The One Thing That Is Really Holding You Back

Do you have something that holds you back? If so you should know that you are not alone!

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time and sometimes writing personal posts makes me hold back. Exposing yourself is always risky but my goal is to always inspire and encourage so if I’m feeling a certain way, there’s got to be at least one other person out there that feels the same way and can relate, right? So here goes…

I’ve struggled with feelings of low self-esteem for years and feeling not good enough. I’m sure it stems from a lot of things from my past. But you’d think these were thoughts from a 13-year-old. Nope, they are real struggles from a 40-something grown woman.

A magazine beside a wooden tray with potted plants in it

There is and has been really only one thing that has been holding me back. Can you guess what that is?

The comparison game is especially hard in the blogging world. For the last year I kept thinking that my pageviews aren’t where they should be, I don’t get the sponsored posts that I like and I internalize that to think that it’s because of me.

I’ve done this a lot in my personal life too. I let others dictate how I should think and feel. If I fought against those people, I would think deep down that maybe I was ‘wrong’ and they were ‘right’ in how I should be feeling. This was so detrimental. Everyone has a right to their opinion and especially their feelings. Luckily, I’ve broken free of this thought pattern but sometimes it’s still difficult.

A Living Simply Magazine.

My blog has been a complete reflection of my life sometimes. It’s like ME under a microscope.

For example, every year I go the Haven Conference and just came back from the 2017 conference the other week. It’s awesome and I love going each year! We learn new tips and take tons of classes on the best way to get ahead with your blog. Some of it is new but a lot of it is just new updates on the stuff I knew about when I started my blog five years ago. My point is that I know what to do on my blog to make it grow but I get down when it doesn’t seem to be growing to where I want it to. My blog is my creative outlet but it is also my job and how I make money (or try to make money at).

Okay, so here is the problem I always face:

I have an ongoing voice in my head that says ‘you can’t’.


I think at this point I have to stop trying to figure out the why because that’s what has had me stuck for so long. What I need to do is just say I CAN.

Because why not?!

The one thing that has been holding me back?


I'm afraid its you my dear graphic with a woman in old style dress.

There are great things happening right now and I need to take time to let that sink in a bit.

I’m in this recent magazine, Country Sampler – Living Simply.

I almost just brushed that off like it was nothing or it wasn’t that great.

But it is great!

I have two features in this magazine.

They are old posts where the photos weren’t even that great, people!

Dresser Makeover with Chalk Paint

(this dresser was on it’s way to the dump!)

A dresser that has been made over in a page of a magazine.

They even got my name write! lol

An up close picture of the magazine article.

DIY Faux Grain Sack Bulletin Board

(These posts are from so long ago, they make me cringe)

More pages from the magazine of So Much Better With Age decor.

And you also know that I’m writing a book, right? A BOOK!

At first I’m like this has got to be a mistake. Did I dream about that email that was sent to me? I still question it every day. Some days I’m working along on it and then freak out (in my mind) that maybe they’ve changed their mind and don’t want to publish me anymore.

Or maybe they’re going to find out I’m not really talented.

Or I don’t have what it takes.


Okay, who cares about the why, right?

The answer is ME!

I’m in my head too much and obviously if they think I’m good enough to write a book then I actually am good enough to write a book.

But here’s the thing that was really mind blowing to me:

Why should I let them dictate that I was good enough to write a book?

I should know that I can write a book and it was about time someone contacted me!

Whether good or bad, I shouldn’t let anyone dictate how I feel about myself.

It’s actually been a huge stepping stone for me. I got a book contract despite my pageviews and all the other metrics I measure myself against.

And I got a book despite ME, sabotaging myself!

I got a book deal because my photography is amazing and I am talented.

(Do you know how hard it is for me to type that last line??)

Dear never let anyone dull your sparkle graphic woman in turn of the century dress.

I’ve listened to the naysayers in my past life for far too long and I’ve given them my power.

I listened to them laugh at me about my blog. “It must be nice to just paint a few projects all day.”

