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The ugly sneaker trend is celeb gold!

If you’re like me and are prone to scrolling through your instagram and twitter feeds, then you would have seen one of the strangest, yet hottest trends for footwear in 2018 and its ‘ugly’!

I’m talking about the ‘ugly’ sneaker trend that has taken the world by storm with its decisive departure from the sleek, sexy and elegant styles, to that of the bold and un-streamlined look usually reserved for men.

With such powerful female influencers  as Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and even  Bella Hadid rocking  these bulky, 90’s era shoes, it was really only a matter of time before the whole world accepted that this revamped look was all the rage.

The ‘ugly’ sneaker or ‘dad sneaker’ usually features a double or triple sole, adding favourable height to the wearer while offering extra support and minimizing strain on the legs for a more comfortable feel.

The shoes usually come in either all white or all black styles, themed with curvy lines in bright hues or neon colours .

In short the ‘ugly sneaker’ has become the canvas on which many of the well known footwear companies, including Adidas, Reebok, Sketchers , Nike and Puma have all used to lure the female consumer to embracing the sneaker culture for a revolutionalised fashion look.

The sneakers, which honestly have zero seductive appeal on their own, have however a certain curious  charm that creates a fearless fashionable statement, with sneaker wearers mixing the shoes with high end layering and daring styles, including cut off shorts, elegant dresses and some sporty themed clothes, resulting in a fresh, funky and feminine fashion statement.

In an interview with Forbes, Alegra O’Hare, vice president of global communications at Adidas, said their version of the ugly sneaker the ‘Falcon’ has come to represent a new generation of female consumers.

“Its bold and unapologetic DNA is at the core of today’s Falcon and reflects the confident mindset of a new generation of female creative consumers,” she said.

Recently, Adidas also announced its partnership with style royalty Kylie Jenner,  who has over 150 million followers over her social media platforms and is still set to becoming one of the youngest ‘self made’ billionaires, for the launch of the Falcon shoe which was inspired by Falcon Dorf, an iconic model from the 90’s.

By doing this, Adidas has cemented its shoe as a metaphor for fun and fearless feminine confidence. In its marketing for the shoe, the innovative footwear company said “Falcon is for those who do what they want regardless of what anyone thinks. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but for those who know that living unapologetically is the only way to live.”

As the colder seasonal months approach, it is a very safe bet that the ‘ugly’ sneakers are here to stay, especially with the styles already being featured in a plethora of Fashion Week shows, being sold out in Australia and holding pride of place with the millennial fashion icons on their social media feeds.

Why your physical wellness is the best investment you can make

It was after harnessing as much courage as I could, that I recently found myself halfway up a mountain on a trail above Medellin, Colombia alone, muddy and incredibly sweaty. The trail, being on a mountain route, was steep and quite challenging at times, yet I was in my element: being outdoors and active has always been my thing. It was just after pausing to take in the landscape that the first drops of rain started to fall. Though I had the energy to keep climbing, I know Colombia doesn’t half-ass its storms. I turned back towards the farmer’s house below. Within minutes, it was deluging with the vibrant orange trails quickly turning to streams. I arrived at the bottom completely soaked with mud marks on my legs and tired muscles.

Moving from Toronto to Colombia has been an interesting personal experiment to say the least (and this is just the beginning). In making a transition like this, I’ve put myself in a situation where I no longer have a large social circle and comforts like my house, my routine, my directional awareness of my surroundings and even my ability to communicate are all gone. When I look at the elements that made up my day-to-day life a mere four weeks ago, there’s only one thing left: my fitness. During this transitional period, I’m glad for that.

I’ve been an active person for my entire life. In the early nineties when I was pint-sized but high energy, I danced, swam and pedaled my pink bike around and around the block. I spent my weekends playing tag and following the current of the stream by my house to see where it led. Soon after, I found my love for distance running and that never waned. I ended up in the fitness and health writing game.

It feels like by spending my youth as an active kid, I unknowingly set myself up to become a more self-sufficient adult. These days, I’m not only thankful that I’ve made myself into a physically active person but I also feel that this is the best investment I could have made. What’s more, is that I think putting time and energy into fitness is one of the smartest things any woman can do.

