Christian Sismone

Death by Self-Help: Embracing Self-Acceptance

Death by Self-Help: Embracing Self-Acceptance

In the realm of personal development, there comes a point in life when you must accept yourself as you are and ask, “Do I want to change?” Oftentimes, we get lost in the sea of well-intentioned creators who promise transformative power through books or courses, while neglecting our own innate creative potential.

Over the past two decades, I’ve consumed a vast amount of self-help literature, each one dangling the idealized promise of self-improvement if only I endured. It’s easy to become a self-help addict, constantly seeking the next podcast or course as the missing piece to unlock the life I’ve always dreamed of. However, my own journey of reinvention, following a challenging period in college, left me feeling like a fixer-upper house in desperate need of repair. I searched tirelessly for the magic routine that could make me more charming, beautiful, and deserving of the lives that others seemed to enter with grace.

Self-Acceptance Over Self-Fixation

Returning to blogging after a year-long hiatus and numerous attempts at entrepreneurship, I found myself in a unique position. What I like to call my “spiritual hermit phase” – devoid of friends and social engagements – allowed me to scrutinize myself without the need to conform to societal standards. It was in this solitude that I came to a profound realization: I wasn’t broken, and I didn’t need continuous fixing.

When we believe that we must constantly correct ourselves, we subconsciously reject who we are. Consider how you interact with someone who merely tolerates your existence. Your behavior may range from avoidance to transactional exchanges, and some may overexert themselves, leading to emotional burnout. Constantly rejecting yourself sends a message that you are not acceptable, making it difficult to attract the life you desire.

The morning I woke up to the idea that I wasn’t broken was a sobering one. I had to acknowledge the remarkable person I’ve always been and shed the image of the defective girl society projected onto me. I had to embrace my power and take responsibility for my life. It’s often easier to invest in fixing something rather than engaging in deep self-contemplation.

No number of books, courses, or videos can fix you because you are not broken. The most significant moment in your life is when you allow yourself to be and accept your whole self. While self-improvement and upskilling are valuable, the constant need to reinvent yourself is not necessary. Just as restricting the use of one hand can lead to overworking and breakdown, rejecting parts of yourself as less than or bad prevents integration.

Embrace Self-Acceptance in 2024

As we look to 2024, let’s abandon the need to fix ourselves and begin to accept what we might consider flaws based on arbitrary standards. Many of those we strive to emulate are often mere illusions, masterfully manipulating specific images to capitalize on people’s insecurities.

I wouldn’t end a post without offering a few ways to foster self-acceptance:

  1. Take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself what you dislike about yourself.
  2. Explore who told you these things are wrong.
  3. Imagine who you could be if you allowed yourself to see yourself clearly.

After this exercise, you may experience a surge of emotions. Embrace them, as they are your cues to dig deeper. You deserve a full life without needing external validation to define your existence.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment and share your own experiences or thoughts on self-acceptance.

Ace your next Zoom meeting: 3 ways to look your best!

Ace your next Zoom meeting: 3 ways to look your best!

Work from home is here to stay as many people finally felt what life could be. As someone who has worked remotely for 4 years, I have found some helpful tips for making you look your best as it’s crucial. Where you work should not matter; however, where ever you are, you should bring your A game. In this post, I will give 3 ways you can look chic for your next Zoom or video meeting.

Tip 1: Lighting

As someone who loves a good picture, the need for good lighting is significant for video calls. For me, it’s a bit distracting when I cannot fully see the person on video. A well-lit space conveys a bit of preparedness and confidence. The best lighting source is the sun so having your desk facing the window is fantastic, but not everyone has that option. I highly suggest investing in a ring light as you can move it where ever you have a clean wall. Another tip is to ensure your background is clutter-free as much as your work should be the focus, the reality; people judge and take note. Setting your desk to where there is a nice clean wall or nicely decorated wall makes you look put together.

