Lifestyle

Let's Talk About Self-Doubt and How To Overcome It

One thing that I’ve had on my mind lately has been the feeling of not being good enough for this blogging world. With social media and everyone blogging, it can be really tough to not fall into the habit of comparison. You always hear that social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives, and frankly, we all know it. But there are still plenty of times where I find myself saying, “Why would these people want to follow me and see my content?”, “I’m not pretty enough to have a big following”, and so many other destructive thoughts. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of self-doubt in my creativity, my skills, and my overall success in life. So today, I wanted to share a little bit about those feelings and what I try to do to over come them.

When I’m starting to have these self-destructive thoughts, it almost always comes after I saw someone who seems to be living an incredible life. Maybe it’s an influencer who’s gone on an amazing trip or just bought a house or had an amazing career opportunity. Maybe it’s someone I went to college with who got engaged or stayed at a fancy hotel and I’m wondering how they can afford it. Sometimes it’s just seeing someone who’s really well dressed walking around, honestly. For me personally, it’s really easy to slip into those self-destructive thoughts. As I’ve said a few times in previous blogs, I feel like I struggle with authenticity sometimes because I’m still figuring out exactly who I am and who I’m meant to be. Sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m creative enough or have good enough style or do anything special that makes people want to follow me, and those thoughts make me spend a lot of time trying to appeal to my audience. Usually when I’m trying to appeal to my audience, I get the complete opposite result because they can see that I’m not being my authentic self.

Because I’m still figuring a lot of things out, being authentic can be tough. It’s tough to remember that I’m creative in my own way and I have my own style that might be different than other people I see on the street. It causes a lot of doubt in me and what I can do, but I move past it. Yes, sometimes I have to wallow in self-pity before I get over it, but I always get over it and get my groove back.

Some of the most important things I do to help myself get over my doubting feelings are to talk to someone that knows me well and I feel comfortable sharing that information with. Getting an objective opinion sometimes feels like they are just being nice, so you have to trust that the person you talk to will always tell you the honest truth and give you the feedback you need to improve. For me, that person is my boyfriend. Yes, he loves me and will tell me all the good things I need to hear, but I also know that he will give me his honest opinion and tell me straight up when I’m being dramatic or having a pity party for myself. So it’s really important to find a good person to talk these things out with.

Another thing that has been very helpful to me is to pray about it. I haven’t talked about this in a long time, but I do still pray often just to say thank you or to ask for help on certain things. Sometimes I feel like I get an answer right away, and sometimes it feels like He went on vacation and I had to leave a voicemail for the tenth time. One thing that it comes down to with prayer is just trusting and believing that God has a plan for you and He’ll show you what you need to know when the time is right. But that doesn’t mean to sit back and relax until you see a sign from the heavens. You have to keep working on your own, because being faithful is great but God’s not going to do the work for you. He’s just there to show you the way, but you still have to put in the work to get there.

Last but not least, it sounds silly, but you have to just take a step back and remember where you came from. When we start our journey in blogging, we usually have no idea how to set up a website or plan content or use a tripod, but we learn. We get better at writing and styling and posing for photos. We learn what angles look best for us and which coffee shops let you take photos inside and how to change in the car without being seen. It’s all a learning curve, but there are a ton of resources and along the way you figure it out. I remember starting from nothing and being so nervous to share my content with my friends and family for the first time. I remember struggling so much to get my first 100 followers and 200 followers on my blog. Getting to 1,000 followers on Instagram felt like torture, but I did it. Stopping to think about where I started and where I am now is usually the biggest help to me when I’m doubting myself. Maybe I’m having a bad week for engagement or all my photos turned out horrible, but I’m way further than I was a year and a half ago when I started. Reminding myself where I came from is always my motivation for moving forward because I know so much more now than I did back then and I’m still learning every day.

Sweater, Turtleneck, & Shoes: Target / Jeans: Topshop

P.S. Keep up with me on Instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

How To Feel More Productive and Organized Everyday

As a disclaimer, I would not necessarily call “productivity” my middle name or anything, but I do like to think I have some tips that make me feel like I can get a ton of stuff done. These are just some tried and true tips that I like to use to make sure I have the most productive and organized days possible. Being that I work full-time, write this blog part-time, and also make time for friends/family and relaxing, being productive and organized is really important for me. I need to make sure I’m getting as much done as possible while I’m awake so that I can enjoy the time where I’m not working. So keep on reading if you want to see some of my best tips for being productive!

