Hi everyone! I have some wonderful news. Your dreams and goals are possible!
My friends and I are a part of a girl's self-esteem group at school. One of our many projects is mentoring young middle school girls every week. This past week, I was in charge of our activities and meeting. We played an M&M game where each color represented a different thing to be proud of or a goal to achieve. While playing the game, one of the girls expressed how she wanted to be a singer and that it had been special to her heart since she was young. She also wanted to win Grammy's. However, she quickly combated herself by bringing up nerves, other people's opinions on her voice, and a past negative experience. Once she finished speaking I smiled at her and asked for her autograph. I then went into a very long speech. I began with how possible her dreams are.
Your dreams are possible. I'll prove it to you with my testimony. I used to be incredibly shy and I fed off of this idea that anything good in my life was impossible. Contrary to my thoughts, God was putting everything in the right place. All my dreams were very much possible. I simply had to believe in them. Once I realized I had the potential to fulfill my dreams, I began to believe in them. I had to strengthen my faith and watch the possibilities unfold. Here are some ways that YOU can strengthen your belief and unlock the possibilities:
1. First, I wrote the vision and made it plain. I want to be an actress, so on paper, I physically wrote "I am a successful actress," and a list of awards. Right now, I want you to write your goal or dream on a piece of paper, and place it on your wall. Seeing that everyday will motivate you to keep going. It creates a feeling of, "I want the words on this paper to be a reality."
2. Learn! We will NEVER stop learning! In order to get to your goal you've got to train and learn. I'm taking acting classes and other creative skill-building classes to prepare me for my dream. You have to get ready for the greatness coming your way. Prepare for your goal by taking classes and doing research.
3. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you enter your goal free of stressful people. It's not easy to instantly notice when someone is hurting your future. Take time to observe the people in your circle. If they constantly tear you down or you feel miserable after interacting with them, take a step back. Assess the situation and decide whether or not it can be fixed before tapping into your dreams. If it cannot, you have to be strong and let go through love. Positive people will keep you on track and in the right mindset. When I asked the student for her autograph, I wanted her to get a sense of her success.
4. Crush your comfort zone! Try new things and expand your knowledge. This goes hand in hand with learning. If you approach things with an attitude of, "I am going to know more than I did before, and I can use it to my advantage," you will be less nervous and life won't seem like a chore.
5. Most importantly, do not hold on to negative opinions. I've witnessed too many people give up because of what someone has said about them. I've even given up in the past based on an opinion. Here's the thing about humans; we always have an opinion and it won't ever be the same as everyone else's. Also, no matter what you do, people will have something to say about it. If you feel in your heart that your decision is going to contribute to your future and potentially help others around you, close out those negative words.
The results will blow your mind. I've come from a shy girl with little hope to a beautiful young woman who's living her dreams. I will be flying to Los Angeles in July to stand face to face with my goal and conquer it. You have a handful of possibilities! Believe in them, put them to work, and conquer them!
Sending out extra positive vibes, I challenge you to believe in your dreams and get to work in making them happen. God bless you all and I will talk to you next week!
¨I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.¨ ~Martha Washington Stresses of life and individual responsibility have been latching onto me as I slowly approach my final days of high school. It was like trying to find the exit in a dark house of mirrors. One night I told my mom that I was ¨tired of everything.¨ I then went on to complain about a lot of things. Half of them didn't even make sense. Naturally, my mother gave me some epic advice. She told me to be happy and do what I need to do. I was thinking that there would be some complicated way to achieve these two things, but there wasn't. It was a quick and easy choice like flicking a light switch. I thought back to the times when I chose to be upset about a situation and how much harder it was to be mad.
Now whenever I face an upsetting situation, I take a deep breath and choose to be happy either before complaining or midway. Happiness is your choice! Do not let the negativity in the world overtake you. Choosing happiness will cause your circumstance to seem less overbearing. If you complain and allow it to bother you, the situation will get worse. It takes more energy to be upset. Decide today that you are determined to be happy no matter what. Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to let your happiness outweigh your circumstance! Stay positive!
