I had a chance to sit down with Bustle recently to give my thoughts on this season. Read the full article here.
There’s something many of us are addicted to. It’s not social media or cell phones, it’s not caffeine, eating, shopping or even drama. It’s the need for approval.
For much of my life, I’ve felt this intense desire to please everyone. I’ve been afraid of what people think of me. Let’s be honest, we all want to be liked. We all want to be people pleasers. We all look externally at our friends or our boyfriend/girlfriend to stamp us with approval proclaiming we are worthy and special and we can therefore think highly of ourselves.
Imagine this: You go on several dates with a guy and he suddenly never calls you back, and you immediately blame yourself and think of all the reasons why his rejection means you’re not worth it. Also imagine the time your boyfriend or girlfriend (who didn’t actually treat you all that well) breaks up with you and you lose all pride and self-esteem because he or she didn’t want to be with you! Or you finally get an invite to hang out with the cool group after work, and at the end of the night, no one asks for your number or tries to build a friendship. You walk home feeling lame and unloved.
All of us can relate to one of the above scenarios, I know I sure can. The one thing each situation has in common is this horrible concept that you need the approval of others to feel good about yourself. So I pose these questions: Why do we let what others think control our self-worth? Why don’t we spend more time validating ourselves?
Eckhart Tolle said, “Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love – you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” Gosh, isn’t that the truth. You alone are enough. You have to decide to never again beg for the love or approval that you should be showing yourself.
If a guy or girl wants to leave, show him or her the dang door and smile as you show them out of your life. You are beautiful and so worth the person who will be utterly obsessed with you, and trust me, he or she is on the way. If a group of people won’t accept you as a friend, they’ll just never get to experience your treasure. The people who will love the real you are the people with whom you should be friends, anyway.
Rather than wondering if you are good enough for someone to love, you should love yourself so much that you will only accept someone who is worthy of your love. Instead of obsessing over the boy who didn’t like you or the girls who made you feel like you weren’t good enough, why don’t you obsess over the things you love about yourself?
I leave you with this: Love yourself like you’re not waiting for someone else to do it.
Hello everyone! I’m so sorry that I’ve been MIA on my blog — lots of exciting changes going on in my life at the moment! Let’s see — I turned 24 in the end of March, packed up and moved to New York City, frantically searched for an apartment (found my dream place, spiral staircase and all, under budget) and started looking for a new television job! More on all of that excitement later.
With job searching, apartment hunting, and trying to meet new people — there comes something that I’ve experienced plenty of in my lifetime: rejection. It happens every day — we decide not to buy something, ideas we don’t like, food we don’t want to eat. Humans reject each other all the time. That happened to me recently, and I’m guilty of the poor-me attitude, feeling like I’m not good enough. But there’s a way to handle rejection with grace and gratitude.
Here’s the scenario. You end up in a relationship you never expected to be in. There are all these fish in the sea, and you think you’ve found your Nemo! You find yourself happy, laughing. You want to talk all day every day — and you’re so proud to call that person yours. Pretty awesome feeling, isn’t it?
Then WHAM BAM SHABAM — rejection. Yikes. A direct blow to your self-esteem, your worth. We automatically blame ourselves. There has to be something wrong with me, right? I must criticize the behavior that led to my rejection. There must be something wrong with me for someone to dismiss me, to give up on me. Guess what…WRONG.
Here’s what I’ve learned through experience. You can’t take it personally. It’s hard to think this way — but it really isn’t you. Initially you feel as though the person who rejected you didn’t see your inner and outer beauty.
When rejection happens — it’s okay to be emotional. Never apologize for being sensitive. This is a sign that you’ve got a big heart and you aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotion is a sign of strength. After you’ve cried it out, maybe had an epic dance party with your girlfriends, wipe those tears away and realize that when the answer is no, there’s a better yes down the road. You are too full of life to be half-loved or half-appreciated.
Most importantly — love yourself and continue to get after it. When 100 doors are slammed in your face, go to door 101 with enthusiasm. If it doesn’t open, it just isn’t your door. Work hard. The people who belong in your life will find you and stay. They won’t quit on you. Don’t be disappointed if people refuse you. As Einstein said, “I am thankful to all those who said NO. Because of them, I did it myself.”
There’s nothing to fear about rejection. It’s God’s protection and a nudge in a better direction.
XO – Olivia
On March 4th, I attended the first New York screening of Little Miss Perfect, a feature film about an overachieving high school freshmen who tries controlling her life by controlling her weight.