1. Making a “to do” list

I am a huge fan of “to do” lists! Seriously. The satisfaction of crossing things off my “to do” list is worth taking the time to write it out. It’s the best way for me to organize my thoughts and figure out what’s most important for me to get done. I do my best to write out my list in the order of most important to least important so that I can get the most important stuff done first. You could also do this from most difficult to least difficult or most time consuming to least time consuming. Do whatever makes sense to you. I also will prepare this the night before or at the end of my work day, so that I don’t have to take time to do it in the morning. Having it already prepared means that I can just jump right into the tasks.

2. Take a break

I am also an advocate for taking breaks when you need it. I am often suffering from burn out and feeling overworked, so I do my best to alleviate that stress early on by taking breaks when my body says I need them. Sometimes that means leaving a few tasks until the next morning and sometimes it means taking the entire weekend off to do nothing but lay in bed. Do what makes sense for you, but make sure you still have enough time to get your tasks done before they are due. If I know I have to take photos for a blog post that is going up on Thursday, and it’s currently Saturday, I’ll either suck it up and take them Saturday or push the photos until Sunday if I know I’m just not in the right headspace to take them. Don’t stress yourself out by procrastinating, but take a break so that you can come back and feel better about completing the task at hand.

3. Create a monthly schedule

For me, specifically in regard to content, I make a schedule of when I’m going to post things. I plan my content about a month in advance so that I have the whole month to write and shoot them. This helps me plan out what weekends I can go out and shoot photos and what days I can write so all my work gets spread out, leaving me stress-free usually. I also use my Lily Pulitzer planner to keep track of my entire life. I write in what blog posts are going up, what Instagram photos to post, my budget, any plans with friends, etc. Everything goes in my planner so it’s all in one place which makes it easy to look ahead and see what else is coming and what I need to prep for.

4. Start your day properly

Having a strong morning routine, especially on the weekends, is a huge key for helping me feel productive and organized. It gives me time to relax before jumping into whatever is most pressing that day. Every Saturday and Sunday, I try to make sure I make breakfast and a cup of coffee before I start doing any work. During breakfast is also a good time for me to catch up on shows, mindlessly scroll through Instagram (versus focusing on engaging with accounts), watch Youtube videos, look for inspiration, etc. It lets me free my mind a little bit before I focus for a few hours.

5. Find some inspiration

For me, taking the time to scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and looking at other blogs and Youtube is really important for me to create content. It’s how I find inspiration a lot of the time. Sometimes I feel stuck on what to wear every day or maybe I can’t think of a new blog post I haven’t already done, so looking to other content creators helps get my creative juices flowing. Whether it’s finding a new piece of clothing to buy or seeing an interesting post, it usually always helps me think of something new to post. Now this one is tough, because you can also get stuck in the comparison mindset by doing this so it’s not for everyone. You have to be in the right mindset, feeling strong and secure with yourself to make this one work otherwise it can make you feel worse. I sometimes struggle with comparison, so this doesn’t always work for me. When I’m feeling that way, it usually means I need to take a break instead!

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips and that they are helpful to you in feeling more productive this year. It’s been one month into 2020, and there’s still 11 more for you to reach your goals and feel more productive!

P.S. Keep up with me on Instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

Rediscovering My Purpose as a Blogger

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sort of going back and forth about what I do in this blogging space, how I got here, why I started, etc. Lots of thoughts running through my head recently. In the year 2020, I have some big goals for my blog and myself and I feel really strongly that I can achieve them in the next year. I work really hard at what I do, and I’ve never felt so creative. But as we all know, the deeper we get into things, the more our reasoning for doing it changes.

I started my blog when I was 23 years old, one year out of college and struggling to “figure it out”. I was feeling unsatisfied and frustrated with my career choice, my relationships, my finances, and so many other things and it truly felt like there was no end in sight. I started this blog as a digital journal of what was going on in my life. I wanted to be able to look back and say “I remember when I wrote this, I had this going on” or “I had just finished going through this.” I was looking for a creative outlet for myself. I wanted a chance to do something I actually felt passionate about, but had denied myself for a very long time.

