and self discovery in the past year. I can credit so much of that to my blogging/journaling on a regular basis. My blog is like a slightly more polished journal that I just happen to post on my website for the public. By sharing the insights gained from my own personal experiences I hope to help, encourage, or inspire others.

Here are 4 reasons why journaling can help you live a healthier life. Remember, when I talk about “health” I’m talking mental, emotional, and physical.

1. It Slows You Down.

Take a deep breath. Notice how you inhale, followed a pause, then you exhale, followed my ANOTHER PAUSE. Journaling is like that final pause. It forces you to stop and actually process your feelings and your experiences. In the busyness of our day and age, this pause is invaluable.

I actually don’t like to journal with pen and paper. I enjoy typing. Probably because it’s faster! (There’s that “go go go!” world we live in) Don’t judge the mode in which you journal. Just do what you prefer. I carry around cute notebooks to jot down notes, ideas, and inspiration. This is what I refer to when I’m ready to write a journal entry/blog post. Carry something around with you to write things down in!! Anything you want to come back to later and give more thought to.

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2. It Helps Us Make Connections.

When we take the time to self reflect, we are able to make connections. Like when I made the connection that I loved going on runs because it gave me the freedom to just step out the door without a plan and see where my body takes me, something that balanced out the constant planning and scheduling of my daily work life. I didn’t link the two together until I took the time to reflect on what it was about running that was making me feel balanced and happy.

Making these connections gives us a better understanding of ourselves which helps to reinforce positive behaviors. In the “28-Day Self Confidence Tool Kit” course that I’m developing, week one is all about getting to know yourself. Journaling is a huge part of this process as it helps you to explore observations you make about yourself and your experiences and then figure out what’s going on under the surface. For example “why do I always react that way in this sort of situation?” Or “why don’t I like that person?” Or “why am I feeling this way?” etc.

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3. It’s a Form of Self Expression.

Self expression has many benefits such as improved mood, lower levels of stress and depressive symptoms, lower blood pressure, improved lung and liver function, and decreased emotional reactivity.

This decreased reactivity is the biggest change I’ve noticed in myself. It’s also an area I thought I’d never be able to get control of seeing as I’m highly sensitive and emotional. But you see, by journaling you work through your most raw emotions and go into the world better prepared to handle what comes your way. I’m literally amazed these days at how NON reactive I am to news or situations that would absolutely have sent me into a stressed out tailspin in the past. I’m not saying I’m perfect, I still slip up but these reactive moments are becoming fewer and farther between.

Think of all the negative behaviors humans engage in to release stress such as over eating, over drinking, and zoning out in front a the TV. I’ve found journaling to be just as effective of a stress release as exercise!! Instead of “numbing” yourself, you can use journaling to grow and improve yourself while relieving stress. This is huge.

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4. It Can’t Be Undone.

Think about all the productive or healthy behaviors you do in a day. Working out, sleeping, dishes, picking up toys, walking the dog, etc. You do them but you must repeat them daily. They don’t last.

But with journaling…each time you do it you have made permanent and positive change. To your mindset, to your understanding of your experiences, to your knowledge of yourself. It feels good knowing that this progress can’t be undone when the sun sets and rises on a new day. You can continue to build on it.

I would encourage you to start a journal and see how it changes your life for the better!! Heck, start a blog and make your journaling public!! I’d read it!!! Either way, take the time for this wonderful act of self care and self discovery. It’s one of the first steps in learning to accept and love yourself which will build your self esteem.

You’re worth it.

My Intuitive Exercise Experiment

For the last several weeks, I’ve been performing a bit of an experiment. When it comes to exercise, I’ve been giving myself permission to do exactly what I want, when I want. I’m not on a program and I’m not following any “rules”. We’ve all heard of intuitive eating but I don’t hear much about intuitive exercising. I do hear and see a lot along the “no excuses” line of thinking.

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Okay, I guess I don’t want it bad enough then. What is “it” anyways? I really don’t know. All I know is, I’ve been feeling free and happy as a result of exercising intuitively. So if I’m already feeling that way, what do I want “it” for?!

I spent nearly a decade of my life teaching my body to be a robot that simply turned “on” when it was time to teach a class. For years, I basically taught a class every 12 hours and usually more than one in a row. On weekends or vacations, I would avoid exercise because I thought of it as my job.  So I basically taught myself not to notice how my body actually felt and “just do it”. Nike would have been proud.

