Happy Wednesday!

Get yourself a cup of coffee + settle in for a few minutes. This post is a little different, but I think you may enjoy it.

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Since resurrecting this site last Fall, it was always my intention to eventually incorporate posts that would go far beyond all of the surface level “stuff”. Obviously, I adore writing about new products + styling different outfits, but what I love even more is talking openly + honestly with other women + girls [men too!] about some of the important things that we all face.

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I actually had an opportunity to speak to a group of very sweet girls about some of these things over the holidays!

I’ve mulled for months about how to introduce this to my blog without feeling embarrassed or getting too emotional or deep or spiritual or sounding preachy or strange, or I don’t know what exactly, but I wanted to do it right! As time goes on, I continue to receive really moving messages from people that I know, and people that I don’t know about some of the internal challenges they’re facing… challenges I face as well. It’s both humbling + upsetting because you realize that we’re all doing this “life” thing together…and at the end of the day, I think we all want the same things.  So, with that said, I think that there’s a little room [+ an audience] to start this kind of discussion on my blog, and what better time to start than now?!

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I’ve decided to title the mini-series “Becoming Bella” [yes, a play on my name], but it’s actually quite literal. We’re going to talk about becoming beautiful — from the inside out. I want to share with you how I’m learning to do it, and how you can too. I’ve had some important lessons + “ah-ha” moments in my life thus far, specifically over the last year, that are worth sharing. I hope that they’re able to help you in some way + that you’ll be inspired to share stories about your lives + teach me something as well! 🙂

Ok! First lesson in this course:

Comparison.

There is a quote that constantly floats around… “Comparison is the thief of joy” and I don’t know about you, but no words have ever rang more true for me. In this day + age, thanks to social media, it is nearly impossible not to compare yourself to others. Whether you’re looking at someones physical appearance, career, success, family, relationships, etc. it all can sting you in different ways. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been guilty of this, and I can’t say it never happens anymore, but I’ve learned to not let it steal my joy. Here’s how:

Repeat after me: “You are YOU.” 

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This has been my favorite “ah-ha” moment to date + one that I am so excited to talk about.kc quote

The moment it clicks with you that you are truly one-of-a-kind, your life will change. It seems like a no brainer, something that you may have been told many times before, but seriously, let it sink in for a second. You are you. AmandaBellaYou have a combination of features, talents, and traits that no one else will never have. You may think that someone else seems happier, prettier, more successful, more intelligent, more passionate, more whatever…and you may feel like they beat you at every category in the book, but they are probably thinking the same exact things about someone else too. It’s human nature to think this way, however, the sooner you learn to accept yourself for the beautiful individual that you are, you win. No one can take that away from you. And that is your power!quoteUnderstanding this has not only has helped me to become more confident in who I am, but it has helped me to appreciate the unique beauty + talents in others! IMG_9360

Everyone has something different to offer the world, and it’s important to encourage + cheer one another on…even those who have similar goals as you. Don’t take the jealousy or insecure route. Realize that their path may seem similar, but it is not yours. Look at them as motivation + inspiration to continue hustling for what you want while appreciating both of your abilities to accomplish things in your own ways. There’s room for everyone to make it!

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We could all list things we wish we had OR we could all be grateful for the things that we do have. Once you approach life that way, you actually start living. There are days where I’m so happy I could cry. There are days where I have no idea what I did to deserve all of the blessings that I do have. There are days where I actually fear these feelings of sheer joy will somehow be ripped away from me because there is no way it’s fair for life to be this wonderful! It sounds kind of crazy, but it was a small change in my thinking that has been incredibly liberating.

A quick story about when this was beginning to click for me: I was driving with my Mom a few months ago, it was a warm day, we were in a Wrangler, the roof was off, the sun was shining + I was telling her that I had been feeling so happy lately that I was almost scared. I was scared of being this happy because I never wanted to feel any other way. And she simply replied “That’s cause you’re finally living!” When you find happiness within yourself, when you’re doing something that you love, and when you put yourself out there… you make room for good things to come into your life. And let me tell you, they WILL walk right in.

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The blog world is certainly saturated with a ton of girls doing very similar things, but what I love most about it, is that every blogger is completely different. I appreciate the people who are real, honest, open, and just doing life in their own way! They cannot be copied, duplicated, or ousted because it’s impossible to be them.

