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Stand Taller

She told me,
"You know, it’s okay to stand a little bit taller, you worked for that.” And her words have been running around my doubts ever since.

We don’t do that very much do we? Believe that we can stand tall because we have a good head on our strong shoulders that probably carry more than they should. As women, we are constantly striving to put our best foot forward, we apologize before we speak, we can’t take compliments when they come addressed with our names on it. We are continuously being limited and forced to be made smaller in all sorts of directions and the worst part?
We limit ourselves and each other because of it.

When’s the last time someone complimented you and rebutled with all the reasons you didn’t deserve that compliment? How many times do you just switch the subject so you don’t have to come to terms with how uncomfortable it makes you?
I do the same thing, every single time. Think to myself, these words aren’t mine to keep-- BUT THEY ARE. 

Believing in myself has been a daily, 24 year struggle. It was my sophomore year of College that I realized I had a really unhealthy mentality towards myself and overall really no self-esteem. I doubted my own abilities, in fact didn’t even believe I had any to begin with. This past year where I learned the art of standing taller. The potential that people saw in me encouraged and motivated me to see a glimpse of it too.

A few months ago, I was performing for a conference and the tech people at the venue happened to be two guys. I had musicians playing with me and during both poems and while they played through the first one, I had gotten a lot of feedback that it was too loud and they couldn’t hear me. So when I went to talk to the guys and asked if they could turn the musicians down to balance my out, I found myself having to communicate to them a few times. Ask clarifying questions, when and how things would be done and give details for what I wanted. I found myself apologizing so much and thinking, “I feel so bad.” “They probably hate me.” “Am I being difficult?” “I hope they don’t think I’m a diva.” We have this horrible narratives going through our heads thinking something is wrong with us when we speak our minds. But baby, you are brilliant and this world needs what your glorious mind has to offer.

Women are burden carriers, comprising of our own burdens and the burdens of others. A lot of times we take almost everything personally, if something goes wrong then we believe that falls on us and who we are. LISTEN — knowing what you want and asking questions does not make you a diva— it makes you a human who knows what she’s doing and is competent in the art of running things. Congratulations, you’re a boss and that’s nothing to be apologetic for!

 This year I challenge you to find all the ways you can explore the art of standing taller, learn what you’re good at it and EMBRACE IT, show it off if you want to.
No more limiting yourself, no more apologizing, take the compliment, say thank you and mean it better yet say thank you and challenge yourself to believe it.
Hold your head up a little taller baby, you’ve come a long way.

 Written by Arielle Estoria

Photo by Giulia Bertelli

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