Tips to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'” – Maya Angelou 

I started a new job in December 2019 in a different field of law than the one I was practicing before. Starting a new job is always difficult, but I don’t think I expected the transition to make me feel so…well, new. I’m totally new to this type of law and I haven’t been the new kid anywhere in a while. There are so many things that I don’t know yet – both in substantive law and in the office procedures.

I don’t like it. As a type A personality, I very much like to be in full control of myself and my actions.  Not knowing what I’m doing has caused me an abundance of stress lately.  Most of this stress is self-imposed because I have a difficult time asking for help when it’s easily available to me. It’s safe to say that I’m writing these tips for myself as much as I am for you.

Before I begin, I want to quickly explain what impostor syndrome is. To me, impostor syndrome is the feeling we all get when we feel we are not adequately qualified to do something but are being asked to do it anyway. We feel that we are going to be discovered as a “fake” or a “fraud” because we don’t truly know what we are doing. So without further ado, here are a few things you can try when you feel like you’re bound to be figured out as an impostor (Which you’re really not. Trust me).

  • Prepare and Over-Prepare
    • Whenever I feel like I don’t have a handle on what I’m doing, I take as  much time as I can to prepare and then prepare some more. Sometimes that means doing things that may sound a little silly. For example, if you have a presentation or a client meeting, you can write out exactly what you’re going to say. I mean, every little thing. From the first word that’s going to come out of your mouth (like, Hello, how is everyone doing?) to how you’re going to move around the room. Then practice it out loud. Then practice it some more. Practice in your car and in the shower. If you’re learning how to do something, write it down and go over it as many times as you need to to learn it.
    • When I first started going to court, I had to write down every single thing in paragraphs that I wanted to say to the judge. It takes a long time, but it works. Preparing as much as we can gives us as much control as we can have over a situation. You’ll feel less like an impostor and more like you’re in charge because you’ve rehearsed and you know the subject matter. However, understand that you will never be fully prepared for every single thing that is going to be thrown your way. Accept that now, and think about how you’re going to handle it or what you will say when something unexpected comes up.
  • Keep a Word Document of All the Successes You’ve Had
    • I picked up this tip from an Instagram account I can’t remember the name of now, but I thought it was so clever. Marie Forleo calls it a “Hype File” in her book, “Everything is Figureoutable.” You wouldn’t be where you are today without having some success on your journey. Remember that paper you wrote that was chosen for publication or that presentation you gave that you kicked ass at? Maybe it was a compliment someone gave you that really stuck with you. Maybe it was an event you  were asked to speak at or some small win that you know means you made some progress. Whatever it is, write (or type) it out so that you have an actual tangible record of it. Whenever you feel like you’re not doing enough or you’re unqualified, read that document and remind yourself that hey, maybe you do know a thing or two and maybe you are a badass after all. Screw those impostor vibes when you have full on proof that you’ve seen your share of success in the past and this situation is no different.
  • Remember That Nobody Really Knows What They’re Doing
    • There are a few people who are going to be complete experts in the area you’re trying to excel at, but the majority of us are out here just trying to figure it all out as well. It seems like everyone is comfortable and in complete control of what they’re doing, but that’s only because none of us are really walking around bragging about our insecurities and how lost we feel in actuality. Nobody is sharing the shame. Even those who are experts now started off as beginners. Remember to be patient with yourself and think about the progress you’ve made. One thing that helps me is to think about my progress in short increments. Two weeks ago I couldn’t do or didn’t know many of the things I know today. Even if those things are small, like the process for sending out mail from the office for example, those are still new things that you didn’t know how to do not that long ago. And look at you go now!
  • Ask for help when you need it 
    • Asking for help when you need it not only sounds logical, it sounds easy. So then why is it so hard? It’s probably because it puts us in a state of vulnerability. Asking for help means admitting that you don’t know something, and we don’t like acknowledging that. It makes us feel insecure. But asking for help is a good thing. It means you’re willing to put yourself in that vulnerable position and you’re not afraid of it. It takes courage to ask for help and put yourself out there, so practice courage and reach out. Plus, people usually welcome questions and they’re willing to help more often than not.
    • Especially in a job setting, it’s a good thing to ask questions rather than staying on the surface level of things. It’s safe to say your supervisor will be pleased you truly want to know how to do something and do it correctly rather than putting in your best guesses and doing the work all wrong. You get out of something what you put in, so look at your questions as a means of improving yourself and the quality of your work. Extra tip: Keep a sticky note on your desktop with all your questions to keep them all in one place. Then, bring them up at your check-in meetings or suggest a meeting where you will ask all your questions at once. This ensures that you’re ready to go in one fell swoop rather than constantly asking questions sporadically.
  • Provide Value and Stop Focusing on Your Ego
    • Our egos are very fragile things. We frequently get caught up in the thoughts in our heads that revolve around ourselves. “How will I look if I don’t know the answer?” or “What will everyone think if I don’t do this correctly?” or “Will everyone think I’m not smart enough to complete my task?” Help others or remember why you’re here – to help others. The self-involved questions are endless! But what if we focused on something else? What if we focused on the whole reason why we’re here to begin with or why we started something. Wasn’t it to make a difference or to help others? For example, as an attorney, I have to remind myself that all the work I’m doing isn’t for my own benefit but for that of my client’s. My client isn’t going to care or be affected by my ego trip – they’re going to be affected by the work that I do on their case. If you’re a teacher, your students aren’t going to be affected by your self-criticism. They’re going to be affected by what you teach them.
    • Remember that at the end of the day, you are most likely trying to make the world a better place and there is nobility in that. There is absolutely no reason why you should feel like you’re not good enough to do so. The world needs your creativity, your expertise, your thoughts, your hard work in what you believe in, so start helping and stop focusing on your ego-maniacal thoughts.
  • Stop Comparing Yourself to Others 
    • Sometimes during our meetings at work, I listen to other attorneys discuss cases and I have NO. IDEA. WHAT. THEY’RE. TALKING. ABOUT. And I sit there feeling very out of place and very much in awe of their discussions and the amount of knowledge they possess on certain subjects. Then, I wonder if I’ll ever know that much about the law and be an expert in my field. After that, I feel bad about myself because I am absolutely certain they made a mistake when they hired me and any day now they’re going to figure out I’m a fraud and fire me. Dramatic enough for you? Or familiar? One day I decided to ask some of these attorneys how long they had been working in this field. Their answers ranged from six to eleven years. YEARS! And then it hit me. I just started. I’m a novice. Hopefully, one day I will obtain just as much knowledge as they have, but for now, it’s absolutely futile to compare myself to them. There is no comparison, plain and simple. Remember that.
    • When it comes to comparison to others, I can’t not mention social media. These days, it is incredibly easy to compare ourselves to the people we see on the internet. Don’t fall for this! Social media is for the highlights and the good stuff. Few people are posting their struggles. We are only seeing what other people want us to see, so why get down in the dumps about not being where they are? We all have something unique to offer, we all have our own perspectives. Someone is ALWAYS going to be doing better than we are. That’s just a fact. But you have to respect your own experience. Comparison is the thief of all joy. (I’m not sure who said that, but it makes a lot of sense).
  • Making Mistakes Does Not Make You A Fraud
    • We are SO afraid of making mistakes! We’re absolutely terrified of them. But guess what? We’re going to make mistakes. Period. It’s better to accept that now than to try to fight it. But there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process. They mean you’re trying. Trying to do something correctly does not make you a fake or a fraud. Things will go wrong, but that just comes with the territory. There is no need to dwell on a mistake. Accept it, learn from it, and move on.

