Issue 1: 3 Steps to Confidence, How to Date Again, and 5 Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck
+ 3 Rules for Budgeting, Relationship Quotes, and New Top Picks for You
*This newsletter issue is available for viewership on LivingByBella.Com and Substack. All of our other newsletters will only be viewed through paid memberships.
Happy Friday! This week’s edition is filled with advice and deep conversations about confidence, self care, achieving new goals, and a special dating Q&A! This week’s main discussion about confidence is inspired by you girls, since I’ve recently received many questions about how to feel self-confident and accept yourself. Read on for the advice, and learn how to send in your own questions or ideas for the newsletter!
Living By Bella Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
All About You: 3 Key Steps to Having Confidence: Confidence is key in many aspects of our lives, and allows us to open the doors to achieving our goals, loving our bodies and personalities, and loving ourselves as a whole. I want every girl (or guy) who reads this to understand and develop confidence, so you can focus on your self-love journey, and begin to feel better mentally and physically. Remember, confidence is a journey. After my mom passed away, I suffered a deep depression and hit a low point where I had little to no confidence, self-esteem, or sense of purpose. I hoped I would quickly become a confident, strong, super pretty girl, because after the rain comes the sunshine, right? I quickly learned that the sunshine comes on its own time. Confidence and self love is a journey (a beautiful one at that), and it’s necessary to understand that so you can become the best version of yourself possible.
Step 1. Define Confidence: What does confidence mean to you? Do you want to feel more confident about your appearance? Do you feel insecure about your dating life? Or your achievements? (Ex. You didn’t start that business yet, you didn’t pass that class, or you didn’t hit your goal of reading 50 books a year.) Clearly define what confidence means to you. A clear, important definition of confidence means loving and taking care of my body, respecting my boundaries in my personal and dating life, and believing that I can accomplish my monthly goals. Now, when you have negative thoughts that don’t reaffirm your definition of confidence, you can address them and move on. If you think “I look terrible”, “I can’t finish this project”, “I don’t think I can get through this interview”, acknowledge those feelings, understand they are unhelpful and untruthful, and rephrase those words. “I may not feel attractive today, but I know I am, and I know my value is not attached to my appearance.” “I know I can get through this interview, because I’ve done several before, and I feel prepared.” Accept who you are as a person, knowing you’ll still have flaws and failures, but you also have goals, dreams, and accomplishments. Remind yourself are worth it.
Step 2: Find Your Hidden Confidence: What makes you feel happy? What are you proud of? This could be hanging out with your siblings, wearing your favorite red dress, taking an art class, etc. The accomplishments you have, no matter how big or small, and the things you do that bring you joy are fundamental. Within these activities, you will find your hidden confidence, which is that feeling of being comfortable within yourself and taking pride in what you’re doing.
Step 3: Express It & Feel It: To gain your self-esteem, do esteem-able things. Set goals, big or small. Take care of your body, which includes keeping up your hygiene and maintaining a balanced diet and exercise routine. Volunteer, help others, accomplish a goal, take a risk, try something new, etc. Do something that makes you feel purposeful, proud, and happy. Tell yourself positive affirmations, watch videos that speak positive affirmations, and describe yourself as an awesome person. Stay away from social media or any potential negative influences that you can control yourself getting away from. Write what you like and what you don’t like about yourself. (I know, I know, who wants to do that?) Change the things you don’t like, and the ones you can’t change, either embrace, accept, or gradually let go of it. This will help you understand what you’re truly insecure about, and will allow you to focus on accepting yourself more. Treat yourself like a best friend.
Confidence and accepting yourself fully isn’t a one day job. It will take time, and that’s fine. Remember, partake in things that make you feel purposeful, proud, and happy.
