In cyber space it has become so common place for us to see a flawless, filtered, envy-inducing view of what’s happenings in other people’s worlds. Impossibly slim women with gorgeous skin, wealthy people who can afford all-of-the-things, exotic holidays, dreamy love stories, the list goes on. Yet so rarely are the little glimpses we receive an accurate perspective of the whole story. Of course, it makes sense… who doesn’t want to put their best foot forward? We want to share and celebrate the most exciting, beautiful and glamorous bits of our lives.
The week that was
I had an incredibly exciting week this week. A blogger and frock-enthusiast dream come true: to my joy and delight one of my favourite designers, Leina Broughton, invited me to join her for a day of making video together, followed by a test shoot in her studio. Of course, I said yes! I would be crazy not to. But as the day drew nearer my stomach was alternating between excited butterflies and mild terror!
Hello, Self Doubt
I consider myself to be a pretty confident kind of gal. I’ve spent a long time and lot of energy getting comfortable and liking who I am… flaws and all. But as this opportunity approached, I started questioning myself. Who did I think was!? I’ve never done anything like this before! What if it goes terribly!? What if I’m no good at this? I like being good at things! What if the whole thing is a massive backward step for me!? There was no voice in my head saying, “this could be the beginning of something great, you might be awesome at this”. The best I could muster was “Well if it’s a total disaster, at least I most likely won’t die”. Yeah, it’s fair to say the experience was way outside my comfort zone.
The day arrived and I drove down to the location where we were shooting on the Gold Coast to meet Leina and her team. They were absolutely wonderful. Kind and supportive and genuine and funny and down to earth… I can totally see why the LB business is humming. I had a great time filming in the morning with Leina and Tracey (you can see our first video on personal brand on facebook!) and then we went to the studio for the mini-shoot. Their exquisite (and lovely) model Morgan was there as well as the very talented photographer they work with, Jason Zambelli. Re-enter self doubt. As the shooting started I could see the photos Jason was taking as they popped up on Leina’s computer to review. Leina was saying lovely and encouraging things to me, but I was having trouble accepting any compliments (which is a personal pet peeve – just say thank you! It’s not that hard! …until it is). While the dresses were stunning, the overwhelming thought in my mind was LUMPS AND BUMPS PEOPLE. AM I THE ONLY ONE SEEING THE LUMPS AND BUMPS!?
After I left, I jumped on the phone to my mum. “How did it go?” she said. “Really well, so well, they were all so lovely, I had a great time.” (All true.) “What’s wrong then?” she asked, clearly picking up on the tone in my voice. “I don’t know! It’s just, I’m not…. I’m not at all thin, Mumma. I’m just… I have the LUMPS AND BUMPS, you know?” She knows. And we talked about lumps and bumps and how we are so often our own harshest critics (except for internet trolls) and sometimes we just have to try and focus on the good bits.
I’ll spare you the internal monologue that continued throughout the week but suffice to say I continued to flip flop between moments of intense excitement and moments of ‘omg what will people think’, ‘will this be good for team LB?’ and ‘who do I think I am!?’.
On Friday afternoon, Leina shared this very short clip from our shoot on the LB facebook page. [The gorgeous dress I’m wearing in the shoot is the Gracie wrap dress in palm, it’s $239 – you can shave $25 off with code ‘sublimefinds’ until mid-December – it is available online here.]
And you know what I felt after I watched it? A little bit of pride.
Because I do know who I am. I am Andrea Smith. I have many passions, including diversity, fashion, schnoodles, shopping, meeting people and helping women be their best selves. And I HAVE LUMPS AND BUMPS. And at least most of the time, I like who I am! Despite my LUMPS AND BUMPS. And I am trying my best. And I am proud of the things I have done this month, which included (with the generosity and help of others) raising more than $2,500 for charities that need it! And I had an amazingly exciting, new experience that I was nervous about this week and I didn’t die! I actually kind of loved it and while there’s things I need to improve, I can’t wait to try some more, even though I know I’ll probably go through All Of The Feels again.
What we see from the outside is never the whole story of peoples lives. I will always do my best to show you what’s really going on here, for better or worse. ‘Cause we’re all human, and all doing our best, I’m pretty sure most of us struggle with self-doubt at some point or another.
So from me to you, this week the universe has taught me this: when an opportunity knocks – even if it makes your tummy flip flop with terror – SAY YES. It could be the beginning of something great. xxx