For the launch of my body image website (this website, welcome), I hired a professional branding service.
If you’re anything like me, you hate admitting you aren’t good at something. You see everything as a challenge – a way to improve and show your value as a team member, friend, or even a romantic partner.
But when something comes along you just can’t figure out, it makes you feel like a fraud.
This is exactly what happened to me when I launched my first business. I saw it as a challenge. I could do everything, or so I thought. From branding to tech set up, I went the DIY route, because “come on, how hard can it be?”
Not hard to do, but hard to do right.
I had no idea how to brand my copywriting business. Fortunately, I’m actually earning a living writing full-time, but the reason I felt like a fraud was because I’m terrible at branding.
Eventually, I waived my white flag and decided to get serious. I hired professionals and seriously they’re worth every penny.
Never did I expect to see similarities between the branding journey and the body image journey, but I did!
Stick with me, cause this is pretty cool!
When you’re in the branding process, you’re just making decisions all day long. At every turn, you’re forced to decide something that will be “set in stone” for at least the first few years of your business.
I hate that feeling. Especially when it’s something with no blueprint, no formula, no “right” way to do things! There’re so many ways to properly brand your business, which colors to use, color psychology, typography (fonts), patterns…it’s enough to make your brain hurt.
I’m not kidding when I say it was a headache trying to do it on my own!
Change was the only consistent thing about my brand, and that’s bad. My website went from vintage and classic one day to modern and sleek the next!
My logo was all over the place, and I didn’t bother ordering business cards, because my brand colors were changing with the seasons.
I went down one path, start feeling really good about it, then read some new article. Within a few days I hit rewind, completely scrapped my website, and built an entirely new brand. It happened more than once.
There are so many people telling you the way your body should look, feel, and fit into things. They’re telling you what numbers are good and what numbers are bad whether its on a scale, clothing tag, or nutrition label. Some voices are good, most are bad. Opinions are conflicting and sometimes complete polar opposites.
One day you’re feeling like you’ve got it all figured out with your Paleo diet. The next day you read an article saying meat is killing you and you should switch to a vegan or at least pescatarian diet.
Same thing with exercise.
Do crossfit. Don’t do crossfit. Do yoga, Do pilates. Run. Don’t run. Lift weights. Don’t lift weights.
It’s seriously maddening and the whole reason you listen to any of this crap is because you’re being told you’re not enough. The way you look (no matter what) isn’t good enough.
You’re skinny, but you need a bigger butt. You have a big butt, but you need to tone your thighs. You have nice thighs, but your calves are too big.
Maybe you have perfect legs, but zero boobs. Your boobs are nice, but your stomach needs to be tighter…preferably with a slight six pack. Your stomach is thin, but now we’re back to the whole butt thing…
And it goes ‘round and ‘round in this crazy circle of self criticism until you’re completely broke and unhappy. Unless you decide to step out of the crazy circle.
You can decide you’re going to focus on one thing, the thing that makes you happy. It might not have anything to do with what you look like, in fact, I hope it doesn’t.
Maybe you decide you’re going to put all your focus and passion into crocheting Lord of the Rings themed potholders. That’s a heck of a lot better than putting energy into what your butt looks like.
Just think, nestled under your Thanksgiving dinner you could have the entire Fellowship of the Ring shielding your tabletop from the heat of pots, pans, and casserole dishes. Sounds magical.
Just like your plan to love your body, my brand was a mess. It was exhausting. So this time around – I wanted to do it right.
This two-woman business was co-founded by a long-lost college friend of mine, Andra Barkey, and her business bestie, Kelly Zugay. After following and admiring these ladies along their business journey for 4 years, I was finally able to hire them! YAY!
It was a very happy day.
Like I said, I tried to DIY it the whole first year. I wasn’t ready for help yet.
Honestly, my heart wasn’t set on building a copywriting business. So it would’ve been stupid to invest any real money in it.
Risking thousands of dollars on something you’ll get sick of isn’t a good investment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good writer and I love my writing clients (<3). The thought of writing for more than 2-3 brands made me want to crawl under my desk and cry into my dog hair lined leggings.
Eventually, I decided enough was enough. I’m done switching businesses. I’m done switching logos. No more color palettes or brand boards for this girl!