Take a peek at some of the ladies who I admire for working their butts off, constantly supporting others, + just being themselves! 🙂bloggers2Brittany [Kingdom of Sequins], Christina [Christina’s Chic Corner], Desiree [Desire + Attire], Elisabeth [Everything + Nothin‘], Kaitlyn [Me, Myself, and Everything Else] , Angie [Indulge Your Inner Foodie], Saira [Through the Glitter Glass], Hannah [Louboutins + Lipstick], Gail [Simply Gail G], Jamie [Jamie Ever After] and the list seriously goes on, and on, and on, and on!! 

These ladies are certainly amazing in their own ways + inspire me to continue doing things MY way too!

If you’re not where you want to be in life yet, know that it is never too late to get there! Don’t be discouraged by others, just stay focused, work hard, be a good person, and remember that you have a unique + beautiful flair that no one other than you can ever share with the world!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post + weren’t totally thrown off by it. I’m looking forward to developing this series + chatting about some of issues that many of us are faced with on the daily!

As always, thank you guys for reading!! I hope that you have a wonderful rest of your week. 🙂

Have you ever felt down because you’ve compared yourself to others?  

Think about the things that make you unique today!

XOXO

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53 comments on “Becoming Bella | Combating The “Joy Thief””

  1. OOOOO girl!!!! This is beautiful!! You never cease to amaze me and always come up with the best ideas!!! I love this new series and can’t wait to read more!! It really is hard not to compare yourself to others! I have to remind myself every single day that I am unique and there is no one like me. Everyone is amazing and beautiful in their own way. I truly believe that! I can’t say enough about how much I love this series and how well you wrote this. Girl you are stunning and I loved learning more about you! And omgsh I totally teared up when I saw you mentioned me!! LIKE WHAT!!! You’re the best and that made my life!!! Someone pinch me haha!!! And I love all those bloggers! They seriously are so sweet and inspiring…just like you!! Again, I LOVE THIS!!!!

    • You’re so sweet! It’s so easy to hear that you’re one of a kind, but when you finally believe it + appreciate it, life completely changes! I love supporting + cheering on good people…and you are certainly one of them! What I admire most is how you always take the time to comment on everyone’s posts – consistently! Your support means more than you know to me + I’m sure many of the other girls as well! I still don’t know how you do it all, but thank you! 🙂 And as always, thank you for the kind words + for reading!! :):)

      • Isn’t that the truth!! It is life-changing haha! AWWWW that is just so sweet!!!! Thanks girl!!! You have totally made my day!!!!! I love seeing bloggers supporting each other! We really are one big family!!

  2. This post is so incredibly relevant for me & is an awesome inspiration / reminder! Can’t wait for more 🙂

    • I’m so glad!! It’s something that’s kind of uncomfortable to admit or talk about, but it’s really relevant for most of us! I’m so happy that you enjoyed, I’m really excited about this series. 🙂 Thanks for reading love! XOXO

  3. This is such a great post! Its issues like this tht lead to some serious issues for me in the past. Its great tht ur putting stuff like this out there to remind everyone how important it is to realise tht ur individuality is beautiful 🙂
    This is gonna be such an awesome series! Well done girl! <3

    • Thank you so much!! I’ve dealt with similar feelings + it really is such a shame to live that way. The change is not made overnight, but life gradually gets better once you start to understand that you are something special, just the way you are. Thank you so, so much for reading, and for the kind words – I was definitely a little hesitant about putting this out there, but I know that it’s something that so many people deal with. I can’t wait to continue with the series!! 🙂 XOXO

  4. Great, great post!!! I’m so happy for you and for everyone who gets a chance to know you from the inside out. Go Bella!!! 😀❤️

    • Aww, thank you!! It’s been in the works for a long while, but I’m glad it’s finally up! I can’t wait to see where it leads. I owe a lot of credit to you!!! You’re an inspiration to me! 🙂 PS – I owe you a text!!

