Imposter Syndrome

Doubting yourself is part of growth. It depends on what situation I am in, but recently when it has been intimate/ small meetings I tend to seriously doubt why I should even be there. Why lil ol’ me? My body language shifts, I try cover up the adrenalin/ nerves/excitement as my body blushes and I’m constantly thinking “Don’t go red, don’t go red! Get your words right!”…

Well, I have to remember ‘lil ol me runs a business and it’s time to grab life by the lady balls and realise that my opinion is valued. We’re all human.

I had a meeting last week for something that it being put together in Leeds, which I happen to have the pleasure of being on the steering board for. I sat down with a wonderful mixture of health professionals, each taking it in turn to introduce ourselves and what we’re all about. Each person there was absolutely incredible. Doing amazing things for folk, highlighting elements of health and wellbeing they would like to be improved. Then it was my turn and I felt that prickly red heat spreading over my body before I opened my mouth. 20180821102643_img_3753-01

I’ve spoke about Keep Real many times, in various settings. I’ve done it in small meetings, groups of over 50, even on stage to over 100 people. Small meetings are a struggle for me.  Sometimes I’m in a great headspace and can talk about it easily and freely. Others I can be a big walking rashy queen. It’s a case of mind over matter, I can get so caught up in my body’s reaction that I completely lose track of my thoughts, which are obsessively saying “You’re going red!! Not again!”, “Your neck is getting really hot now, they’ll all notice!“.

But do you know what?

The other wonderful folk in the meeting who spoke after me had the same thing. I noticed they were just like me. The man next to me even said “How do I follow that?!” after I spoke about Keep Real.  The folk after me blushes as they spoke- and I was relieved. Absolutely relieved. 

So it isn’t just me! It wasn’t necessarily the notion of comparing myself to these inspiring people, it was more a case of feeling undeserving.

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Sometimes we have to open our eyes to the fact that it’s ok. It’s ok to feel that way, we can recognise it and move forward. I recently read an article on Forbes around overcoming that ‘imposter syndrome’ feeling (read it here).

I messaged my friend and advisor Catherine about feeling this way, and she even said that she still feels like an imposter at work and every time she’s put in the position to lead a meeting. So, no. No it isn’t just me, and it isn’t my age either in this entrepreneurial world. It in fact, happens to everyone. And that’s ok.

Have you ever felt like a bit of an imposter? Let me know if it’s happened to you!

Body Image, Teens and the Internet #wellnesswednesday

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 18.44.01I took the Trusted Clothes quiz on body image concerning young girls and I couldn’t believe how much I didn’t know. Girls are more concerned about being called ‘fat’ than losing their parents, nuclear war or failing at school. How!? What??! There is also an increasing rate of boys with self esteem issues with the rise of social media. Every time I clicked on an answer, I couldn’t stop shaking my head. I can’t believe this is the world we live in. Then it got me thinking…and researching.

I wrote a very similar post before about Body Image. How the internet is a pivotal connection for those who are in need of guidance, but can be a place detrimental to a young person’s health. We as adults use the internet a little more wisely (or can be argued not as much!), however- for young people this isn’t necessarily a tool of communication. It’s comparison at the touch of a button or scroll.

Only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.

In researching, I started off by simply googling the term ‘body image’. There are plenty of useful websites out there, first with Planned Parenthood. The only downfall of these vital searches, the layout and content of these sites are, in all honesty, not user friendly. It’s extremely clinical, and not active for young people. The content is so sooooo useful, but the website’s appearance lets it down. We need to see an improvement of web content for young people in order for them to feel like they have access to the information they need.

According to do something.org, 95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. Then why, as social media usage has risen, are we not creating supportive and informative content that is marketed towards that age group? Pew Research Centre said a staggering 71% of teens use more than one social network site, with teenage girls using social media sites — particularly visually-oriented ones — for sharing more than their male counterparts do. Why are we not looking at the research and creating accessible and visually appealing content for young people regarding mental health issues and body image? The top websites in the search bar I have been on in relation to body image and self esteem feels clinical, awkward to use and without a connection to the audience.

The research is super mind blowing regarding adults too, the British Social Attitudes conducted a survey in 2014, three-quarters (77%) of adults think that society puts too much pressure on females to have a sexualised appearance, half of all adults (47%) think that ‘how you look affects what you can achieve in life’, and one-third (32%) agree with the statement ‘your value as a person depends on how you look’.

But things are looking up. 
There are such INCREDIBLE organisations out there doing amazing things for young people. We need to address these existing issues, and with wonderful non-profit organisations (some I’ve had the super sweet pleasure of working with) like Heads Together, Welsh based Heads Above The Waves, The Golddigger Trust from Sheffield and the almighty Young Minds rallying for change- we can see these figures drop significantly. Support the non-profits that are in your local area. Mental health awareness is on the rise, and we need to stand together. Let’s make social media an accessible place for young people to help them grow positively.