I spent the past few years writing about health and exercise. Through this work, one of the biggest things I wanted others to recognize is that the benefits of maintaining a decent fitness level go so far beyond looking trim and toned. While the workouts at first may seem to be means towards achieving a certain type of beauty, I don’t think that should be the point. Someone who makes athleticism part of her lifestyle is building a body that’s strong enough to take her on adventures no matter where she chooses to end up. Those activities could range from kayaking to hiking to climbing – you name it. Being fit enough to explore the surroundings through movement, I think, is one of the best things people can do for themselves. Sure, doing those planks and yoga poses may serve an initial purpose but once those ambitions have been realized, I think it’s about being fit enough to jump into physical activity purely for the enjoyment of it. For example, now that I’m spending much of my days on my own, I’m glad that I can hike tough terrain or spend an afternoon running without feeling exhausted. If I was starting from square one during this period, I’m not sure what I’d do.

This sort of a lifestyle is a big contributor to confidence, too. Believe me, moving to a different continent is a great way to test this trait. I may be nervous to venture out into the city (what if I get lost… again?) or talk to a stranger (what if my pronunciation is off… again?) but when it comes to moving my body, I know I’ve got this. With hiking, running or yoga, I know I’m well able to carry myself through – no matter where I am. That’s a confidence booster – one I’m glad for.

Everyone gets their fair share of curveballs to deal with. Keeping up with the workouts, I feel, is probably the best way to be proactive for those crappy days. To run or cycle or commit to those Tuesday night sessions is to contribute to overall wellness. When my body is stronger and fitter, I’m generally happier. When I’ve had a horrible day, I’m able to hit the roads for a tempo run and blow off steam and suddenly, the problem seems to have shrunk itself. Trust me, the workout has the power to benefit overall wellbeing. What woman wouldn’t want that in her life?

By the time I arrived home from my mountain hike in the rain, I was severely uncomfortable. First of all, my shoes were like a pair of waterlogged boats squishing with every step. Secondly, my white tank top was now see-through which, paired with my mud-stained shorts, didn’t make for a good look. The next day, my upper legs, not used to descending down a steep mountain were so sore I could hardly tackle a set of stairs. Still, it was one of the best days I’ve had in Colombia so far. Physical activity is a big part of who I am and I’ll continue to rely on that as I navigate this country. I’ve already planned my next hike here: a route along the spine of a mountain just outside the city.

 

Don’t fall for the fads this New Years, Toronto

I was watching television last night when it started — the parade of weight loss commercials encouraging women to join and lose those 10 pounds. The sheer number of advertisements being pushed on social media is just as disgusting. I can only imagine the affect this has on younger women who are already struggling with their body image.

To be clear, I am not opposed to seeking out aide in weight loss. Some weight loss programs can be incredibly helpful and can offer support to those struggling with their journey. But, these decisions are incredibly personal, and women (and men for that matter) should know there is no such thing as a quick fix. Any program promising you a 10lb loss in one or two weeks is bullshit — which means that most of them are bullshit.

This is the biggest problem with New Years. Most people treat January 1 as a reset, a time to set goals and work towards becoming your “ideal self”. It’s like all of a sudden, people reflect on the worst parts of themselves and try to come up with a plan to change them.

What some fail to realize is that things like the happiness that comes from something like changing your appearance can also come from confidence and acceptance. Instead of focusing on a number on a scale, try to learn something new. Set a goal to run a 5k, learn to skate, or go on a hike every month. Maybe it is something artistic like painting or taking up creative writing? By becoming active in something new, you gain confidence and focus that you can channel to other areas of your life.

It’s also about knowing that you can’t change overnight. If change is really what you want, you have to take it in steps. You need to be content with the journey or else you will become disappointed when you don’t achieve your goals quickly enough. Be kind to yourself. Be confident in your abilities. And know that you are perfect the way you are.

