I wanted to share something with you that has really been on my mind lately as I’ve really settled in to my new home here in Tampa. Moving to a completely new place, especially when you’ve lived in one place your entire life, is a catalyst for growth and change. In January, my life completely changed! I became a wife, I moved to a new city, and although I kept my same job, I started working with an entire new team of people. There were no constants to fall back on for safety. I had a whole new church where I knew no one and I used my phone to get everywhere because I literally had no idea where anything was.
All that being said, when your entire environment changes there is a part of you that grows and evolves to who you are in your new environment. I have gone through so much change since I moved to Tampa and I’ve learned so many things about reality that I really had no clue about when I lived in my hometown. I am so lucky to have a tribe here in Tampa that have taught me so much about being authentic and giving me the space to let my real light shine. I mean really shine, even when it’s not shiny and happy and it is kinda shitty and maybe a little negative. They support me and allow me to just be me- it’s truly incredible.
During this whole life change thing, I realized that one of my favorite passions- finding old furniture and giving it a new chic life- had fallen by the wayside as I took on the world. I finally started searching for cool places in Tampa to find vintage furniture about 3 weeks ago and I had a realization while I was in my creative zone, that I really haven’t stayed true to myself as I’ve designed our apartment. All of the things I am attracted to at the antique shops are almost the opposite of things I’ve brought into my home. Mid-Century Modern is so trendy right now and modern design in general is what you see everywhere, and even what I have in my home, but I realized that its just not me. I like clean, coastal, with a casual traditional vibe and its not “trendy” or cool. I mean it’s cool to me because it’s what I love, but it’s not what you see all over Pinterest. In my bio, I explained that I’m a 2 on the Enneagram, and a big part of being a 2 is being a “people pleaser.” I realized that I was pleasing all of the people out there that expected me to have the trendiest and modern style, but I wasn’t really being authentic to what I truly love.
My true superpower is that no one is me, but if I’m just regurgitating what is all over Pinterest am I really living into my power and potential? No, I’m too scared that no one will like what I truly create from my heart. This is me recommitting to you all and myself that I’m no longer going to design and live for other people’s aesthetics. I am going to create my aesthetic and stay authentic to me in a social media saturated world.
Here are 5 ways to stay authentic to your style (or anything really):
- Don’t stop looking for Inspiration- Don’t just stop looking at inspiration that isn’t your style or your vibe, because I believe there is always something that sparks joy and ideas in any style. I also love to appreciate other people’s work, it helps me to appreciate my own work and gives me perspective. Inspiration only allows us to grow and fuels our appreciation for ourselves and others.
- Be more selective- Along with always looking for inspiration, be more selective when you appreciate inspiration. Like filtering all the things you want to see when online shopping, take what you love and leave the rest. You are given your passion and your style for a reason listen to it and stay true to it.
- DO NOT COMPARE- It was once said that “comparison is the thief of joy” and I truly believe that. There is no reason to compare yourself to others. We are all experiencing different realities and we all pick up different information in the world and it’s okay. You’re neither better nor worse than anyone else in the world, you’re just different and there is no comparison. How can you be authentic to you, when you just want to emulate other people? You can’t, so just don’t compare.
- Have an abundant mindset- Do not see the lack in your life, only see the abundance. Sometimes I get really hard on myself with finances, with things that sell out, with really cool antique pieces that have already been sold and I just have to remind myself that there is always more. When I start feeling a lack I always try to change it around to experiences I’ve had with abundance. For example, I’ve never gone without a meal, I have an abundance of food. I’ve never not had a roof over my head, I have an abundance of space and comfort. Having the mindset of abundance of love for yourself and your things automatically makes you feel gratitude for yourself which is a prerequisite for authenticity.
- Be Vulnerable- With authenticity comes its close relative, vulnerability. You can’t have one without the other. If you are living into your authentic self, there is going to be that feeling in your gut that is like “are we really doing this? What will people think?” that is your vulnerability and everyone has it. You have to be okay with being vulnerable and knowing that at the end of the day, people just really want to give and receive love. If someone’s mean or harsh, it’s probably because they feel a lack of love and vulnerable. Be vulnerably authentic.
These are things I have to remind myself daily, maybe even hourly. Give yourself permission to be unapologetically yourself, because we all just really want to be loved and accepted for who we are. Social media is such a gift and there are so many wonderful things it brings to us- connection, inspiration, joy and if we aren’t staying authentic to ourselves it can also bring us pain and suffering. I hope that this has resonated with you as much as it has with me.