Don’t you dare give up on yourself. Don’t you dare give up on your dream. Don’t you dare believe that you are not enough. Don’t you dare think that you aren’t made for more.
Do not give up on the person you’re becoming. She is worth it. You are worth it. Do not give up.
Why are WE always the first to give up on ourselves, yet we will fight tooth and nail for a relationship we want to work out? Focus on you and the rest will fall into place. Focus on who you want to be, where you want to be, and WHY you want to be there and everything else will fall into place.
Why is such an important question in life. Why do certain things happen? Why do people pass away? Why are we alive? Why am I here? Why do I choose to chase my dreams?
If you cannot define your ‘why‘ your dream will never come into fruition. It just won’t, or matter of fact, it can’t. Because when you are in a low place during the journey to your dream, your why is what forces you to keep going. Your why is what tells you it will all be worth it. Your why is the back bone of your dream. Humans cannot live without their spines, your dream cannot live without its why.
So when the dream gets tough, when you feel like giving up, Don’t you dare do it. Don’t you dare think it’s okay to give up on yourself – remember my definition of failure? When you stoptrying. NEVER stop trying, NEVER stop going after the thing that sets your soul on fire.
The great Walt Disney sums up chasing your dreams as simple as this;
Lately I’ve been changing how I go about running my Instagram account. Normally I am very engaged, but I’ve decided to dive in EVEN deeper into engagement. Like what if I actually knew my followers personally? How could that change how this platform is used?
I’ve been sharing different profiles that I feel best represent what they are passionate about and I have been hopping into DM’s to tell people how amazeballs they are.
AND GUESS WHAT!
Social media is SO MUCH MORE fun when you actually connect with the people you are following instead of staring at a bunch of numbers that mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
During the process of connecting with all of these fun Instagramer’s I decided I wanted there to be a common theme during each conversation I have. I am a very intentional person, so my favorite thing to do is to go into conversations with a set intention. I decided that somewhere during the conversation I would ask this person, “What is your dream?”
I’ve received a variety of responses. Some, know the answer right away. Some, are LIVING their dream but dumbing it down because it doesn’t sound as cool as being a pro football player or an American Idol Winner. GIRLFRIEND, you are to NEVER dumb down your dream because it is not as fancy as someone else’s, it is YOUR dream for a reason, IT. IS. YOURS. Others, simply say they have no idea because they have never been asked that question before. WHAT! YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN ASKED WHAT YOUR DREAM IS BEFORE? What kind of world do we live in that we have stopped asking people about their DREAMS!?
We live in a world where people go to work because that is what everyone else does.
But what if you don’t want to go to work? What if you don’t want to work? I know, you’re thinking I’m ABSOLUTELY insane. But here is my honest truth. I DO NOT WANT TO WORK. NOPE. I WANT TO DO WHATEVER I WANT EVERY SINGLE DAY. YES, WHATEVER I WANT. I want to live my dream because I won’t even be able to call it work. That is because I love it so insanely much IT IS NOT WORK TO ME. (Here’s where you’re like, “omg this little millennial, if only she knew the real world!”)
But I do know the real world. The real world was shown to me at 20 years old, when I had to leave my brother at the hospital, dead, after 3 years of fighting cancer. After 3 years of me making adjustments to my young life to accommodate cancer, the ‘real world’ took him away. The real world showed me what it’s like to suffer PTSD after I ran for my life during a mass shooting. It showed me what it’s like to be heart broken over depression because you feel like you have no purpose in this world. I know the real world, I just refuse to live in it.
I’m going to live in my own version of the ‘real world’ It’s my version. It’s filled with light, positivity, and joy. I wake up everyday and do things I LOVE doing while making an income, and then maybe other days I wake up and go back to sleep BECAUSE I CAN. That’s my version of the real world. That’s my dream.
Friends, maybe you’re reading this thinking ‘HELL YES‘ and you relate to every word I say. Or maybe you’re reading this and you’re like, “This girl is going to fail, be homeless, and probably end up dead somewhere.” That’s fine, I would rather take the risk than never know what I COULD HAVE done had I discovered my potential. OR MAYBE, you are sitting here reading this with a nice warm cup of coffee in your hand and this is pulling at your heart… you’re wondering, could I ACTUALLY chase my dream? Could I leave the worlds version of ‘the real world’ to create my own version of the real world?