But, if weight loss is your goal for 2018 — and there is nothing I can say to change your mind — here are a few things you need to know:

  1. A program can help, but it is not a magic solution. Do your research and make sure your program does not deprive you of a whole food group and that it works for your lifestyle. Remember that whatever you choose, you must also be able to afford it financially. Many of these programs are not cheap in the long run, despite the New Year discounts available.
  2. A safe and steady weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. Sometimes, it is less, and that is okay! Remember,  it is better to lose slowly than to lose quickly — as most people who do lose weight quickly gain it all back within a year.
  3. Anything with a pill is most likely not good for you. The same goes for any company that insists juices and cleanses that promise you a drop on the scale.
  4. The best way to lose weight is to eat healthier and move your body. Be active. Enjoy life to the fullest.

I am, of course, not an expert. The advice above is from personal experience. Please consult your doctor for more information.

Best of luck in the New Year!

How rejection has humbled me

So get this. During your lifetime, you will come across people that won’t exactly love you. Heck, they won’t even like you. The very thought of you doing well in life will cause anguish in theirs. And while some people have come to terms with this very early on, realizing it’s just a part of life, I, myself, am just learning this. And dear Lord, it’s quite the humbling experience.

I try to be a good person. Plus, I’m cute. So my first wave of rejection came as a shock. What’s there not to love about me? I carry myself with poise, demonstrate kindness and sincerity, and have just the right amount of confidence. I bring this confidence to all my relationships. I made sure he saw it. I wanted him to. I had feelings for him after all. But after a couple of months, we decided a romantic relationship wasn’t going to work out due to a number of uncontrollable reasons, including distance. Despite the circumstances, we continued speaking anyways. I was hooked. He was my drug. I told myself he was hooked on me too. He had to be.

Then, fate took over. I came across his profile on a dating app my friend had recently signed up for. I read his bio. I read his willingness to move abroad. I read he was looking for a confident, ambitious, smart, funny, and crazy woman. Confident. Ambitious. Smart. Funny. Crazy. I read it over and over again, never feeling smaller then I did at that moment. The confidence I brought to that relationship wasn’t enough. Neither was the ambition. Nothing was. He didn’t find anything he was looking for in me.

It was humbling.

The problem is, I’m a people pleaser. I will bend over backwards to get people to like me, sometimes putting my own priorities at jeopardy. I’ll let my own deadlines slide, or sacrifice that one thing I was saving up for to do something for someone else. It’s the norm I’ve grown up knowing. So after putting in 110% to a relationship that was never really a relationship to begin with, I realized how much I cared for him. What I didn’t realize, was that I was expecting something in return. What I didn’t realize, was that, instead, I was being used as a scapegoat to fill the emotional needs of this person while he was searching for something better.

It was humbling.

I wasn’t as selfless as I thought I was. As I heard in a movie once (because romantic comedies are always credible), unrequited love is actually an immensely powerful feeling. Because unlike other relationships, it doesn’t need to be shared by two people. You have sole proprietorship over it. I gained a little strength from this, but I quickly concluded it was complete bull sh*t. Love feels better to share. Love feels better when its reciprocated. There’s something about it that makes you glow. Inside and out.

Unfortunately, its human nature to want what you can’t have. Even if you were blessed with anything you’ve ever wanted and more, you’ll still want that one thing you weren’t meant to obtain. Your heart will tell you he’s the only one for you, and you’ll genuinely start to internalize this. But then you’ll come to realize….maybe you’re not the one for them.

And its humbling.

How to dress with confidence?!

Do you ever have the desire to put on a pair of classy heels, a great pantsuit and strut down the street feeling great?

How often do you actually do it?

Probably not as much as you would like. It’s hard to dress confidently — people tend to go for either one of two options. The first is to dress for comfort. If your job allows it, jeans and a t-shirt with running shoes may be your style. The second option is to dress for others. Does your boss expect you to wear a skirt or a white blouse?

But, confidence dressing is all about making yourself feel good. Here are some tips for rocking that special look:

  1. A Great Pair of Heels

Many women stray from heels because they can be uncomfortable. That is why when purchasing your new set of pumps, be sure to test them out thoroughly before purchasing. Jump up and down, do a few dance moves, and run on the spot to make sure they will be comfortable. If not, abandon them. You cannot strut if you aren’t at ease. There is also nothing wrong with a short heel. It will still make the satisfying clunk sound women love, but may reduce the number of injuries.

