When you don't feel good enough..

What to do when you don't feel good enough

This is a post I've been meaning to write for a while, but understandably it's a bit of a tricky topic to get your head around in just a few paragraphs (or in my case, four hundred). Maybe I'm a bit of a cynic (and by maybe, I mean I definitely am), but no matter who we are, what we do or how our lives may seem from an outsider's point of view, I refuse to believe that any one person can be completely and utterly content with their lives. And right now? I'll be honest with you, I'm kinda not.

I've been trying to figure out a way to insert this little nugget of information into my blog, but every way - be it an entire blog post, a humorous anecdote, or just a slight inclination - never quite seems like the right way to introduce such a touchy subject. Anyway, what I'm trying to say here in the most normal way possible is that I have depression. I've had it for years, I take medication for it and I'm okay. That's pretty much all I have to say about that right now. I'm saying it because I feel like that creates the basis for this entire blog post. Hell, if I'm gonna get personal with you guys, I may as well dive head first into the situation. And I may as well post a photo of myself in my undies while I'm at it too. Would it help if I told you I haven't shaved my legs in a week? Too personal? Oh alright then (see, even us sad gals can make jokes every once in a while!).

So hands up if you've ever felt personally victimised by social media? Chances are, if we were in a stadium full of people, everyone would have their hands up, including Regina George. The media is great - don't get me wrong - but it also sucks so damn hard sometimes. If it wasn't bad enough having models and celebrities out there looking amazing, we now have 'normal' (for lack of a better word) people making us feel crap about how we look or the lives we live. We all know Photoshop and filters exist, and we all know there's no such thing as perfection, yet every time we go on Instagram and see a flat-stomached, perfectly made-up girl (or guy!), or someone out there supposedly living the life we want to lead, the reasonable parts of our brain switch off and out comes the green headed monster. Add a sprinkle of negative emotions into the mix and you've got yourself a 5* recipe for self-hatred. And oh man, is that a slippery slope to go down.

I guess what 'not feeling good enough' comes down to is simply feeling as though you should be a certain way, as opposed to just feeling. I see so many people in my position travelling the world, going to parties and leading a glamourous lifestyle that sometimes I feel as though that's what I should be doing. I guess it's just FOMO (fear of missing out) but ten times over. Which leads me on to ways that you - and I! - can help our selves when we feel like we're not good enough. But you know - just for the record - you're pretty great as it is..

Stop comparing yourself to others, be inspired by them

We all do it, no matter what situation we're in, and it's probably the most toxic thing anyone can do to themselves. But you know what? The funny (and not in the ha-ha sort of way) thing is is that the people we compare ourselves to have insecurities of their own, and they compare themselves to other people as well. We always want what other people have, so instead of dampening your own spirits by focussing on what you don't have, focus on what you do and use those people you look up to as inspiration, rather than another reason to hate yourself.

Don't believe everything you think

Your brain is a big fat liar sometimes. I mean, how many people have actually told you you weren't good enough, other than yourself? It's your brain that's telling you that, and you only believe it because you think you should. Thoughts are just that: thoughts. There's no fact in what you're thinking - it's simply just a series of ideas that float around your head. Just think about it. If ten people compliment you ten times in one day, and one person insults you, which are you going to remember? The negative one, right? Yeah, you need to get out of that routine.

Stop trying to use your hate as motivation

I've been doing this for so long, because I genuinely thought it would help me become a better person. I basically felt like hating myself to such an extreme would cause me to change into someone that I could love. But hate feeds hate. If you want to learn to love who you are you need to actively start working towards that. Do things you like, focus on things you're good at, and stop beating yourself up about things you're not. No one can do everything.

You have the freedom to do whatever you want

If you're unhappy in a certain situation, there's no reason why you can't take yourself out of that situation and put yourself into one that will make you more happy. Of course it's not as straight forward as simply quitting your day job and waking up with your dream career the next day - this is real life here people. If you want to make changes in your life, things have to change - and not always for the better. But if it gets you to your end goal - which will help to make you happier - then you need to ask yourself about whether it's all worth it. You can do anything, it just depends on the risks you're willing to take. But sometimes, when you find yourself outside of your comfort zone, amazing things can happen.

Only you can make yourself happy

Instead of holding out for that dream job, or waiting for that perfect person to walk into your life, focus on learning to love yourself before anything else. Sure, other great things in life can truly help your general wellbeing, but they're only accessories. If you're a happy person you'll find joy in all kinds of places, but if you're in a dark place that feeling will follow you throughout whatever you do. At the end of the day, the only person you'll have at the end of it all is yourself, so you may as embrace who you are.

