Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

A few weeks ago I flew to the East Coast to film a podcast with a few friends in Boston and get some other work done in Connecticut. I hadn’t been home since January, and freshly out of  relationship that lasted way too long, I wasn’t aware of some of the underlying sad and frustrated feelings I’d have when I got back home.

Between minor exhaustion, feeling incredibly overwhelmed with planning the Be Fearless Summit and building out this side consulting company I started, I got really depressed on Wednesday evening. I usually handle my depression well, but this period of depression lasted longer than usual, and I ended taking work off for several days. The worst part about depression can be the frustration you feel internally that you can’t get out of your depression on your own.

After speaking to my therapist every Saturday the past few weeks since getting that low, I came to realize that I do have a serious issue with imposter syndrome. I was unaware of how severe my imposter syndrome could get as I’ve battled it for quite some time, but suffering with imposter syndrome on top of depression isn’t a good match.

I’m always asked by you guys if I face burnout or imposter syndrome and I deal with both. During episodes of my last podcast This is Life Unfiltered, I’d chronicle my experiences overcoming both. Being in LA made things way worse for me. I could work 24/7, which I do anyway, and still feel like I was having this out of mind/body experience with anything I’d do. I never looked in the mirror and saw what other people saw.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to suffer with imposter syndrome. This is a common feeling for many young people as they pursue new career paths, experience different relationships and friendships, and face rejection. One of the worst parts of imposter syndrome is never seeing what other people see, which can create a false sense of identity. I’ve struggled with this for so long because I never look at myself as successful. I question whether I’ll ever look at myself as successful even when I’m at the top or have my dream talk show. Will I listen to when people call me successful then?

Will I actually think I’m successful even if no one tells me I am?

I encourage you to ask yourself the same question. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for imposter syndrome. I genuinely think the “fast fix” is therapy, and the long fix comes with time and working on giving yourself credit in every area. I say therapy is a quicker fix because anyone can sign up for a website like Better Help or Talkspace and start speaking to someone immediately. What you do outside of therapy is the real work.

You may be like me and never think you’re good enough… until one day you feel like you are.

Just remember: you may not feel like you’re good enough, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. That means your silly little brain is playing tricks with you that you have to stop playing.

The VIP Be Fearless Summit Party!

RSVP HERE!

Be Fearless Summit, Graduate Hotel Nashville and Her Campus Vanderbilt are thrilled to partner on the VIP Night Before party at Graduate Hotel Nashville in downtown, on May 21st! I haven’t been able to host an in-person BFS in 2 years now, which makes me want to cry, so being able to finally host a small gathering (25 people max) is awesome. I can’t wait to meet some of you, encourage you to make new girlfriends, and get your makeup done by IBY BEAUTY!

RSVP HERE!

Nashville Lifestyle magazine just featured the VIP party in their magazine, read the spread here!

Come hang, grab a drink or tea, and meet local Nashville bloggers and influencers from 6-8 PM CST the night before the virtual Be Fearless Summit. If you haven’t snagged a ticket yet for the virtual summit, you can get that right HERE!

We’ll see you in one month!

HOW TO MAKE NEW GIRL FRIENDS

If you haven’t RSVP’ed to the Vanderbilt University Be Fearless Summit on May 22nd, do so here!

These photos are from the first Be Fearless Summit at Drexel. I can’t wait to meet some of you at the VIP- networking event the night before!

Last week on Instagram I posted a poll wondering if anyone else struggled with making new girl friends. I’ve always struggled with making new girl friends! Being around men and speaking to men feels like second nature to me, especially in business, which I thought was totally contrary to what most (especially young) women deal with. I was wrong. Even as a teenager, making new female friends felt difficult to me. There’s always a feeling of intimidation and drama that goes along with being a girl in a group of other girls.

Unlike men, women have “cliques” and friend groups they don’t always like to get outside of their comfort zone and explore making new girl friends when they’ve got a tribe. I get it. I’ve sworn off making new girl friends for so long because 50% of me feels slightly traumatized from past relationships with (now ex) girlfriends, and ok (not amazing) with the girlfriends I have now. Because of my past experiences with girlfriends, I stopped making new girlfriends and have relied on my existing ones and guy friends to stay social and have fun. As I’ve begun to spend more time in Austin, I realize how easy making new girlfriends may be as long as you put in extra work. I’ll never tell you that you need 100s of friends to be happy because you do not: the less friends you have, the better. But the more people you know and are acquainted with, the more fun and excitement you’ll have in your life.