Now, I am (almost) 25 years old and a lot has changed. I’ve changed jobs, let go of relationships and started new ones, written over 150 blog posts, and so many other things. One thing I’m realizing though, is that my reason for writing this blog has changed. While I still love writing posts like this one to use to look back on and see where my head was when I wrote it, I’ve also realized that I’m passionate about more than just fashion. In fact, I want to write even more of these thought provoking, open and honest posts. I rediscovered that I love writing. I sometime feel pressured to do things a certain way to appeal to a larger audience. I’m extremely susceptible to the anxiety and comparison that comes with creating a presence online. I have a better understanding of who I am, but struggle to portray that online. I’m extremely proud of the work I’ve done on this blog. I have an extremely strong support system behind me that I didn’t have when I was 23. I know that I want more out of this and it’s something I am truly passionate about and will always be a part of who I am.

In 2020, I want to do my best to stay true to myself and who I am. I want to write about the topics that I enjoy! I want to create the kind of content that makes me happy. I feel like I have so much more to offer and 2020 is the year that I feel ready to find out what that is. I’m not exactly sure where this year will take me, but I’m excited to find out. As far as my plan goes, I will continue to share fashion content because I love it. I’m hoping to create more content and share a larger variety of topics, not just fashion. I want my readers to feel like they really know me and that I’m giving them something valuable when they read my posts. I want my readers to feel like I can be a friend. So that’s my focus for the coming year, just being true to myself, no pressure. I’m looking forward to a lot of good things this year.

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Lifestyle

Thoughts on Social Media and Authenticity

As I was drifting off to sleep the other night, I started thinking about authenticity and how using social media makes me feel. After a year of blogging, I can truly say that I understand why a lot of bloggers deal with anxiety and depression surrounding their work and social platforms. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all, just in case anyone is having similar thoughts about the use of social media and how it affects us.

One thing I really was thinking about was how inauthentic I feel about a fair amount of my social media posts. I feel like I try so hard to choose a photo that people will like enough and to write captions that people will think are funny, to the point where I’m losing sight of the reason I’m posting in the first place. Of course, about half of my posts (specifically on instagram) are to promote my blog, which is the intention, but those are the posts I feel the most unsure of. I feel like I’m trying too hard to give my audience what they want, that I’m actually not giving them what they want.

Unfortunately, I am also extremely and easily influenced by the accounts I follow (and sometimes the ones I don’t follow, thanks Explore tab). I find myself scrolling for 45 minutes and feeling sad that I didn’t get to go on vacation there or buy that $500 dress. It makes me sad that it makes me feel sad. Social media platforms are such a blessing and have helped thousands of businesses grow in a way they could never have before, but sometimes we get swept up in all the exciting parts of everyone else’s lives in the process.

As far as in authenticity goes, because I’m so easily influenced, I feel like I don’t have a good grasp on what I really want out of these platforms that are available to me. I don’t have a solid idea of who I am and what I feel is most important to show. Sometimes I try too hard to be at the same level as people who have been doing this for a decade and I feel bad about where I am now and how far I’ve come. Being true to yourself is something that should be so simple, and yet I’m finding it very difficult.

To be honest, I’m not sure where this leaves me. Is it time for a break from social media? If so, what happens when I come back? How do I get comfortable posting only the things that make me feel best? How do I filter out all the stuff that doesn’t make me feel my best? There’s a lot left to think about, but I think these are thoughts that we tend to keep to ourselves, and we shouldn’t. Sometimes, it makes more sense to get these thoughts out and have that conversation.

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Ballin’ on a Budget: No Shopping Update

So my friends, it’s over now. My one month challenge of no shopping. Let me tell you, it was not as hard as I thought it would be! I’m pretty proud of myself because I really thought I was going to struggle through this month but I feel like I came out knowing what I can do to keep myself from over spending on clothing.

One of the things that really helped me feel like I didn’t want or need to shop over this past month was keeping myself busy with other activities. Over this past month, I went skiing, went to a brewery, took a cooking class and celebrated St. Patrick’s day. I spent my weekends being out and about and I’d only ever really look at my phone in the morning when I woke up or right before bed. I think being so busy over the last month was something that really made a huge difference in not feeling like I wanted to shop. I honestly didn’t have time to sit down and try to shop!

I also focused on my main goal for this month. I wanted to save money to spend on a vacation with my boyfriend and for my upcoming trips because having experiences is much more important to me than how I look. Being knowledgeable about the world and the different things it has to offer is what makes me feel my best so focusing on my goal of saving for my travel plans was a really big help because I knew I was working toward something that was going to leave me feeling richer than new clothes ever could.