The best way out is always through – Robert Frost

A Reflection on Being Butt-hurt.

Hey folks! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend so far!

As a lil’ lady who is continuously learning about herself, it’s extremely hard to discuss topics that I’m still, well, learning about! It’s soul- baring, and I feel all vulnerable discussing it. I’d like to think I’m self aware, or at least know my own strengths and weaknesses in every day terms, but in a perspective concerning relationships- it’s still something that is developing all the time.

I pride myself on my independence, and being comfortable in my own skin. Which is very true indeed! As some of you know, I was a bundle of nerves and my anxiety was at it’s highest in college years. In other articles/posts, I have stated that it affected my Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 14.56.11relationships, which it definitely did. I look back at that time now, and think how much of a different person I am now. I’m unashamed of my easy going attitude towards everything, I’m confident and chilled out in a mushy-cool combination (or at least I’d like to think so!), I go with the flow- if a guy comes along that I really like, sweet! If not, that’s cool too- because what will happen, will happen ❤ However it has been a slight downfall in relationships where my kindness/ easy going attitude has been taken for granted, or really taken advantage of. And that’s my reflection. It aint cool. It’s not 100% ‘rejection’, its someone manipulating the good within you for selfish reasons. I was butt hurt, and it succkkkkeedd. It hurt my lil’ soul.

Everyone has a fear of rejection/ feelings not returned, but it’s how you deal with it that determines the overall outcome. Learn from it, grow- but also let yourself feel! This has been on my mind from the experience. When someone betrays your trust, or plays on your personality, it flippin sucks. It sucks big time, no matter the circumstance. It’s alright to rationalise an experience by saying ‘some people are not meant to be in your life’ and ‘hurt people, hurt people’ (which are all very true sayings), you have to let yourself feel hurt. This, in my very personal experience, is something I’ve been working on. It feels uncomfortable and has a weird feeling in your stomach, but it’s so important to experience it (Psychologies has a great article about coming back from rejection here). It’s left me a little guarded as a person lately, but I’m taking it within my stride. We’re not all perfect people, it’s taken me a while to admit this butt-hurt. I’m still rolling with the punches and slaying my way through each week the best I can!

Remember, you’re growing as a human being every day. Every day. Sometimes, things don’t go the way you planned, and you have to be very mindful of your actions and reactions. Be gentle, be kind, be yourself. As much as being butt-hurt sucks, don’t react with anger or hate. Take a step back and remember your self worth, and treat the situation with as much goodness as you can. But also stand up for yourself too! ❤ You will come out of a bad experience with more perspective, ready to go with the flow of the world that awaits!

Anyway sweetpeas, I will leave it there ❤ sending all my love to you all!

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media – The Rise of Mental Health Problems?

After reading an article in Elle’s March issue (I’m a sucker for my annual fashion subscription), it seems to me that even the fashion magazines are picking up on the connections between the digital age, and our own mental health. To quote Elle directly about some of the questions we are facing are ‘Will our jobs be replaced by apps? Are we saving enough money? Working smartly enough? Should we be building a personal brand? Investing in likes? Or rebelling against it all?’.

I gotta say, this article (even though aimed at young women, and asking whether anxiety and depression is becoming the norm for us in that category) is hitting a nerve for me. Even the swamp of rhetorical questions the article fires off, is giving me some form of worry.

From a personal view, it’s quite a struggle in a way. Should I be rebelling against it all? There’s parts of me that love the idea of social media being great for my business, being great for connecting with other like minded folk. But then again, I’ve just spent 7 hours solid on my laptop and not reeeaaallllyyy communicating in the real world. Is it the balance? Or are we onto something here?

I know that social media can be a wonderful tool in helping yourself, helping others and being a great virtual planet of good things. But how do we know that the digital age we are in, is compatible with us as people? It can play on our self esteem, it can be used to find out personal information, and are we really wanting all that information…all of the time?

What do you guys think?

 

Sending all my love to you, and as always keep real! ❤

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Thought for the Day

We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere and create a life worth living – Jacob Held

We all have a choice on how to react and perceive situations. You have the power to create such a beautiful life ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #2

So it’s official, kimmykeepreal.com! ❤

I’ve been designing away and getting down and dotty (heh) with my artwork. Really focusing on key pieces to bring to the collection, from t-shirts and crop tops to notebooks and accessories. At this stage, its all about the grafting and wwpid-img_20150525_132636.jpgorking on finding the right materials and fit for all you guys and gals. Patience is a virtue at this point, so I wanna be 112% happy with the overall outcome of Keep Real’s first positive goods collection.