Tip 2: Makeup

I am a bit of a glam girl, so my makeup for video calls is often a bit more than the average woman will wear. However, putting a bit of effort into your face gives that chic look. I advocate for a bit of concealer, blush, and lip color in a color that brings your best self out. Most video conferencing programs have auto filtering to make you not look washed out. The ultimate goal is to have an even complexion that looks well hydrated, with a bit of color on the lips and cheeks. If you want more, you can do a nice wash of color over the eyes and a bit of mascara, or if you are bold, false lashes.

Along the lines of makeup, making sure your hair looks well coifed is vital. It’s easy to wear a messy bun or have the bedhead look, but wearing a style that looks nice but isn’t high maintenance will make you look effortlessly chic.

Tip 3: Attire

My final tip is your attire from the waist up. I am someone who didn’t own sweatpants until the pandemic hit hard, but now I enjoy them so much. However, your top needs to convey I have my life in order. I love that you can do such a variety from the hyper-professional button-down to something frilly but ultimately chose a top that conveys the mood of the meeting. I rock a whole host of different things as I adore being able to express my fashion. I typically stick with solid colors as prints sometimes don’t translate well on camera and can be distracting. Depending on the meeting, I will ensure it has a high collar to provide poise.

Add some flair by wearing a nice bold necklace and earrings, and you will look a step ahead of the rest. I plan my attire weekly, making it easy to throw on in the morning as that is one of the benefits of wfh.

I hope these tips help give you a bit of a boost in your image for Zoom calls. I have seen various people during the last few years, and these subtle tweaks will make you look as impressive as your work. Need some help figuring out your style, send me a message, and I can help craft your best image.

Fall Fashion 2022 Refresh: 3 ways to update your look!

Fall Fashion 2022 Refresh: 3 ways to update your look!

Fall is just around the corner, and the essence of crisp air, fall leaves, and cozy sweaters come to mind. Growing up in Texas and having a brief stint in the midwest, I fondly appreciate the shift as we get closer to my favorite season, winter. However, fashion for fall, depending on where you find yourself, can be on the spectrum, and in this post, I’m going to share some ways to transition your wardrobe for where you are and still enjoy.

Tip 1: Makeup

Your makeup choices can be the easiest way to start the shift to fall. Picking richer colors such as rust, mustard, and deep plums allow you to have a cozy look even if your area is still 100+ degrees. If you are not a hard makeup person, rocking a bold lip or even an eyeliner in a deeper color is the quickest way to scream fall. One of my favorite fall lip colors is merlot, as it’s just the perfect mix of deep vampy red that can be dressed up or down easily.

You can continue your fall makeup transition by choosing to wear deeper blushes and going a little more on your eye looks, as an excellent smokey eye in warm colors is stunning and again allows you not to die of heat exhaustion if you are in an area that doesn’t understand the seasons.

Tip 2: Color choices

To expand a bit from tip one, choosing colors in fall 2022 hottest shades such according to Pantone as Orange Tiger, Rose Violet, or Autumn Blonde, will allow you to play in the fall fashion game well. If you are someone who wants to experiment with your fashion picking one or a few trendy colors for this season in pieces you feel comfortable with is an easy way to be fashionable chic.

Now, if you like to stick to a moody dark color, I suggest picking up a scarf, hat, or shoe in a trendy color that allows you to stay fashionable in your comfort zone but with a bit of spice!

Tip 3: Layers

My final tip has saved me from the challenges of being a material girl who wants the fall fabulousness but needs to be ready for the treacherous Texas heat is wearing layers. Instead, I love to rock cozy oversized cardigans with a maxi dress which allows me to get a bit of both worlds and easily color off. I also adore using.

Bonus Tip: Hair

Fall is a perfect time to do a nice switch-up with your hair. I love changing my hair color by combining rich reds and coppers or dark chocolate tones with a bit of caramel face-framing highlights. Big trends for fall 2022 are slick ponytails, the wolf cut, bobs, bangs, and layers.

If you are not ready to make a salon appointment, you can easily rock a very extravagant headband with a nice texture or pattern in a fall fashion color to look chic yet you.

I hope these tips help you update your fall 2022 fashion easily. You don’t have to break the bank when indulging in style, a great form of creative expression. Need help revamping your closet, hit the link and set up a consult today!

Embracing your limitations: 3 ways working within your gifts alleviates stress.