Relationships: How to Get Back Out There & Date Again: This week’s Relationships section is an advice Q&A about getting back into the dating world and being open to new relationships. Scroll down to the Advice Q&A section to access our *super helpful* relationship advice! But before you go, here are 5 relationship quotes we love:
“The moment you start to wonder if you deserve better, you do.” - Our Mindful Life
“I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.”- Alice Walker
“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” - Anais Nin
"Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.” - Diana, Princess of Wales
“She remembered who she was and the game changed.” - Lalah Delia
Self Care: 5 Tips to Get Out of the Depressive Stage and Feeling “Stuck”: After I graduated, I was fearful I was going to seep back into a depression, caused by my uncertainty for the future and the lingering feelings of loneliness. “What if I can’t live off Living By Bella? What if I don’t get that dream internship? What if I’m stuck in the house all day, since my friends are busy and I no longer have a boyfriend to call on?”, were just a few of the questions I asked myself days after my school departure. I’ve been severely depressed before, which lasted two years after my mother passed away. I had felt all these emotions during that time, but those emotions ran much deeper, and my perception on life was much different than now. Emotions come and go, but sometimes an event can trigger thoughts and memories that lead us back into a negative spiral we don’t want to take part in. So below, I’m giving you some tips to help yourself when you feel you’re going into a depressive episode. I’ve used these methods before to lead me out of my depression, so I hope they will help you too.
Allow Yourself Space
Allow yourself to feel your emotions and DON’T dismiss them. Don’t believe they’re abnormal, useless, or will go away in a day. Doing so will hinder your emotional process. To give yourself the space you need, stay away from events or items that trigger negative emotions. That can include not listening to songs you played when you were upset, or not going to places that remind you of sad events. Allow yourself to enjoy an activity for at least thirty minutes a day, whether that’s by trying a new hobby (planning a passion project, painting, yoga, etc.), having a funny conversation with friends or family, or working out. Sometimes we try to heal our mind with our own thoughts, but sometimes it’s necessary to heal our minds with our bodies. Eat better (even if it means eating only one sugary food a day) and get active.
Write Down Your ONE Thing
About two years ago, I read The One Thing, a quick read that focuses on prioritizing one thing or task so that we can remain focused on our goals. I continue to apply the idea of the One Thing to other aspects of my life. Write down your One Thing, whether it’s a goal, task, or a phrase that gets you through the day. Focus on that One Thing when you feel your mind getting cluttered with emotions or thoughts, and remind yourself of and work toward that one goal or task. Doing so helps you prioritize something positive.
Journal Or Talk To Yourself (literally)
We all know the importance of journaling daily - whether you’re writing your emotions, what happened to you that day, or what you’re grateful for. Journaling helps us recognize patterns in our emotions and thought processes, and there’s the nostalgic factor of reading past journal entries and comparing it to your modern self. However, some of us don’t enjoy journaling: It can feel difficult to express or represent all of your thoughts on paper, or simply, we don’t have the time to sit and write every day. If journaling isn’t for you, talk to yourself. Set aside 5-30 minutes a day (or more) to speak aloud how you feel, or how a certain event that day made you feel. It may feel awkward or it may come natural to you. If it helps, pretend you’re talking to your friend or partner, or pretend you’re making a YouTube video to a fake audience. Speaking out loud can allow you to properly reflect on what you’re saying, and hear the actual thought process you have. It can also be done much quicker than journaling, and trust me, I know several women who talk to themselves when they’re in stress or need a breather. An app I recommend to digitally journal is Alan Mind or Stoic. :)
Whenever I’m having a stressful week, I set an alarm daily (or every other day) for five minutes. During those five minutes, I say every single thing that is worrying or stressing me out. If you’re prone to lots of anxiety, or have a big project, meeting, or upcoming deadline, set aside five minutes a day to write down or speak aloud every thing that is worrying you. When doing this, I realized 2 fundamental issues: 1) I was worrying about the exact same things, and some of which were things I had been worrying about for months or years. 2) Most of the things I worried about were things I had no control over and couldn’t change. And for the worries I could change, I immediately created a way to fix them so I wouldn’t have to worry about it the next day.