2. Embrace your colour palette

Deciding whether cooler or warmer tones are the best choice for your daily outfit will help set the mood for wherever you are headed. Cooler tones are perfect for more low-key meditative events, such as a blue or silver blouse attending a meeting where you want everything to go smoothly. Alternatively, if you want to grab attention or heat up a room, such as when you are speaking at a presentation, a bold red top is the way to go. Also, pay attention to colours that are fit for your skin tone and hair colour. Blondes really pop in blues and reds, brunettes in purples and burgundies, and reds in greens and browns.

3. Find your flair

Your own unique style is imperative to feeling confident because no matter what, it is important to embrace “you”. Even with a typical business outfit, you should make sure to have a little piece of flair, a colourful pin or bedazzled earrings. It will make you stand out and increases confidence because it will make your wardrobe more personal, rather than looking like one of many.

4. Only wear a style that feels comfortable

If you feel like your pants are too tight, or your top is too low-cut, it will be difficult to feel fully comfortable and proud of how you look. Make sure to feel relaxed in your clothes. Going with free-flowing slacks rather than skin-tight jeans will almost always do the trick. Whether you prefer to dress business casual, sporty, in high-couture, or in vintage styled finesse, make sure you can stretch and break a few dance moves. Your confidence will increase tenfold as a result.

5. Blazers on hand when in doubt

Have a blazer on hand when you want to feel empowered and put together. A blazer is a quick way to make any outfit look smart and sexy at the same time. I recommend having a black and white one as it will go with any outfit and will absolutely give you the confidence boost when you want to look like a kick-ass and powerful woman.

 

Confidence comes in many forms, but dressing to impress yourself is a way to be proud of you who you are and show the world. There is no better feeling than strutting down the sidewalk in a favourite pair of shoes and a put-together outfit. It makes you feel beautiful and strong — and what better way to embrace your inner-self while demonstrating your outer beauty.

What confidence building fashion tips do you use? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below!

How to prepare the perfect elevator pitch

Have an idea, project, or job you want to pitch to your boss? The best way to do that is in an elevator pitch.

Being able to say what you mean confidentially can take you a long way in the business world. Finding a way to do that in a timely fashion is a whole other matter. An elevator pitch is a brief speech that is generally under two minutes. It is meant to spark interest in you, your idea, and project or product. It can be hard, to take your big idea and sizzle it down into a two-minute pitch. You need to make it exciting and interesting enough that your boss takes interest of your idea, but detailed enough that he/she knows you have the information to make it work. Luckily, Women’s Post has you covered. Here are some tips for that perfect elevator pitch:

Write it out

Block off an hour of your time and write out everything you know about your project or idea. Getting things down on paper will help you focus your argument and find the most salient and relevant points about your concept. This will create the blueprint for the elevator pitch and will help to separate the important information from the useless facts that aren’t needed.

Find the Hook

Once the information is laid out on paper, find the hook, which is otherwise known as the most interesting part of the idea. It should be the part of your blueprint that makes your heart beat fast and makes you feel excited about the project at hand. The hook is your leading statement because it will invoke a sense of confidence and excitement when you say it. From there, you can describe the proposal in a concise and timely manner.

Present a problem and solution

Once you have presented your idea, outline the problem and solution that you are looking to solve with your unique idea. This can be done in a few sentences and will demonstrate that your idea is relevant and important. It also induces a sense of urgency to your pitch because it demonstrates that there is a problem that needs to be solved in the immediate future.

Here is example of problem-solution based thinking in action: Say I approached my boss and said I wanted to develop an app that told people where available parking was located in each neighbourhood. I would then follow to say that there are no apps that currently that tell people where available parking is, causing frustration, gridlock and even accidents while people drive around trying to find a place to park.  My solution would be to create an app that showed available parking per neighbourhood on a grid map, and would specify what type and how much the parking cost. This would help people find parking quickly and would be a popular app for drivers, which would then provide revenue to the company at hand.

