Since starting “All Kinds of Me” I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing and inspirational men and women, who I have turned to for advice, guidance and motivation.
During this time I have heard some of the most amazing stories in how others have broken through their mental barriers of self-doubt, conquered their fears, built their confidence and created a life that is fulfilling and meaningful.
These stories have been so motivating and inspiring for me, that for 2017 I would like to share these with you by introducing our new monthly segment – Breakthrough Besties.
For January’s Breakthrough Bestie, I have the privilege of featuring the absolutely gorgeous Mona. Residing in Sacremento CA , she runs the fashion and lifestyle blog The Smiling Sweetheart . She has kindly shared her story with us on breaking through her own self-doubt, and building a life of confidence and purpose through helping others.
I believe that a lot of people don’t know what it takes to put yourself out there. Or, rather, they don’t exactly know what it takes to put yourself out there in certain areas. Whether that’s a social circle, relationship building, the world of business, or even a fitness group. Throw out the thought of it being something in your personality, “I’m just a really shy person”. You could be the most extroverted person and putting yourself out there can still be a struggle. And, boy was it for me. There have been many experiences in my 22 years of living where I have had to kick my negative thoughts to the curb and get stuff done. But, that doesn’t happen by just saying “oh I’m going to forget about everything negative and pessimistic in my head and just go for it.” Yes, this might help. But, it doesn’t always do it for me.
To give my beliefs some context, I thought I’d share a crucial moment for myself. I recently graduated from college back in June of 2016. For the year leading up to it, I had been having a conversation in my mind about wanting to start a blog. But, the conversation always ended in “Ok, but there’s already so many bloggers”, “Why should you even bother?”, “People aren’t even going to like your style”, “You’re not even pretty like the other bloggers out there”. Yeah… pretty negative, huh? So, how is it that it is January 2017 and I now have a blog that I absolutely love? I had a breakthrough moment. Or, a series of moments leading up that got me out of that negative head space. After graduating, I asked myself “Mona, what kind of life do you want to live? What kind of day do you want to have when you wake up every morning” My answer: I want to live a life that allows me to bring my passions, whatever they may be and however they may change, to life every day. But, even more, I want that passion to result in making someone smile, feel good about themselves, and be their best self.
It’s one thing to have these goals or dreams, but it’s another thing to actually take action and make them a reality. The truth is I’m still working on making mine a reality, but I had a point where I set the goal in motion. When I first sent it out into the universe. My dad shared advice with me that I always have stuck in my head: “Get yourself out of the equation”. Your fears, your apprehensions, your uncertainty – get it out of your head. Once you put your dream out into the world. It’s no longer just yours. It’s been put out into the world to change people’s lives for the better. In my instance, when I decided I wanted to blog about helping women accessorize their best selves both internally and externally, it wasn’t about me anymore. I took myself out of the equation and focused on the women I was hopefully going to help. I started thinking: “In what ways can I inspire? In what ways can I make an impact, no matter how small or large? How can I make a woman feel good about herself?”
I think we learn most about ourselves when we put our guards down and show some vulnerability. My breakthrough point helped me learn that I spent too much time in my own head, especially when overcoming a challenge. Taking ourselves out of the equation helps us realize that if our dreams are really big enough, they benefit more than just us. They benefit people around us. Let go of the negative thoughts in your head and tell yourself that your dreams are important for not only you, but everyone around you. If your dream can make a positive impact on at least one person’s life, it’s no longer about you. Allow your vulnerability to be your force of inspiration and GO! Because, there are people waiting for you.
If you’d like to follow Mona’s fashion and lifestyle journey you can find her at www.thesmilingsweetheart.com or on her social channels Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram (which are all totally smokin’ btw and teeming with advice and tips!)