Hope this helped some of you, and I hope it wasn't too whiny! Please feel free to pop some of your own tips in the comments below - you never know who you might be helping!

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Fleur of England Boudoir Underwear Set *

 

How to turn your blog into a brand

How to turn your blog into a brand

I won't lie to you lot (do I ever?!) - I am probably one of the least business-minded people you'll ever come across, sooo I guess it's kind of funny that I'm even considering making this blog post at all. Stay with me for a minute though guys, because I assure you that - to make your blog into a brand - you don't actually have to be completely business savvy (I can practically hear you all cheering through your computer screens).

Now one thing I think is important to note about becoming a brand, is that - just because you are one - it doesn't mean you'll start raking in the cash like there's no tomorrow. But it definitely does help speed up the entire process a bit. Plus, branding is cool, right kids!? I'm not 100% being sarcastic there. Anyway, we all know this is going to be a long one, so I won't waste any more of your time. The first step to becoming a brand? Well, reading the next few lines helps..

Know what you're selling

Let's start with perhaps the trickier thing to get to grips with as a blogger. I mean, apart from the odd piece of clothing here and there, what is it that bloggers are actually selling? Well, it turns out it can be pretty much anything, just so long as you actually know what it is. Once upon a time I tried to get my pose on and be a super glamourous blogger, but that didn't work out because I'm neither super glamourous nor overly good at posing. But if there's one thing I am good at, it's talking (or typing, I suppose), so I decided to hone in on that. Now, you can pretty much count on 9/10 blog posts of mine being somewhat of an essay. I guess Im 'selling' a conversation, teamed with a few fancy pictures and some clothes you might want to buy. It sounds so boring on paper, but if you fully own whatever you decide to do (or 'sell') then you're set.

Know who your audience is

In my last blog post about advice on how to use Google Analytics I touched on this topic ever so slightly. Of course you can feel free to check that tip tuesdays out (hint hint) but in short, if you're going to sell to an audience you need to at least take the time to get to know who they are. This doesn't mean personally chatting to every single person that comes onto your website, but it does mean looking at your analytics every once in a while to see the type of people that click onto you blog. GA can tell you everything from your readers' gender, to where they live, and even to where they go on your website. It takes a while to get to grips with, but once you know what it is that your audience wants (and when, and how, and why...you catch my drift) you can start catering your posts more to your reader's preferences. Happy readers = more readers!

Accept help when you can

It was only until I actually started getting help from others that I really saw an improvement in my blog. Okay sure, I'm a walking blogger cliche in that I'm very lucky to have a photographer boyfriend (I promise I do actually like him quite a bit personally too), and I know not everyone has that luxury, but chances are you have friends, family or colleagues that can give you their honest opinions. They might know jack shit about blogging in general, but sometimes it's nice to have someone look at your blog with a completely fresh eye. Two (or more!) brains are always better than one.

Invest in your brand

Whether it's time or money, investing in your brand is an absolute must if you're looking to take it a step further. Personally, I've never actually spent a penny on my blog, purely because I feel like (most of the time) it's actually a waste unless you're spending it really wisely. So instead, I just work my ass off on it. My blog is definitely nothing to shout about, but it does okay for itself - and I didn't get to that 'okay' stage by spending half an hour writing a blog post every so once in a while. Hell, even before it became my job I would spend far too long just staring at a screen. Now I potentially spend around ten hours (at least) a day on the internet. And yes, that includes weekends too. Obviously I do it because I love it, but I also do it in the hope that - one day - it'll all run itself and maybe - just maybe - I'll actually get a full eight hours sleep again.

Fake it 'til you make it

'I don't have enough followers to become a brand!' is something I hear all the darn time. Stop undermining yourself! Every single 'big' blogger out there started with zero followers just like you did. It's called growth baby! I remember when I started out ages ago, all I had was a bit of HTML knowledge and a few too many pairs of shoes. I'd never really used a DSLR and I had no idea about Google Analytics of anything like that, but I knew I could make a website look pretty. At the time I was reading sites like The Blonde Salad back when she had the default blogger template. I saw it, knew I couldn't compete it anyway way regarding her blog, but I knew I could make my website look better. So that was where I started. Even now I like to make my blog look a lot more fancy and 'professional' that it actually is. People do judge books by their covers (or in this case, blogs by their templates) - so you may as well make a good first impression!

