A 12 year old’s guide to dealing with social anxiety

(This post was written by one of my seventh grade students who has social anxiety. She wanted to help other’s who may be going through the same things by writing this post. Enjoy!)

Have you ever felt anxiety? I used to feel like I didn’t belong or like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in with the popular kids and didn’t know the drama they went through. I felt like if I were speaking to someone my age, they were speaking negatively of me. I felt confused about friends, wondering if they were even really my friends. I felt like I wasn’t supposed have these feelings. Kids shouldn’t have anxiety. Right? But I realized that if I am sad and lonely all the time, then I will never be happy. So I did my best to get over these feelings. Here are some of the things I kept in mind that helped me with my social anxiety.

  1. Fake the shyness away

I tried to forget about what other people were thinking of me. So let’s say you’re sitting with the popular girls or something. Try to act like they’ve been friends with you forever. Stop overthinking and just enjoy the moment.

  1. Train your mind

Happiness is a choice. When you have anxiety, negative thoughts in your head all day are very common. But you should train your brain to think of the positive instead of the negative. You will end up being happier, and trust me, feeling happy is awesome.

  1. It’s okay to have these feelings.

I used to feel like I was the only kid who had anxiety. But then I heard some of the other girls my age talk about their experiences with anxiety and depression and I realized that I am not the only one who feels this way. People from kids to adults experience anxiety and that is normal.

  1. It’s okay to be different

I felt like I was different because I am the only girl at my school’s program who plays soccer. I stopped playing in school because I felt like I was weird. But I realized that if you are your true self that you will be happy. And when you are your true self, the right friends with similar interests will come along. I play soccer in school again now.

  1. It’s okay to be alone sometimes

Now I have and talk to more friends but I also spend a lot of time alone too. I like my alone time. Sitting by yourself does not make you weird. It lets you recharge your mind.

I changed a lot and now I am happier. I am dancing to happy music in my room like nobody’s watching! Being weird is a gift. It just means you’re different, and it makes other people smile.

Love,

Iraiz Bautista

Overcoming Post Grad Blues

Graduating college is an amazing accomplishment! Finally, no more homework, 9 am classes, and dining hall food. But if you’re like me, that excitement soon turned into anxiety. Because now, we’re living in the “real world.” Everywhere you go, people are asking you, “What’s the next step?” “Where are you going to work?” “Are you going to grad school?” And you’re just sitting there trying to come up with the best sounding lie because reality is, you don’t have it all figured out yet! Trust me, I feel you.

Here are 6 things that helped me out during my post grad blues and I hope these tips help you too!

Take life one day at a time

If you’re anything like me, you probably thought something along the lines of, “Okay… I graduated. Now I need to find a 6 figure career, buy a house, find a husband and pick out my kid’s names within the next 5 years.” But I realized that if I am always rushing to the next best thing, I will never truly enjoy life. Instead of stressing out about things that I cannot yet control, I would rather focus on the things that I can, and enjoy the chapter I am currently on. Sure, I am not yet where I want to be. But I am enjoying every bit of the process.

It’s okay to change your mind

I personally had a bit of anxiety about what career path I wanted to take. I graduated with a journalism degree, honestly because I love to write. But I realized after working at the job I had while in college, teaching a journalism course to kids, that teaching is something more suitable for me. I am also interested in counseling. So I created a new plan, and that is subject to change as well. You never know where life will take you. But learn to find the positives in everything you do. If I did not major in journalism, I wouldn’t have started this blog. If I didn’t have that job, I wouldn’t have known I love to teach.

Don’t fall back into old routines

Some people move into an apartment after graduating. Others, like me, moved back in with their parents. Being in the same environment from 4-5 years ago might mentally make you backtrack. I know for me, when I was living on my own I made sure I didn’t buy any unhealthy snacks or goodies for my apartment. My idea of a treat was a granola bar or yogurt! Moving back home was hard for me because I was now surrounded by all the things I deprived myself of. It is something that I still struggle with today but I am learning to make the necessary adjustments. We can’t control what others do, but we can control ourselves.

Redecorate

One thing I did to get myself excited for moving back home was changing my bedroom around. I bought new décor and I am currently in the process of painting my walls. This change makes me feel amazing internally. I love lighting candles, laying in my new comforter and just winding down from a long day in my room.