At the end of the day, we have all experienced impostor syndrome in one way or another. The most important thing to do is to acknowledge the feeling and then move past it. Understand that you are not an impostor and your rational fears are sometimes manifested in this way, but don’t let it take control over you. You’re in charge here. You know much more than you think you do.

Difficult Names Project

A friend of mine recently reminded me of this quote: Be who you needed when you were younger. I don’t know about you, but when I was younger I didn’t have a whole lot of people to look up to. That quote really resonates with me because when I think back on Teenage Dania, I want so much more for her than what she had. I’m not saying I had a terrible adolescence. My adolescence was just what you’d expect it to be for a teenage girl in the early 2000s. I just mean I wish I could go back and tell her she had so much potential and that all those things she was afraid of doing were nothing to be afraid of after all. I wish I could tell her to stop being so self-involved and become a little more aware of the people and the world around her. I wish I could tell her the petty things she worried about back then would have no significance a few years down the road. I wish I could just hug her and tell her that everything would turn out just fine.

But I can’t go back in time, so I’m doing the next best thing: Paying it forward. I didn’t have anyone to mentor me when I was young, so I want to become a mentor to teen girls now. Enter: Difficult Names Project, or DNP for short. DNP is an organization that provides a safe space for junior high and high school aged girls to discuss ideas openly and then write about them. It also provides them with a mentor throughout their school careers. Here’s how it works:

Twice a month for two hours on a Saturday morning, DNP members will come together to discuss a single topic. The topic will range from body image to college applications to their ambitions to everything in between.The conversations will be non-judgmental, open, and real. During the first fifteen minutes, they will be given a random writing prompt to write about in their journals. This is to get their creative flow going and ignite their imaginations.For one hour following this first exercise, we will discuss a topic and let everyone have an opportunity to discuss their ideas in a safe and controlled (but uncensored) environment. At the end of the topic discussion, the girls will write down what they learned that day. That’s it! 

Each girl will be provided with a mentor they can turn to for questions and guidance on any number of subjects. The conversations will be confidential. They will be able to check-in with their mentors for the last fifteen minutes of the session, but communication via calls and texts will always remain open. 

It’s no secret that being a teenager is tough. It’s also such an important time of their lives. Their brains aren’t even fully developed and they’re stuck between feeling like a kid and an adult. On top of that, it’s when they have to make some of the most life-impacting decisions, like whether or not they want to go to college or start a family as soon as they’re old enough to vote. There’s so much pressure put on teenagers that sometimes we forget just how young they really are…how impressionable and vulnerable. I don’t think it’s fair to ask so much of them at such a young age, but, alas, I do not run society and so the next best thing I can do is help in any little way I can.

If you live in the Rio Grande Valley, please support DNP by spreading the word about the program. If you know any girls who would benefit from this initiative or if you’re interested in being a mentor, please reach out to me at Our first meeting will take place at the Weslaco Public Library Meeting Room from 12-2 p.m. on February 29, 2020.

No Role Modelz

In the words of J. Cole, “No role models and I’m here right now.” Okay, I just wanted to say that to sound cool. To be frank, I only somewhat resonate with this quote because my relationships with role models is a little different than most people’s. I’ve never had a role model per se. No offense to celebrities or those who look up to them, but though there are a few I admire, there are none I can say influenced who I wanted to become.

I would define a role model as someone that you look up to. Additionally, I’ve always thought of a role model as someone who can influence you to be a better person when you don’t feel like being one – when you feel like being lazy or sloppy or want to half-ass something. A role model can lift you up out of that rut because they inspire you to be like them.