Written by Kaci Hollingsworth
¨Growth and comfort do not coexist.¨ -Ginni Rometty
This is the introduction to a journey of maturation. While making mental notes of this article, I considered taking the traditional route of connecting a seeds growth into a plant. However, as the week went on, I found myself blessed with a more personal connection; my hair.
As many of you may not have known, I recently decided to go natural. For those of you lovely humans who are not familiar with the term; going natural is when you wear your God given hair, free of chemical straighteners. My hair was chemically straightened for a majority of my childhood. Completely uneducated on the beautiful subject, I expected my hair to simply spring back to curls. I was incredibly confused when this wasn't happening, so I ran to the internet. After watching many videos on transitioning to natural hair, I found a youtuber who easily and beautifully explained the process. She not only touched the obviously physical aspects of transitioning to natural hair, but also informed me of the emotional process. She used the analogy of a rock tied to a string. In her video, she explained that my hair was like a string tied to a rock. The rock represents the chemical, and the string represents the natural hair. Once you cut the string and let go of the rock, everything will return to its natural state. In the process of cutting my hair I began to understand and feel the emotional weight. I often had short moments of internal panic. During my first week with my natural hair, I was very self conscious. I was used to my longer hair, so I felt vulnerable with my new haircut. In the youtuber's video, she also talked about failing. There will be many times that it doesn´t work out, but that will only make the successful moments greater. Finding the right product for my hair is like trial and error. The most important tip in the video was self-love. As I enter my second week with all-natural hair, I've learned that not everyone will like it, and some even respond in a negative manner. Yet even then, the optimal opinion is my own. I love my hair. It is teaching me to accept myself in a new and natural light.
Growth is a major component in life. If you find yourself stuck or too comfortable, you may need to clip off your ends. Cut the negativity out of your life. Here's the best part: once you cut out the bad, you free yourself and allow more room for better things to grow. Life is an emotional journey. It is important that you never give up. Do not settle. Step out of your comfort zone, and embrace vulnerability. Ahead of you may be hecklers, walls, and challenges, but let your desire to be better than before fuel you. There will be times that you hit a wall, and when that happens look at how far you've come, strengthen yourself with self-love, and continue to tackle your dreams. Do not meditate on the words of people who don't believe in you. Love and encourage yourself. Your difficulties and setbacks will only make the breakthroughs shine brighter.
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to grow! Break out of your comfortable bubble, so that you can rise above all that tries to stop you!
"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; It's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."
So many people feel that success is only based on being the greatest, the richest, or the most experienced, but the amazing truth is that success comes in many different forms. Success is positively investing yourself into a goal and accomplishing it.
As I enter into many great things, I find that the experiences that resonate with me the most are the ones that cannot function without unity and sacrifice. This past weekend I was able to watch success shine in natural light. A group of amazing young women and I came together to host an incredible pageant. During the night of the event, I watched as each component unfolded and played into its purpose. Hosting a pageant is not just the person introducing themselves behind the microphone. It is first made up of an idea and a want and willingness to finish your goals. Next, you gather support. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about this goal. Then there is work. Work consists of sacrifice, training, disagreements, and dedication. There was a major amount of time poured into this pageant. Over the course of six months, we were able to create an amazing opportunity for many girls at our school. The process involved many late nights after school making phone calls, creating programs, flyers, and posters, and encouraging each other. Each girl had her part and together we succeeded. As a result, we taught ourselves and others the importance of unity and support. Everyone who participated in the pageant, onstage and backstage, left with a greater understanding of self-love and loving others.
The journey is easier with company. Remember that you do not have to face everything alone. If you have goals that seem too difficult and unachievable, find a support group. Accomplish them through unity!
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to connect with someone and dedicate yourselves to your goals for this week!
Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do.