Make a Plan

You can’t expect for opportunities to fall into your lap. You have to work toward your goals. And if you still are not sure about the career path you want to take, look at your life and figure out what you like. What aspects of work do you enjoy? Even if you are working in retail. Let’s say you hate the job itself but you enjoy convincing customers to buy things. You might be an excellent real estate agent one day. Explore that option. Volunteer or apply for internships. And again, its okay to not have it all figured out right now. LIVE LIFE AT YOUR OWN PACE, NOT SOCIETY’S.

Pray for guidance

Constantly praying for guidance was crucial for me. I remember in college, when I would go to Christian groups and they asked for prayer requests, my response was always GUIDANCE, GUIDANCE, GUIDANCE. Because I knew I was going to experience a major transitional life period very soon and I wanted every step I took to be approved by God. Pray that God will give you visions, signs and confirmation for your future! Trust me; you ask it and you will receive it.

I hope these tips helped some of my fellow post graduates. Please send this post to any of your friends that you think might need it!

xo, Brittany Kayla

Privileged? I’m BLESSED

I recently watched a video called The Race of Life about white privilege. In the video, a bunch of kids were lined up of different races and genders. A man told them they were all going to race for a hundred dollar bill. But before they could begin running, they were asked a series of questions such as, “Have you never had to wonder where your next meal was going to come from?” and “Have you never had to worry about your phone being shut off?” And if the kid’s answers to these questions were yes, they had to take two steps forward. This resulted in the kids going from one single line to being scattered all over. A lot of the black kids ended up toward the back. The man concluded by saying, “We all know these people up here have a better opportunity to win this hundred dollars. Does that mean these people back here cant race? No. — The reality is if this was a fair race and everybody was back on that line, I guarantee you some of these black dudes would smoke all of you. And it’s only because you have this big of a head start that you’re possibly going to win this race called life.”

Now the definition of privilege is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” What this man was trying to get the kids to understand was that because the minorities in the group were not white, they wouldn’t have as many life advantages and therefore would be set back in the “race of life.”

But a key thing I noticed in the video was that, unless you were the kid all the way in the back, there was always someone behind you. Because whether we were born into a specific group or not, we are all blessed.

Sure you may not be rich, but do you have a home? You may not have a car, but do you have legs? You may not be society’s idea of beautiful, but do you have a mouth to say something that’ll change the social norms? You may not have money to help someone out financially but do you have the wisdom to mentally guide them in the right direction?

We are blessed! Whether it looks like it or not. And that is something that even I have to constantly remind myself of. There is always going to be someone behind me in life that needs a helping hand. I recently read a quote that said, “My life is someone’s dream out there,” and when I really processed that, it hit me hard. No matter how bad you think you have it, someone out there is wishing they could be in your place.

Sometimes we complain that the kid with the hundred dollar bill isn’t helping the rest of us, but what are we doing to help each other get to that kid’s place? We talk so much crap about celebrities not donating all of their money to big charities and fundraisers but we don’t even help the people we see on the daily.

And again, helping each other doesn’t always mean financially. There are people struggling physically, mentally and spiritually! Stop turning a blind eye to your struggling neighbors while looking at the “privileged” to help you.

I remember seeing a white woman going into a corner store and she looked overwhelmed and busy. She knocked some things over and cursed and yelled. A black homeless man walked over with a smile wide enough to brighten anyone’s day and helped clean up the mess while saying words of encouragement. Now that man had no home to call his own and probably wondered where his next meal would come from that night, yet he took the time to help out someone more privileged than himself. That man proved you don’t need a lot of money or a lot of privilege to help someone out. That man understands he is blessed to be alive. And I think when we all process how blessed we truly are instead of focusing on what we don’t have in life, we will reach the level of happiness that man had.

You may not be rich but you are blessed. And the only way we will progress as a whole, privileged or not, is if we lift each other up instead of waiting for handouts from the kid with the hundred dollar bill.

xo, Brittany Kayla

10 Ways to Cope with Depression and Anxiety

With depression and suicide becoming all too common, I wanted to sit down with the kids I work with to have an open conversation about the topic. I thought it’d be important to not only let them know they’re not alone but I also wanted to inform them of ways to cope with their feelings other than cutting, for when they did feel like they were. So I did my research and figured you guys might benefit from these as well. Here are 10 different ways to cope with anxiety and depression.