Growing up, I can honestly say I never had a role model. There wasn’t any one person out there whom I looked up to in my childhood. I simply got by with what my mother taught me, which was not to be lazy, have good manners, and be the best. Not try my best. Nope. My mother wanted me to just be the best at everything I did. I frequently disappointed her in that particular arena, but I did my best.

It was when I got into my teens that I began to subconsciously look up to certain people. This is where it gets interesting. The people I looked up to were always girls who were my age or maybe a little older, but they were doing big things with their lives. What do I mean by big things? There was one girl who was a beauty queen (by which I mean she competed in and won beauty pageants) who also graduated high school early, got into college early, danced ballet, and did every possible extra-curricular known to man – including playing the drums (um, what?!) There was another beauty queen who got into the university of my dreams and was just. so. kind. when I met her. There was a girl who was a track star and was so beautiful, you just wanted to stare at her face. There was a girl who was so gorgeous that she smiled at me once and I went and cut my hair like hers the next day. I looked up to her for years and years. She was a beauty queen, too.

Yes, I realize all these girls were beauty queens. I will admit I’ve always had a fascination with beauty pageants, although my stance on them has changed over the years. Yes, I consider all these girls to be beautiful, but they were also extraordinary in other areas and THAT is what intrigued me. They were multi-faceted. They were intelligent. They handled themselves with poise. They seemed to have it all together. They were talented. They were kind. Their hair was never out of place. They dressed cool. They were strong. Most of them were friends of mine.

I’ve always looked up to women around me because they come from the same place I do and they did more. They didn’t settle for complacency in a place where complacency is accepted. They didn’t make themselves small, but rather took up space with confidence. They were always so confident.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, this is a love letter to my role models, even though I’ve never disclosed who you are. This is a love letter to the women around me and around you that are doing their best and are killing it. I may never have said it to anyone, but I wanted to be just like you. And wanting to be like you has made me who I am today.

Today has its own role models. Today there is a woman who started her own law firm and is killing it. She’s younger than I am and she hit the ground running right after passing the bar exam. There’s a woman who is a yoga instructor and a therapist and an all around badass.  There’s a woman who founded a group of musicians and entrepreneurs. There’s countless female attorneys who have paved the way for me and are my ultimate girl crushes. There’s the same women I looked up to when I was younger.

And what I’m trying to say is to look around. It’s easy to look up to someone famous or some icon from the past. There’s nothing wrong with that – I love me some Frida Kahlo and Audrey Hepburn. But don’t forget to appreciate the girls and the women who aren’t on magazine covers or are Instagram influencers, but who are still worthwhile.

My role models have always been the ones who surround me. I know they’ll continue to make me better.


End of the year lessons on traveling alone by Krishna De La Cruz

As 2019 comes to a close I am reminiscing on my favorite accomplishments this year. One of the scariest yet most rewarding things I did was travel alone for the first time.

About two years ago I felt like everything had fallen into place for me after a lot of work, and I couldn’t see how anything could go wrong. Then, of course, life happened. I got some earth-shattering news that turned life as I knew it completely upside-down. Though things are better now, it’s taken me a lot of work to deal with the aftermath and  get to where I am today. Having had the rug swept from under me really forced me to look within myself and desperately want to grow as a person and be better to everyone around me, especially those I love. As part of my growth, I decided to create new personal challenges by doing things I wanted to do, but was afraid of doing. Traveling alone sounded so daunting, but it was something I really wanted. I’d grown up traveling with my family every year and it was something that meant a lot to me and that I saw as a bonding experience. Because I’d traveled a lot, I thought traveling alone was doable for me and I really wanted to know what it felt like to just be completely alone in a completely different place and survive.

On turning an idea into a reality

The idea of traveling alone came to me at the end of 2018 and I decided to write it down in my journal, in which I’m also writing this, and I’ve written a shit-ton this past year (highly recommend). I was absolutely terrified of actually doing it on my own, but wrote the idea down with hopes that putting it out into the universe would somehow make it more real. A couple of months later, I picked the place—Portland, Maine—the original yet lesser-known of the Portlands. It seemed like a small enough place that I could get around without much transportation, and feel safe. And I’d seen pictures of its autumn on socials, and it looked beautiful. I’d never seen a New England fall, which I’d wanted to do ever since I was little and saw pictures of deciduous forests in geography textbooks.

Once I’d written it down, I started talking to people about going on this trip. I acted as if I was going even though I was still scared and had no intention of actually booking the flight any time soon. Again, I figured that putting the words out into the world would make it more real, make it actually happen eventually. And it did.

It took me about 8 months to actually do it, but one day in August, a whole eight months after first writing it down, I woke up one morning and I booked the flight for September, around my birthday. A gift to myself. I have no idea when the fear left me or when I started to feel ready to do it, but it just happened.



All I can say about Portland is it’s beautiful, quiet, peaceful, quaint, oh so cool, and it changed me, like any new experience does.

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I journaled a lot while there, I hiked, I walked the ins and outs of town until my feet hurt, I laid on the grass in the sun, I sat on a bench by the seaport and listened to a man play saxophone, I read, I ate lobster, I stayed at a BnB of my dreams, I cried, I laughed, I stood at the top of a lighthouse and looked out into the ocean. I also firmly believe I brought the Texas heat with me because it was an unusual 80 degrees for the time of the year. I promptly watched the sunset every night and went to bed early. My favorite two experiences though were getting stranded at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and sitting on the Western Promenade every evening to watch the sunset.