Even though it hasn’t been that way for a couple years, I guess I’m only now making the decision to completely separate myself from that mindset. It’s almost like a rebellion. Over the last several months I’ve cut way back on how often I teach and how often I exercise in general, but I still felt guilt over it. Like I wasn’t being disciplined enough and that if I’m not sore every day then I’m not working hard enough. I still felt the need to somehow justify a day with no workout by planning how I’d make up for it the next day.

Let’s jump from exercise to eating really quick. If one of my clients told me that she ate a brownie or a whole pizza for that matter, would I tell her that she needed to make up for that by skipping her next meal? Of course not. That’s disordered eating. It’s the same with exercise.

If you’re tired, take it easy. Go for a walk, do some yoga. If you’re exhausted, take a nap! If you’re feeling energetic and amazing, take on a challenging workout because it does feel great to push yourself sometimes. If you’re somewhere in between…do something in between! If you don’t want to work out today…don’t! (Omg Steph has gone off the deep end, what kind of advice is that?!) Sorry not sorry.

Exercise isn’t a SHOULD. It’s a CAN. It’s a gift we give our bodies and our minds. It’s not a chore we drag ourselves through. Trust yourself enough to know what your body does and doesn’t need on any given day. Trust yourself enough to know the difference between just being lazy and being genuinely tired and in need of rest.

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I’ve found out that I can sometimes get the same rush from writing a blog post as I do from a great workout, so I’ll ask myself “what kind of release am I needing right now? A physical one or mental and emotional?” Sometimes I go on a run which leads to a blog post, that’s a double whammy! Exercise is a great way to relieve stress but sometimes I actually want to self express more than I want to work up a sweat.

I’ve learned that I truly enjoy easing into my mornings. For years I felt like I “should” get up at 5am and workout if I want to be a successful person and oh I tried!! I went through spurts but I’d always fall off the bandwagon (and then feel like a failure). But these days, I’m waking up around 7:00am and walking my dogs, listening to a podcast with a positive message while I get ready, and having my breakfast and coffee before I tackle the day. I love my new morning routine now that I’ve finally allowed myself to enjoy it. I know it won’t be able to stay this way forever,,,

I’ve accepted that I can’t do everything I want to do! I enjoy many forms of exercise but they are going to have to take turns. Right now a lot of running and yoga feels amazing, along with my weekly BODYCOMBAT class which I look forward to. I’m not feeling guilty about my absence from the weight room, I’ll get back there when I get back there. I’ll go to a BODYPUMP class here and there because that jives well with the running I’m doing right now. When the mood strikes, I’ll do a HIIT workout. If I get sick of something, I’ll stop doing it. When I start missing something I’ll incorporate it again.

My body was probably smaller and fitter when I was an exercise robot but I’ll happily take my body today along with my mind that is free of compulsion, guilt, and anxiety around exercise. Truly, I’m healthier now.

This is what it means to work WITH your nature, not against it. I eat intuitively. I enjoy healthy foods, both how they taste and how they make me feel, but I’m not scared to chow down on pizza when I want to. I work intuitively. I’ve always been one to work in bursts when my energy and creativity is flowing and have never fit into the 8-5 mold. Freedom and flexibility are big fat deals to me. So why did I think I needed to be rigid when it came to exercise? No more.

Know yourself, trust yourself, be yourself.

told you so

The Winds of Change…

A couple weeks ago I eluded to the fact that I had a new vision for my “purpose” as a health and fitness professional. Today I want to expand on that a little further…

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I began my career as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. My passion for group fitness grew to the point where I owned and operated my own studio for a couple years. This time of my life also fed my entrepreneurial spirit. I love to create things that are all my own and help people by sharing it. My personality caused me to naturally gravitate towards leadership roles which is something I also enjoy as it requires me to constantly grow in a million different ways.

But I’ve always felt a little bit out of place in the fitness industry. Like somehow I wasn’t rigid enough in my approach.  I didn’t have the right look, or attitude, or even DESIRE to fit in with all of the six packs and super lean bodies. But I still highly value being fit, strong, and healthy. So much so that I’ve dedicated my life to helping others be all those things. Only as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to place as high of a value if not higher, on being mentally and emotionally “fit”. It’s all so connected. I can no longer focus solely on the smaller picture of working out and eating right while ignoring everything else that makes up our lives. It’s not a whole enough approach for me anymore.