HELL FREAKING YES SWEET HONEY CHILD, YOU CAN. IF YOU HAVE A DREAM IN YOUR HEART AND YOU DO NOT CHASE IT, YOU ARE BEING SELFISH. Think about it, you are reading this blog and being affected by my words. Yet had I decided to never start this blog a year and a half ago because I was TOO SCARED, you would never be reading these inspiring words. That would have been selfish of me. God gave me this talent for a reason and he calls me to step into the light and to share it with his people. And I believe that he gave you a talent that is 100% unique to you and you are doing a disservice not only to you, but to the people around you to keep it to yourself.
Decide today, to create the version of the real world that you wish to see.
I was over the ‘real world’ version of Instagram. I was over the toxic, fake relationships. I was over keeping up with numbers and people who had no true interest in my content. So what did I do? I changed my version of the Instagram world to what I WANTED IT to be. Now it is an app I can go onto with joy, I can speak LIGHT into my followers, because they actually care about my content. Then I can go to my friends (YES, MY FRIENDS NOT JUST MY FOLLOWERS – THEY ARE MY FRIENDS TOO!) and support what they are doing! THIS IS THE KIND OF INSTAGRAM WORLD I WANT TO BE APART OF! BUT IT WAS NOT OUT THERE! SO I CREATED IT, I FOUND PEOPLE TO JOIN ME AND WE CREATED THE COLLABORATION WE WANTED AND SAID SCREW YOU TO COMPETITION!
Decide today, that you will answer the question, what is your dream? And then, decide to ask someone else, what their dream is.
Us dreamers, WE HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER. We have to encourage others that their dreams are possible. I’m done living in a cookie cutter world that tells me I can’t chase my dreams. GOD BUILT ME FOR THESE DREAMS! HE LAID ME ON THIS EARTH AND ASKED ME TO FOLLOW THE DREAMS HE PUT IN MY HEART! No more will I except the fact that I need to be ordinary. I am extraordinary and that is exactly who I intend to be every single day of my life.
I wrote myself a letter during the deepest part of my depression a couple of months back. I have ABSOLUTELY NO idea how I was able to write this, which means it definitely wasn’t coming from me. The Holy Spirit was using my fingers to type the words he knew I needed to hear. Recently I’ve come to the realization that I am a very talented writer and motivator. I have discovered than when I talk, people listen. And not only that, I have people in my life who WANT my help when they are struggling through life. This comes with such honor and never for a second do I take it for granted. Now, you’re probably laughing thinking, “wait Kassidy you just NOW realized you can write and you’re inspiring?” YEP! Cause I never gave myself credit. I always believed I was average, so, I was average. I limited myself, I put myself in a box and said, “Kassidy, you are never to leave these four little walls, this is who you will be, never greater than this box.”
I used this analogy with my friend the other day and it really resonated with the both of us. If you follow me on Instagram than you know that I have suffered with adult acne most of my adult life. I go through phases of having clear skin and then major breakouts. But what I’ve recently brought to light, is that half the time my skin does not have any zits. I am just standing in front of the mirror picking at my face, CREATING THE PROBLEM.
I am my own problem. I am my own worst enemy.
And just like that, I stand in front of my mirror and pick at my face, looking for a zit to pop, which then creates a lovely scar that leads to me telling myself I’m ugly. But what’s really ironic here, is that is what I have been doing to my soul. To my inner Kassidy. I find something about her that I don’t necessarily like (just like the beginning of a small zit), and I pick at it until it forms a larger zit, at which point I continue to pick at until a scar is formed and I am left feeling horrible about myself.
THE SAME THING I DO TO MY FACE, I DO TO ME, MY SOUL, TO THE INNER WORKINGS OF KASSIDY!
You don’t even understand how blown away I was when I had this discovery. I sat back and imagined my face at its worst, when I had picked at it to no end, blood everywhere. Then I imagined what my heart looks like from all the times I had tore Kassidy down, told her she is NOT enough, worthy, beautiful, smart, strong, good, loved. Tears rolled down my face. I broke Kassidy. Not anyone else, not what anyone said, not what anyone did. ME. I broke her. I picked at her for years until she truly believed that she, would never be enough. That she, was better off gone.
I did this to myself over and over again. Until I decided to show up for my life. Until I decided to start forgiving myself for the destruction I had caused. I decided to really look at what I was doing to myself by keeping Kassidy in that box. I was limiting her when she was made for so much more than that box. I was MINIMIZING her. I was giving her no space, if anything I was telling her she did not deserve space in this world.