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On getting stranded and surviving

Yes, one of my worst nightmares came true on this trip. I got stranded at a state park with no phone or car. But it was one of my favorite things because I learned I can survive. I’d wanted to do some hiking, but had not rented a car since I didn’t really need one, so I took a 30 minute Lyft to this park. There were plenty of people hiking and even a school bus with kids that were on a field trip. I felt pretty safe but somewhat on alert. I had overestimated my phone which now had low battery and I didn’t have a charger. My phone died about a mile into my hike, but not before I got to sit on some rocks by the ocean and get to truly admire the park’s beauty. I knew I had to get back to the main entrance and start figuring out how I was going to get back into town. My goal was to find a park employee. The walk back to the main entrance was only a mile and a straight shot. I retraced my steps on high alert the entire time. What if I don’t find help? I was truly alone. There was no one I trusted. But yet this is what I’d wanted for myself. I wanted to be truly alone somewhere I’d never been before and I wanted to survive it. Eventually I did find a park ranger named Andy—an older gentleman who had worked at the park for almost 30 years. He helped me get back into town where I was able to charge my phone and get a Lyft back to my BnB. The lesson I learned from this experience was—you’ll survive. Just stay focused, stay calm, think logically, and buy a phone case that doubles as a charger (I have one now!).

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On watching the sunset

Watching a sunset in Portland is an event. Every evening, people walk outside their homes toward a grassy area by the bay called the Western Promenade. They sit on the grass, alone or with others, and just look at it in silence. So I did it, too. It’s hard not to compare this event to the city life that I’m used to—where the sunset is always just in the background of whatever else you’re doing that evening. In Portland, the sunset is the thing to do. It made me want to be more mindful of it here in Texas. Texas has such beautiful sunsets and I think I have to stop and enjoy them more. Portland is a quiet town but its message couldn’t be louder: stop, slow down, and be present.


As I sat on the grass watching the sunset, I put my earphones in and I started writing in my journal. I wrote was I was seeing, what I was feeling, what I was thinking because the moment was so beautiful and I was alone and I didn’t want to forget it. I cried because in that moment I felt so accomplished and all I had was the sunset and that was enough. The lesson I learned from this experience was appreciate the world’s beauty and recognize your own milestones. Despite how hard life gets, the world is here for you and life is so beautiful.



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Krishna de la Cruz is currently an attorney living in Austin, Texas. She grew up on the Texas-Mexico border in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas and the Rio Grande Valley. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Spanish from Texas State University in 2014 and Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2017. While in law school, she was an Executive Editor on the The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review for Race and Social Justice where she wrote an article focused on the issue of violence against women, particularly women of color. The article is titled “Exploring the Conflicts within Carceral Feminism: A Call to Revocalize the Women Who Continue to Suffer.” During law school, she traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico, where she was certified in Mexican Legal Studies at Universidad de Guadalajara.

In her spare time, Krishna enjoys reading, journaling, and hiking Austin trails. Krishna is a big enthusiast of mental health, mindfulness, physical wellness, and her Mexican heritage.

The Single Girl’s Guide To Making the Most of the Holiday Season

“Y el novio?” season is officially canceled! For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, “Y el novio?” translates to the nosy question your relatives ask every year when you see them for the holidays — “And your boyfriend?” Um, no thanks!

It’s a well known fact that people like to couple up around the holidays. It’s cold outside and everyone suddenly wants a cuddle buddy before break-up season (aka, Summer) comes around again. But for us single girls, the holidays don’t have to be a bummer just because we don’t have a cuddle buddy (besides our pets). In fact, one of the perks of being single is that you don’t have to agonize over a present for your partner or split up the holiday time between your family and theirs. You get to do your own thing! Here are some ideas for making the most of your holidays as a single gal:

  1. Throw a sleepover! Volunteer your place to throw an old school slumber party with all of your best girls. Make sure you go all out with Christmas decor (hit up the Dollar Store or Target’s Dollar Spot for cheap but fun options) and make cute pajamas mandatory. While you’re at it, organize a gift exchange or a White Elephant game. And don’t forget that (preferably spiked) hot chocolate!
  2. Organize a Secret Santa. Do it among your co-workers or your close friends or even your family. Make sure everyone provides a short wish list and that there’s a reasonable cap on prices to make it easier on everyone.presents
  3. Take yourself out on a date. Who says you need to have a significant other to go on a date? Be your own significant other! Taking yourself out doesn’t mean you have to go out on date night and ask for a table for one at a candlelit restaurant surrounded by couples. Hard pass! Instead, get all dolled up in an outfit you feel fierce in, do your hair and make-up, and smile in the mirror because you’re doing this all for yourself! Take yourself to the movies, or to a coffee shop with your favorite book in hand, or shopping in a cute part of town that you don’t normally go to.
  4. Decorate your space! Blast some Christmas music, make some hot chocolate, and decorate your space to get in the holiday mood. Get on Pinterest to pick a theme for your decorating style. There’s so much to choose from!Christmas decor 1Christmas decor 2.png
  5. Bake something! Grab a friend or two and host a night of baking (and drinking) Christmas goodies! As someone who has zero experience baking, I think it would be fun to have a little baking adventure and figure things out as you go. It might be helpful to have at least one friend who knows what they’re doing though.
  6. Host a breakfast for your friends. Bring on the mimosas and the waffles! Again, cute PJs should be mandatory!Breakfast Pic 1
  7. Donate to Goodwill! The holidays are the perfect time to clean out your closet. Take out those old sweaters and jackets you haven’t used in years so someone else can get some good use out of them. Cleaning out your closet is also a super fun way to go through your clothes and put together holiday outfits you probably didn’t even know you had. Get creative!
  8. Update your beauty routine. Jump on YouTube and check out new make-up artists to liven up that same ol’ routine, whether it’s make-up or skin care. There’s so much information out there, you’re bound to learn a new tip or trick. I also always find it fun to check out make-up artists’ holiday looks and practice them for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Think lots of glitter and red lips.  makeup.png
  9. Spend some time being a homebody. Take a cozy candlelit bath. Watch Christmas movies all day. Drink coffee. Write in your journal. Reflect on all you’ve accomplished this year and set intentions for next year.journal
  10. Spend more time with your pet. I think we can all spend a little more time walking our dogs or playing with our cats. If you don’t have a pet, now is a good time to consider visiting an animal shelter and adopting one!pets
  11. Make Christmas cards for your friends or family members. Even if you can’t get gifts for everyone, a cute hand-decorated Christmas card is a thoughtful little present. And they’re so fun to make! christmas cards.png
  12. Catch up with old friends. You know there are friends you haven’t seen in the longest time. Set up a coffee date or just shoot them a friendly text to let them know you’re thinking about them. Typically people have some down time during the holidays, so it’s a great time to set up a catch-up date.
  13. Travel! Or be a tourist in your own city. Hit up a winery with your girlfriends for a day. Visit a part of town you aren’t familiar with. Or take a solo trip to a city you’ve never been to. For more ideas on solo trips, check out my post here.
  14. Cook something to contribute! I am by no means an expert in the kitchen. Hell, I’m barely even a beginner. But last year I got the bright idea that I wanted to contribute something to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. So, I learned how to make baked extra-cheesy mac and cheese. I practiced a few times before Thanksgiving so I could get it right on the night of. Like I said, I’m a TOTAL beginner. So if you’re more experienced, pick a dish you haven’t tried before and practice beforehand. It’s fun trying out a new recipe!
  15. Grab your best girlfriend and splurge on a fancy dinner. I’m a huge fan of this one! It’s usually a rare occasion when I splurge on a fancy meal at an uppity restaurant, and typically this is done on a special romantic date BUT it’s so much more special when you go with your girlfriend(s). The fact that this isn’t a normal outing makes the whole experience more exciting. Plus, its fun to get all dressed up! Some restaurants have lunch specials that are a little cheaper, so there’s no excuse to not try this one out!

