Ah, the elusive confidence

You can create your own confidence. It does not have to scary or elusive. You have the tools, you are your best you and you can have the faith in yourself!

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Confidence, what is it? Where does it come from? Who is to say whether I really have it, or I don’t really have it? It is an internal concept that people can see from the outside. Or they think they can. I had a conversation with a friend today and it made me think about confidence. I want to share these thoughts so they may help you.

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I was bullied throughout school. In elementary school it was because I was more physically mature than the other girls my age. In middle school, I am not sure why, but this girl decided she did not like me and she did everything she could to be cruel, including trying to have me jumped. She went to my high school as well and I feel like she was constantly trying to show she could do whatever I could. So, in middle school, I decided if people weren’t going to like me for no reason, I was going to give them many reasons to not like me. In high school, I began umpiring and I spent my money (pretty good money too) on clothes. I wore new stuff all the time. I drove, I snuck off campus for lunch, and I did my best at the sports I played. I was in ASB and I was an IB student. I tried to look like I had it all together and not a care in the world. I wanted to appear “Confident as F**k” (as the saying goes), so they might back off. I thought if they didn’t have the satisfaction of seeing me upset they would just go away. Obviously, that is never the case. Bullies are bullies because they dislike themselves, not you. But I didn’t know that.

Through doing all of this, I actually pushed nice people away and ended up with almost no friends and a really rough high school experience. And I ended up with a shopping addiction to cope with all that junk in my mind that I masked with this “super confident” facade. This was so bad that I couldn’t even tell people I would be going to a community college after high school. I was too ashamed that I couldn’t get into a 4-year university, (due to a bad counsellor and a lack of fine-arts units), and even worse, that I might not be ready for a four-year university.

So, last night I had an in-home jewelry party. While I was setting up, I kept telling myself that I need to social, I can’t be shy, I need to talk and mingle, I can’t be shy about my jewelry, the brand, why I love it, second guess the pricing, etc. My friend said he didn’t understand my lack of confidence because time and time again I have proven that I thrive in these social environments, that I am capable of selling in a conversational form and that I know my product, the brand and the reason why it is worth it. And he is right, the party was a tremendous success and the ladies were super excited to place orders. Once I started socializing, the rest just happened naturally. And I knew this would be the case, so why was I nervous? Did I really lack the confidence?

Confidence is defined as “the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.” By this definition, I suppose I wasn’t truly confident in the possible outcome of the party. I knew there were many different factors at play and that many different outcomes were possible. All I could do is be me, be knowledgeable and be friendly! But I did not feel truly certain. I think there are many things that we face on a daily basis that we are not truly confident about. We can have complete faith in ourselves, but lack it in others and that will affect our confidence in a situation depending on others.

In high school, I seemed like I had this confidence in myself, but I was constantly doubting myself because I was bullied. It is really hard to believe you are beautiful and awesome and smart and successful when people are telling you that you aren’t. But, ultimately, that confidence does have to come from inside of you. If I had portrayed an uncertain persona yesterday, been shy and not knowledgeable and helpful, I doubt the evening would have been a success. It was a success because I was these things. I started the night faking it but it quickly became the truth as the others believed that I was confident. And I was quickly able to truly feel that confidence as well.

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I encourage you to think about things you know about yourself to be true. What about you gives you faith in yourself? That is your source of confidence. It doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with things that lead you to feel confident either. I wore a necklace yesterday that I got a couple of compliments on before the party while I was going through my day. That helped me feel great. A great blouse, feeling 5lbs. lighter, a great hair day, or a new pair of power pumps can help us feel great about ourselves. When we feel great about ourselves, we walk straighter, we smile more, and people believe we are confident. In turn, we feel confident. This feeling isn’t built overnight, but it is inspired daily. So, what do you feel confident about? What faith do you have in yourself? Channel that, wear your favorite dress, and go kick some butt!

 

PSA – Blue Whale Game

I have been quite on my blog for awhile, I know. I have been trying to make sense of something I have read about online. Through research and soul searching, I think I have come to some conclusions and so, I want to talk about suicide in youth and the Blue Whale Game in this post.

If you haven’t yet heard about Blue Whale, it is a game started in Russia that takes kids through 50 days of escalating tasks leading to them committing suicide. The players are found through social media sites and are encouraged to join specific chat rooms where they post pictures of their tasks as proof and are encouraged to continue by other chat room members.  Pictures are often captioned with “I am a Whale” and other phrases relating to the Whale game. Why the game is called Blue Whale is not clear, some believe it may be alluding to the way whales beach themselves in order to die, or to attach to the negative phrasing of calling yourself a whale.

Just this week, one of the curators of the game was convicted on two counts of attempting to coerce two teens into suicide. Although he was originally arrested for 15 counts. It is possible that the reason why these curators are hard to find and capture is because they are utilizing the dark web to move between social media and redtube sites where they can have the victims upload their videos in ananominity. I don’t fully understand the way this works, but from my research, the darkweb allows you to hide your IP addresses, locations and identity. Unfortunately, the justice systems across the globe generally need some sort of proof/evidence, if you cannot prove its their IP or identity, how can you prove it was them? This means that these curators are still out there drawing teens in with their sick game.

Suicide is a very serious issue. Unfortunately, in order to decide that something is an issue, something drastic must happen. A couple deaths across the United States hasn’t yet been deemed drastic. It isn’t an emergency yet and there are still many who do not know about this issue. But I want to make sure that people do know about this. The game is ingenious in its design. The tasks serve direct and indirect purposes. A common task is to have the victim wake up early, about 4:20am for several mornings or to stay up all night watching horror movies. These type of tasks may seem better and easier for the victim than the tasks that require them to cut themselves, scratch their arms until they bleed and other self-mutilating tasks, but the purpose of the tasks is to make the victim tired, leaving them mentally unable to process the following information and make them feel alone, exhausted, strung-out and more vulnerable.

