You know the nicest compliment in the world to me?
Having someone say they "love my attitude."
Honestly, the most flattered I have ever been in my life is when I filmed a pilot for a reality show with my old co-workers at Guns & Oil Beer Co and during interviews, the producers told me that in separate interviews my co-workers almost all described me as being "able to change the energy in a room when I walk in."
...UM, that is dope as hell.
I wasn't always like this. I used to have terrible self-esteem. I was anxious, and nervous, and constantly second guessing myself in every situation. I cared so much about how the world would perceive me. And suddenly, one day, that all changed. To be quite honest, I didn't think much about it until people (complete strangers and friends alike) began to point it out to me. (You can skip to the end if you want to hear how my friends described me-- because I asked them for a testimonial so y'all knew I wasn't making this shit up). People would tell me how they wish they had my confidence or how they loved how I just seemed to give absolutely 'no fucks' about how others perceived me.
I did some self-reflecting. I tried to pin point exactly what happened in life that triggered this change for me, and although of course some of this came with life experiences, I was able to figure out a few key steps that were taken.
1. FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT.
If you know me on any sort of deeper personal level, you know that I am very big into the idea of "manifesting" things. (If you haven't read the book The Secret, then go do it. It will change your life). Basically the idea behind manifestation is that you are speaking things into reality. If you put an idea out into the universe, the universe will bring it back to you. With that being said, when I entered the beauty industry, in order for my clients to trust me, I needed to be confident in what I was doing-- and I won't lie, often times I was absolutely not. But I would put up a front like I knew exactly what I was doing and act as if I were an expert on whatever I was speaking about. Clients felt comfortable with me, they looked at me as a knowledgable professional. Here is the thing-- I really did know exactly what I was doing, and knew exactly what I was talking about. But I was the one holding myself back. Once I had the reassurance of clients and coworkers loving my work and coming to me for advice, I had the validation I needed to truly feel confident with what I was doing.
I started to apply the same tactics to all areas of my life. Just faking it. I know it may sound ridiculous, but it works. Going through the motions will eventually lead to them becoming natural actions. Try visualizing someone whose confidence or "vibe" you admire. Beyonce, a movie character, even me-- when entering a situation ask how they would handle the situation and use that to shape how you behave. I don't mean change who you are as a person, but just borrow some of their attitude for a minute, learn and adapt from it.
2. YOU'RE A LUCKY S.O.B.
How confident can someone honestly be when they are sad with this "whoa is me" attitude? Um, exactly. If you feel like the world has it out for you and nothing in life is good, do me a favor: SHUT THE FUCK UP AND BE GRATEFUL. Yeah, things go to shit from time to time. There are days when my jeans barely fit, I wake up with a huge zit, I feel like hell, I'm having guy issues, etc. and I feel like an absolute zero. Doesn't everyone?
It's on those days when I find it is most important to reflect on life. Sounds stupid, I know, but try it. When you are stressed out, feeling low, sad, depressed, out of control, etc. sit back and think about what you have in life. Because you should be thankful for every thing you DO have.
As much as we are out here comparing ourselves to others and dwelling over things we don't have, there is always someone out there who is envious of what you have.
Sad because you gained 5 lbs? There are girls out there who would kill for your body.
Pissed because you woke up with a zit before a big event? There are people who envy how beautiful you are.
Work problems? Someone out there is praying to find a job.
Start practicing this daily. Count your blessings. This simple act will make you realize how lucky you are, and will make you realize how much joy there is in your life. Being happy and content with yourself and your life (regardless of the state of either) will help to breed confidence.
3. KNOW YOURSELF.
Okay, here's a little activity for y'all: describe yourself. Like who are you? Honestly.
Think of yourself like a product you're looking at on Sephora.com. What's your description like? Would you buy you?
I'm a bubbly, energetic, free-spirit with a ball-busting, sarcastic attitude. I have the ability to make friends with just about anyone because I can easily draw connections with different people I meet in order to create conversation. I am funny, charming, witty, and smart. I have fun just about anywhere, with anyone. I am able to stay cool and collected in situations where others may over-react or get angry. I am an extremely loyal friend, and hold my relationships in very high regards. I'm a creative mind, dream big and always have a thousand new ideas in my head for new projects.