Be natural

Confidence is key when delivering a pitch in under two minutes. If you lack confidence in your idea, your boss will sense it and may lose interest. The best way to avoid that is to practice, practice, practice! By preparing your pitch in advance and practicing on friend and family or in the mirror, it will make you more confident in what you are saying. Acting natural and happy about your idea will liken other people to it as well.

Be prepared for follow-up

If your elevator pitch is a success, then your boss will want more details. Be sure to prepare for that as well and have answers to any questions on hand. This may include questions such as financing, feasibility, and target audiences. To properly formulate extra information, prepare potential questions that could follow your elevator pitch so that you are ready.

This is something everyone should know what to do. If you don’t use this information to pitch a business idea, use it as a way to practice public speaking or brainstorming. The key, regardless of the circumstance of your pitch, is to be confident in your ideas. It could be the next million dollar win — if you only present it in the right way.

How would you prepare an elevator pitch? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.

10 networking tips for introverts

There is a reason I am a writer. I tend to express myself best through the written word, where I can carefully craft my sentences and ensure I use the proper vocabulary.

In person, I’m a bit of a spaz. I tend to ramble and use a lot of “ums” and “ahhs” as I search for the word I’m looking for. The mere thought of edging myself into a group or conversation with people I don’t know sends slight chills down my spin. It’s  only after circling the room numerous times that I can build up the courage to walk up to someone and introduce myself.

Unfortunately for introverts like me, networking is truly the only way to get ahead in business. So, Women’s Post has compiled a few select tips that should help you at that next conference or public event.

 

Do a bit of research before hand

What kind of people will be at the event? Do a little bit of research on the potential players of the industry. This will allow you to find some common ground and potential conversation starters. For example, I heard you merged your business last year — how has the transition been? I find that this research also helps calm me down. The more I read, the more comfortable I feel about networking.

Start small

Set small and reasonable expectations for yourself. For example, get at least five business cards or speak with three executives. This way, the networking event doesn’t seem so daunting. You can also set a time limit for yourself — stay at the event for at least an hour before making an excuse to leave. The more events you attend, the bigger your expectations may be.

Arrive on time

People generally have this innate instinct to arrive fashionably late.  The argument derives from past experience — I arrived on time and no one else was there or the hosts were still setting up. Generally, networking events are well managed and are meant for punctual people. If you arrive late, the other participants may already be huddling in their groups, making it difficult to get in the conversation. If you are part of the select group that arrives on time, it will be easier to

Ask open-ended questions 

Conversation is the most important aspect of a networking event.  Make sure to push those nerves aside and actually listen to what people are talking about. Don’t simply ask what people do for a living. Ask lots of open-ended questions relating to their work, politics, or hot topics being discussed at that moment — anything that will incite further conversation. Always remember, especially upon an initial interaction, it’s best to focus on the person/people you are speaking with instead of becoming the center of attention.

Fake confidence

Not everyone can have the confidence of an extrovert, but you can fake it. Stand up straight, hold your head up high, and speak with authority. Be yourself — if you’ve got a bit of a stutter like I do, don’t worry about it. Just be kind, smile, and pretend as if it’s no big deal. Simply walk up to someone and ask if you can join them. If you need a line, try this: “I’m here by myself and your group looked like they were having the most fun. May I join you?” Be sure to tell them to continue their discussion and you will catch up.

It’s okay to use a little liquid courage, but remember this is a professional event. If you drink, don’t get drunk.

Practice your pitch

If someone asks you what you do or what organization you are with, you should be able to answer with ease and a commanding authority. Keep the answer short, between one and two minutes. Quickly outline who you work for and what your responsibilities include. Make it sound impressive and be sure to mention any special skills you may possess. Have a story in mind if someone asks you for an example of your work. You never know who you will meet, and if you happen to be speaking with a potential employer, it’s important to note how invaluable your skills are to your current or past company.