What people don’t realize is that I’ve poured my heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into this website of mine and the hours are endless. I made something out of nothing. Some days I’m working until 1 am and work on it every spare minute of the day.

And it’s still not where I want it to be! There is a ton of stuff that still needs to be done.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks!!

The only thing that matters is what you think and that you do your absolute best.

I hope you learn from my mistakes and don’t let anyone dull your sparkle or let them hold you back.

I’d love to hear your story too so please comment or email me!

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  1. You are doing fine or should I say spectacular! Writing a book and you are already published. I’m impressed.

  2. I know exactly where you are coming from and I am older. I have struggled wih these same feelings, stems from my family over the years, just remember Things are never so bad that they won’t get better. You are blessed
    with talent,,and creativity and a good person. Hughs!!

  3. We are always our own worst critic! I feel the same way sometimes. Yes, you are good enough to write a book, or you wouldn’t have been asked! I love all your makeovers, etc. I think we have all learned a lot from you and have fun reading your posts. Don’t sale yourself short. You have more to give than you know!

  4. I have an ongoing struggle, as well. For the record, its the honesty that makes your blog a success (my opinion). Keep it up!

  5. Your blog is one of my besties, favorites, look forward to , wonderful, talent, and blessed blog. Do u hear me, so please don’t stop thinking and believe and know you are a child of the most talented, creative of all, our Lord Jesus. So keep on keeping on and believe! I love this blog!

    1. Awww, thanks for your sweet comment. Most of the comments (like yours) made my eyes tear up and I needed some time to respond. Thank you for being such a lovely reader of mine!
      Big hugs, Jamie

  6. Hi Jamie,

    My grandmother used to say you can do anything you put your mind to and she also used to say that if we say we can’t do something then we probably won’t. There’s power in words. Most people don’t realize that what they say is forceful and it puts energy towards whatever those words might be. Whether it’s postitive or negative our actions begin to shape towards words and thoughts the we have.

    What other people say, think, or believe is their own issue and typically a reflection of their own insecurities and shortcomings. When people speak words of blessing and prosperity to others that’s also a reflection of their character. It can be difficult to silence the chatter but keep working on it. We all feel this way from time to time. Just enjoy your big wins and successes and hang in there. You’re not alone or the only person who feels like this. <3


    1. Olivia,
      Your grandmother is a wise woman. It’s so true about words! They are so powerful, even if it’s just whispered for only ourselves to hear. I think about that more and more lately. And you are right, it is usually other people’s projection of their insecurities. Thank you for your sweet message. I love your blog too, by the way.
      Hugs, Jamie

  7. All I have to say is that you are amazing and extremely talented and I look forward to the day you will get on a plane and come to provide interior design consultation at my home! That would be my dream. You deserve every bit of goodness that comes your way because people like me love to read your blog and get totally inspired by your ideas and creations!

  8. Just remember these words “You’ve always had the power, My Dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.” ~ Glenda The Good Witch.
    Keep up the great work!

  9. I completely know where you’re coming from- and am always amazed when I get compliments from people for something I’ve done. But I have learnt to look from the other end of the telescope & can see myself in a new, more favorable light .
    I also think your blog is great- I love how your personality comes through. And your taste of course. There are lots of great bloggers out there- you can’t expect to be ‘better’ than all the others- it’s too subjective – but you ARE every bit as good as the best ! Keep up what you’re doing 🙂

  10. I know it is a struggle but i just remind myself, i am a child of The King of Kings of every thing we do is for his glory, so it matters.