But the truth is, Kassidy, she deserves ALL the space. Because there is enough space in this world for EVERY ONE – that’s how God designed it.
You deserve to take up all the space my friend. You deserve to forgive yourself if you feel you have been too hard on yourself. You deserve to stand back up and try again when you feel defeated by YOU. You deserve to take time to heal, take time to learn to trust yourself again, and then when it’s time, stand back up and realize the badass you were created to be. YOU DESERVE IT.
Now I would like to share the letter I wrote myself about two months ago. To set the scene, I was having major panic attacks lasting about 2-3 hours, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was so full of anxiety I pulled my car over several times because it was not safe for me to be driving. I was in the darkest pit I have ever been in. I was so hurt I could not communicate it, so I would sleep and cry and sleep and cry. But somewhere, amongst, all of that pain I was able to open up my computer and write this letter to me, and it’s everything I needed to hear then and everything I need to hear now. I’m hoping it will resonate with you too.
You lost your sunshine. Somewhere along the way you gave bits and pieces of your sunshine to those you love most. Only because you care about people so much that you want to see them shine. You walk around seeing everyone’s radiance but your own. You see the potential people have and you never stop sharing it with them, because what’s the point of having all that potential if you’re never going to use it? But why did you stop shining? Why did you dim your light? You don’t have to dim your light for others to shine, there will always be enough light.
You’ve learned over the past couple of years that grief is not linear, and neither is healing. When you’re at the bottom, you have to keep fighting to get back to the top. When you feel like you’ve finally reached the top, you have to be humble enough to remember you will be back at the bottom.
You can still shine your light while you’re healing. You can still be radiant. You have permission to be whoever you are right now.
I know that you’re struggling, I know that each day comes with waves of emotions and thoughts you’re choosing to fight through. Don’t stop fighting. Don’t stop climbing to the top. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up. GIRL! YOU ARE THE LIGHT! YOU ARE THE SUN! Wake up and remember each and every day, that YOU are the sun.
Keep going. Keep on finding out who you are meant to be.”
My friend, keep going. Keep on finding out who YOU are meant to be. I love you.
I use to live a life of the past. Meaning, the present was happening to me as I focused on the past.
Now I live a life focused on the future. My goals, my dreams, every single decision I make is based off of what the Kassidy in ten years will benefit from.
A lot of people have asked me why I started my online boutique, or where the money is going when they buy from my store. The answer is simple, it goes to me and my business. I am officially a small business owner and while I am not making profit off of my shop in the present moment, it’s one of those dreams I see for the future Kassidy.
All my life I have loved the thought of opening up my own boutique, but the reality is, owning a brick and mortar business these days is HARD ASS WORK. I commend each and every business owner who does it. Not only do you have to keep up with your lease, you have to hire people, focus on the inventory of your shop, and a million other things just to keep your doors open. I knew that I would HATE that with a passion. I also know that future Kassidy wants the flexibility to travel, to be able to be with her family whenever she needs to, and to not be tied down.
See, when Cooper was sick with cancer I watched as my family traveled back and fourth to California to see him and my mom. It taught me a HUGE life lesson, if someone I love gets sick, I REFUSE to have to quit a job or fight with a boss to get days off to see my loved one. I also, REFUSE to not have an income coming in. That’s where Gracious & Grateful the Shop came to life, it allows me to chase the dream of becoming a small business boutique, while also running my business from anywhere in the world.
See the old Kassidy, the one who lived life focused on the past, would stay in the comfortable job that was offering her the best financial peace in that moment. She would have saved her money God forbid an emergency would have happened, and then she would have prayed it never did. She would have been comfortable living in the past, being scared that what happened in the past would happen again.
The new Kassidy, knows the future is not in her hands. But she can do her absolute best to chase the dreams God has put in her heart, without fearing that cancer, or a shooter, will interfere with those plans. She can chase her dreams knowing that they were instilled in her for a REASON and that reason is that she was made for more than what society tells her she should do.
I had to give myself permission to live outside the box. I had to decide that it’s okay to not want to work an 8-5 job, with an office and a parking space. I had to allow myself to understand that THAT lifestyle is NOT what Kassidy was made for; she is creative, a helper, and LOVES flexibility. Those are all GREAT things and we live in a time where I can have all of those things and MORE. If I give myself permission to BELIEVE that I was made for more and that “more” is what God put me on this earth to do.