    • Thank you so much, Kayla! It’s a little nerve wracking to put this kind of stuff out there, but I guess I just got to the point where I didn’t really care LOL. I know way too many people who feel the same, and I think it’s worth talking about!! I’m so happy that you enjoyed it. 🙂

  5. This post was amazing!! So spot on for many including myself! It’s the early morning here in California and reading this before my day got going put me in such a different mind set. I loved everything about this and can’t wait for more! Also, when I saw you mentioned me as well my face lit up and just a sweet way to start my day! You are amazing girl! Great post! 🙂

    • Aw, thank you Kaitlyn!! That made my day! It’s so true though, I really do appreciate the way you write your blog and share your life with everyone …because it’s yours! I love your originality + how your personality really shows through! I also appreciate your consistent support – it really means a lot. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day! XO 🙂

  6. LOVE!!!!!!! This is why I LOVE blogging and everything about the social world…. You can write about whatever you want and the support from others is out of this world! So glad we met each other in the amazing blogging world! Your posts are always so positive and inspiring. What a great idea to encourage women to stand up for themselves and always know they are beautiful! Love all of the ladies you mentioned in this post… Have an awesome day! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Brittany!! Life is so much better when you can just be happy being you. You’re one of those people who always has an incredibly uplifting, positive attitude! When I think of you I just think fun, colorful, and full of life — it shows through in everything you do! 🙂 You’ve definitely inspired me in many ways! I’m so glad we were able to connect as well. Keep doing you girl cause you do a good job!! Thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed!!! 🙂 XOXOXO

  7. You have the kindest spirit and are true to yourself. I love this new segment you are doing, and I think that you will touch an even wider group of people than you already are. You are beautiful on the inside and out and while you are still in the process of following your dreams, and building on who you are, you are in the perfect place for you right now. Thank you for the compliment, and shout out. I have had incredibly low self-esteem my entire life and still fight with it on a regular basis. Not because of anyone around me, or anything that is happening, it is just part of who I have become since childhood, and am still finding ways to shake it. 😉 Thank you again, and keep pressing forward. You are a shining example of a truly amazing woman.

    • This comment literally made me cry! You are so sweet Angie, thank you for your kind words!! I’ve been through the craziest transformation over the last year, and have finally just begun to come out of my shell. I am still trying to figure my life out, and while it feels like absolute madness at times, I’ve never been happier. I’ve wanted to openly discuss these things on my blog for a while, but feared coming off too preachy [because who the heck am I!? I’m still learning too!], so I’m really happy that I’ve received such positive feedback from those who’ve read the post! Everyone deserves to be truly happy + to BE that, you’ve got to find it within yourself. I appreciate people like you more than you know. Your kind words + consistent support means the world! We shall see where this series goes, but to know that even one person was touched or inspired this post is all I wanted! Thank you as always for the incredibly thoughtful comment….and for being so awesome, you are wonderful!! XOXOXO

    • Aw thanks Molly!! It’s something that I think most of us need to work on. If only they taught this kind of stuff in school! Definitely pass the message on to your girls!! Thank you for reading!! XO 🙂

  8. Such a wonderful and beautifully written post. It is so true how we can get so caught up in counting other peoples’ blessings yet we fail to count our own. Thanks for writing this. I know it will resonate with a lot of people.

    • Thank you so so much for your kind words. They mean a lot to me! And that’s exactly it, you hit the nail on the head. It’s so important to make sure we’re focusing on our own lives, feelings, and goals. It’s great to admire other people and look to them for help or inspiration, but you should never want to BE them…you should want to be YOU! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post, I’m really looking forward to the series. 🙂

  9. I am so excited for this series! I let comparison steal my joy for too long. I’ve written a few posts like this on my blog too. I love chatting about fashion and beauty, but I also just like to write what’s on my mind and heart. That’s the great thing about blogging, we can write about whatever we want. Writing is so therapeutic for me. I still have my moments, but I work on myself everyday. I constantly remind myself not worry about everything, that I am enough, that I’m doing my best, etc. I would love to speak to others about my story thus far and dealing with doubt, anxiety, depression, etc., but i have no clue how to get started or who would want to listen so I write instead. Thank you for including me on your list with all of those fabulous ladies. I teared up a little! The friendships I’ve made through this blog mean so much to me and I’ve gotten so much more out of blogging than I ever thought possible. Thanks for writing this and for being an awesome friend and person! I wish we lived closer but for now I’m sending love and hugs from NC.

