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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Lifestyle

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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Lifestyle

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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Lifestyle

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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Lifestyle

Podcasts I’m Listening To

As I mentioned in my life update/chit chat post, I started listening to podcasts as part of my daily routine. I’ve found that I can learn A LOT from sitting and listening to podcasts while I’m driving or having breakfast in the morning on a Saturday. There’s hundreds of podcasts out there covering all kinds of topics, but I thought I would share some of my favorites today. I’m still figuring out what I like and don’t like, but so far these are my top picks!

To start off, my absolute favorite so far is the Girls Gotta Eat podcast. It’s run by 2 single women living in NYC and they talk all things relationships, such as how to meet men “in the wild”, first dates, sex and so much more. They have a lot of (hilarious) experiences and they are super open about it which is the best part. They are authentic and not afraid to share their real life dating struggles with their audience. Two of my favorite episodes by them are “How to Meet Men in the Wild” which talks about how to meet men while you’re out and about in a world filled with all kinds of dating apps. Meeting someone in person alleviates a lot of the trouble because you can tell right when you meet them if you have a connection worth exploring. Another favorite episode is called “F*ck You, Carrie Bradshaw”, which you guessed it, talks about Sex and the City. They go over basically how f*cked up Carrie’s relationship with Mr. Big is and how it skewed the idea of how relationships should be for women.

Another favorite of mine so far is The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher. On this one she discusses being a photographer turned serial entrepreneur and all the steps she took to get there. She often interviews women who’ve built their own digital media businesses and they share their story and advice for women who are looking to do the same thing. She’s built a million dollar brand for herself and she’s got a lot of insight into this new world of social media. Her podcasts are great for when I’m feeling stuck on how to improve my blog or I’m looking for inspiration.

Some others that I’ve been listening to recently are:

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso

Second Life

What We Said

WorkParty

These are some that I’ve listened to one or two episodes of so I’m still figuring out if I LOVE them or not but I definitely like them! I mean who doesn’t love Oprah, right?

Some that are on my list to listen to are:

Diary of a Female Entrepreneur

On Being

The Skinny Confidential

U Up?

The GaryVee Audio Experience

Ted Talks Daily

Adulting

Guys We F****d

We Met at Acme

These are a variety of career, dating, and health & fitness podcasts (my top 3 priorities in my life at the moment). They’ve been recommended to me by some of my lovely friends so I’m excited to listen to them! I trust their judgement! However, there’s not always enough time in the day to listen to 45 podcasts and get the real juicy details out of them so I’m taking my time with this. Like I mentioned in my life update post, it’s hard for me to listen to the podcasts while doing something else because I miss a lot of the important information. I really like to sit down and focus on it and take notes if I can. I’m looking for advice on these topics, so I definitely want to pay attention to them!

Now I’m wondering, what are some podcasts you like to listen to? Leave a comment down below!!

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

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My Thoughts on Limiting Beliefs

Please note: I’m not an expert on this topic, I only have my own personal opinions and experiences.

Trying to navigate my life in my early 20’s has felt a lot like learning to walk again. I’ve spent a lot of time fumbling around, falling down, and getting back up again just to realize I don’t really know what I’m doing. Eventually, I’ll learn to stand up on my own and then I’ll learn to take a few baby steps and walk until I’m back to being a fully functioning adult, but the in between time has led me to really think about why I’m struggling to learn how to navigate my adult life.

I can attribute most of the times I’ve fallen down to something called limiting beliefs. You can read all about limiting beliefs in just about every self help book on the market (or the planet tbh). Some are better than others, but they all talk about the same things. We all have thoughts and ideas in our heads about who we are, what we’re good at, what we’re not good at, and why. These thoughts aren’t necessarily right or wrong, but they do determine what we say and do, as well as how, when and why we say or do them. Our limiting beliefs are typically the thoughts that limit us (obviously) or keep us from doing progressive things. Sometimes they stop us from big things like quitting our job and starting a business even though we have a million dollar idea. Sometimes they stop us from little things, like reaching out to someone because we think we’re bothering them. Either way, they hold us back.

I think the first step to dealing with your limiting beliefs would be making yourself aware of them. You can’t change something if you don’t recognize that it’s an issue. I’ve found that this comes with spending time by yourself just letting your thoughts flow and seeing how you react to them. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone because I’m going through a transitional period in my life and as tough as it is, it’s been really helpful. I’m much more aware of the beliefs I have about myself that keep me from moving forward in different aspects of my life: my relationships, my career, my future, my finances. I’m starting to be more aware of the negative thoughts that I have when I think about these things, such as “I’ll be alone forever now!”, “No one really wants to read my content anyway”, “Maybe I’m not cut out for this”, etc.

Once you know what your limiting beliefs are, then you can start working to adjust them or block them out. You should understand why you have those beliefs and what they stem from. Was it a traumatic experience? Abusive relationship? Divorce? It could be a number of things that distort your thoughts and cause you to think these things. Getting to the root of it and solving that will significantly help in reducing your limiting beliefs. Plus, once you are aware of your limiting beliefs and the thoughts that come with them, you have the chance to actually change them. If I were to start thinking, “I’m going to be alone forever and everyone hates me”, I know that I can stop myself and say “No, Karen, you won’t be alone forever. You’re alone right now because it was the right time for that to end and you needed to take time for yourself. When the time comes you’ll meet the right person.” It’s like giving myself a little pep talk.

One last thing that I’ve found has been really helpful in moving past my limiting beliefs is praying. I’m not very religious to be completely honest, but I personally have found that praying most nights right before bed to say thank you for what I have and ask for more guidance in certain areas of my life has made a major difference. In the last few months, I’ve seen a lot of changes happen and some are more difficult than others, but praying was always one thing that made me feel better and more secure about the future. Knowing that God has a plan for me, trusting in that, and sometimes asking for some extra help has made a world of difference.

Finally, one of the major players in moving past your limitings beliefs is being patient with yourself. These beliefs have been working at beating you down for a lot longer than you think. Months or even years. Just like a bad habit, you can’t change it over night. It takes constant work to remind yourself that those thoughts aren’t a reflection of who you really are. They are just your brain working against itself to keep you from taking steps into unfamiliar territory. It comes with time to break down those bad thought habits, but it’s not impossible if you keep at it. I work at it every single day and some days are definitely better than others, but when I look back at myself 6 months or a year ago, I can see a difference in who I am.

The millennial generation is extremely ambitious, very opinionated (or sensitive depending on who you ask), and very impatient which can be frustrating sometimes. We are constantly dealing with issues that stem from our limiting beliefs and an unbalanced society. We wish we were further ahead in life or more successful when in reality, we just started. I hope this was helpful to hear my personal thoughts about this topic, especially for young adults.

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

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