Tag Archives: Personality

New Body, Who Dis?

Confidence: Hard to explain, easy to lose and connected to most everything we do. Confidence is elusive, one minute we’ve got it and then with the swipe on a social media site, it’s gone. Or maybe, you’re like me and didn’t know real confidence until adulthood.

I’ve been on this get healthy journey since October. Until you forge this path for yourself, you won’t have any idea how much of an impact it makes on your mental and emotional health, in addition to your physical health. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I’m not just shredding pounds but an old identity.Identity

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. I was never picked first for a team during recess. I couldn’t do a sit up or push up during the physical fitness challenges in gym class. I’ve wore a size 16 since I was 12 years old. I could never share clothes with my friends. I’ve always thought of myself as big: bigger in size and in personality. Loud, talkative and dramatic, I often saw my personality as a liability, likely because others told me that, both about my physical appearance and about how I acted. I’ve defined myself this way since childhood and suddenly (ok it feels like suddenly) all of that has changed.

 

With each pound dropped, I’ve found this confidence that’s been hidden inside. I present my point of view during meetings with authority. I find myself flirting (!!!) without a care in the world. I check myself out in the mirror and practically dance down the street to work. At my core, I’m the same person, with the same values and sarcastic wisecracks. But I feel different, like a new world has opened up to me.

I’m slowly starting to shed this old, big identity. It’s really hard to rewrite this script, to look in the mirror and finally like the woman I see. And it’s even harder to stop thinking that my personality is too much. It might be for some and that is on them, she says as her voice shakes. One foot in front of the other, one day at time, I’m building this new, more positive identity.

Presenting at TWN panel

Presenting at the Temple Women’s Network panel in my new Banana Republic outfit!

A big step in this process was to go shopping. I always hated shopping because stores wouldn’t have my size or the dress I loved looked terrible. Avoidance was a key strategy here. It took an alumni event for me to go buy clothes that actually fit. What a feeling to buy a size 12, to love how I look in spring dresses, to buy clothes in Banana Republic…I can’t even describe it!

It took 27.5 years to truly understand what it means to feel confident. Goes to show you that it’s never too late to transform an old identity into one that is more self-serving. Getting healthy has not only changed by physical health, it also improved my mental and emotional well-being. It really has been a mind, body, soul experience that I’m happy to share with others.

Motivation Mondays: Caring Less

I am a fixer. Ask anyone who knows me and they will agree with you. Any personality test I’ve taken indicates that one of my strengths is finding solutions to problems and working through tough situations. Even my astrological sign (Virgos rule!) reveals traits like logical thinker and being helpful that play into the fixer part of my personality. Being a fixer has its perks: I’m always trying to figure out easier ways to get things accomplished, I am the perpetual therapist for most of my friends (as they are for me) and I am a track changes addict (ok, maybe that’s cause I’m a words junkie). The problem with being a fixer: You can’t fix everything or everyone. 

change peopleTime and time again, I’ll try to help people, to offer sound advice, even sometimes demand people act differently. This has led to several arguments where everyone is crying, screaming and raising their blood pressures. When I head down the fixer path, I never intent for these heated debates to occur. I worry about the people I care about and genuinely want to help.

If you’re reading this, then you probably need to hear (read) this. Are you ready? Make sure you’re sitting down….

You cannot help people who do not want to help themselves. You cannot care about priorities that they don’t care about. Most importantly, you cannot (and will not) change people. They have to do that on their own.

Things you can do when you have the urge to fix people:

– Listen first before you give any advice. You might be missing some key facts.

– Remind them gently that only they can take action in their life.

– Write a letter to said person you are trying to fix. You don’t have to send it but at least you get all of your thoughts and feelings down in one place. It could be useful one day too.

– Think about ways to continue to improve yourself (aka the only person you can control) and dive in!

The ability to care less about people is extremely hard for me. My people are the reason all is rightbest within my world. Slowly after much heartache and angst, I’m learning every individual is in charge of their own destiny and I can’t change their direction, even if I throw an actual roadblock in their way. It’s hard when someone’s actions cause pain and even harm to others. You can’t choose how people reaction to that but rather can only control your own reaction. I’m working on that.

I will always care about certain people in my life. But I am learning to detach a little more and work on fixing myself rather than others.

Any other people fixers out there? How’s that working out for you?

Guest Post: Three Pinteresting Tips

I am very excited to have my first guest blog post from Kaitlin Walukonis,

an Assistant Account Coordinator at Van Eperen & Company

Posting, liking, tweeting – and now – pinning! If your organization isn’t pinning and repinning, it may be time to get with it and join Pinterest.

The Public Relations Society of America National Capital Chapter recently hosted an event focusing onpinterest social media trends for 2013. Denise Graveline, a consultant at Don’t Get Caught and Anthony Shop, managing director of Social Driver, shared their opinions and knowledge of these trends to public relations professionals at the U.S. Navy Memorial & Heritage Center. Both experts stressed the importance of visuals and the social media platform Pinterest, which can help attract your audiences and direct them to your website blog and other social media pages.

Pinterest – previously explained by Laura Van Eperen in our Spring 2012 Newsletter – is a social media platform that allows users to create pinboards, a web-version of a bulletin board and pin or repin photos and videos of anything that interests them (hence the name Pinterest). Pinterest is the third largest social media platform, trailing only Facebook and Twitter and is the fastest growing social media network. According to this Mashable article, Pinterest is now almost as popular as Twitter. Based on Graveline and Shop’s discussion, here are three great tips for using Pinterest within an organization.

1. Pin visuals from your blog.
People don’t want to read a block of boring black and white text – they want visuals. Incorporating visuals into your blog posts will not only attract more readers but it will also allow you to pin these visuals to a pinboard. Pinterest users can then repin your visuals, passing along your organization’s news. Graveline gained a lot of traffic to her blog because of her Pinterest account. This brings us to the next tip.

2. Don’t be a one-way pinner.
You have to show loVE to get loVE (VE & Co.-style love). Follow other bloggers and pinners, interact with them and share their information on your pinboards. This will make them much more likely to reciprocate. As Shop puts it: “Social media is like a cocktail party,” meaning you have to mingle with other professionals on social media networks for your information to be seen and shared.

3. Incorporate your organization’s personality.
Social media platforms can be fun! While it’s important to share your organization’s news, be sure to incorporate some personality while doing so. Van Eperen and Company’s Pinterest account shares news and blog posts, but it also includes a pinboard on business casual attire.

Now, go pin and repin. Be sure to think about what unique pinboards your organization can create to demonstrate its personality.

 

kaitlin

 

About Kaitlin: Kaitlin, a dance fanatic and undercover-balloon-animal-maker, provides strategic communications, media relations and event coordination support for corporate, non-profit, government and entrepreneurial clients as an Assistant Account Coordinator with Van Eperen & Company. Kaitlin earned her B.A. in Communication, Public Relations from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2012

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