Know your business card etiquette

DO make sure to bring business cards. DO NOT throw them at everyone you meet. Networking opportunities shouldn’t be about gathering as many contacts as you can. Instead, make it about building relationships. Give out your cards only if you feel as if you truly connected with a person and you see a future relationship brewing. Feeling uneasy about whipping out those cards? Try saying this: “I would love to get in contact with you, do you have a card?” By asking them for the card first, it gives you the opportunity to hand one back in return. I find this a lot easier than asking if they want my contact information.

Connect with organizers

Networking events typically follow a theme and are industry specific. Making friends with the organizers of the event will give you a heads up as to when future meetings may take place. They may also be able to introduce you to key players or tell you who to look out for. This type of information can be invaluable.

Follow-up with connections

During the networking event, don’t try to sell anything. Your one job is to be presentable, approachable, and impressive. A few days later, take a look at the business cards you collected or look up the names of the people you met on social media. Send them an email reminding them of who you are and of how enjoyable their conversation was.

Keep the message short and offer to buy them coffee so you can continue the conversation. If you do want to sell something (a product, or yourself for a job), be up front about it.  Say you have a proposition for them, and would love to buy them lunch to discuss it. No one can refuse free food!

Just do it!

Go to networking events and put yourself out there. Sure, it will be incredibly nerve-wracking at first, but, and it may seem cliché, practice makes perfect.

 

Did we miss anything? Tell us your networking tips in the comments below!

How to lose a guy in ten days: the tech version

Dating has become more accessible since the invention of the Internet and the cell phone, but it comes with it’s challenges. There are potential land mines everywhere — and so many ways to mess up a potential relationship.

How soon should you text him or her back? When should you add the prospective person on Facebook? When should you call instead of text? Here are a few ways this technology can leave your potential partner running for the hills, with their cell phone in tow.

  1. Text five minutes after your first date

Your date has gone well, it had good conversation and you were left wanting more. This is GREAT news! So what do you do next? You text them after you leave, just a little note to remind them that you had a great time. To this, I say no! DO NOT PROCEED, turn the car around. Always wait to text your prospective partner back. It shows that you are confident and in it for the long-run. Texting large blocks of text is another no-no. Basically, wait until the following day and send a casual text that lets the person know you are still interested and otherwise refrain from contact.

  1. Stay glued to your phone while on your date

You have made it to your second date without blowing it via text overload and this is fantastic, but you remain glued to your phone the entire date, checking emails, Facebook, Instagram and maybe even a quick swipe on Tindr. This is another big N-O. Having your phone glued to you while on a date is rude and takes away from the authentic experience of getting to know the person sitting across from you. I take this rule so seriously that even having your phone on the table while on a date will set alarm bells off.

  1. Don’t use cute nicknames too quickly

I am a big fan of using nicknames for people such baby, hun, or darling. I think pet names are endearing though many would disagree. But using them right away is a sure fire way to scare the crap out of a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. Nicknames need to be avoided before a certain point in the dating game otherwise it will come off as clingy or rushed. Once you are sure of the person though, bring out the nicknames and create some of your own personalized versions. It can be quite fun, hunny buns.

  1. Deep and dark texting

Keeping it light and easy via text once you are dating is a good step forward to getting to know someone without being too intense. Asking deep and dark questions to your new lover can be terrifying and set a tone in the relationship that is unnecessarily intense. Certain questions can also denote a sense of insecurity or pessimism when a new relationship should be enjoyable and light-hearted to start. If you feel you have ask to ask serious questions, make sure to do it in person. On the other hand, avoid the excessive use of emojis to lighten the mood. Too many LOLs or smiley-wink faces can be a real turnoff and can make you come across as immature, needy, and just plain weird.

  1. Drunk texting

Breaking out your phone after a few drinks can seem like the best idea ever, but in reality, it is a recipe for disaster. When we text after a few cocktails, the message seems to be the most humorous and interesting thing we could ever say.  Oftentimes, the texts that are sent are less appealing. Keep your phone away from you when drinking so that you don’t feel inclined to send silly messages that you will regret in the morning along with your headache.

If you can avoid texting too quickly, using your phone too often, or breaking your phone out after a few drinks, you may find yourself a dating guru.

What are your funniest technology fuelled mess-ups while dating? Post in the comments below.