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YOU’re Perfect Just the way You Are: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem

        “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. “

Genesis 1:31

According to reports from DoSomething.com over 75% of females between age 15-17  battle with low self-esteem of some form. Other reports concur that increasingly disparaging results have surfaced as a result of  growing social media trends.

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One of the greatest weapons we possess is coming into the awareness of who we are! Mohadesa Najumi suggests

“The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.”

For it is in this self-awareness that we are able to walk in purpose, build healthy relationships, and reach our full potential….

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Despite my current knowledge of the significance of self-esteem, my earlier years were plagued with consistent identity battles. I was regularly presented with challenging this idea, as I had another person identical to me that I was often compared to.

The saying “Comparison is the thief of joy” is nothing short of the truth. Having a twin sister was rather difficult to navigate at a young age. While it was a major blessing on one hand, on the other, while unaware of my individual value, it became that of a curse. Daily I was surrounded with opinions of who was better looking, the better singer, most funny, most intelligent, and the list goes on.

It didn’t help that I was also the shy twin. I recall relying heavily on my sisters voice…So much so that I barely knew what my own sounded like. You would literally see the 2 of us, but you’d only hear one.

Funny thing is, I remember having a boyfriend (you know how that puppy love goes lol) in elementary school who I just adored.. I thought he was so cute.. But, I wouldn’t say anything to him. lol I was so shy….Thankfully I had my Martha to do all the talking for me…lol It was so sad..

 

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It wasn’t until my sister got married that I was thrust out there to truly discover who Mary truly was..  Man that was  such a scary time for me….Years Prior, Martha and I had such great plans for our future together… It was always our plan to get married on the same day, have our kids on the same day…. And get this…We even said we’d live on the same estate togetherlol.. We constructed this blueprint that I drew, which consisted of two large homes connected together by an archway..My house on one side, and Martha’s on the other… That would’ve been so great!

Yeah, Martha’s husband shut that down really quick. lol

Overtime, I began to truly see value in just Me…I began to learn that my life mattered apart from Martha. Eventually this new found self-awareness became medicine to me. I didn’t mind going places alone, singing by myself, or even speaking. No longer did I need Martha to be my mouth piece or my source of comfort.  I could finally stand on my own two feet… Seemed that daily God began revealing to me who I was.. He began peeling off the layers of insecurities that I had accumulated over the years..I learned that God created ME special and that he placed gifts in ME that had nothing to do with my sister …. Over time I became less  prone to shy away from what scared me, but rather run toward those things…Doing it afraid..20161125_141915

Path to Increased Self-Worth

William Shakespeare coined the phrase “Above all else, to thine own self be true.”  Of course this statement can be interpreted in many ways.. However, I like to think of it as a means to an end; a declaration to choose You above anything else… To become aware of who YOU are,  love who YOU truly are, and ultimately understanding that You are Perfect just the way you are, as Bruno Mars would sing (:

This means developing a self defined opinion based solely on what’s real; Not fictious points of view that we gather primarily from the opinions of others.. We must gain this self-awareness from within and our Creator.

There are 3 Key take aways that are necessary to implement in order to develop true self-identity.

1. Change your Thinking

     “For As a man thinks, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

****Seek to discover what the creator says about you.

The manufacturer of any product creates a design, a blue print, essentially a plan…. He/she establishes how it will look, how it will function,and even what its purpose will serve. With that in mind, just as we as the consumer seek understanding about a product prior to purchase, we must also seek that same awareness about ourselves as uniquely designed individuals…

To fully live productive lives we must seek the purpose we serve, the functions we are meant to perform, and the people that are connected to that design… This all comes from our manufacturer, the creator…

So what does your creator say about you?? What better place to find the answer than the word of God?