One last thing that helped me was knowing that I would treat myself to something after the month was over. Before I started I decided that I really need some new work out clothes and sneakers because my health and exercising is really important to me and it’s one of my favorites parts of my routine. Keeping in mind that I could reward myself with some new sneakers and a few pairs of new gym leggings was something that really helped to keep me focused on not spending on other things.

However, I will say that the weather getting warmer this past month was something that did not help me! The thought of transitioning my closet into all the pretty spring colors and thinking about what I’d want to wear on vacation really made me want to shop for spring clothes. The change of seasons was probably the one thing that really made a struggle because I was getting so tired of winter when I started this journey. But keeping my goals in mind was definitely more helpful!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Ballin’ on a Budget: No Shopping for a Month

Today, I thought I would share a small goal I set for my self over the next few months. Currently, it’s the end of February and I’ve got lots of things planned for 2019 and they are slowly but surely coming to fruition. However, these things I have planned require quite a few coins if you know what I mean. So last week, I set a goal of no shopping for one month and I’m going to tell you all about my experience here, on my fashion blog.

Just to catch everyone up to speed, my plans for this year include mainly travel but I also would like to move into my own apartment next year and I’m considering getting a new car. As of right now, I have 2 trips planned for 2019 with 2 more in the works and those are pretty much my top priorities if we’re being honest because I’d rather travel than have a place to live apparently. Now, I really need to save some extra money for these trips so since clothing is my largest expense, I decided to cut that out for a month (and another month and another one too). Starting on February 13, 2019, I decided that I’m not buying any new clothes, shoes, or accessories until March 13, 2019. Pretty simple, right? Well, we’ll see. Self control is something I struggle with tremendously.

On February 13, I actually bought a heck ton of stuff and had the realization that I can’t do that if I want to actually enjoy my life and have experiences and keep moving my life forward. Currently, there is nothing that I feel I need or am lacking in my closet and I’m not quite ready for spring yet, so I thought this was the perfect time to take a break. I do plan to keep the other aspects of my life the same to ease some of the struggle and still have things to look forward to (such as nights out and dinners). I also plan to reward myself with something special once the month is over because positive reinforcement works every time!

My tactic for this is fairly simple because this is basically just going to be a test of will power and patience for me. I set daily reminders on my phone of why I’m doing this every 2 hours (which is maybe excessive but necessary). It’s to keep me in the mindset that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m not really trying to torture myself. I also plan to really challenge myself to find inspiration in my own closet by experimenting with pieces I already own and trying to make them feel new by styling them with different pieces. Then at the end of the month, I’ll give you my honest experience of how I did!

It’s going to be a very interesting month, but I’m looking forward to the challenge!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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My 2019 New Year’s Resolutions

Now that 2018 is over and 2019 is in full swing, I wanted to share some resolutions I want to work on for this year. These are things that I noticed were pretty big issues for me last year, or at least not productive habits. After taking some time to reflect on the past year and what I’m looking forward to this year, these are some of the items that I came up with!

  1. Be on time and respect not only my own time but everyone else’s
  2. Network with other bloggers
  3. Work on new skills monthly to improve my blog or career
  4. Try a new hobby/activity every month
  5. Read a new book every 3-4 weeks
  6. Invest is a high resolution camera for my blog and instagram photos
  7. Balance my blog content with my regular personal content on instagram
  8. Spend within my means
  9. Save 3 months of rent and utilities
  10. Take a class to improve my skills at work
  11. Take one more trip than I did last year
  12. Listen to a Bible chapter every morning
  13. Meditate every morning and night
  14. Commit to 2 no spend days per week
  15. Put away an extra $10 in my savings and emergency funds weekly
  16. Run or do a full cardio session once per week
  17. Do a full stretching/recover session once per week
  18. Spend a day with myself at least twice per month
  19. Spend a day with my friends at least twice per month
  20. Spend a day with my family at least twice per month

Most of my resolutions have to do with my finances, my mental and emotional health, my physical health and my relationships because those are the areas of my life that I think were really tested this past year. This past year made me realize just how much I need to adjust myself and improve so that I handle these kinds of stressors differently. It was truly an amazing year for me, through all the ups and downs but I am ready to move forward and enjoy the next chapter of my life.

What are some of your resolutions or goals for 2019?

P.S. keep up with me on instagram @karenmauritzenn

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