30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30

  1. You will be happy again. Things will get dark. You’ll lose your way. Sometimes, you’ll lose yourself. But you have to fight for your happiness, and before you know it, you will be happy again one day.
  2. You don’t have to be in a relationship to feel whole. I spent way too many years in my twenties in serious relationships when the relationship I wish I would have focused on was the one with myself. I’ve enjoyed getting to know just who I am, but I wish I had started this journey sooner.
  3. Pick good friends. I’ve been lucky in this department (or I just know how to pick ’em!). My friends have been there for me when I wasn’t always present and wasn’t being such a good friend in return. Spending time with my friends makes my soul happy.
  4. Traveling is not overrated. I read once that everything looks better on television, and so traveling is overrated. THAT IS NOT TRUE! Things are much more magical in real life.
  5. Traveling alone is a must! Book a trip to a city you’ve always wanted to visit. Part of the fun is planning your itinerary before going. And no, it will not be weird or lonely to travel alone. If you want to check out my first experience traveling alone this year, check it out here.
  6. Parts of me still feel like a wild, clueless, but well-intentioned sixteen-year-old…and that’s okay! I can’t have it all figured out just because I’m a little older. I can still aspire to be this totally put-together gal that doesn’t spill coffee on her clothes and wears heels to work every day. But I understand every day is different, and I am different every day. It’s good to have this aspiration, but I won’t get down on myself for not living up to it daily.
  7. Living by yourself is a beautiful luxury. There’s something about having solitude in your home all to yourself. There’s something about decorating your space the way you want to and taking candlelit baths and reading by your windows without disturbances. If you have the means to try it out, do it.
  8. I may be turning thirty, but I am still immature in some areas. And I think that’s okay. There’s still plenty of time to “grow up.” It’s all part of self-discovery.
  9. Get a pet! It will teach you commitment and patience. Some of my happiest times have been sitting alone with my dog and laughing out loud at the weird things he does.
  10. Spending time with my family has made me the happiest. They are always my safest place. They are always my source of comfort. Don’t take your family for granted.
  11. You will never be too old for Disney World.
  12. Finding ways to keep growing and learning. Take a class in a subject that interests you. Read books that teach you something new. Learn to make some cool cocktails or learn how to play an instrument. I took guitar lessons this past year and it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had.
  13. Work isn’t everything. Have career goals and strive for them, but don’t get so caught up that you don’t enjoy your time outside of work because you’re thinking about work. Be present.
  14. Therapy should be a basic necessity. I can’t live without it. Finding the right therapist takes work, but it’s so worth it.
  15. Curate your social media. If a certain account is making you feel bad about yourself, you find you’re comparing yourself to someone else, or an account is overly negative, UNFOLLOW. I have made it a point to only follow people and accounts that make me feel good and provide something valuable to my life. I want to see things that make me happy.
  16. I need loads of positivity in my life. Be it through podcasts, music, shows, or movies, I always need that extra kick of good and happy feelings. I don’t like drama, not even in my entertainment.
  17. Life will knock you down when you least expect it. Take baby steps to get back up. Forcing yourself to jump right back into your fast-paced schedule will only make you feel worse when you’re not up for it. Take some time to heal what you need to, then slowly find your way back to your routine.
  18. Have compassion with yourself. Just like we have an inner-critic, we ought to strive to have a compassionate voice in our heads as well.
  19. Stop comparing yourself to others! You will never find joy in this. Focus on yourself. Compete with yourself. Strive to simply become the best version of you.
  20. I love my body. It took me a long time to get here – thirty years give or take. This doesn’t mean I don’t constantly work on improving it and becoming a healthier me. It means I don’t hate on my body or speak negatively about it, and that has made the biggest difference for me.
  21. Trust your intuition. For a long time, I neglected mine and it caused me a lot of pain and anxiety. If you see red flags, if you have a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach, if something just does not feel right, trust that. Our bodies know things that we don’t.
  22. Do things before you’re ready. You can’t live life afraid. It’s always going to feel like you can be more prepared than you currently are. Everything will never be just right before you can start, so start first and then figure it out along the way. You’ll get the hang of it.
  23. Failure is a good teacher. You won’t always succeed the first time around. Hell, you may not succeed the fiftieth time around. But there will be lessons learned, always.
  24. Be proud of where you come from.
  25. Help others in any way you can, with what you have, and where you are.
  26. Take time for yourself. It’s okay not to say yes to everything. The people you matter to will understand when you have to take time for yourself.
  27. Dabble in learning to cook! I’ve learned a few recipes this past year and I love the feeling of being in the kitchen acting like I know what I’m doing. Knowing how to whip up something you can share with others gives you a little jolt of confidence. Plus, it’s nice to cook delicious homemade meals for yourself.
  28. Becoming self-aware. This has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. We can’t take care of others unless we understand ourselves first — unless we can step back and understand why it is that we do the things we do. Be conscious of who you are.
  29. Rectifying childhood issues. For example, I have abandonment issues stemming from childhood. I wouldn’t know this if I didn’t go to therapy, and understanding it has helped me become aware of my thought patterns. You have to heal to keep growing. Also, healing is messy. It is not a magical moment with candles and incense. It hurts, but it makes you so much stronger when you come out the other end. And yes, you will always come out the other end.
  30. Don’t play games with people. Whether it’s with a new crush, a new friend, or even with your family, try not to be someone you’re not for the sake of what people will think. Be authentic. Be honest. Be yourself.
  31. And as a little bonus to carry on into a new, bolder, and more magical year, the best advice my mother has given me: “Quierete, y cuida tu corazon.” Love yourself, and take care of your heart. 