After my Instagram poll, I spoke to more of you who suggested some of the reasons why making new girlfriends is hard. You’re traumatized from past relationships, you hate drama, and it’s awkward. Forming deeper relationships gets harder and harder as you get older. I hate that! Everyone is stuck in their own way and routines that making new friends when you’re in your early/mid twenties is totally different than when you were on the playground as a kid.

I advised you to look outside of your traditional ways of making friends (get off of Bumble!) and head to a bar or an event you find on Eventbrite or Meetup instead. Making new friends is basically dating but less fancy clothing and way less makeup is required. You just have to trust your gut and go with the flow.

A few places I’ve made new girlfriends are: equally talking to girls or them talking to me, and then I ask them out! I’m telling you: be BOLD. Making new girlfriends is literally DATING but I’m not bisexual, I just want cool new chicks in my life.

The gym! Locker room VIBES. See someone with cool hair? Tell them! Cool sneakers? Ask them where a good run in the area is.

Through my existing girlfriends. For the most part when I do go out I’m going out with my existing girlfriends, and because I only have cool friends, most of my friends do too. I’ve gotten into sticky situations where some of my girlfriends hate that their girlfriends like me more than them or vice versa (if you’ve got friends who introduce you to their friends and then hate that you become closer with them than the friend who introduced you, welcome to the club) but in reality, your existing friends should WANT to introduce you to cool people too. If they don’t, screw them and become friends with their friend. 

I DARE YOU to go on Eventbrite and list your own meetup for girls in your town/city, or go on Meetup/Eventbrite and find an existing one. Be optimistic: it might be a boring experience, but you can say you tried. And if you meet no one, you’ll meet someone somewhere else. I promise you!

The Next Be Fearless Summit Is At…

The Be Fearless Summit is BACK with our first ever hybrid summit, May 22nd, 2021 at Vanderbilt University.

This years theme is Babes Against B.S., in partnership with Her Campus at Vanderbilt. This past year has left us battling a pandemic, fighting for equality, and enduring through a tumultuous presidential election, stirring us more than ever to address the issues exposed. We are over the B.S. we have seen! That’s why we are bringing you a thrilling day filled with inspiring speakers, swag, and a reminder that we are fighting together against the B.S.

RSVP to follow…but what we have available for you to see so far is the speaker submission link if you want to join our incredible lineup this year.

SUBMIT TO SPEAK!

Decorating My Los Angeles Apartment

Interior design is one of my favorite hobbies. Sometime around when I was living in Boston and the Boston Globe featured my old apartment is when I fell in love with interior design. The Globe did a feature (click here) on how I decorated my apartment for under $1,000. I miss that apartment everyday! But I give most of the credit on how chic the apartment came out to look to the interior designer I hired (Jenna) in Boston. She was a design student who I met at a farmers market in the South End, and she agreed to design my apartment on a very affordable budget. As I watched her put patterns and designs together, I was hooked watching the process unfold.

When I found this apartment in Los Angeles and moved in last March, it took me months to design the apartment. I ended up leaving for months and when I finally came back in January, I got to work at turning this apartment into an actual apartment and not just an empty space. Though I’ll be going between Austin and LA, it was really important to me to create a space that I felt comfortable working from and being in at all times. When I’m in Austin, I can go into a WeWork office, but when I’m in LA, I have to work from my apartment all day. I’m not someone who enjoys being home 24/7, so I have found the perfect combination of balance and work life.

Everything I buy is always being purchased on a budget. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on frames: go to places like the .99 Cent Store or Dollar Tree to buy accessories!

I don’t LOVE working from my apartment, but I do love this desk. Work From Home Desks sent me this desk last year, and I was able to put the entire desk together on my own. I never build furniture/can barely hang up wall art on my own properly, so having a desk that was THIS easy to build was phenomenal. They have a variety of different colors and styles on their website, but I was able to have them send me their biggest desk so I have tons of space. The shelves on the desk that can be added/removed any time are a huge plus.

I purchased the chair from Wayfair and a separate accessory for my back that wraps around the chair. I notice a big difference when I’m sitting down without the back insert vs. when I have it. I have always had a weak back so sitting all day doesn’t help that. If you’re in the same boat, invest in a seat insert. Mine was $30 on Amazon!