Know what you're talking about

No matter what your topic(s) is, it's important that you make sure you're fully clued up about what it is you're actually talking about. It can be as simple as knowing how to spell a brands name correctly, or as complex as writing and researching about how to create a website from scratch. When I started writing my Google Analytics blog post, I had to double check tons of information to make sure I wasn't telling people the wrong thing. Think of it as when you see one of those Kardashian articles on Buzzfeed, that entices you with some form of 'OMG you'll never guess what Kim did' title. You can't help but click on it, and then you find out Kim's just gone and taken another bumfie. What a waste of time that click was. It sounds silly because, hey, it's only one click, but that waste of a click may have cost Buzzfeed a future reader. Same goes for your blog. Give people what they want, and they'll keep coming back (and maybe tell their friends!) - trick them into coming onto your website and you can bet they won't be coming back again.

Expand your brand

It's all well and good having a kick-ass blog that's completely on brand, but what about all of your social media channels, your business cards, or your documents? I think it's so so important to make sure you maintain your brand throughout everything you do. Of course if you have to start somewhere, make it your blog, and perfect it like mad. But once you're done and you're happy with the final result start expanding that into your Facebook (and every other social site out there). Get some business cards printed in a similar manner. Add your logo to the bottom of every email you send out. Use the same fonts and colours for your invoices. Hell, go ahead and create stickers and shove them up all over your town. I'm kind of joking with that last one, but I'm also kind of not. If it gets the word out about what you're doing, do it!

Spread the world

Remember all those years ago when you were adamant you didn't want anyone to ever find your Tumblr? If you're still doing that, stop (unless you're not looking to brand yo blog, then keep at it!). I mean, how is your blog going to become a brand, let alone a business, if you never actually show anyone what you're working on? I get it, putting your hard work, thoughts, and sometimes even your face out there for the world to see is a scary, scary thing. Hell, I still get nervous butterflies whenever I post a personal story or talk about something a little controversial. But it's things like that that all come together and make blogging really worth it. Some people will like it, some people won't. Then again some people like Coca Cola, and some people despise it. But hey, it's still doing a pretty good job of staying afloat. AmIRight?

If you wanna know more about how to turn your blog into a brand then head on over to Twitter at 8pm GMT! I'm hosting another chat with FashBeautyLife (the last one we did started trending on Twitter!) using the hashtag #fblchat and it'd be grrrrreat to chat all things blogging - and all things completely unrelated - with you lovely lot. See you then!

Fashion Fades, Style Is Eternal

Fashion Fades Style is Eternal YSL
Fashion Fades Style is Eternal
Farfetch Fashion Fades Style is Eternal

I think it's pretty safe to say that a lot has changed since the birth of my blog, but throughout those two years, one thing has remained consistent: my love for simple, classic pieces that go the distance. And so to celebrate the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal exhibition, I've decided to pay homage to that in the form of this outfit, featuring some of my all-time favourite pieces to date. Some I've had for years, some I've had for just a few months, but all of them have made their way into my every day wardrobe. And chances are, you'll be seeing a lot more of them on the blog for years to come.

Now I don't know about you guys, but for me, fashion is something that I look to in magazines and runway shows. It's an industry that's so indecisive that it changes it's mind every six months, and it's something that can both bring people together and tear them apart. The fashion world evolves so often that it's almost impossible to keep up with. I mean, just think about it - the entire industry operates one season ahead of itself just to keep up with, well, Itself.

Style however, is like that one old friend who's relationship with you never changes. It's a relationship that you work on over time until you just wake up one morning and you no longer have to try anymore - it all just comes together naturally. We always hear others talk about how style is a reflection of who we choose to be, but in reality I don't think we ever get a say in how our style evolves over time at all. It's almost as natural as learning how to speak. For example, a pink frilly dress on my body is just completely foreign to me, and something I'll never quite understand. But a pair of leather trousers? Consider them my native tongue.
 

How do you guys define the word 'style'?

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Saint Laurent 'Iconic' Smoking Jacket
Saint Laurent Skinny Leather Trousers
Saint Laurent Classic Shirt
Saint Laurent 'Sac du jour' tote
Saint Laurent 'Paris' Pumps
Saint Laurent 'Classic 51' Sunglasses
Saint Laurent Belt