We’ve all dealt with that person in our lives who exudes negativity or brings your energy levels down in some way. It’s natural to want to stay friends or acquaintances with this person because most of us don’t know how to express that, well, they are being toxic and they need to stop it. If you’re dealing with a toxic person in your life, check out the following tips. I hope they’re helpful!

Tip #1: Know that this toxic person has issues with themselves, not with you.

What they say and do is a reflection of who they are and what they are feeling. Some people have unresolved anger or are predisposed to negativity. Some of them are completely narcissistic. Many of these people act on those feelings because they either don’t know any better or feel that hurting you will make them feel better. This is called insecurity. Reassure yourself that so long as you haven’t done anything to hurt this person, the toxicity they are emitting has nothing to do with you.

Tip #2: Remind yourself of who you are and what kind of person you are.

Chances are you’re a good person who is kind and compassionate, along with many other great attributes. This is easy to forget if you’re constantly being told or made to feel the opposite. You are not a bad person. You have no reason to dwell in negativity. It’s important not to lose sight of this because the moment you do, it makes it so easy for this toxic person to take advantage of you and your feelings. Remind yourself constantly of everything good you have to offer and hold on to that like your well-being depends on it, because it does. Make a list and keep it handy when you’re having a moment of weakness.

Tip #3: People change. This includes you. Accept that.

Sometimes we stay in friendships or relationships we have outgrown because we’re afraid of letting go. We believe that because we became friends with a person when we were twelve, we owe them our time for the rest of our lives. This is simply not true. While it’s admirable to have loyalty to someone, it’s not okay to keep being loyal when it’s producing self-harm in the form of negative feelings. You don’t owe anybody your time or friendship. Recognize that you are different people and it’s perfectly normal to go your separate ways.

Tip #4: You’re not going to please everyone. And that’s okay.

There’s a saying that goes, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there will still be someone who does not like peaches.” This means that no matter how good or kind or friendly you are, someone can still refuse to like you. Plain and simple. So why waste your energy trying to win somebody over? Instead, use that energy on people who love and energize you in return. 

Tip #5: Confront this toxic person.

I don’t mean you have to get aggressive or obnoxious in your confrontation. This simply means you can do something as straightforward as asking them if there is a problem you don’t know about or something that is bothering them. You can also tell them straight up if something is bothering you and why. Sometimes there is no other solution than to address the elephant in the room. Talk it out, but remember to remain calm and objective.

Tip #6: Set boundaries.

I am very adamant about things that I don’t want to talk about, and it’s easy for me to shut down a conversation or action I don’t feel comfortable with. But this takes practice. It’s completely okay to tell somebody, “I don’t want to talk about this” or “I don’t want to do this.” If they ask why, you have absolutely no obligation to explain why. “No” is a complete sentence. Boundaries are healthy and necessary so that people who feel they want to take advantage of you do not walk all over you. And if all else fails, at the end of the day, sometimes all you can do is ignore or possibly even block this toxic person.

How to get over a break-up (Or some ideas on how to try)

There’s no sugar coating it. Break-ups suck. They FUCKING suck. Whether the break-up is mutual or not, break-ups are bound to cause you some (maybe a lot of) heartache. They will definitely cause a change you may or may not welcome. And they will cause a shit-ton of confusion. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

Because I am a huge nerd, whenever I have gone through a break-up I have desperately wished a how-to book on how to get up and get over your now ex-partner existed. Now that I’m a little older and just a little tiny bit wiser, I have made some realizations about this whole break-up mess that have helped me power through the heartbreak and endless barrage of questions.