Here’s a photo of the films star actress, Karlee Roberts, and another with the writer/producer/director (in the red dress), Marlee Roberts.
I knew this was an event I wanted to make it to because of its message about body image and cyber bullying, two topics very close to my heart. Belle (Karlee), stumbles upon an online pro-eating disorder subculture as cracks begin to appear in her seemingly perfect life.
Belle tries to control her life by controlling her weight, entering a dark online social media site that promotes eating disorders. The goal of the film, according to its Facebook page, is to raise awareness about eating disorders and cyber bullying and cause a transformation in how they are perceived in society.
After the screening, I stayed in the audience and talked with people. The best thing I discovered–people with mental illness, eating disorders, even victims of cyber bullying–are not alone. I felt better about my struggles because there are others who feel very similarly. It’s therapeutic to bond and bring light to (typically) controversial topics.
Marlee said at a film festival, “I hope that audiences watching Little Miss Perfect go home learning something about themselves. I don’t want to shove any messages or morals down anyone’s throat and at the same time, I don’t want audiences to leave empty-handed. It’s a balance. I hope the film fosters a dialogue for any of the many themes it presents.”
I definitely learned something. I learned that it’s okay to talk about body image and mental illness. It’s okay to have an imperfect life, to be imperfect. We all have struggles in life. All of us are messed up in some way. Let’s embrace it, and most of all, start a dialogue about it. Let’s #FaceOurBeast.
Find a screening of Little Miss Perfect as soon as you can. You won’t regret it.
The other day I had some time on my hands, so I sat down on the computer and started watching some Ted Talks. I landed on one about vulnerability, and I thought it was very poignant. The speaker is Brené Brown, who researches human condition. She’s also the author of one of my favorite books, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms.
I jotted down a couple of notes. Here’s what I have. “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful. Be willing to say I love you. Be willing to do something where there are no guarantees. Be willing to invest in a relationship that may not work out.” I also wrote down, “You are imperfect and you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
So then I thought, what exactly is vulnerability? It’s the state of being open to injury, or appearing as you are. It might be emotional, like admitting that you’re in love with someone who might only like you as a friend. So…we’ve all been there. We’ve loved people who haven’t loved us. But have we said anything about it? Oftentimes not, because being vulnerable is scary.
In my life, I try to build the toughest of exteriors around myself, and I honestly make it tough for people to get to know me. I’m strong, strong, strong. I won’t break. Because breaking is being vulnerable, right? And vulnerability means weakness, right? Wrong.
For example, I was in a serious relationship in college. He left me and broke my heart, and I closed myself off for years. I didn’t let anyone near my heart. I thought I was just keeping myself safe. But in reality, I was just pushing everyone away to maintain control.
Here’s how I know that. Months ago, I chose to try reality television to find love. I thought, let me abandon shame and fear. Let me be vulnerable. Here’s my chance to put myself out there (trust me, that was hard). I opened my heart wide. I put my trust in someone to take care of my heart, and even though there was a chance of failure, I opened myself up to hurt and rejection.
You all know what happened. I was rejected, and, in turn, heartbroken. Was that a failure? It might look like it. But it wasn’t. I realize my vulnerability wasn’t and isn’t a weakness – it’s strength. It takes guts to put your heart out there, to give your heart to someone who could break it, but to trust that they won’t. It takes guts to expose all that you are.
But there’s a consolation. There will be someone who loves you. There will be someone who will take your heart and cherish it, and they’ll return the favor and give their heart to you. Someone will expose himself or herself back to you, and all of the rejection and pain will be worth it. Remember, the greatest risk in life is love, and to love is to be vulnerable.
I’m back from paradise! I’ve been on Maui with one of my best friends for a week, driving the Road to Hana, hiking 10,000 feet above sea level at Haleakala Crater, swimming with sea turtles — the list goes on! One memory in particular is one for the books, and I’d like to share it with you all.
On my last day, my friend and I hopped in a kayak with Aloha Kayak Tours, paddled out to the middle of the ocean, and waited for whales. We said a prayer and an hour in, during a great conversation with our tour guide, a 40-ton humpback whale “breached” from the water just 15 yards away from us. I’m not kidding, fully out of the water. It was the loudest and most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.
This was our reaction to something so special.
I named the whale Cory (a go-to name in my family) and he put on a show for us all afternoon, showing us his tail and even swimming directly under our kayak. It was an out-of-body experience, being one with a 40-ton mammal.
It got me thinking. How something so big could make me feel small — in a good way. Think about how magical it is. A giant sea mammal with a heart the size of a car and eyes the size of grapefruits let me be a part of its life for the day.