1. Talk it out

Sometimes all you need to do is talk out your problems and you’ll feel better. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to therapy. They know exactly what to do and say that will ultimately contribute to turning your negatives into positives. But if you still don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist, find a trusted friend, church leader, or a family member. If they love you, they are going to want to help you, no matter what. And of course, you always have God to vent to when there’s nobody else around.

2. Coloring

Studies show that coloring in a coloring book provides instant relief to anxiety. It’s so therapeutic and relaxing! And the smell of crayons brings me back to a simpler time in life, my childhood. You can find adult coloring books at Barnes & Noble.

3. Journaling

Write it out! This is the method I’ve been using for years and I love to look back and see how my thoughts have changed and progressed over time. You can turn your sorrow into beauty by writing poetry and songs. You can write out an angry letter and then throw it out after to relieve stress. Or you can just simply write about your day.

4. Pets

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “pets and therapy animals can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Studies have also shown that pets are facilitators of getting to know people, friendship formation and social support networks.” This is why colleges allow emotional support animals for students. So if you’re struggling with mental health, I would definitely consider getting a pet! My dog has brought so many smiles to my face, even on my worst of days.

5. Healthy Choices

Research shows that “sport and physical activity partially encounters the same neurophysiological changes as antidepressants.” So find a sport you enjoy! Basketball and boxing are good examples of stress relievers. You should also try to eat healthier. I know that when I eat like crap, I feel like crap; so healthier eating puts me in a better mood.

6. Don’t Isolate Yourself

I know from personal experience that when you are depressed, all you want to do is lay in bed alone. But it’s best to surround yourself with people. Even if you are just sitting in a Starbucks; at least you are not drowning in your own thoughts while crying yourself to sleep. I’ve been there, trust me!

7. Yoga

Many people practice yoga to help manage stress, depression and anxiety. It’s very soothing and relaxing. A few symptoms of depression are loss of concentration and energy, which yoga helps restore. Now add some soothing music to your yoga session and you’re good to go!

8. Lavender Oil

The yoga instructor at the school I work with also brings lavender oil to her classes because it scientifically reduces anxiety and emotional stress. There are so many amazing essential oils that all have different benefits. You can purchase the oils and oil diffusers right at Walmart or your local drugstore.

9. Painting

Painting definitely relieves my stress and anxiety. You’re focused on your masterpiece, not on the struggles of life. And again, you can take your feelings and turn them into something absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be Picasso! Just enjoy the experience.

10. Get Help

If you absolutely just feel like you don’t want to live anymore call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or click onto their page here, where they offer “24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.”

I hope this post helped someone today. And of course, my dm’s and email are always open if you would like to talk to me personally! My Instagram is @psbrittanykalya and my email is psbrittanykalya@gmail.com.

I love you all!

xo, Brittany Kayla

Don’t let the gram fool you

Prior to attending Rutgers University, I added a few people as Instagram friends that already attended the school. I remember thinking that one of the girls in particular that I followed was so perfect. She seemed to have an amazing life and all I wanted was for mine to be like hers.

She had a beautiful face, her makeup was always on point, she had a nice body, gorgeous hair, constantly went on adventures, maintained straight A’s, had the perfect friends, and a handsome boyfriend of several years. And I mean, this relationship was what most people would call goals,” based off of her Instagram. It seemed as though everything I was striving to personally attain, she already had… with ease, might I add.

I didn’t begin to realize that not everything is what it seems to be on Instagram until I actually got to Rutgers and met the same people in her posts.

This gorgeous girl in the pictures was still gorgeous, of course, but she wasn’t always glammed up like in her photos. In fact, the majority of when I saw her, she was in sweats while wearing no makeup. Her amazing boyfriend turned out to actually be a chronic cheater, who tried getting with a couple of my own friends. And unfortunately her perfect friends weren’t so perfect after all.

This perfect image of the girl that I had from Instagram was now shattered.

But we all do this. We all display the best qualities and aspects of our lives on social media. I mean, you’re most likely not going to post the picture of you with a double chin from when you accidentally opened up your front camera. You’re probably going to post pictures of yourself posing from your best angles, wearing your best outfits. Or you’d make sure to post a picture on a day your eyes are wide awake as opposed to tired and puffy from not getting enough sleep.