I obviously know that everyone’s breakup is different. Thus, this article will only help so much. Unfortunately, by the time you finish reading this article, you will not be over your ex (but here’s to hoping). These are things that worked for me. Some may help you, some may make you say, “You have no earthly idea what you’re talking about.” All your reactions are okay. And it’s totally okay that you are here in the middle of this moment of what feels like despair in your life. It’s all going to be okay, I promise. (Cue all your “fuck off” eye-rolling reactions here, but keep reading).

  1. The beginning of the end is the hardest, and it will get worse before it gets better. Accept that now.You’re here. It happened. Shit has hit the fan and you are now forced to have everything around you change. There’s no running away from it. So embrace it. The scariest part is the unknown, not the actual being alone part. I’m not going to lie. Typically, it’s going to hurt more and harder before you start feeling better but if you’re armed with that knowledge now, you won’t be surprised by it. Be comforted by the fact that it happened and guess what? The world didn’t stop spinning. You didn’t stop breathing. You didn’t lay down and give up. It hurts like a bitch, but you’re still standing.
  2. Spend a lot, a lot, A LOT of time with people you love and who love you back. Did I mention a lot?
  3. Reconnect with YourselfRemember who you were before this break-up. Remember who you wanted to be. Remember who that little girl or little boy or little human dreamed of becoming. Are you still in touch with that dream? What can you do to get back to it?
  4. Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. Hell, make some new friends!I feel that I have always been blessed in the friendship department. I do have a lot of friends I love and that have stuck by my side. And thank goodness that they chose to stick with me. Whether it’s intentional or not, when you’re in a relationship, you tend to neglect your friends more often than not. At least I did. I neglected them entirely too much. But when I came out of the relationship, my friends didn’t miss a beat. They were there to catch me when I felt like shit. They made me laugh. They didn’t call me out for not hanging out with them as often as I used to. And that made me love them even more.
  5. Try things you’ve never done before or things you’ve always wanted to tryTry a new recipe (or just learn to cook something if you’re anything like me in the kitchen) or take up learning to make cool cocktails or sign up for classes to learn how to play an instrument. Just get out of your head and busy yourself with something new.
  6. Ask yourself who and what kind of person you want to become.Then spend a lot of time discovering ways to become this – your highest and best self. Journaling helps so that you don’t forget your goals and ideas. Talking to a therapist helps. Meditating helps.
  7. Try not to date right away.Go back to #6. You can’t figure out who your highest, bestest true self is if you’re sharing your time and amazing personality with someone else. Remember, in order to give to others, you must be overflowing yourself.
  8. Don’t tell yourself you’re over him/her/they if you are not. It’s okay not to be.You’ll get there. The day will come when they are not the first thing that pops into your head in the morning. There is no rush to be over this person. Take your time healing. Also, remember that healing is not a fast, magical, relaxing time. Healing is painful and dirty and hard. But healing makes you stronger.
  9. Don’t call them. Don’t stalk their socials. Out of sight, out of mind. Stalking them will never bring you joy, so why even do it? Block, block, block!
  10. Work on that negative thinking so you don’t get eaten alive by anger/negativity/depression/sad shit in general!Okay, I’m going to get a little personal here, but I have to do so in order to explain how this vital step works. When I started recognizing that I was finally getting over my break-up, I began noticing that little venomous thoughts about my ex would creep into my brain. These thoughts would then snowball into more and more negative thoughts until I was fucking pissed about things I remembered or some new scenario I had created in my head that wasn’t even real. Then I would get mad at myself because I would remind myself that THIS RELATIONSHIP IS OVER AND NONE OF THIS MATTERS AND I WASTED TIME EVEN THINKING ABOUT THIS. Other times, just my ex’s name would pop into my head and a slew of curse words would follow because I was livid. Again, I felt angry at my waste of energy on these thoughts. It was a vicious cycle.
    • I began to be more patient with myself. When a negative thought came into my mind, I tried to catch it as early as possible, take a deep breath, and tell myself it’s okay to feel angry but I had to let this thought go. Imagine your thoughts are like clouds. You can’t control them as they come into your head, but you can control how much you focus on them. Just because a thought comes into your brain, it doesn’t make it true. Make it a point to observe these “clouds” and just let them pass by.
    • Bonus challenge: I talked to my therapist about this and she encouraged me to take it even one step further. Whenever I had a negative thought and my anger would come tumbling out right after it, rather than just observing my feelings and moving on with my day, she told me to stop and also ask myself, “Why do you feel this way?” Then I had to answer my question so I could validate my feelings. For example, if I thought, “Homeboy is a really bad dude” (but in much more explicit and unsavory terms that I will not get into here) then I had to answer, Why is he a bad dude? And then I would think, “Because he did or didn’t do so and so and it really hurt my feelings.” I know this sounds like a lot of work, but this process helped me realize that my feelings of anger were justified and understanding why I was angry also helped me realize that sad part of my life is over and I’m content right where I am because I no longer have to deal with it.
  11. Talk to a Therapist.I honestly don’t shut up about this, I know. I’ve talked about finding a therapist before. You can check out that article here if you’d like.
  12. Just be sad.My biggest problem has always been the fear of sitting still in the silence and letting the waves of sadness completely wash over you. That sounds poetic, but it’s actually the most hurtful shit ever. You gotta feel it to heal it. And, again, a lot of us are under the impression that healing is magical and full of candles and incense and flowy clothing. But healing is hard work. It’s dirty and rough and you have to dig through the mess to find the root of your pain to make that pain stop. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Allow yourself to sit with your heartbreak, because if you don’t, it will catch up to you and manifest itself one way or another, in multiple different ways. It can manifest itself through misplaced anger or in your next relationship. Some days are going to hurt like hell, and some moments are going to feel like you can’t even breath because it aches so much. Some days you’re going to cry more than you thought you possibly could. You will ugly cry, you will cry loudly, you will cry in the shower. Just accept it and let your body react the way it needs to. All of that excess energy needs to be released, so don’t be afraid of it. There is a misconception that to cry or to feel things equates to weakness, but I think that’s completely wrong. Allowing yourself to face that pain is what makes you brave. Knowing your heart is going to crack in different places and being courageous enough to say, “I’m still going to feel this and accept it and honor it” is what allows good change to happen. Growing up hurts, and accepting changes hurts. But being strong enough to endure it instead of running away from it is what makes all the difference and allows true healing to happen.
  13. Forgive them and have compassion. This one is HARD! How do you forgive someone who  broke your heart and why would you even want to anyway?! Here are the answers: You forgive someone who broke your heart for yourself, not for them, and you forgive them by finding compassion for them. I still struggle with this, but it’s a constant battle I try to win. Staying angry with someone and refusing to forgive them is a slow poisonous death to you, not to them. Release that pain by remembering this person as a child – they know not what they do. I know that’s weird, but it’s easier to have compassion for someone when you remember we’re all just out here trying to do our best. You may not like this one, but I promise it’s the most rewarding one.
  14. Be grateful.Be grateful for life. For your health. For every moment. Life is so beautiful and full of adventures. Don’t stay stuck in this one bad thing that happened. Learn from it, release it, and carry on being mindful that this will only help us grow.