    • Thank you so much for the sweet words!! I completely understand the writing thing. I’m not the best writer, but there’s something about being able to get your thoughts down on paper [or computer screen lol], share them with others + then chat with people who do or have felt the same! I think way more people struggle with these issues than you’d think, and it’s nice to know you’re not alone! I’m so happy with the response to this series, and I think it’s going to quickly become a favorite of mine. I appreciate your consistent kindness + support, it means so much to me! You + Winston keep up all of the great work! 😉 You’ve definitely got a good thing going!! XOXOX 🙂

  10. I seriously love every single thing about this post, I don’t even know where to start!! I was able to connect with you just two months after starting my blog and I was still wayyy in over my head with no idea what I was doing. I knew what I wanted to do, but not how to do it. You were my first blogger friend and made me feel so comfortable and that I can do this, that it’s a great community. And now, I cannot be any happier! You’ve given me so much inspiration with your friendship, your blog posts, your support, your happiness! I love seeing all the changes you’re making in your life and truly enjoy how open and honest you are. Thank you so much for starting this series!! xoxo <3

    • Thank you, Christina!! That means so much! It’s amazing to watch you + your blog grow before my eyes! You put so much effort into creating honest, valuable content and it shows! I’m so happy that I’ve been able to help/inspire you in some way. You’ve done the same for me! Here’s to even more wonderful things to come!! 🙂 XOXO

  11. Amanda, this was such a wonderful post. It definitely hit the heart. It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to others because it’s human nature really. We’re always looking at what others have or the way they look and wish we were like them. I try my very best not to compare myself to others because I know that my journey is my own, but at times, I do fall into that negative head space. Thank you for including me in the group of amazing ladies above. They’re all special in their own way as are you. One thing that I appreciate about you Amanda is that you’re real – open and honest and you speak to your followers not at them. I’m happy to have met you and can’t wait to see how your blogging journey progresses. Xoxo

    • Thank you so much, Gail! Your words were so kind, they definitely put a smile on my face. 🙂 We’re all works in progress, but life is so much easier once you can learn to appreciate the unique things that you have to offer! You are certainly one of those women who seems to exude confidence, embrace her individuality, and go on doing things her own way…and I really admire that! I’m so glad that we’ve been able to meet too. Here’s to more collabs, friendships, and blogging success!! 🙂 Have a wonderful rest of your weekend! XOXO

  12. Amanda what a fantastic post. And well done for being truly happy with yourself. Looking forward to reading your future posts. Looking beautiful as always. Hoping with your help I can start loving self more too 🙂 xxx

    • Aw, thank you so much, sweet girl. 🙂 I’m definitely still a work in progress, but it’s a wonderful feeling learning to love yourself! I’m so so glad you enjoyed the post! XOXO

  13. If it wasn’t for you liking a couple of my posts and writing a lovely comment, I might not have found your wonderful blog. And when I say wonderful, I mean it. I especially love this post; I’m on my own journey of self-appreciation at the moment and I think it’s a very worthwhile thing to start discussing. Thanks for the little extra happiness. Xx

    • You’re so sweet! That makes me so happy, I cannot even tell you! The journey to self-appreciation is definitely difficult, but incredibly rewarding. We’re all constantly on this journey and it’s so wonderful to be able to talk openly about the things that frighten, scare, concern, or bother us because most of the time, nearly everyone else is or has felt the very same way. I’m so glad that you found this post worth your while, I’m excited to continue on with this little series! You’re such a sweetheart, thank you for the kind words! XO

  14. I totally agree with what you’ve written. I don’t know how exactly i stumbled upon your blog, but I’m glad that I did. Personally, I KNOW I am beautiful and unique and talented in my own way, yet sometimes it is hard to accept that. I put off starting a blog for so many years because I thought who would want to read what I write…and reading this post reminded me again that I am beautiful and my thoughts are beautiful and I shouldn’t need anyone’s validation.
    Thank you for that 🙂 And I wish you all the success in future 🙂

    • This comment totally made my day. Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad that you stumbled upon this post + that it helped remind/reiterate what you already know about yourself! Keep on keeping on girl, it sounds like your mind is in a great place. Wishing you the best of luck with your blog!! Keep in touch. 🙂 XOX

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