Last years collection when I first started Keep Real, was just a tester to figure out what products and designs I could ultimately create (you can have a peek at some existing products that are now on sale here!). In my mindset, I wanted to give back with some of the products, such as giving 10% of each art print sold to Mind, the mental health charity here in the UK. I am still working towards raising money and awareness for mental health. This is so important to the Keep Real brand! Promoting a healthy relationship with yourself and others is key to Keepin’ It Real ❤

As well as designing the new collection, I also got another design by the amazing Niall Shannon tattooed! Bit of a celebration of finishing my degreewpid-img_20150523_184438.jpg and working so hard. The moth is a wonderful symbol of the soul and its transforming course. It follows the light, and that is where my journey goes too. I just knew I had to get this! A wonderful end to three years and a new beginning.

I’ve had a crazy week of working, designing and seeing some beautiful people. I’m ready for another wonderful week and I hope you are too. Let’s do this!

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.- Arthur Ashe

Good Food = Good Mood

Now, over the last three years as a University Student- the top main dishes of choice are either spag bol, pasta, instant mash or toast. Eating well (never mind healthy!) is the last priority in the pockets of a student, or anyone who has better things to spend their money on.food_for_mood1

Alas, I am coming to the end of my University life and I made a few changes this year. I have been determined to have the mindset ‘I would rather spend more money on healthy and better foods than spend less on cheap/ microwave alternatives’. I used to pick out all the microwave £1 meals, slapping them all into my basket like it was going out of fashion.

But here I am, feeling a lot better than ever by slapping away the microwave meals.

I started drinking a lot of green tea to start off with (you can check out Green Tea benefits here), but I’ve been having PG Tips Green Tea with Lemon. Without the lemon, it can be a little harsh on the ol’ taste buds- so lemon is super refreshing! A great tip if you just have green tea without any other flavouring, put a little honey in it. Super yummy!

Also, I have a book called ‘The Food Doctor: Healing Foods for Mind and Body’ (which you can find here) helping me 51TQEYHTBPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_to pick the right foods for my diet. It tells you all the benefits of different foods in various food groups, giving you the tools to choose what kind of nutrients you need! Also, it has a chapter on veganism, as well as food for energy boosters and a ‘good food, good mood’ section.

By using fresh foods and ingredients, I feel so much better in myself. When I have takeaways (as nice as they can be now and then!), I feel bloated and just not comfortable. Yeah it tastes great after a night out or when you can’t be bothered to cook, but the day after my body is telling me ‘hell noooo…we dont like this! give us the good stuff!’. Everyone knows I love a good pizza, and when it says it ‘serves 4’ …it just serves me.

Making little changes to your diet can really improve your mood. So go on, try something new! Spruce up that lifestyle and diet of yours and be confident!! ❤

Achieving Your Goals – 3 Steps to Keepin’ It Real!

You have the ability to do whatever you set your mind to, and it’s all within the way you think. It truly is dear reader. As the ol’ saying goes ‘If you have negative thoughts, you will never lead a positive life’. Basically, the only person stopping you from obtaining your goals is yourself. Easier said than done, right? Right. So here’s 3 key things I think will help to gain more confidence- and a starter to achieving your goals!tumblr_n19fdy3b4B1t30pdvo3_500

1) Your walk can change everything.

Weird, I know. But I feel this is a great step to start with- as easy it may be! When I had quite bad anxiety through my college years, I noticed that I held myself in a way that looked…well, shy. I’d walk, but look down at the pavement, my back would be slouched. I honestly thought that was the way I walked, but it all came down to confidence.

Next time you’re walking somewhere, down the street or to your car- think about how you walk. Are your shoulders back? Do you look forward when you walk, or do you look down at your feet? Are you comfortable when you’re walking?
Something as simple at that, is quite a good indicator on how confident you feel about yourself. Walk at the pace you want, relax those shoulders and hold your head high! You’re amazing, so let’s show everyone how amazing you can be!

2) Make a list! 

Something I’ve found helpful in obtaining my goals is to ask the miracle question. Well, what is the miracle question? As a counselling student, I use this sometimes with clients – but it can be really helpful for yourself too. Ask yourself, ‘What is my perfect situation? If I could be anything/ do anything in 5 years time, where would I want to be?’. Asking questions like these, can make you realise what your goals truly are. So go on, make a list and answer your own miracle questions!

3) Small steps = big milestones!

Do not rush into achieving whatever you set your mind to. If they’re little personal goals- then you can do them whenever you want! But if its say, moving house or changing a job..or like me, that you’re wanting to start your own business- then take it easy. ‘Nothing of worth should ever be rushed’. Take your time with it. It’s exciting and perhaps a little daunting to have your goal(s), but once you make little check-lists or first baby steps- it will soon turn into huge milestones. So you’ll be well on your way to what you want to achieve!

Hope these three things are good to you and help you along the way in whichever way, shape or form. Take your time, and be kind to yourself. No one is saying you have to achieve your goals in a certain time. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. It’s all in your hands- you’re the leader of your own life! ❤