There’s been a natural progression over the last year or so. I’ve dug into personal growth and I now like to call myself a “recovering people pleaser”. I’ve stopped letting stress rule my life. I’ve learned the true meaning of yoga, that it’s so much more of a mindset than physical activity. I’ve been running monthly challenge groups and have helped dozens of women find their “mojo” again and feel confident in their skin.

Along with all of that, I’ve been feeling the need to distance myself from a lot of the images and messages I see coming from the fitness industry. I think it’s all taken a very bad turn that either breeds vanity or self hatred, depending on which end of it you’re on and neither seems very healthy to me. I can hardly stand it anymore. I don’t know if it’s because all of that has gotten “louder” or because I’ve become more aware of it. It’s likely a combination of both.

When it comes to workouts and recipes and fitness tips, I think a lot of other people have that covered. (and thankfully they do – so many great resources!) I want to add value in a place that could use more voices…because let’s face it, I have a loud voice. This place feels more authentic to the way I’ve really always been but haven’t always understood.

I’ve decided to follow my heart and go in a new direction that just feels so “me” it can’t be wrong. Instead of being black or white, I want to help people find their most beautiful shade of gray and own it. I want to use my platform to share a message that is about self care, body positivity, personal growth, and confidence in one’s own skin. I want to help take some of the pressure off because perfectionism is the thief of wholeness and happiness. I want to promote healthy living with a focus on the LIVING.

So now you know my new purpose but what does this mean? Well it means I am working on “rebranding” over the next several months. I want to do it now now now but I have to remind myself that along with my full time job (which by the way, I love) I’m also getting married this fall so I have to reign in my ambition a tiny bit. Slowly but surely, I will be working on a new website, a new name (I’ve already picked it out but I’m not sharing everything just yet!) and all that goes along with that (social media pages etc) BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY I’m going to be working on obtaining the credentials of a Certified Professional Coach. I believe in being fully bonafide and qualified on top of personal experience. Once that’s done, I hope to help as many people as possible live their best lives with confidence through personal coaching! I can’t wait!!!

Much more to come…

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Where Does Confidence Come From?

Where does confidence come from? Not the “fake it till you make it” kind or the arrogant kind, but real true confidence?

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That’s what I’m thinking about as I’m traveling home today from a family wedding in St. Louis, Missouri.

You see, my relatives are spread out across the country so weddings are the closest we get to family reunions. Even so, I’ve skipped out on these celebrations over the last few years. Yes, I had good reasons for not being able to take the time off work and make the trips. But if I’m being honest, I was avoiding family weddings because I didn’t want to feel judged for getting divorced.

I didn’t want to be uncomfortable and feel like the “bad” cousin. I assumed people would look at me and think things like “She has no business being here, she clearly has no respect for marriage.” Even though I know that’s not true about myself, I didn’t want to face opinions of me and my choices.

So why did I decide to make the trip to this wedding? Maybe it’s because I’m happily engaged and officially starting a new chapter of my life. But I’m not sure that has anything to do with it. Ring on my finger or not, I went because I’ve worked through those feelings of insecurity and I’ve stopped worrying what others could be thinking. I’ve learned to be confident in myself, flaws and all.

It felt good to be there to see my cousin marry the love of her life. Chatting with relatives that I hadn’t seen in years and adoring the toddlers running around that had only existed on my Facebook news feed until now. It was a wonderful summer evening at a unique venue; a hangar for World War II planes. To think I would have missed those memories all because of unneeded shame and embarrassment.

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Own your story. All of it. You don’t need to hide from or avoid the parts of your past that you aren’t proud of.  Show up in your life (and at family weddings) without expectations of praise, pity, or judgement from those around you. The less you judge yourself, the less you’ll judge and feel judged by others.

Finally, for me, my one true source of confidence is in my Savior. Because of Him, I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. If God, the only one who has any right to judge, has forgiven me for my mishaps then that’s all I need to know. Even on my worst days, even after my biggest mistakes, I’m enough. That is my confidence.

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