Orison Swett Marden
As you walk through life, it is important to have faith. Trust that good things will come your way, and that bad things will work out in the end. The theme at my church this year is, 'Trust in God.' As I began this year, I've focused on applying this theme to my life. With graduation day approaching, I'm in the process of applying to colleges. While setting up for this new level in my life, I've already faced challenges. As I finished an online application, a restart notification prompt appeared on my screen. I cautiously postponed it, but
accidentally deleted my 250 word essay. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and thought back to Proverbs 3:5, ¨Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” I retyped my essay instead of letting the situation destroy me. While waiting for my mother to proofread the essay, the session timed out losing all of my work on the writing portion. I had to type the essay a fifth time on a different device after the computer restarted and froze. With my sanity and my hair still attached to my scalp, I was able to turn my application in on time.
It's important to have trust. I could have easily given up, and not finished the application. Instead, I kept faith and trusted in God. You can't give up. You have to hold onto faith. Trust in yourself. Trust in your ability. Trust in your future. Trust in God! My application process was clearly a struggle, but I made it through.
My Pastor taught me the that the process may hurt, but the promise is great. He used an example of grapes. Grapes are squeezed, pressed, and crushed, however; the end result is a sweet product. Like grapes, we are squeezed in life, only to become better than we were before.
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to have faith. Trust in God and yourself, and watch blessings unfold. Do not worry about the process, focus on the promise.
Happy New Year! We made it into 2016. Reflecting back on 2015, I entered a new realm. I faced trials that gave me a greater understanding of love, time, and myself. Now that a new year has begun, I am more equipped to handle situations with wisdom and compassion.
2015 was the year that I accepted my potential. Once I began to believe in myself, opportunities and success continuously fell at my feet. I was appreciating my progress, but I hit a wall. I poured my love into someone who couldn't love their own self. This resulted in me getting hurt. I had been giving away so much time and love, expecting a response, and not getting one. For a while I was in a rotten, emotional state. I was beyond out of my character and everyone noticed. After a refreshing night at bible study, I welcomed forgiveness in my heart for myself and my friend. During my recovery I spent my time loving myself and my family. The greatest thing I learned from my unrequited love experience is that I love hard. Knowing this put me in the position to further understand love. I watched 'The Passion of Christ' and studied the depth of unconditional love. I'm extremely grateful to say that in the last days of 2015, I was placed on a whole new level. God used my only downfall of that year to excel me into greater aspects of life. In 2015 I was placed in front of a guarded gate. Now that it's a new year, I've been clothed in armor and given the key to enter and receive what was promised to me.
It is a new year! You have a fresh start. Step into it expecting success, spreading love, and leading with wisdom.
Sending out positive vibes for the first time in 2016, I challenge you to gain an understanding of love for yourself and get a clear view of the relationships in your life. 2016 is the year of love, and it's time to walk in it. Have an amazing year!
Dear everyone, your current position is not permanent! You can go higher!
This weekend I was rehearsing lines with my best friend. She was having a hard time remembering a particular line, so she said:
"I can't do this! You don't get nervous in front of other people like I do."
I then said to her, "I used to."
While explaining my past fears to her, I had a chance to reflect on how much my life has changed in less than six months. I saw that my facts were not final.
If someone had approached me in March of 2015 and told me that I was about to step into my future and live my dreams, I wouldn't have believed them. My mind was conditioned to hoping for things and doubting myself. After accepting a shy persona, I was convinced that I wasn't capable of living my dreams.
However, what is fact is not final. Within six months, sixteen years worth of wasted hope grew into completed promises, answered prayers, and the desires of my heart placed into the palms of my hands. The quiet girl who was afraid to sit next to people in class and make eye contact now writes for a magazine. She has performed in two plays and sang in front of a crowd. I'm gaining confidence in the process and I'm blessed with the opportunity to share and empower others with my testimony.
You can advance from where you are now! Have faith and give yourself a chance. Write your hopes on paper and believe that they will happen. Work toward them with a relentless dedication. Despite what it may look like you are already equipped with everything you need to be incredible.