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In addition to these, below are a few that have blessed me over the years:

  Ephesians 2:10 says

        For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

1 Peter 2:9 

But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

  Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

     1 Corinthians 6:19

     Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

  2. Change your Language: Speak Positively| Begin to speak over yourself.

The power of Life and death lies in your tongue  Proverbs 18:21

     Reflecting back over my journey of overcoming low self-esteem I recall numerous days that I forced myself to speak the opposite of what I saw or thought. Instead of allowing my ears to hear the negative things I thought, I began to speak what I wanted to see… What I wanted to believe… I began looking in the mirror that I often shied away from, declaring “I am beautiful, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am special, and today I choose to be happy!”Instead of allowing myself to fall victim to the negativity that I too often allowed to penetrate my thoughts, I decided to take control. And You must do the same!

Choose to speak what God says about you. Just because you think a certain way about yourself, doesn’t mean it is true. If what you think is contrary to what your creator (God) thinks, it is not reality. Base your reality on God’s reality…This will change your whole life!

3. Detox

 Cleanse yourself from all the things and People that are not good for you…When detoxing, naturally, most people start by first listening to their body….Listening to how it responds to what it has been consuming…What it may be lacking, or even possibly getting too much of. Then they begin finding ways to compensate or purge in those areas.

In this regard, when building self worth a detox requires similar steps. You must first listen to your body.

What is your heart, mind, and spirit telling you? It is important to do a self analysis… 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are you intaking into your spirit? How do you feel after?
  • How do you feel when you are around certain people?
  • How do you feel when you are doing certain things?
  • After doing or being around the people you generally surround yourself with, are you left feeling empty? Less than? Or inadequate?
  • Do the people you surround yourself with empower you or bring you down?
  • Overall, are the relationships you have healthy or detrimental to your health?

After this analysis, begin to cleanse yourself of anyone and anything that does not mean you good. After this detox you will find that you feel so much better! You will see a major change in your thinking, language, and your overall health.

In summary, remember no one knows you better than YOU. But, sometimes you must really do some self discovery to find out who you really are. This awareness only comes from God. Knowing who you are is one of the most powerful weapons you can have! Take the necessary steps to ensure that you are living the most fulfilling life possible! It starts with YOU!

Know that You are perfect  just the way you are!

OOTD: Casual days….

Although I could wear suits and midi skirts everyday, dress down days are necessary… My twin sister often says “Mary you do too much!”lol

Like, what does that even mean? And what is ever too much? lol

In hindsight I guess what she was trying to imply is that its necessary to kick off my heels, put on some flats and relax… So today that’s the kind of look I went for.

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I found this really cool reversible bomber jacket on sale a few months ago for only $19.. Yep $19..  Two for one?? At a really affordable price?  Whaat??  Can’t beat that!!!

The opposite side is black, which is the color I was initially intrigued by. However, when I noticed the other fun and edgy side, I knew for sure it had to come home with me (:

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My Jord wood watch adds even more contrast to this already eclectic look.

Along with accessorizing with my Jord, you can never go wrong with a choker and layered necklaces.

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To rest my feet I went for slip on sneakers. They are so comfy! Believe it or not, my feet are often in pain. I can only last probably a good hour in heels although they are generally my first choice… I guess all those collegiate years of wearing heels to class everyday is finally catching up with me.. lol

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So ladies feel free to shelf those heels every now and then, and choose comfort. Your feet will thank you! Trust me I know (:

Hope that you all enjoyed this look! Look forward to more OOTD blogs (:

Outfit deets:

Bomber Jacket: Target| Dress: HM| Watch: Jord| Necklaces: Forever 21| Slip on Sneakers: Old Navy

 

Suit Me in Plaid..

I have really gotten into suits as of lately.. I am so drawn to them; particulary plaid suits!! I can literally spend hours on Pinterest and Polyvore searching for them in all different colors.

There’s something so stylish about  plaid in general.  But, take that print and place it on a suit, and you’ve got yourself a look that’s sure to turn heads!

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Whether on a male or female, I am a fan!

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Men aren’t the only ones that can rock a tailored plaid suit and look oh so fabulous… Women can too! We can take that same look, put our own touch on it, and be ready to close any deal!

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Just give us a hand bag, a pair of heels, and the rest is history…

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I own quite a few suits. But this one happens to be my favorite!!