The less important parts of a house/apartment never stood out to me until I got invested in designing the perfect LA apartment. I don’t have any before and after pics, but I was able to switch out the existing mirror and light fixture in the bathroom that totally changed the space. I purchased everything on Facebook Marketplace including this Etsy mirror that was way cooler than the old square hanging mirror.

My favorite part of the bathroom is this super glam light fixture. Having to have my landlord come and switch out the lights was a process, but one worth the effort. The bathroom is tiny and I only have 1 bathroom, so getting shelves to hang up my beauty products was important to me. I have about 4 shelves in the bathroom that I hung up, and I enjoy putting candles, incense and face creams on them so I’m not surrounded by items everywhere on the sink.

I fell IN LOVE with my accent chair when I saw it online. I got this beautiful pink chair for such a good deal, and hired a mover to pick the chair up from Santa Monica and bring it to my apartment in Hollywood. I was skeptical when it arrived because my carpet hadn’t been delivered and I didn’t want to be in a space that was covered in pink solely (as much as I adore the color). Once the carpet arrived, the two pink accent chairs in either corner worked together well. There’s a lot of prints in the living room, including the carpet and the wallpaper under the bar area, but everything ties together with accent pillows and candles.

Some of the quality on cheap items from Wayfair is questionable, like the pink chair in the other corner (it got delivered to me broken so I got the money back but kept the chair) which is why I wanted to have two accent chairs. I can’t sit on one of them because it topples over so the square chair is more elevated and fancier, plus easier to sit on.

My bed frame was a serious investment: about $650 from Wayfair (I had a $250 credit to Wayfair so I paid $450) but worth every penny. I love how high the velvet headboard is, and it leaves less space to have to fill with either wall art or wallpaper. I kept the bedroom simple with greys and pinks because the living room is where I spend most of my time working or filming.

Email Vs. Direct Message: What’s Better In Business?

Do you email, or do you DM?

During a Clubhouse discussion a few weeks ago, the conversation about rejection shifted towards age, and ageism. I’m not sure if ageism is an actual term you can find in the dictionary, but the definition of this word is being judged by your age. What ended up transpiring during our conversation was whether sending emails is appropriate, or whether sending a DM is.

I’m very pro-email, because I feel way older than I am, but I’m not mad about it. A few young adults in the chat battled with me about DM, because they thought that DM was the way of the future. Why spend time trying to find someone’s direct email or When I started blogging, social media wasn’t around. I had to look high and low to find emails of people I wanted to contact. I get it, being in business is EXHAUSTING for everyone. Deciding what to put in the email is one thing, why do you have to spend your time searching for an email too?

Here’s how I view direct messaging: less professional, and less formal. I get so many messages from you sending me your ideas or asking me to help you with your projects, but then I get asked for my email – and my email is in my bio. All I’m saying is that’s totally find and all, but if you’re sending a direct message to a MAJOR CEO who ends up replying to you and you ask them what their email is (while it’s sitting in their bio for you…) not everyone is going to be as relaxed as I am.

View direct message as an informal follow-up to an email, or a way to post something on your Instagram story and tag the person you want to view it, but don’t view direct message as your end all, be all. What intrigues you more in business: direct messaging or email?

Simple French Braids with göt2b®

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #sponsored
#trygot2bspraywax #got2battarget #got2bpartner
Find out more here!

K, let’s talk braids. I’ve always wanted to learn how to brain my own hair, but for some reason I’ve never been able to do so. Braiding my hair is so complicated and confusing! I’m simple with my hair routine: shampoo, condition, and always put on a blow dry cream before starting a blow dry. If you’re doing a more intricate hairstyle, a gel can be your best friend. Schwarzkopf has developed some of my favorite products for making my hair a little more glam. The göt2b® Glued® Spray Wax JUST hit the shelves, and is my new BFF.   The got2b® Glued® Spray Wax provides two looks with one product. So, whether you want flexible texture or structured hold, this product has you covered! Best of all, this lightweight formula does not leave your hair feeling sticky or crunchy.

I love the göt2b® Ultra glued® Invincible Styling Gel​ to add to my hair routine. I finish my blowout with putting their Spray Wax on my hair, and it never feels greasy or makes my hair tough. If anything, it’s the opposite. Can I  just use this 2 in 1 product, please!?

I found all the got2b products at Target!

The before and after here is pretty extreme, because the göt2b® Spray Wax take your hair from 0-100 with such a small amount of product. You’ll notice my hair is just straight and boring before I started to do the two tiny braids at the top, while continuing to make my hair flexible enough to work with. This product enables you to seriously hold your hair in place before your next shampoo!