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to give your future a chance. Advance from your current position! Speak confidence and keep a "can do" attitude. Stay beautiful and have a blessed week because what's fact is not final.
Everyone has different standards of beauty and it's time that you realize you do NOT have to live up to anyone's standards but your own.
What does beauty look like to you? You've each just pictured different clothing and hairstyles, faces with makeup, faces without makeup, different sizes and heights; different colors and tones. The truth is, these are all examples of beauty.
When I was younger, society persuaded me to believe that there was only one way to be beautiful and that I wasn't doing it. I was constantly tearing myself down because I didn't look like the girls on tv and in the magazines. Even when I tried to look like them, I wasn't satisfied. I realized I was imitating the same thing as almost everyone else and that was ruining my individuality. I had to take a step back and evaluate my self-worth. In the process, I've learned that I'm worth more than society's beauty expectations. I stopped degrading my appearance and began to compliment myself. I saw that God created me exactly the way I was meant to be; beautiful.
It's disappointing to know that low beauty confidence can be considered a relatable topic for many girls and women. It is even more terrifying to know that it can start at a very young age, so today I encourage you to change this. Let's set positive examples of the beauty, esteem, and unity of females.
First, put down the magazines, turn off the televisions, and go stand in front of a mirror. The person staring back at you is the definition of beauty. She doesn't have to look like the girl on page twelve or the model on Project Runway. She is gorgeous and she is you!!!
Second, makeup does NOT create your beauty. If you're standing in front of your mirror with a painted and made up face, wipe it off. The clean face that you entered this world with is your purest beauty. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing makeup. Makeup accessorizes your beauty; it doesn't create it. I particularly struggled with this because everyone around me wore makeup. I never made an effort to wear it and I was wrongfully shamed. So as I grew to love myself, I stayed away from the makeup. I fell in love with my natural face. Now, I do wear makeup, however I wear it as an accessory. I do not use it to hide my God given beauty and I recommend that you try it too! Don't worry about what other people will say because they didn't sculpt your individuality. You are beautiful.
Third, compliment yourself on a daily basis. Don't rely on other people to tell you what they think of your appearance. You have to motivate and admire yourself because people will not always be there to say something nice. Once you love and appreciate yourself, you will see the world in a new way. You will want to help those struggling with loving their appearance, and you will have the strength to help.
Fourth, there are different sizes, colors, and heights on this earth for a reason. If not, we would have all been created to look exactly the same. There is no aspect better than the other and none of the factors are perfect. You have to accept that beauty is limitless! Understanding the latter will give you less things to worry about.
Finally, someone is always watching and listening for your help to turn them in the right direction. To the mother, your teenaged daughter is watching and listening. To the teenaged daughter, your younger sister is watching and listening. To the younger sister, your baby sister is watching and learning. YOU are even learning from yourself, so be careful of what you say and how you treat yourself. Don't shame your appearance or try to be someone else because the females around you are learning and forming habits. Be grateful for your natural appearance and compliment yourself, so those that are watching will do the same. Do not humiliate your own beauty or other's beauty with your words. Be the example. Be the role model. We have to prepare the future female generations for greatness. Be kind and compliment other women and girls. Teach the young girls that beauty is cultivated from the inside through self-love, gratitude, kindness, and respect.
The woman in the magazine and on the tv screen is beautiful and so is the woman who gets out of bed and stands in the mirror. There is no set rule to be beautiful. Just be you and love you. Let's make the term 'low confidence' difficult to relate to. Plant positivity, encouragement, and light into your own life and the lives of others.
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to accept and express your individuality, compliment yourself daily (hourly if needed), and encourage other females of all ages that they are valuable and absolutely gorgeous! Have an amazing week! Much love to you all! Stay beautiful!
By Kaci Hollingsworth
Be yourself, no one can ever tell you you're doing it wrong." -James Leo Herlihy
Society is a puzzle and we are all pieces. As pieces, we have our own individual curves, colors, and edges. We have a particular place to be in order to make the picture beautiful. If we try to change our individuality and stick ourselves in the wrong place the end result will be hideous.