I think of how small I am. How small my problems are. I’m surrounded by beautiful people and beautiful places and a beautiful whale that may have swam to Hawaii from Alaska in pain, stuck in fishing net, and here I am worried about what people think of me or when my flight leaves the next day. It put me in my place — from the airplane above, I was a tiny speck on the ocean. Cory was too. But in that moment, I was in awe, up close with a 45-foot mammal, listening to it singing and breathing. The sound of Cory breathing was enough to take my breath away.
I mean, check this beauty out!
I’ll finish with a quote from Elizabeth Peterson. She says, “Looking down on the Earth from high above, I see in 50 years from now, these problems we obsess about will be nothing. And compared to the infinite beauty in the world, our problems seem so small. It’s so simple. Why do people have to take things so seriously?”
XO- Olivia Caridi
So let me start by saying that I don’t claim to be the all-knowing when it comes to broadcast journalism and the broadcast industry, but I’ve been getting tons of questions about my journey in this career and advice for upcoming college graduates, so I thought I’d write four of the best lessons or tips that I learned from mentors when landing my first job!
- Network, network, network! Internships are so important when getting a job in this industry. I took on two internships, one at Fox Sports Southwest, and one at WFAA-TV in Dallas, and that’s where I learned first-hand that I wanted a career in broadcast. Do as much research about the team you’ll be interning with, and be willing to work for free! You’ll learn valuable skills, you can demonstrate your abilities to professionals, and then you can stay in contact with anyone you meet on the way. Make sure to gather lots of business cards and take every single opportunity to write, produce, edit, anchor, report – take in every aspect of the industry. It’s important to shadow the jobs that you want to know if you really want to be a reporter or an anchor or a photographer. Plus, you’ll get the best footage for your demo reel out of your internships. So when you’re working, ask the photographer to shoot a standup or two for you or even shoot a look-live. Ask the anchors if you can take their scripts once they are done and read over them at night!
- Get involved in your school’s media opportunities. I worked closely with Texas Christian University Student Media and served as the Executive Editor of TCU360, my school’s online news source. The hours were rough and I missed out on many social opportunities, but there’s nothing better than taking a leadership position and making friends within your department. Any experience is good experience. Even if there’s a position open that you wouldn’t normally want, take it! It goes back to being a sponge and learning every aspect of the industry.
- Go the extra mile and be tenacious. Know that this industry can be intimidating and unforgiving at times. It seems daunting, but if you know in your heart that this is the industry for you, don’t ever stop trying. Take on the tough stories. Keep contacting sources even if they don’t respond right away. Work the extra hours, ask professionals for advice even if it seems like you’re being a burden. Persevere. Do an extra story or two for your classes. Raise your hand to write the story that no one else wants to write. Sit at the anchor desk in the studio and read the teleprompter over and over. Be a chaser.
- Rely on your mentors. There is one professor at TCU in particular that I still talk to every single day. She is an adviser, a friend and a mentor. Find a person within your department who can identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on your talents. There are people who have been through this industry and are there to help you. They will answer questions and even encourage you when you’re feeling down. And once you find a mentor, become a mentor to another student.
A good friend recently shared with me her favorite quote. “This above all: to thine own self be true,” coined by William Shakespeare in Scene III of Hamlet. That line presents a word and idea that I inspire my life around – authenticity.
We are often swayed by opinions and desires. We often search for the approval of others to fit in. Sometimes we try to live a life our parents dreamed for us, instead of following our own passions. Sometimes we change ourselves to impress others, or make ourselves how we should be according to societal standards.
But what about the traits that make us uniquely us? What about living your truths and values as a daily practice?
For example, I’m not a fan of going out and partying. I don’t usually attend big events and I’m not always comfortable being in big groups of people and large social settings. Do I ever wish I could be a social butterfly? All the time – but I’m not. I can proudly be the person who goes to bed at 10 p.m. on a weekend after reading several chapters of a book because that’s what I value. I love to be the girl with a small group of friends, rather than large groups of friends, because that’s who I am and that is my truth.
Before you can be yourself, you have to know yourself. It’s taken me a lot of time to figure that out, but after the realizations come to fruition, it’s an awesome feeling.
I am a fully functioning introvert, and I own it. I’m loyal, independent, committed, confident and focused. I enjoy solitude. I often feel alone in a crowd. I’m an old soul. I’m more of an observer than a talker. The list goes on. Do some people misunderstand me because of that? Yes. Do some people wonder how a broadcast journalist could be the “quiet type?” Absolutely.