You’re probably going to post your extravagant vacations, but not the job you hate going to that allowed you to afford them. You’re going to share your accomplishments, like your good grades and the new car you just bought. But you’ll most likely leave out the struggle that it took to get there. The blood, sweat, tears and sacrifices you had to make probably won’t be showcased on the Gram. You’re going to leave out the mistakes you’ve made along the road and your regrets in life.

Why? Because Instagram was created to show the best parts of our lives. We usually leave out the bad. But that doesn’t mean that the bad doesn’t exist.

So the next time you stumble across someone’s “perfect” Instagram page, think about how human they actually are. And that no one on this earth is as perfect as they seem to be on social media.

I can assure you; we are all struggling somehow, someway. Don’t let anyone fool you.

Perfection only exists on the Gram.

xo, Brittany Kayla

JUST FREAKING DO IT

“You are young,” he said, “go out and explore the world!”

I met him at a sushi lounge during a night out with the girls. He forever changed my perspective on life. I naturally worry about everything. And if you’re anything like me, you have a lot of great ideas but you’re not sure if you should follow suit because of the risks it could take or your level of comfort. But this night, I changed the way I would approach every new idea that comes to my head.

His name was Kerny and he taught me the importance of taking risks in life.

He told me that he landed a job at a prestigious university making over 100k a year, but he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t satisfied. He would rather live the life he wanted. One day he decided to quit his 9-5 and has been supporting himself as an artist ever since. (He’s amazing by the way). Now, he makes money doing what brings him joy and he gets to travel where he wants, when he wants.

“If I want to go to Dubai, hell, I’ll book my flight and I’m there the next month!” he exclaimed listing the countless countries he’s visited since beginning his journey.

It inspired me! Kerny quitting his high paying job to being an artist, something he actually loved, is one of the riskiest stories I’ve ever heard. And I’m sure he struggled in the beginning for quite some time but now he is genuinely happy and I could see it in his eyes. His risk led to greater opportunity. It led to seeing the world. It led to becoming the most radiant being in a dimly lit sushi lounge.

Life is about the risks we are willing to take. If we don’t take them, we will be complacent in life. We will be stuck in the same predictable cycle. We will always wonder “what if?” And that leads to misery.

So I encourage you to take the risk that’s been tugging at your heart. Of course, make sure it’s doable and not life threatening. But if what’s holding you back is fear of failure then, it’s worth the shot. I recently saw a quote that read, “Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket. Move to that city. Do the things that scare you because they’re worth it,” and I completely agree.

If there’s something you feel on the inside you should be doing but you are nervous, I say, just do it. It might be a scary thing to jump into, but that anxiety will be replaced with satisfaction. Either you will realize it wasn’t for you and now you know, or it was everything you’ve ever dreamed of. There’s only one way to find out.

Just freaking do it.

xo, Brittany Kayla

Could it be… that I am the hater??

Haters hate because they are not willing to put in the sacrifice that someone else has made to get where they are today. Half of the time, we don’t even realize why we hate on some people. But when I think about if I had ever hated on someone in the past, it was because they had something that I subconsciously wanted. I was not willing to put in the work to get it myself. If I tried, I most likely lacked the consistency to continue.

Let’s be honest… if we want something bad but can’t seem to attain it, the ultimate reason is that it’s a hard task to accomplish! Change does not happen overnight! Your goal might be a job title, a car, a happy relationship, a fit body, or even confidence. All of those things require consistency, hard work, and SACRIFICE.

Often times we hate “for no reason” because it seems as though other people are getting the things we want easily. However, 9 times out of 10, they worked their butts off to get to where they are today.

Some people were lucky enough to get your desires handed to them. You have to realize that the blessings they receive are going to be different from yours. And they too have hard goals that seem impossible to accomplish. Your time will come. However, you have to put in the WORK. Because it won’t come easily for everyone.

Instead of choosing to hate on this person, I encourage you to be their friend. When you support others, you open the door for networking. Think about it! You could probably learn a lot. Instead of talking about them behind closed doors and trying to highlight everything wrong, find the root of your issue. Figure out where that hate and envy is coming from. They probably have something you subconsciously want, and they will most likely be willing to help you get it if you are nice enough!

Networking and making these kinds of friends will ultimately lead to positive change within yourself and your life. When you support other people, they will support you back. For your career especially, building connections is crucial!

So the next time you see someone with something you want, compliment them! Tell them that you admire their hustle and dedication. Ask them questions! It’s okay to ask for help! Sometimes all we need is a bit of humble pie. Lastly, you are going to have to make some sacrifices, because I am sure they did too.