Many teenagers want to "fit in" and that is okay as long as you aren't fitting into the wrong place. It becomes a problem when you put on a facade. With so many different influences around, it's easy for teens to soak up certain ideas, styles, or ways. I am guilty of changing myself for friends.
I made three friends with completely different personalities. Friend A had a negative outlook on life, friend B was very shy, and friend C had opinions different than mine. As I got to know each of these people a little more, I formed habits similar to their's. Whenever I was around friend A, I would have a bad mood. Nothing seemed to go right so I complained a lot. If I was with friend B, we'd stand separated from everyone else. We never volunteered or participated. Before meeting friend C, I stuck to my own opinions. Once I got to know her, I changed my opinions of things simply so she would be pleased. My brain was drained after changing myself to meet their needs on a daily basis. When I would hangout with all three of them at once I would completely shut down. I didn't know how to act. Eventually, I realized that my body couldn't take the mental and emotional toll. I decided to be myself around each one of them and see their reactions. It turns out that they all respect my individuality. As I've met more people I've learned that the right people will draw closer to the real you. I didn't always agree with everyone I met and that's fine. The people that were supposed to stay are still here today.
You do not have to change yourself for others or change to fit in. If you stay true to you, the right people will come your way. On a planet with people who strive to be the same, individuality is the step forward. You can be something more than what the majority expects you to be. You were created to do great things and you have a specific mission that no one else can accomplish. Being yourself, embracing your uniqueness, and holding on to self-love will bring great people and success into your life.
Sending out positive vibes, I hope that you all have a wonderful week. I'll give you an easy challenge; be yourself! No one else can do it and you do it best!
By Kaci Hollingsworth
Effort is your best route to success.
Sometimes it is easy to think that your desires and dreams should simply be handed to you. I'll even admit, at one point in my life, I believed this too! However, I've learned that true satisfaction doesn't work that way.
Once I realized my purpose and my career path, I literally waited for something to happen. I had this mindset that the right people and job opportunities would fall at my feet if I was patient enough. As a result, I sat around complaining about why I was still in the same place I had began. I was clearly missing the greatest aspect of success; hard work.
My sophomore year in high school I joined the marching band. Being new to the skill, I had no expectations of it. When we started learning how to march I quickly realized how challenging it was. My band director taught us that "It's the hard that makes it good!" In order to be an awesome marching band, we had to work our way through the difficult things and apply our all when times were easy. Now in my senior year of marching band, I make sure I give my best at all times.
Being your best does not mean that you are better than someone else. You may be more skilled in a particular area, but you shouldn't have a boastful attitude about it. We should encourage others to be their best too! Giving your all and staying dedicated to your assignment and dreams can only result in success.
This past week, I had an audition. I was given a week to prepare for my audition and memorize my monologue. Within that time, I studied my monologue and placed it in my heart. Once it was memorized, I recited it in the mirror working on my facial expressions, changes in emotion, and movement. I made an effort to perform to the best of my ability and I did. When it was time for my audition, I stood in front of everyone and began my monologue. Near the end I started to forget. However, my hard work paid off. All of the practice time I put in improved my skill and I was able to act my way out of the problem. I used improv, on the spot acting, and closed with my last lines. The energy I placed into preparing for my audition not only enhanced my acting skill, it also resulted in a callback. The greatest achievement of the whole experience was seeing my name on the cast list.
Ladies and gentlemen, success is a process that needs effort in order to be obtained. This process isn't always going to be easy, nor will it go exactly as you've planned. However, if you give it your all, you will win in the end. In interviews, most successful people will say that they earned their position by working hard. It's the truth! If their is someone out there who has their goals served to them on a platter, they will not experience the pure fulfillment. So do your best in everything, be patient, stay grateful, and succeed!
Sending out positive vibes, I hope you've had a great Labor Day weekend. I also wish a successful productive life ahead of you! Stay beautiful and blessed Kings and Queens!
By Kaci Hollingsworth