But those traits make me ME. And you all have qualities that make you YOU. Have the courage to show other people how different you are and risk not being accepted.
Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
There you have it. Put your soul on display, people. Nobody else is you. Be proud of that.
Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always struggled with the feeling of “fitting in.” I’m an introvert, uncomfortable in large groups of people, awkward at times and very serious. I was overweight, and my closest friend in second grade said to me, “We can’t be friends anymore because you’re fat.” I was bullied. I ate alone in the cafeteria, sat by myself on the school bus. Kids were mean, and I was never a part of a group. Every day after school, I went home and cried. I felt hopeless, wondering if I’d ever find my role in the world.
Then I found athletics, fitness and nutrition. I started playing volleyball, making friends each year I played on a team. I was never very good, but I found an outlet to sweat it out and be a team player. In college, I found a personal trainer who overhauled my diet and exercise. Now I eat healthy foods that make my body feel great – lean meats, vegetables, lots of protein – and I lift heavy weight. The girl who never wanted to show off her body is now working every day to make her body something to be proud of.
The biggest change came when I found what I was good at – journalism. The minute I started writing, I fell in love with telling stories. The minute the camera started rolling, I could be myself – and people liked it! I could show off my personality and I never felt like anyone was judging me – it was just the camera. I interviewed interesting people and became so energetic and comfortable learning their stories. I found people who are all different, people who need to be celebrated for being different. I found confidence in my abilities. I developed a thick skin. I learned that I’m talented at something, and it can take me a long way in life.
When I think back on what I went through growing up, I’m appreciative of the hardships and the lows. It prepared me for a business that’s full of judgment and cattiness. I’m great at what I do because I can handle anything that comes my way.
The definition of endurance is hanging in my bathroom: The power to withstand pain or hardships; the ability or strength to continue despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. As someone who survived a dark storm in life, know you won’t be the same person that walked in – and you’ll be ready to take on the world.
Be fearless. Do everything you’re afraid of doing. Trust your instinct, and never stop learning. Find a passion and start pursuing it, and don’t let anyone stop you. Find out what you want out of life and go get it. Most importantly, own who you are.
I still struggle to this day with body image. The bullies still bother me. But they’ve made me stronger, and they won’t be a part of my life forever. Someone’s opinion of you is not your reality unless you believe it. Words are powerless without your acknowledgment. Give no one but yourself the power to direct your path.
When people ask me what my personality is like, I say that I’m an introvert – and sometimes I answer that question with reservation because many introverts are misunderstood.
Introversion is not just about shyness. It’s more to do with a person who is energized by being alone and finds large social situations to be draining. Introverts are thinkers and observers more than talkers. After being around people for a long time, we need to reenergize. We tend to prefer intellectual, deep conversations to small talk. We often feel alone in a crowd and we love to write. We prefer solitude, one-on-one conversations, and self-reflection.
But there’s also many fictions surrounding introversion – which circles around to feeling misunderstood more often than not. So here are five myths about us:
- Introverts don’t talk much. Not true! Introverts love to talk, but they only talk when there is something relevant they can add to a conversation. Small talk gets arduous. Trust me, if an introvert is really interested in a topic, they could talk for hours!
- Introverts don’t like people. False! Introverts just value smaller, close groups of friends. Personally, I can count my friends on one hand, but they know me inside and out – it just took a bit longer to peel back the layers. Introverts are fiercely loyal – so if you’re friends with an introvert, you’ll have an ally in all aspects. It just takes time for introverts to open up.
- Introverts are weird. They aren’t weird; they just don’t follow the crowd. They spend so much time thinking and craving authentic relationships that they often challenge what’s normal. It’s not about what everyone else is doing or what is popular, but what makes you an individual.
- It’s easy to tell if someone is an introvert. Nope! Many people say to me, “You make a living being on camera, being a public speaker, how could you be an introvert?” Many introverts could go to a huge party and make lots of friends – but after, they’ll just want to be in their pajamas reading a book in bed at the end of the night. Introverts can crave interactions and attention, but it always goes back to the need for solitude and recovery.
- Introverts cannot have fun. I have tons of fun; it might just look different than what some people consider fun. Great times for me involve relaxing at home or outside with nature. It’s more about familiar surroundings than noisy places with lots of people.
Are you an introvert? Do you ever struggle with feeling misunderstood? I’d love to hear from you. And remember, it’s okay to be yourself, whoever or whatever you are. You’re in good company.
XO – Olivia