The tasks are both self-mutilating and serve to make the victim feel alone by telling them to tell their best friend that they hate them, asking them to ostracize themselves from their social groups. This makes the victim again, more vulnerable and prone to the kind of mindset that leads to the final task, suicide. The victims feel as if they cannot stop because they are told the curator knows who they are, where they live, and will hurt them and their family if they try and leave the game. It is a real game causing real deaths and it needs to be known, it needs to be stopped.

So, please, if you have children, know somebody with children, or just care about the people of this world, share this please. Suicide is the number two cause of death among teens. We do not need these kinds of sick games pulling these kids into feeling like suicide is their only option.

Please take a look at this sources:

Blue Whale Challenge: List of All 50 Tasks [UPDATED]

https://www.rt.com/news/396846-blue-whale-teenager-suicide-jailed/

 

Launching Your Own Business: An Interview with Breanna Reish

I had the opportunity to interview Breanna Reish who has stepped out and launched her own business to remain true to herself within her field. She shares some awesome advice on planning and self-esteem when launching your own thing.

Self-esteem is a huge factor in all aspects of our life, especially when we decide to launch our own businesses. Whether we are opting for a direct-marketing platform where the corporate side is handled by others or a self-employment model where we take our love and talent and create a business out of it, the better our business is and the success we reach is dependent upon how much we truly believe in ourselves. I recently joined a Manifestation group on Facebook, not realizing what it was when I joined, and although I don’t completely subscribe to their ideals, (that you can manifest anything just by believing it), I do believe that if we don’t believe in ourselves and what we want to accomplish, we are making it that much harder for others to believe in us and our product. For me, as a freelancer, I am my brand. If I do not believe that I am capable and that I can produce unique and publish-ready content, why would a potential employer believe it?

breannaFor Breanna Reish, self-esteem has been a huge factor for her. She recently left her 9-5 financial firm to start her own financial planning company, Wealth of Confidence, and is loving every minute of it. She was motivated to launch her own firm after realizing she wasn’t satisfied with what she was doing. Reish struggled finding how she fit in an industry that is investment heavy, while she prefers to focus on her client and their specific needs, investment based or not.

“I had years of experience working in it [financial planning],” Reish said. “And feeling that cruddy feeling – knowing how it feels to feel like I do not belong, and feeling like I am at rock bottom, wondering if I would ever make it. I would cry at night. I wanted to quit several times. My husband would watch me roller coaster every year and just said to me, ‘You know, if this is what you want, you have to do it.’”

Reish was also motivated by her two young children, she wanted to have more control over her schedule, giving her more time with her two young children and her husband. But she also wanted to be able to pursue financial planning for clients putting more stake in familiar obligations and needs in a field that is generally investment focused. While she can assist with investments, she loves to help clients learn how to prepare for the future, make financial decisions, and prepare for end of life.

Prior to making the decision to go out on her own, she started working with a coach who helped her figure out what her next steps would be and why.

“She peeled back the layers like an onion,” Reish said of her coach. “She got me to talk about why I was really doing this and she – before I met her I was frantic trying to figure out my place and then she really helped me hone in on why I was doing this, what is really important in my life – all of these things and it gave me a little more confidence, and focus.”

Since going out on her own, Reish has been able to enjoy time with her family and with her clients. Ensuring her clients’ needs are met and they are happy is her top priority. Wealth of Confidence is giving her the means to continue to do what she loves and help her clients succeed while also being there for her family.

“I will say that you do have to work your butt off and stay focused,” Reish said. “You can make it what you want. If you want your business to be at a certain level, achieve a certain goal, you have to figure out what that goal is and what that number is that you need to be making, and then put that much time into it. Your responsibility lies with your family and your children, whatever responsibility you have is to them. I do get to keep 100% of my income, but I am also responsible for 100% of my income now. My goal with the business is to, number one, take care of my clients, and in turn, take care of my family and be a good mom.”

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While she and her family are enjoying their newfound time together, starting your own business is not a simple decision. You need to take into consideration that you are now the one who drives business and income. Without clients or dedicating a certain amount of time to your business, a large paycheck can’t happen. Beyond that, prior to starting on your own, Reish cautions that you formulate a plan and determine what your family can handle while you launch your business. Going a couple months without a paycheck is a very real reality for many people who start their own businesses. Despite this, owning your own business can be as fulfilling for you as it is for Reish. It can allow you more freedom in your schedule and the ability to participate in more activities with your family. The key is to believe you can do it!

You can learn more about Breanna and her business, Wealth of Confidence, by visiting her website here.

Polyvore, Oh My!

I love fashion, styling and jewelry. Polyvore allows me to do all of this for free and for fun. I am constantly forgetting what is in my closet, especially newer things. I love this app because I can go, like what I own, or clip it, (especially all my Chloe and Isabel jewelry), and then style outfits with it. Check out some of my sets, I am always making more!

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I love apps like this that give us an outlet for our creativity. They also give us ideas about how to wear the latest styles and what to wear with them. I know sometimes I love new styles, but I have no clue how to wear them. With Polyvore, I feel like I am able to pick other people’s minds about how and what they would do. Plus you can put together looks without messing up your closet!

Follow me on Polyvore: http://jennlsch.polyvore.com/

Shop all jewelry: chloeandisabel.com/boutique/jenniferschmidt1