Create One Good Habit (Repeat)
After you’ve created your One Thing, you now need to create One Good Habit. Based on your goals, and the plan it takes to achieve them, create one good habit that would help. For example, if you’ve felt yourself having trouble getting out of bed because you immediately get on your phone, one good habit would be to make your bed as soon as you wake up, or even to put your phone across the room or in a drawer so you have to get up to get it. Repeat forming good habits, both small or large, so you can 1) Break out of your old habits, 2) Form new ones, and 3) Habitually repeat that positive habit so it becomes a part of your lifestyle.
Career & Finance
Finance: 3 Top Rules for Budgeting: Listed below are 3 of the most popular (and super helpful) budgeting rules you can use to achieve your financial goals on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
50/20/30 - 50% of your income goes to your needs (bills & rent, groceries, etc.), 20% goes to savings, and 30% goes to any of your wants.
70/20/10 - 70% of your income goes to your needs AND wants (bills, shopping trips, dining out, etc.). 20% goes to savings and debt, and the last 10% goes to investments or your retirement fund.
Zero Based Budget - This zero-based budget is simply a budget that organizes your finances to where each dollar is spent on something, and you’re left with zero dollars. You can spend any amount of needs, wants, savings, investments, donations, etc., so that you know where all your money is allocated towards.
*Check for financial updates, planners, and budget sheets on LivingByBella.Com.
- Name: Kai
- What’s your question? Hey, so it’s been a while since I’ve dated and I kinda lost how to flirt and I don’t know how to get back out there can you help please. It’s been like a few months and I haven’t dated because in my last relationship it was (long) distance and this guy verbally abused me, and I lost who I was and believe all the mean things he said so I’m also scared all guys are like this.
- Hi Kai! It can definitely be difficult to get back into the dating world, especially after a harmful relationship. Here are the tips you need to start dating again (and feeling comfortable doing so), move on from your ex boyfriend, and regain your self-love and identity after a toxic relationship.
How To Get Back Into the Dating World: Define what you want and need in a relationship. It may sound odd, but write it down. (Ex. My future boyfriend will 1) respect me, 2) take care of his body and hygiene, 3) be open to new activities and experiences, and so on.) This way, when you do begin to date again, you’ll have a defined set of standards and goals for the guys you choose to date and interact with. Also, remember that flirting is supposed to be fun. The key is to feel attractive and enjoy the flirtation. Remember to be light, funny, and have small conversation. If you know you’re going to see your crush, for example, at school or a local coffee shop, wear whatever helps you feel beautiful inside and out, and behave positive and calm around that person so your personality can show.
Moving on from Your Ex: Realize how he treated you: You noted that your ex boyfriend verbally abused you and called you names, and this was a person you likely trusted and had emotional ties to. When dating, we tend to attach our identity to that person: our personality, confidence, etc. If they have certain habits, we may take on some of them. If they make us feel less than, we may tend to reevaluate our selves and our own beliefs. In this case, it’s necessary to recognize the manipulative patterns of our past relationships, so we can detach ourselves from the abuse and manipulation, and redefine our identity.
Becoming Yourself Again: Frequently say “I am beautiful”, “I am deserving”, “I am smart”, etc. Do things that enact those feelings, such as reading a new book, talking to those you love, keeping your daily skincare routine, journaling, and more.
Kai, remember that you deserve much better and you will GET better. Dating again can be uneasy, but when you take time to detach yourself from negative past relationships and regain your confidence, flirting and getting out there again won’t seem scary. In fact, it’ll be enjoyable.
What to Read: This article about the “River to the Underworld” for those that love nature and Greek mythology. :)
What to Learn: Want to code? Check out these FREE coding courses (yes, they’re the real deal).
Beauty & Fashion: Have blackheads? Try out this $1 face mask I used to get rid of mine. (And you can get it at the dollar tree.)
Food & Drinks: Try Dunkin’s new sweet *and salty* Salted Caramel Macchiato.
Brands/Social Accounts to Follow: When you’re stressed, need to hear something positive, or interested in spirituality, check out HINDZ’s YouTube channel. I play one of his videos whenever I need a motivational boost.
Request A Topic You’d Like Me to Write About: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Disclosure: I am not a licensed therapist, I just love to help (and have helped 100+) women by giving advice!
Living By Bella Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.