Why am I having you do this? You need to know yourself so that you can stay consistent across your different audiences (your close friends, your family, your acquaintances, your co-workers, your boss, your boyfriends family, strangers, etc). People will say this about me: what you see is what you get. I am the same person across all boards. Of course, I am able to tailor myself to fit the people I am with (I wouldn't speak to a boyfriends grandmother the same way I would speak to my degenerate friends) but I am consistent. Why don't I censor myself? Because I know who I am. I know from experience that people prefer the genuine version of me vs the way I think they want me to act.
You can literally see this in practice on my Instagram feed (stupid, I know, but you seriously can). Look back to two years ago when I started taking Instagram "more seriously." I tried to be your typical "Blogger Betch." You know the kind-- like to know my outfit every single day, Starbucks cup in hand, swipe up links galore in stories, etc. And don't get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with that-- I love following those girls and I love them as people, but that just isn't me. At some point this summer, I decided I was just going to "do me" and started posting what I wanted and being funny, and BOOM! My following went from about 7k to 23k. Sooo, get it?
4. WHO REALLY CARES?
So, now you know who you are. Congrats. Learn to love that person. And really love them. Flaws and all. Tell yourself how much you love who you are every single day. Wake up, look in the mirror, and say, "Damn, I am a fucking smokeshow" and walk out the door.
The more you practice self love, and loving even the things you can't change, the more you begin to realize that the opinions of others don't really matter. Most of you reading this are probably strangers to me, so take no offense when I say this, but if you think this blog is shit and you hate my guts, THAT IS FINE. Because I don't know you. At the end of the day, I am so happy because I am getting to do something that I really enjoy and I get to help people. I have friends that love me unconditionally, and I love them back in the same way.
There's a quote from Dr. Seuss that I honestly live by:
"Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind."
Ain't that the truth.
I plan to write plenty more on this subject and related subjects because this is something I am so passionate about. I want y'all to walk through life with the same confidence and positive outlook that I have. Let's start with these four things. Work on them. Perfect them.
Y'all are awesome.
(If y'all need a good laugh, or a little more proof that I really do not give a single fuck, feel free to read how my friends describe me. LOL)
A Testimonial from the friends of HK:
"You either hate her or you love her and if you’re lucky enough for her to consider you a friend, you have a PIC for life. Unlike anyone I have ever come across, she will give you the shirt off her back and not ask for it back. Her blunt attitude and confidence she carries, is unlike no other. People say it, but Heather literally DOES NOT care what you think of her. She beats to her own drum and she owns it. She can put people at ease and make them realize, those smalls things that seem so big, really are that small. Her strongest attribute is her “down for whatever” outlook on life. She is always ready and willing to make an appearance on the town. I know I can always count on her whether she is thousands of miles away or right down the street."
"Heather is laid back and could kick it with the guys. She can go with the flow. She has sarcasm and is able to laugh at herself and make jokes about past mistakes. She is very self aware. She does her. And haters are going to hate and she just shows up with no expectations but to have a fun time."
"I would describe Heather as the Soap Opera, ‘ The Bold and Beautiful’. Can’t stop watching, super dramatic, but you fall in love with her. She might piss people off, but it’s because they don’t know her. She is wild and free and makes me wanna enjoy life. She is the best friend every girl needs. I try to keep her grounded while she makes me not take myself so serious. I love her. If you hate her, I hate you."
"Sarcastically funny with an adaptive sense of humor to surroundings. The kind of girl you may see on dressed up on broadway or slamming Millers at a college football tailgate. Fellas don’t even approach if you have a shitty credit score or your batting average/GPA is lower than your BAC. It requires game, you’ve been warned."
"Heather Kirk: an equal parts mixture of zero fucks given and also being the most caring and loving friend you’ll ever have. The perfect cocktail. Devilishly good looks with an even better sense of humor, if that’s even possible. She makes men and woman turn heads everywhere she goes and always leaves everyone wanting more. She’s the kind of girl who will binge drink with you on a Tuesday and the kind of girl who will ride with you until the end - only once you gain her respect and trust. She’s a sucker for the rich and fabulous life but with county roots. The best line dancer, beer chugger and internet stalking girl around. If you can’t keep up just walk away now."