  11. I have struggled with this issue for years (‘m MUCH older), and still do, although it wasn’t as bad until I started blogging and opened an account on Instagram! While I struggle to get my blog up and going (why can’t I get subscribers? Am I boring? Do my posts sound stupid? My home isn’t good, nice, pretty enough….my posts aren’t………whatever…..and why can’t I get instagram followers? What am I doing wrong??? Blogging is tough. There are mean people out there, but I realized that my biggest problem was me. So I’ll keep plugging along. I am surprised that you feel this way…..YOU!!! Your blog is beautiful, your posts are engaging and relevant and you are a dear person. So, congrats on the book deal! And take it from me, you have nothing to worry about

    1. Aww, Crystal! I love your blog and your style. Blogging is hard and so hard not to compare ourselves to others. It’s something we all struggle with as I’m gathering from these comments! I really appreciate your comment and you being here.
      Hugs, Jamie

  12. Well, I was just stopping by to tell you how great it was to sit with you and have lunch at Haven and this is what you post today! I have admired you from afar for a while now and am so glad I got to chat with you some this year. You are amazingly talented and sweet to go with it. You deserve every ounce of credit you have been shaking off, girl you are awesome! Can’t wait for your book! Looking forward to the more confident you to set the world on fire 😉

    1. Awww, Kim! That’s the sweetest message! Thank you so much for writing that. I had a great time sitting and chatting with you at Haven too. You are amazingly talented too, my friend. Thanks again!
      Hugs, Jamie

  13. Are you kidding? Just writing a blog is an extremely hard job. I would never be able to do it. You should be so proud of yourself. So what the articles are older. You got featured in a magazine!! That’s cause for a celebration. Be happy about that not feel funny because they’re older posts. Not only that but now you’re going to be published! Way to go! I wish I had your ambition and drive. Do not stress out about the little things. It’s very rare that I comment but felt you should hear it lol. Great job! Keep it up. Enjoy it! We love seeing your posts.

  14. I can totally relate!!! Having just graduated form Graphic Art school. I have done art all my yrs. in school., took oil painting class’s and a teacher who was the charge of the final project ,told everyone who I was graduating with that She did not think i was able to do the work..( she was not even a Graphic Artisit, she is fine artist).But I did, but I have been second guessing myself ever since. I know I can make business cards and gift cards , gift paper and flyers. But I have not made any thing , And my job is working the medical field which is good to have a job again… I can freelance on the side but not have gone forward with that either . I used to do craft shows all the time before I went back to school and kido’s were little. So I totally understand where what you are saying , But your work is good your photos are great and love all of your projects.
    Hugs and squeeze

    1. Awww, thanks so much, Pamela. I worked in the medical field for years so I understand how hard it is to have a job where it pays the bills and a passion that you have to keep on the side. Don’t let the naysayers (or that teacher!) keep you down. Thank you so much for always commenting and being here!
      Hugs, Jamie

  15. Hugs firstly. I so get what you’re saying. I’ve just turned 60 and still the inner voice yells you can’t do it, you’re not clever enough and here i am wanting to start blogging and so not techy. And yet i’m a published author, have taught creative writing where many of my students are now also published, so go figure.

    Anyway, keep up with the great blog, love your home.

    1. Thank you, Jane, for your sweet message. It’s hard to quiet those negative inner voices. Congratulations on being a published author!
      Hugs, Jamie

  16. Jamie-everyone has felt the same feelings you feel and have felt. I am 61 and soon to be 62 and you are right, the only thing holding you back is you! When you get to be my age, you may not be as good looking but you end up with wisdom from living a good long while and you see that there are so many more things you have “in the black” rather that in “the red.” Now, you don’t have to wait to be my age. Start seeing your accomplishments as just that – accomplishments! Your blog is inspiring and you are writing a book! Wow! At 40 I began the journey of “I know who I am and I know whatever happens will be OK if not great” and I’ll learn from my mistakes. Failure does not mean the end or the slam of a door, it means many more doors open and you’ll be that much smarter in hitting the bullseye. Bless you and thank you for the inspiration of your creativity and ideas. Don’t sell yourself short – it serves no one, especially you and those you serve!

    1. You are so sweet, Melissa! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. And thank you so much for being here xo
      Hugs, Jamie

  17. Dear Jamie, insecurities, doubt, low self esteem are things many of us can relate to. That is why imagination and creativity sets us apart and saves us. And that is why we are able to appreciate your creativity and special talents.