Embracing your limitations: 3 ways working within your gifts alleviates stress.

While reading a book called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, he joked that writing a book on acknowledging our limits would make a boring book, but to me, it piqued my nerdy interest. In our society, we wear overworking like the newest designer purse, ensuring everyone sees. Anyone who desires a life with boundaries and regular rest is told they are lazy. As I mentioned in this post, the hustle culture is the core pain point in many of our burned-out lives.

Quit quitting has been a hot topic lately, and I found it quite humorous as this isn’t some new phenomenon going around. Many people for decades have been disengaged by their work, yet the fundamental need to have income in a society that discards you if you don’t is ever-present. In light of the past few years, many people are unhappy with the life they created, often out of necessity, and are pushing back on tone-deaf employers. Many people, unfortunately, can’t make loud protests, so it happens covertly and passively. When you have bills to pay yet struggle, the passive doing only the bare minimum is a coping mechanism for working outside one’s limitations.

Understanding your limitations provides you freedom. Limits are boundaries that guide us on how to engage with people and places. From my project manager’s lens, limitations provide the scope of our lives. If you take a quick scroll on motivational content, much of it screams you are the limit. However, we all have our giftings, and it makes us no higher or lower in the span of society. Now what society may hold dear is fleeting at best, and often, we are chasing the stamp of societal approval. For instance, many women in the pursuit of their careers burn themselves out by trying to be all things to all people, in part of societal standards that genuinely don’t embrace women in the workplace but still demand them to tend to the home exclusively.

When researching the term limitations, the definition of limited ability, a defect or failing, appeared. When you’re trying to outrun failure, as it has such a negative connotation, we are burning ourselves out unconsciously. If you derive your worth outside of yourself, you will always be enslaved to going outside your limits to a fault.

Some limitations are self-imposed that we use to self-protect in society. Understanding and acknowledging one’s limits allows us to operate in the way we are designed optimally. For example, if you’re moving and trying to fit a sofa in your 2-door sedan, you will run into issues as it operates outside its limits. Limits are on various things we use as going outside of such means possible injury.

Acknowledging your unique needs provides you with all the tools you need to craft an enjoyable and rich life. For instance when you are well rested, your perspective changes, and your ability to make connections are sharper. The increased visibility of mental health and other health breakdowns in society indicates how we have crafted an unsustainable lifestyle yet are unwilling to acknowledge and railing against our design. Much of our refusal is due to various isms in the world and the need to do more to make ourselves seem shiny and valuable, thus protected. As great as technological advances are, we are languishing behind as we are constantly unable to keep churning. In my life, I have found 3 ways operating within your gifts helps alleviate stress and allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  1. Understanding your gifts allows you to show up more engaged

When you’re doing something you enjoy, you can get lost in it. I have worked with many people over the years, and it’s never lost on me that it’s almost infectious when working with someone excited about their work. When you operate from gifting, you will be able to find solutions and become even more efficient in your area of expertise.

  1. Embracing your gifts allows for mediocrity to fall

My natural talent is speaking, and it comes effortlessly. I get excited at large crowds, and it just amps me more to perform well. Technical difficulty or any issues that may pop up don’t stop the show. Working within areas outside my limits always felt like a chore and was suffocating, requiring me much more downtime, which often wasn’t great as I constantly dreaded having to work again. Embracing what I’m truly good at limits opportunities; however, it enhances the opportunities I seek as I know I can show up fully.

  1. Embracing limits allows for joy

When your waste time doing things outside your wheelhouse, you miss opportunities to use your time in the areas you do well. For example, I recently had to remove myself from a project as I found my skills weren’t up to the task. In the past, I would continue to flounder and make a mess of things; however, knowing when to quit and pivot helps me see my limits and reroute quicker. This takes a realistic assessment of your skills and also a comfortable ego.

You should feel empowered to push yourself and know where to stop. A disciplined person understands that I can either put more effort into something that isn’t made for me or use my gift correctly. It may be hard in a society that pushes maxing out everything; however, taking an active focus in your life should be your heart’s desire. When you know your capacity, you can enjoy it and live the life you desire, no matter who approves.

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