With love,

Brittany Kayla

Reevaluating Your Inner Circle

 In an attempt to learn Spanish, I began watching a Spanish soap opera, Lady La Vendedora de Rosas, based on a true story. In the show, the main character, Lady, and her family grew up in the slums of Columbia. Her single mother had a drinking problem and needed Lady, only a little girl at the time, to help the family out financially by selling roses on the dangerous street. Child services ended up taking Lady from her home and put her in an orphanage with nuns. There, she was raised and didn’t go back home until she was a teenager. When she came back, she kept the same values she learned from the nuns in her heart and was able to take better care of her family then her mother ever could.

Meanwhile, her two childhood best friends, Alex and Yurani stayed home and connected with a bad influence. Alex ended up becoming a gangster and Yurani became a drug addict. I mentioned to my sister that it was funny how Lady ended up becoming so responsible and successful while everyone else in the story was doing terrible. She reminded me that Lady was raised around the nuns and like-minded girls, in a safe environment. Alex and Yurani were surrounded by people that didn’t care enough to have their best interest at heart.

We are still in the beginning of the New Year and I know that everyone has their heart set on changing for the better. But you will only be as good as the company you keep. I’ve fooled myself many times in the past by saying, “we are friends but we are nothing alike and she can’t influence me because I am my own person.” That is a lie. That is not possible. If you are consistently hanging out with someone, their values and their mindset will eventually start to rub off on your own, without you even realizing it.

I’m not saying to abandon your “day ones,” but if your friends are lazy, unmotivated, or are doing things that compromise your values, then it’s your responsibility to distance yourself. Your company is a reflection of you. And believe me when I say that you are a product of who you surround yourself with.

Make sure though, that the friends you choose are actually friends. The best way to tell is by analyzing how they support your good decisions, and seeing if they love you enough to correct your bad ones, in ways that align with your core values.

The right friends to keep close in the New Year are going to be the ones that are positive and motivated to becoming the best version of themselves possible, while also encouraging your growth. The right friends will clap loudly when you win. They should be your biggest fans. They will always be there when you need them the most. And they will give you the advice you need to hear rather than what you want to hear.

Who you surround yourself with is a main factor that will ultimately contribute to your personal growth. So choose your friends wisely.

xo, Brittany Kayla

8 tips to accomplish that goal you’ve been struggling with

We’ve all said it. “This is my year! I will finally accomplish the goal I’ve procrastinated on my entire life!” And by the end of the year, we still haven’t done it. I’ve personally set aside a few goals for myself this year and I wrote down the steps that are going to help me accomplish them, as they have helped me in the past.

 1. ATTAINABLE GOALS 

A lot of people strive for things they will never be able to have. You can’t say, “I want my body to look like hers after the New Year,” because someone else’s body has a different anatomy and build then yours. A lot of us need to revise our goals to things that we can actually accomplish. Otherwise, you will be running forever with no finish line.

 2. BREAK IT DOWN 

Break your goals down into easy steps.  The reason why a lot of us haven’t accomplished our goals yet is not because our dreams are too big, but because they are too big to accomplish right now. You don’t say, “I’m hungry, I want a sandwich” and the sandwich just appears in front of your face. You need to make it, step by step and ingredient by ingredient. Be sure to come up with a plan that has clear instructions on how you are going to accomplish your goal. My blog posts are only step one of my personal dreams! What are your steps?

 3. WRITE IT DOWN 

After you’ve broken down your attainable steps, be sure to write them down on paper. This will assist in making your dreams a reality. It’s also a good idea to put your dreams down on a vision board. Fill it up with your goals, steps, and photos to keep you encouraged! I recommend using magazine clippings for the pictures.

 4. KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE 

The way I keep myself accountable is by journaling. I write down my feelings, my struggles, and my accomplishments. Let’s say my goal is to eat healthy. I’m going to feel real bad writing down the fact that I pigged out after lunch today! Although journaling is personal and no one is going to read it, trust me when I say, you will feel a lot better about yourself when you’re writing about how you accomplished today’s goal rather than messing up.

 5. ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER 

Find someone who is seasoned in the goal you are trying to accomplish. If your goal is to become closer to God and you struggle with remaining consistent in praying and reading the Bible, ask one of your trusted church leaders to text you from time to time to keep you accountable! It’s also good because your accountability partner can participate with you. They can study the Bible with you, they can work out with you, etc.