    1. Yes!! Susan, you’re so right! It’s the creativity that saves us. Thanks so much for being here and leaving your sweet comment.
      Hugs, Jamie

  18. First congratulations on your inclusion in such a wonderful magazine! While you may see only what needs tweaking or how early in your journey you were the editors obviously saw some real talent and loved your work, they are very particular about what goes on their pages. I believe most of us carry some insecurities from our childhoods, bravo to you for continuing on despite them! Each of us has their own journey and gifts, allowing yours to unfold naturally will give you confidence and continued success!!!

    1. Thank you, Diva, and yes you are bang on, it always boils down to childhoods, doesn’t it? Thank you for your sweet words and for being here. Sorry it took so long for me to respond.
      Hugs, Jamie

  19. Jamie you are not alone. I understand completely and I’m sitting in your boat. We have to follow our passion and the rest will settle in place, the problem is blogging about our passion is so multi-faceted and let’s be honest we can’t be amazing at everything (html coding?!). I get down about numbers too but I think people are less inclined to ‘read’ blogs these days and desire the instant gratification social media has to offer so our engagement shifts. Like you I’m never satisfied and constantly comparing but we are amazing! We create beautiful content out of bits and pieces so cheers to pressing on, focus on the passion and much success with your book. I can’t wait to see it all come together!

    1. Jaime! I loved your message. Thank you SO MUCH for writing this. I felt so awkward after I wrote this post, so I apologize for the delay in writing you back. I agree, it’s so much harder to blog now and hard not to compare yourself to other’s ‘number’s. You have amazing talents, girl. Thank you again for kind words!
      Hugs, Jamie

  20. I have had this same problem all my life too. Recently, I have been doing a vision board of the way I want my life to look, and it keeps me on track and manifests my hearts desires. It works to keep me thinking positively.

    1. Thanks for your message, Carol. That’s a great way to keep positive! It’s work to keep positive but it’s worth it 😉
      Hugs, Jamie

  21. You are right – it is hard not to compare ourselves to others especially with successes, but I think we should be cheering every one on and encourage the success. I get sick of hearing, “oh you are so lucky”, no they are wrong, I am “lucky” because I worked hard at my dreams, am I right? Hence your book deal, it wasn’t luck, it was your hard work! I am so happy for you! You are fabulous – but you don’t need me telling you that. thanks for sharing your beautiful style with us all. Angelina at Peonies and Orange Blossoms.

    1. Awww, thanks Angelina! Yes I agree, it’s all hard work. Hard work that not many people see. Thank you so much for your sweet message!
      Hugs, Jamie

  22. This spoke to me! It’s so easy to get down on yourself… the naysayers come from every corner! Just keep doing you and being happy!

  23. Jamie-
    Thank you for having the courage to share! I’ve been where you are and with a lot of counseling, am now a strong, confident 54 yo woman.
    You’re an amazing talented person who has a special gift to share! Keep turning those “no’s” into I CAN’s!!! I believe in you!!!
    Looking forward to seeing how far you go!! The posssibilities are endless!
    Hugs, Yvonne

  24. A book deal!!!?????? You are amazing!!!! I love you even more for writing this post, you have a wonderful family and so many people that love you and support you. This is a lesson for all of us …… we all have this internal voice, no matter who we are. I look it as a way to keep us striving to do better. The minute we feel comfortable, we get knocked around a little bit. It’s simply because those that aren’t willing to go to that uncomfortable place, try to make us feel like we shouldn’t either, kind of to give them more steam to do it, not you…. something like that. But don’t think about those naysayers, just your inner voice and people that love what you do because the positive is your transportation to going places.


  25. I should tell you that I like your blog better than any other , not because it’s perfect , but because the projects you talk about are doable and real rather than “perfect”! Thanks for inspiring me !

    1. Awww, Brenda! This means more to me than anything! Thank you! Sorry it’s taken me awhile to respond. I felt so awkward afterwards writing this post. Thank you!
      Hugs, Jamie

  26. Thank you for Easy and Pretty ways to Decorate with Flowers. Love the clock, is it available for purchase?

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