See, It was always me. It was always me holding me back from my dreams. Telling myself I couldn’t do it. Forcing myself into trying careers I knew I would hate, just to “fit in” I take full responsibility for the fact that I THOUGHT I WANTED TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. I thought I wanted to go to an office, clock in and clock out. I thought that, that was where the happiness was and for some people, THAT IS THEIR HAPPINESS, AND THAT’S AWESOME! Everyone’s version of happiness is different. But for Kassidy, I had to give her permission to say that, that type of lifestyle is not her version of happiness. AND THAT’S OKAY. Kassidy’s version of happiness is a flexible lifestyle that allows her to do the MILLIONS of things that bring her joy every day. Teaching Pilates, writing, running an Instagram tribe, opening an online boutique, picking up my baby girls from school, meeting a friend for coffee, or staying in bed because I am grieving. My version of surviving the working world, is honestly to not have to ‘survive’ it at all. I want to THRIVE in my own little working world. I see a future of making money abundantly from all the things I love to do. Never feeling stuck, never feeling like I can’t break through the glass ceiling. Because friends, there is no glass ceiling when you run your own business, when you chase your own dream, when you realize you were made for more and decide to take that risk.
It’s all on you, my friend. To decide to live in the past or to decide to live in the future. To decide to have a mindset of financial scarcity or financial abundance. To decide to avoid your dream or to chase it. To decide to give yourself permission to realize that you, my friend, were made for more.
I highly reccomend this book if you are into personal development or want to start owning who you are in this moment. Jordan is full of encouragement and Godly words that can change your perspective on many aspects of life.
In the last chapter I just finished, the quote that stuck out the most to me was as follows,
“We always live out of who we believe we are.”
This one sentence slapped me in the face. It was like a bar fight, me against those ten words, and I lost that fight fair and square.
We ALWAYS live out of WHO WE BELIEVE WE ARE. Friends, for a majority of my life I BELIEVED I was anxiety. I BELIEVED I was trauma. I BELIEVED I was bad luck. I BELIEVED I was cursed, bad things only happened to Kassidy.
But just like my girl Rachel Hollis says, “We can choose to let things happen TO us or FOR us” I was letting all of my trauma happen TO me. Not anymore. I see a new perspective, my trauma, EVEN my brother dying, EVEN me running for my life during a shooting, happened FOR me.
I know what you’re thinking because I thought the same thing. “You’re crazy Kassidy, why would you get caught in a shooting and believe that that WAS WHAT WAS SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN?” Well let me offer you this perspective, if I hadn’t ran for my life during a mass shooting, if I hadn’t watched the pain and grief of the people around me, I would not be the human I am today. I would not be able to write the way I write or inspire the way I inspire, because I wouldn’t have THAT story.
“We always live out of who we believe we are” I believe that my traumas happened for me. I believe that good will come out of all the shitty things that happen for me. There is an opportunity every day to choose that life will happen to you or happen for you, what perspective will you choose to believe? Because based off the perspective you choose to believe will decide WHO YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE, and who you believe you are determines how you live your life. That’s big my friends. Like Oprah big. Your perspective, what you believe about who you are as a human, DETERMINES THE LIFE YOU LIVE.
We have two choices. They aren’t going to be your favorite choices, and you certainly aren’t going to be able to live this way every day. But it’s worth evaluating and adding to your daily habits. Your choices are a negative outlook, life is happening TO you. Or a positive outlook, life is happening FOR you.
Girlfriend, this life is happening FOR YOU!! Each beautiful, messy part of this life is happening so that you can go out and full-fill your purpose, your dream. If you don’t start to change your perspective, you’ll never live out the dream that is burning inside you. And that is a life WASTED. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE TIMER IS UP. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE GOOD LORD IS GOING TO CALL YOU TO THE GATES. So why waste all of this precious time on a negative perspective? Why not take the things that have happened to you in life, decide they happened FOR you and go out and change the world because those things happened for you and YOU have a story to tell. Not your husband’s, not your sister’s, not your mom’s BFF’s story. YOUR STORY. YOUR DREAM. YOUR PASSION. It’s yours, not theirs, so own it.
AND START TODAY! Take a hold of this new found fire (that hopefully started burning as you read through this blog!) and RUN WITH IT!!! RUN WITH THE FIRE! CHASE THOSE DREAMS! BE THE WOMEN YOU WERE MADE TO BE!
The time is now. Tomorrow, the next minute, the next year is not promised. Do it now.