 6. MOTIVATIONAL VIDEOS

I watch motivational videos, TED talks, and preachings several times a week! They keep me inspired throughout my journey to keep on pushing. I also follow Instagram pages of other inspirational people who have already accomplished my goals.

 7. PRAYER

Prayer is so important throughout your entire journey. Pray for guidance, pray for strength, self-control, and discernment. Pray, pray, pray! When you keep God first in life He will always help you out.

 8. GET BACK UP!

If you fail today, try again. If you fail tomorrow, keep going. If you ate badly at lunch, don’t use that as an excuse to eat badly at dinner. Don’t stop! Consistency will get you where you want to be.

PART 2: what to do when you realize, you’re probably living for society

In my last post, Let’s be Honest, You’re Probably Living for Society, I asked what happens when you start living for your own happiness and not the happiness that stems from pleasing others? I mean, it’s true isn’t it? You probably wouldn’t spend so much time in the mornings picking out your outfit if no one was around to see it. You probably wouldn’t spend all your savings on a foreign car if you had no one around to impress. You probably wouldn’t spend so much time picking out the perfect Instagram photo showcasing flawless poses and angles if you had no followers to view them. Most of us are living for society’s approval! The compliments we get from such superficial things have the power to brighten the worst of our days. Even I am guilty of this. And because I am, I really wanted to think of a way that I could shift my “happiness that stems from approval” to happiness that stems from myself.

First, I decided to eliminate society. If the world were completely empty, then there would be no society. If you were alone in the world, there would be no one around telling you what you should look like or what your car should look like or your home or your life. You will be forced to find happiness within yourself.

Now imagine you get to choose who and what you want in this world based on what brings you genuine happiness.

So ask yourself, “What are some things that make me genuinely happy?” And no, not the new Kylie Jenner makeup palette. I am talking about the things that fill you with joy when you are all alone. Remember, you are the last person on earth so no one will be around to see your makeup or your shoe collection anyway.

My personal answer to this question would have to be music, art, FOOD, helping others, and Netflix!

Now think about who brings you genuine happiness? And no, not the followers on Instagram you try to impress or the people you call friends that wouldn’t pick up the phone when you need them the most. I am asking who genuinely brings you joy just by seeing their face or hearing their voice? The people that love you for who you are, no matter what you look like or what your personality is. The people that support your vision and goals. The people you could be 100% yourself around.

My answer would have to be God, my family, my closest friends, and/or my significant other. They all bring me so much joy and they accept me for me, no matter what shoes are on my feet.

Think about your answers, write them down or make a mental note. Imagine if these things and those people that you value were the only things on earth. Wouldn’t life be so great?

I know this is physically impossible to do. But if you decide to made these things and these people a priority in your life and forgot about pleasing everyone else, I believe you and even I would truly be happy & content in life.

Forget about the outside voices. Block out what doesn’t matter in your life. If we are putting the things that make us genuinely happy first in life, then we are ultimately living for ourselves.

Create your own little world. Invest in yourself. Invest in your dreams. Keep your supporters close and support them back. Do more things that make you happy. And forget about the opinions of those that add nothing beneficial to your well-being.

Love ya’ll!

Brittany Kayla

PART 1: let’s be honest, you’re probably living for society

You claim that you carefully chose an outfit, took time on your hair, wore your best shoes, and did your makeup this morning because it “makes you feel good to look good.” You claim that you do it for yourself because it makes you happy. But is that true?

If you were the last person on earth, with nobody around to impress, would wearing makeup make a difference? Would wearing nice clothes even matter? Would your expensive shoes be worth it?

A lot of us don’t realize that we aren’t really living for ourselves and for our happiness. We are living to please others; for their approval, their compliments, and their attention. That approval makes us feel so good, that it becomes our own happiness.

The other day I was looking at a boy in class who many would probably describe as the “nerdy” type. I thought to myself, the popular girl wouldn’t even look twice at him. But why? Is she better than him because they fall in a different rank on the social popularity system? Is he not impressive enough for her to look his way? Does he not please the eyes of society? If he had a lot of money, would she give him a chance?