What hairstyle should I try next!? Comment down below.

 

FAKE FAMOUS BULLSHIT

When 3 or more people ask me if I’ve watched a documentary, I know I have to watch whatever they’re referring to. This month’s suggestion was Fake Famous on HBO (that required me reaching out to way too many people to ask if I could hack their HBO accounts…for research). I felt slightly disgusted watching a documentary called Fake Famous, primarily because I knew exactly what the documentary would be about (doesn’t everyone want to be an influencer?)

I knew watching would be worth my Sunday afternoon.

I’ve always had a unique view on influencers because the term has ruined the entertainment industry. I started blogging back in 2011, started going on TV when I was 16, and landed a show on Disney when I was 18. From 2011-2016, no one knew what an influencer was. Bloggers were popular, because blogs had substance. Writing, even Tumblring or Tweeting had passion behind it. There were always hot girls showing their asses off on some social media platform, but no one was getting paid for it in 2016. Between 2018-2021, I watched the industry shift. Actors who spent years in acting classes, sleeping on floors in New York and LA, staying up all night bartending and then all day memorizing lines, became 16/17-year-olds getting “famous” for exactly the opposite – shaking their asses, throwing slime at the wall or jumping in Walmart ball pits. Walk into a casting in 2020 and don’t have 10,000 IG followers? Who cares if you went to Pepperdine and studied acting, either get fake famous or GTFO!

After I started my blog, the word famous became really relevant to me. I was thrown into the world of entertainment and celebrities by the experiences I enabled myself to have. From fashion shows at Lincoln Center to working for Disney and being in and around the scene everyday, I was constantly deciding what famous meant. Famous in 2014 isn’t famous in 2021. The question is, what does famous mean to you?

My answer to people who ask me what I think of influencers is simple and direct: having millions of followers doesn’t make you famous, everyone has influence – that doesn’t make you famous, either, and true fame will be even bigger than what a number on a social media site shows. Ask someone whose growing up right now, and they’ll think the polar opposite to me. This documentary shined a light, finally, on how fake and stupid this industry has become. I want all of you to strive for more than just Instagramming. You all have brains and beauty: use them.

Success and fame never comes easily. Just because we’re growing up in a world of people who are hungry for fame and think they can achieve self-worth from a following on a social media page, doesn’t mean you need to fall for that bullshit.

Work your ass off, aspire to be people like Oprah or Sara Blakely who didn’t get successful until later on in life, and stop comparing yourself to everyone you see online. You’re on your own path.

P.S. If I wasn’t so frugal and actually bought my own HBO account I’d let you all have the login to watch it, but I still don’t have my account.

I give you permission to text everyone of your ex’s to get their login.

CONNECTICUT MAGAZINE 40 UNDER 40!

Wowwww, Connecticut Magazine just named me as #3 on their 40 under 40 list! I celebrated on Monday by taking Alexis out to dinner at one of my favorite places in my hood, Cara Hotel. It’s the cutest little hideaway that’s super COVID safe, and felt like the best spot to celebrate. Growing up in Connecticut is certainly such a huge part of my story: growing up in a small town inspired me to be even more fearless and get out of my comfort zone by moving away to cities where I knew no one. That’s how you find yourself!

Thank you, CT!

Alexa Curtis • 23 • Mansfield

Entrepreneur and social media influencer

Back in middle school, Curtis started a fashion blog. By high school, however, as she was dealing with bullying, insecurities and body-image issues, she switched her writing focus to lifestyle. Today, she is CEO of Life Unfiltered with Alexa, a lifestyle platform aimed at young adults on social media with a focus on mental health. She also has a podcast, This is Life Unfiltered, and formerly hosted a Radio Disney show, Fearless Everyday. “For me, living life unfiltered comes down to doing absolutely anything that gets you out of your comfort zone, whether that means taking a leap and starting a company or even maybe going to college if you’ve never considered going before,” she says. “It can also be as simple as trying a new restaurant or meeting a new person and that’s how I really classify being fearless.” Fearless for her in 2020 came in the form of producing her second annual Be Fearless Summit for college students, which was to take place live in April. Curtis ended up running it virtually in October, and the event drew a strong audience. She hopes to run two more virtual conferences this year with an eye toward returning to in-person events as soon as safely possible. lifeunfilteredwithalexa.com • Instagram: @alexa_curtis