Updated: Jul 3
If you’ve made it here to this blog, I assume it’s because you may be struggling with sharing your true feelings or that you’ve been hiding behind a facade. Or, maybe you're just an avid Cali Creates blog reader. Either way, trust me, I understand how hard it can feel to share your true feelings and that’s something I struggle with as well.
When writing this blog, I workshopped a few different titles like “The Front That You See” and “The Problem With Hiding Behind a Front.” But, I eventually landed on “How to Break Down Your Facade.” The common theme being a “Front” or “Facade.”
What do I mean by that?
Well, a facade and front are defined as an appearance or form of behavior assumed by a person to conceal their genuine feelings.
Today, I want you to learn how to battle and break down your facade. That way you will come out the other side stronger and more authentically you.
I've battled with this invisible barrier many times in my life and I often forget when the facade has returned.
Oftentimes when I share my battles with mental health or trauma, I have come to realize most people are shocked by what I have to say. I usually get met with statements like, “Wow, you just seemed to have it all together” or “I would have never thought you were going through that.”
That’s hard to process sometimes. Is it good that I am able to hide behind a facade for long periods of time? Or, is it bad that I am able to hide behind a facade for so long?
I find that it’s somewhere in between both of those questions. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad that I can keep it moving and grooving while I’m struggling internally. But, ultimately, I know it’s also not “good” to bottle up all of my feelings, traumas, and mental health struggles either.
The last couple of years have been a whole new life chapter for me. A new relationship that has blossomed into an engagement. There’s been a lot of joy in my life, endless travels, career and financial freedom, and lots of love. These past couple of years have been filled with lots of great moments.
However, even with all that good, I’ve also had quite a bit of lows. Lows that have forced me to relive some dark days, to hear voices telling me that I’m not good enough, and to have trouble recognizing the person I see in the mirror.
My mom always told me, “Jessie, you have the highest highs and the lowest lows. Anytime I see you so high up there, living life to the fullest, I worry that the low is coming.”
Those words continue to follow me in my head and honestly help me to understand the way my brain works a bit. I am my biggest critic. And, I just wish I could be my biggest cheerleader.
I am someone who has to consistently check in on my mental health to make sure I’m being “real” with myself. Because oddly enough, that facade I use toward others, I often use toward myself as well. On dark days, I keep myself busy, I run myself ragged, and I lose sight of all the work that I’ve done to improve my mental health. I don’t give myself time to think about it!
Then, sure enough, a slow day comes my way and forces me to recognize my current situation. A situation where I am not giving myself the love and compassion that I give to everyone else.
Two years later, I’ve gained some weight back that I worked hard to lose. I’ve taken steps back in my faith journey that I was so strongly walking toward. And, I have been struggling with my self worth and identity.
I’m writing all of this because I’m hoping that there are others out there, like me, who relate to this. Maybe writing this can help you to know that you’re not alone in your journey to find self worth and to understand why you are the way that you are.
We’re all built differently and we’re all on different levels of vulnerability when it comes to mental health struggles. Somehow it feels so much easier to hide behind the “facade” of social media posts and videos. While on the inside, you’re begging for someone to really see you and to hear your struggle.
Erik, my fiance, sees my struggle. He was a huge part of why I decided to seek out therapy again. It was nice to just get all of my feelings out on the table and to start piecing myself back together. I found myself constantly saying “I know WHAT to do. I’m just not doing it.”
If there’s something I’ve learned in the past two years, it’s that I am my own worst enemy and my biggest critic. I don’t cut myself slack and I’m incredibly hard on myself.
I’ve also learned that my struggles are MY struggles. Therefore, I am the one who needs to do the work. I feel my best when I am doing the work. When I put that work to the side, I fall.
You would think that logic right there would be a good enough reason to keep doing the work. But, it’s not that easy, is it?
We get busy.
We get bogged down.
We get distracted.
Life sometimes gets in the way and then we forget about all the things that lift us up.
My therapist heard me out and gave me some new activities and exercises I had never done before. It was super helpful in getting myself back on track. While I’m still not 100% there yet, I’m feeling so much more like myself and beginning to give myself a bit of grace.
I thought it would be helpful to share those new activities to you all since it has been so helpful to me thus far. If you’ve been feeling low, not totally like yourself, or are on a self love journey, I encourage you to pick at least one of the below activities to start today. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
So without further ado, let’s figure out how to break down our facades:
1. Daily Affirmations | Find the Truth’s
This was an activity I had never really thought of doing or adding into my days. I had heard of other people doing it, but just never took the leap myself. You can find all sorts of lists out there for daily affirmations and I will list some here as well, but in my honest opinion, I think it works so much better when you create the affirmation for yourself. Read on to see how you can create your own:
Creating Your Own Daily Affirmation: My therapist taught me to “Find the lie and speak the truth.” See below on how to do this for yourself:
Step 1: Think of something that you negatively think about yourself. For me, it was that I often feel worthless when I think back to my traumas or when I gain any weight. This step is the lie.
Step 2: Switch the script. What is the truth of the situation you are currently dealing with? For me, it was remembering where true worth comes from. It was also remembering how much good work I was doing on myself to make positive changes.
Step 3: Speak that Truth. My truth was: True worth comes from within and above.
Other Positive Daily Affirmations:
I am open. I am healing. I am happy.
I alone hold the truth of who I am.
I am loved and I am worthy.
My past traumas don’t define me.
I am peaceful and I am whole.
Today is an opportunity to grow and learn.
Pro Tip: Write your affirmation out and put it somewhere you see often. I like to put my favorite affirmation as my phone's wallpaper. You can download some of these graphics below to do so yourself. ❤️
2. Daily Devotional
There are so many ways to have a daily devotional. Pick a time that you can focus all of your energy and attention into this one activity. For me, that’s at 7am before anyone else is moving and grooving in my house. I typically fill that time up with a devotional book or with some journaling. I put a few more activities below. I urge you to choose whichever feels most comfortable for you and give it a go.
Currently, I’m using The Purpose Driven Life book by Rick Warren. I’ve already noticed a shift in my days by starting my morning off with this.
I love this activity. You leave all distractions behind and focus on all of the nature surrounding you. Practice deep, intentional breathing and think about something that is bothering you. If you’re looking for a more in-depth description on Mindful Walks, head over to my blog where I walk you through it.
Daily journaling is something that really helps to quiet my thoughts and get to the roots of my problems. I don’t find that I am able to keep up with this every day, but I am able to utilize this when my brain feels extra overloaded.
Yoga / Meditation
This is a fairly new activity that I’ve been practicing. I find that Yoga can be very restorative to your muscles and also very good to your mind. I find meditation to do the same with my mind. Intentional breathing has been huge for me in the past few months, so I encourage you to give this a go!
This is something I always try to come back to when I’m feeling off. Practicing gratitude and remembering all the good that I have in my life is a great way to refocus my mindset into being more positive.
3. Join a Community & Talk to Your Friends/Family
Join a Community
Whether you join a church group, a fitness group, or a niche group for something that you enjoy, get involved! It’s always good to find like-minded individuals to share some time with.
Talk to Your Friends/Family
Once you work on a lot of the above and really get to know you, my hope is that you are able to talk with your family and friends about anything going on in your life. You don’t have to hide behind a facade for family and friends. Trust that they also want to know the true you and what your struggles are.
Hopefully these activities can help you get back to feeling more like yourself and filling your soul up! My personal goal is that one day I’ll even be my biggest cheerleader. Never forget how important it is to do the things that lift you up.
I’m forever here to lift you up when you are feeling down.
What activities have helped you to be more compassionate and loving to yourself?
Until Next Time,