The Truth About a Broken Heart

There’s something to be said for having a broken heart. A broken heart sucks, but it’s also a gateway to brand new beginnings. This may just be me, but the last time I had my heart broken (and it was really broken – I mean shattered), I also felt deep down a tiny tinge of excitement and relief. That may have something to do with the kind of relationship I was in, but regardless, I looked forward to what lay ahead in the unknown just a little bit.

Life can set us back in the most unexpected times and knock us down when we’re least expecting it. Instead of laying face down on the ground, though, we can take these experiences as opportunities to grow. And growing hurts. Growing isn’t easy, that’s why some people stay stuck in the place where they’re at for the rest of their lives. But we don’t have to stay stuck. We can make the decision to keep moving.

It sounds simple to tell someone to get back up and back in the game after a heartbreak. The truth is that it’s easier said than done. In order to keep moving, we have to take baby steps into the new unknown. There was a time when I was knocked down after going like what seemed 100 mph. I had been exercising consistently, eating cleaner, meditating daily. Basically, putting a lot of effort into really taking care of myself. Then the storm hit and I got thrown way off track. I barely had the energy to get out of bed without crying, let alone exercise, cook, meditate, and write. There have been times in the past when I got knocked down like this, and before I knew it, a year had passed me by and I was still not taking care of myself. I decided that wouldn’t be the case this time, and I would get back to my self-care habits. But I still didn’t have the energy to do so, and the pressure to get back to it just kept building.

What I realized during this time was that it takes a lot of tiny steps to start feeling normal again. Instead of jumping right back up and kicking it into high gear, we need to get up slowly. We need to dust ourselves off and start walking, not running. I did this by spending time by myself and re-aligning. By re-aligning, I mean I mostly sat around with my dog, read books, and watched (cried to) a lot of Queer Eye. Your re-alignment may look different, but all it is is to spend time doing something you love and that doesn’t require a lot of effort. You’ll get back into the swing of things eventually.

That’s not to say there won’t be fear and doubt that you’ll experience along the way. A broken heart takes time to heal, but that doesn’t mean you have to be sad the entire time. Change your perspective and find excitement in your new path. You’re going to have new adventures, meet new people, try different things. You get to meet yourself again, free of anyone or anything that was holding you back before. Even if you weren’t being held back, you still had someone to answer to. There was something to account for, but not anymore. And that’s a good feeling when you really think about it. You get to create yourself – who you are, what you like, what you wear, read, watch, etc. and creating is not boring. There will still be tough times, but you’re tough, too. A broken heart can show you just how strong, creative, powerful, independent, and compassionate you can be. Learn to embrace it and reconstruct slowly but accordingly.

Positive Self-Talk To Practice Daily

I know I’m not the only one who has the habit of calling myself “stupid” or “an idiot” whenever I don’t get something right. Negative thoughts are ingrained into our brains whether we make a conscious decision to think about them or not. Most of the time, these thoughts are so severe that we don’t even notice we’re saying them to ourselves.

We may not be able to control the negative messages as they pop into our heads, but we can learn to become aware of them and change them over time. It takes a lot of work to even become aware of these thoughts, but once you make the decision to notice them, you will. Slowly, but surely.

Here is a quick list of phrases you can start practicing today:

Instead of: calling yourself an idiot because you did something “wrong”…

Try saying: Everybody makes mistakes. I’m only human. My mistakes are part of my learning experience and they help me improve.

Instead of: calling yourself fat…

Try saying: I am grateful for this body that I have. I will do my best to take care of it. I am learning what I need to do to take care of my body.

Instead of: comparing yourself to others…

Try saying: I bring something different to the table, and that is [blank]. I accept myself as a unique and worthwhile person.

Instead of: thinking you are worthless…

Try saying: I have so much to offer. My life has meaning and purpose. I have a lot to be proud of.

Instead of: believing you have nothing to contribute or worth saying…

Try saying: My experiences are unique to me. Nobody else can speak about them, and only I can tell my story.

Instead of: convincing yourself you should be doing more or doing better…

Try saying: I am completely lovable just as I am today. I am enough here and now. I will continue to change and grow from a place of self-acceptance.

Instead of: saying you’re not smart enough…

Try saying: I will learn how to do this.