These are some of the thoughts I pondered on these past few weeks. What really makes us happy? Why do we spend so much time worrying about our appearance? Why do we spend so much time picking out the right photo to post on Instagram? Why do we spend hundreds of dollars on one pair of sneakers? Why do we give all of our money to name brands? Why do we overlook the people that would love us the most because they don’t fit in with society’s ideal standards? Why does it matter?

My next question is, are you happy when you get it? When you get the pretty girl with the nice body or the man with all the money, are you really happy? When you get that car that was too expensive and the big house you really couldn’t afford, are you happy? Or does it just feel good to know that you fit in? To know that you look cool to your peers.

Now what happens when you start living for your own happiness? What happens when you don’t land that big job with the big name, but instead go after your passion? What happens when you spend your money on something other than the latest makeup palette or designer shoes? What happens when the goal is not to be famous, but to share your talents with the world simply because you love the feeling of making people FEEL through your work? What happens when you date the person that doesn’t fit in with society’s expectations? What happens when you stop overlooking the people that didn’t look the part to be in your friends group but genuinely have good hearts?

Would you be happy? Would you find true friends? Would you find your soulmate?

What happens when you start living for YOUR happiness and not the happiness that stems from pleasing others? What happens when you give all that stuff up and you don’t get the compliments or the attention you usually get? (From people that most likely didn’t care about you or your wellbeing anyway).

Would you be fulfilled? Or will not being like society rip away your self-esteem and happiness?

xo, Brittany Kayla

How To: Love Yourself Before Loving Someone Else

They say you must first love yourself before you can love someone else. And when you do, you’ll find someone that loves you just as much. Well, what does that even mean? Does that mean looking in the mirror and being happy or content with what you see?

One who is insecure knows that loving yourself is a lot easier said than done. Often times, the more insecure a person is, the easier it is to latch onto others for happiness and validation. It’s also common to stay with that person no matter what physical harm or emotional damage they may cause. Because without someone there to feed their personal validation, they would feel lost. This is the result of loving your significant other more than you love yourself.

But how do you love yourself?

I came across a tweet the other day that stated, “Ya’ll love girls who don’t oil their scalp. How they gone love you if they don’t love themselves?” I pondered on this concept and thought about how silly it was to equate oiling your scalp to loving yourself. However, the more I thought about it, I realized that the girl was right. When you really love something, you take care of it. So when you  love yourself, you will invest in yourself. Singles… pay attention.

Take care of yourself physically. Workout and eat the right foods, drink more water, wash your face with your favorite mask, and do treatments to your hair. If you are investing into your health, you’ll feel refreshed, you’ll naturally glow, and you’ll feel energized.

It is also important to invest in your future. If you’re working, keep grinding and save up for your goals. If you’re in school, keep studying until you achieve that degree! Invest into your future and invest into your goals.

Do what makes you happy. I love writing and painting. I also love being alone and watching Netflix! My alone time keeps me sane, so sometimes I’ll take a raincheck on plans with friends so I can feel balanced and stress free. Take a break from life and find a hobby that you personally enjoy.

Learn to put yourself first and you will begin to truly love yourself. It’s not easy, but when you invest into your body, skin, and hair… perfect your craft, achieve your goals, and do what you love; you will reach your full potential. Once you feel like you are the best version of yourself possible, your boo will come along. Until then, enjoy YOUR life!

With love,

Brittany Kayla

 

“I’ll be happy once I get there … right?”

For a long time I’ve wanted to lose weight. I had a specific number in my head, and I knew that if I could just get down to that, I would finally be happy and content with my body and myself again. After working out and eating clean, I can confidently say that I’ve reached my original goal weight.

However, I quickly realized that losing 33 pounds was not enough. I was still unhappy. I would look in the mirror daily, picking out every flaw that I could find within myself and I quickly created a new and improved goal weight.

Today, I looked in the mirror and thought about the Brittany that was once 30 pounds heavier. I thought, that Brittany would be so proud of who is standing in front of the mirror today. That Brittany wasn’t even sure if I would make it this far or not. But here I am, and being the ungrateful person that I could sometimes be, I am still not happy.

I decided to pick out the beauty in my body. I started to view myself through the eyes of the Brittany that was 30 pounds heavier, and I actually began to like my body.

I realized that a lot of us do this. A lot of us set these big goals for ourselves, and say, “When I get there, I will finally be happy.” But we realize that when we get to that point, it’s still not enough. We are constantly trying to advance our progress. Now, there is nothing wrong with striving to do better in life. However, when our happiness depends on the amount of success we’ve achieved, we will never be fully satisfied, because we’ll always want more.