I knew I was ready to hire someone to help me.
Our first meeting was like a breath of fresh air mixed with a sweet, virtual hug. I knew I could trust them to take over the one thing I knew would be my kryptonite during this business launch…branding.
I learned how to do the tech stuff, the marketing, the PR, heck I setup my own podcast… it was the “no wrong answer” stuff that had me terrified!
Sometimes you need to go through some uncomfortable stuff before the universe shows you you’re ready for help. Struggling with my branding showed me hiring With Grace & Gold was going to be a good thing for my business.
You don’t know it’s a problem until you know i’ts a problem. Lots of people go their whole lives without thinking about the things they tell themselves every day.
Those thoughts running through your head while you’re getting dressed in the morning for yoga? Inner monologue.
When you tell yourself you’ll never be good enough to date the hot guy from the first floor of your apartment building? Inner monologue.
Even when you justify spending a little more than you planned at the Kate Spade outlet! Inner monologue.
Inner monologue: The words, phrases, and generals beliefs you carry about who you are and the world around you.
When your inner monologue is hijacked by negative self-talk and self-criticism, your body image goes in the toilet. This happens so often in women, we think it’s “just the way it is”.
That’s a load of BS.
Where you are today is not where you have to be. You have control over what you choose to think. You can DIY your body image, and when you’re ready to ask for help, I’ll be here.
Maybe you’ve gone through your fair share of struggles with your body image. Maybe your confidence took a few hits in the past and you just haven’t had the strength or motivation to put it back together.
I’ve been there. It happens.
When you lose your confidence it’s incredibly hard to believe you can get it back, because…well, you don’t have confidence in yourself!
It’s a catch 22, you need confidence to build confidence.
But even if you’re only working with a tiny little scrap of leftovers, confidence is possible to rebuild. Something has to be triggered to finally tell yourself, “I’m ready for help”
It’s different for everyone.
Maybe you don’t want your kids to grow up seeing their mom hate her body.
Maybe you aren’t going to let the lies and abuse of an ex boyfriend control you anymore.
Heck, maybe you’re just really fed up with feeling like crap about yourself.
It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, it just needs to trigger an action within you.
Just enough to tell yourself, “I’m ready to ask for help”.
Freedom was something I wanted, but I seriously got this wrong for years.
When I’m wrong about things, I laugh at my “past” self when my “present” self figures it out.
I shake my head at “past Rebekah” and think,
“Oh silly past Rebekah, you were so ignorant. I’m glad you finally opened your eyes to the ways of the world so I can be wise.”
My inner monologue is more of an inner dialogue, but I digress…
All my life I thought freedom comes when you have complete control over your life and everything that happens.
You have control of your finances, relationships, health, and overall well being.
First, (lol, past Rebekah) that’s impossible.
Second, when you’re in control of something that means you’re responsible for that thing.
So if you’re 100% in control of your business? Guess what, everything is up to you. You have to do everything.
You make all the decisions, do all the work, and when something goes wrong, it’s your fault.
When I handed over control of my branding, I was finally able to breathe.
I’m confident and relaxed that this branding truly represents my heart and passion for helping women!
They gave me all the tools I need to have a consistent brand presence both online and in person! Their strengths are my weaknesses.
I’m set up for years! All because I let go of control over one small area of my business.
Freedom begins when you release control over your body.
You don’t feel free when your butt looks like Kim Kardashian’s.
Freedom doesn’t come at the end of your 7-day juice cleanse.
Your protein shakes won’t make you feel body image freedom.
Freedom only comes from letting go of the control and power your body has over your mindset. When you let your body control your life, you won’t ever feel the freedom to enjoy it!
Practice letting your mind control your life. That’s the only way you’ll make sure your negative self image doesn’t ruin another vacation or big life event.
Stop looking at your graduation photos and stressing over whether or not your arms looked fat. Instead, look at your accomplishment and feel proud.
That’s the power of having body confidence. Healthy body image means you rarely think about your body. It’s a non issue because you realize your body is doing exactly what it needs to do. Whether or not it’s “attractive” is totally irrelevant to your purpose here on earth.
You can start practicing today with this free guide I put together for you.
Rebekah Buege is a body confidence coach helping strong women process critical thoughts and heal insecurities.
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