I had it custom made after seeing the below image on Pinterest of a pretty stylish, and might I add, fierce women wearing this particular plaid suit… I just loved the detailing and sass the suit carried..I couldn’t take my eyes off it! I just had to have it! plaid-suit

After spending countless hours searching for it online and taking a few visits to various stores, to my surprise, it wasn’t anywhere to be found.

I was so disappointed to say the least…Turns out it was a limited edition by Express.

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Well, that’s when my new motto evolved…. “If you can’t find it, make it!”

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I went with Tartan green and blue! There’s something so intriguing about the look..It screams business savvy, while reflecting style and attitude.20161125_125625

I paired it with a Caramel  Clutch, Gray Nora heels, and my wood watch by Jord for added flare.

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I could literally wear it everyday if I could.. Even outside of the work setting, it has this

” Boss vibe” I just love!

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Can’t wait to style it different ways this winter. It’s surely a staple in my closet (:

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Suit: Similar style J.Crew | Clutch: thrifted | Heels: Nine West | Watch: Jord

I Quit My Job

Quitting is not something I take pride in….For it is my nature to finish what ever I start. However, when is comes to teaching, after 10 years this decision was necessary.

So let’s start from the beginning, shall we….At the 5 year mark in my teaching career I felt that it was time for a change..There was a consistent tug toward something new. But fear had often been my gatekeeper. It consistently stood in the doorway of my success, blocking any opportunities for me to get ahead as I passively allowed it…

Fear has been very paralyzing for me throughout much of my journey. But, this year I determined in my mind I had enough. No longer would I allow it to taunt me, and deny me of reaching my full potential….. or merely exploring other possibilities.

For it led me to believe that I couldn’t do anything else, strive for anything greater, or even believe God at the level of his capability. There’s such power in fear that it has the ability to rule your thoughts, filter your actions, therefore ruling your world.

Over the years I convinced myself that I could just make it work….That if I just gave my best effort, things would get better.. But, they never did…

After 7 years in the teaching field, God uprooted me to good ole Texas, where I would start my first year teaching in Houston public schools. I got hired at a job fair in North Carolina, which was all God, but I’ll save that story for another time. My first year in Texas was challenging, but God was faithful. For the first time in my career I got “Teacher of the Year,” which was so unexpected..

But, it seems that after my first year things took a turn for the worse. Nothing but stress built up and a bitterness toward the profession began to develop.. I recall on several occasions driving in to work, to only sit in my car dreading what was ahead. I knew my day would just be filled with more disciplinary accounts, than all the ah hah teachable moments I had spent hours planning for. Teaching was no longer fun.. It had become this paced system of how to teach “Johnny” how to stay in his seat, and not tear the class materials off of the stands.. The redundancy of having to frequently correct student behavior with very limited support eventually led me to a place of self- evaluation.

I wanted to figure out how I could fix it. How I could become better so that in turn my students would be better. I tried to find new and innovative ways to help and support my students. I tried to become whatever they needed, in an effort to promote growth. But, it was still to no end. It only caused more stress and I was left feeling depleted.

But then comes fall retreat with my church.. Funny thing is, I’ve been told a time or two, that church retreats have the ability to impact change in such a way that you come one way, but leave different. Well this time the difference was made in me.

I recall one of the leaders sharing the notion of setting an expectation for this retreat…and to set them high; To place them at the forefront of our minds and allow God to do the work needed.

After she said that it was like something came alive in me. I began to pray for clarity on my job situation and whether I should continue on in the field of teaching or allow God to lead me down another path.

As faithful as God is, he spoke loud and clear. Throughout retreat were echoes of “Faith” embedded in all of the messages we heard. The first message was titled “Step Out!” The next, “Do I trust God? vs Will I trust him?” Lastly, to close out the last day of retreat were 5 speakers who all blessed me. But, the first one was the most significant. She spoke all about fear and how we must overcome it. The scripture text that coincided with this message was Deuteronomy 31:8

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

With that in mind, I knew what I had to do…I will forever write that scripture on the journal of my heart. I am taking God at his word! He won’t fail.

Can’t wait to see what’s next! #excitedaboutthejourney

Blessings!!