I am the biggest advocator of setting goals to become the best version of yourself possible. Your goal might relate to weight, or a business venture, or you might even strive to become a celebrity of some sort. However, there are even celebrities who have everything you could imagine, that still feel empty on the inside. The success was not enough.

You’ve got to learn to appreciate the now. You’ve got to appreciate today. Look at the things you’ve accomplished in life and appreciate how far you’ve come. Embrace the person you are today regardless of whether you’ve achieved your goals or not. Life is too short to be waiting on success to bring you happiness. You could die tomorrow, and will never be able to say that you were fully satisfied with life because you were too busy waiting on the day you achieve that goal. You were too busy working and too busy beating yourself up, that you never really appreciated earth’s beauty, never really appreciated the people around you, never really appreciated your body, or you just never really appreciated your life. You can die tomorrow unfulfilled because you were waiting on success to bring you happiness.

Learn to appreciate the life you have today. Keep setting goals for yourself, but don’t allow your inability to achieve them right away, to affect who you are or how you feel. Take a step back, look at your life… and enjoy it. Because you only get one.

xo, Brittany Kayla

With Success, Comes The Haters

I’ve learned that the more successful you get, the more of a threat you can be to those around you. Now, I’m not talking about everyone. The majority of the people around you will probably want you to prosper and succeed. However, those that can’t grasp the fact that theirs is coming too, if they just waited, are going to be the ones to exude hate.

We call them, haters. The people who are okay with you exceeding, only if it’s not above their amount of achieved success. Don’t take offense to this, rather take it as a compliment.

You might even be in a situation where you can’t seem to understand why you are the person they chose to hate on. Why are they picking on the little guy? But this is because they see something in you that you might not see in yourself yet. They can see that potential inside of you and they’ll do what it takes to make sure you don’t fulfill it in peace.

Ignore the haters and don’t look back. You have too many dreams to fulfill to be worried about what others have to say about you. You have too many things to accomplish in one day. If they are not helping you get to where you want to be in life, then their opinion does not matter. You’ve worked hard to get to this point. Don’t react in  a way you will regret over someone else’s hate.

Send them love instead. Avoid talking down on them and pray for them. The Bible says to pray for our enemies. Pray that their hearts will soften. Too many of us seek back revenge and hate, but what good will that ever do? Why would God reward someone with a heart like that?

Keep going and don’t look back. Instead of worrying about the person next to you, just keep grinding.

Life is not a competition or a race to see who gets the better life. If we all started uplifting, encouraging, and constantly inspiring one another, we could all do great things, together.

Keep working, keep inspiring and spread love.

xo, Brittany Kayla

Overcoming Insecurities

From a person that has struggled to love herself all her life, I know how cliché and honestly, unhelpful it is to hear an always smiling, self-proclaimed life motivator yelling through a screen “You are beautiful! Love yourself!” You’ll have a big smile on your face with this rush of confidence and a new and improved, “you can’t tell me nothing” attitude. Resulting in a person who actually feels on top of the world for about one hour until it’s time to step out into the real world.

I know what it feels like to go out, obsessing about what others might be thinking about you. I know what it feels like to get compliments daily, while looking in the mirror at the end of the night and not believing a thing they’ve said. Sometimes I would wish that I could see what others saw in me because I couldn’t imagine seeing anything other than what I saw in myself.

I was always afraid to admit that I had these insecurities. I was scared that I would look weak and pathetic, or like I would be crying for attention and fishing for compliments.

What I ultimately wanted was self-confidence and the ability to not care about what anyone else thought of me or my decisions. So I did my research. And what I found was a YouTube video of a woman saying all she did was looked in the mirror every single day and said, “I love myself.”

So I did it. Every day I would look myself in the eyes saying that I was beautiful. That I was the sh*t! And even if I didn’t believe it just yet, I walked out the room with my head held high thinking, “I am beautiful.”

Eventually I started viewing myself in a different light. I no longer saw myself through the lens of society. The Kardashian, makeup, implant society.

I started seeing myself through a pure lens. The natural Lisa Bonet lens. That, “this is me with no makeup, flaws and all” type of lens.

And I believed it. I still do. It’s not a temporary, false self-confidence. I am beautiful, and you are too.

xo, Brittany Kayla