Anatomy of this Outfit: Top – Vans | Shorts – Asos | Socks – Adidas

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On the heels of Monday’s post about 6 Ways to Be Your Own #GirlBoss, I want to talk about authenticity and taking the slower road. It is so easy to get caught up in the successes of others – whether it’s fellow classmates in uni or a grad program who are getting better grades, the feeling that everyone and their mom just got a promotion except for you, or the speed and grace at which other people seem to be picking up your favorite hobby when you seem to be sitting there all thumbs – it can often feel like the world is speeding along at breakneck pace, while you’re just trudging along with your feet stuck in molasses. This is even more true for the world of social media, where everything is laid out in the open for all to see, like, and comment about.

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And let me tell you – a lot of those people are where they are because they are talented mother fuckers hustling like the rest of us, shedding honest blood, sweat, and tears. I would never discredit anyone’s hard work. Let me get that out of the way. But that doesn’t mean that what you are doing is any less valuable. Although I can completely understand that when everyone seems to be getting ahead, it can make us wonder what shortcuts we could be taking in order to reach the top.

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It also makes us wonder what shortcuts other people might be taking in order to get there too. (Bare in mind, this is not a rant or a post directed at anyone in particular. I am speaking in very broad and general terms here and this post is actually not directed at anyone else but you, me, and my belief in hard work.)

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This can cause us to question our own worth both mentally, intellectually, and physically and think that if we just lost x amount of pounds or had a better this-or-that that success would be within our reach. But I am here today to tell you that nothing feels better than reaching small levels of success the honest way.

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I have been working very hard at establishing a career for myself for some time now, and very seriously for almost a year now, which began with me quitting my job and opting for the freelance life in order to pursue my dreams of working as a blogger and photographer on the professional level.

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Working in the social media world, where numbers are always stressed, it can often be demorsalizing when you feel as if you are working your ass off with minimal growth becuase you have certain principles that prevent you from working with certain companies, buying numbers, or doing anything else that doesn’t truly represent who you are. But I have always said that when I finally reach that level of “success” that I have pre-defined in my mind, I want it to be on my own merit, and without having had to throw away my principles (Disclaimer: Still, I have also learnt that it’s all about compromise and you cannot sit on such a high horse that you turn everything down and never grow – but that is another topic for another blogpost.)

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Sure, part of social media success is knowing certain techniques – when it’s best to post, creating a cohesive instagram feed, posting blogposts regularly, being interactive, etc. But I choose not to post outfits of myself in super high end clothing because it’s just not me (but if it’s you, then you do you girl! It’s all about authenticity!). I take photos that I am proud of, not ones I necessarily think will have the best reception on social media.

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I try to avoid writing click-baity article (although a catchy title never hurts!) becuase I want to create a blog of substance. (Seriously, I am all for blogposts giving honest advice, but so many titles are clearly false advertisement when the advice given is a hastily pasted together list of common knowledge.) And although I love a good minimalistic feed as much as the next person, my instagram is not full of minimalistic Scandinavian design and marble in black and white tones because my home is a bohemian mess.

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Running a blog centered around conscious living also means that although I am happy to work with brands, I don’t snatch up every opportunity that could have maybe brought me more success sooner, because I don’t want to promote blind consumption; in fact, I sometimes joke I got into the wrong field because of this.

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My own personal blog and social media growth has probably been slower than most because of this. And I hustle like hell. But I can say that I am excited for each new follower that comes to LFB or my instagram becuase I know (hope!) they are there for the right reasons. And since success has not just been handed to me on a silver platter and I am still working on getting it, each small win is meaningful. And when companies do reach out to me, they are often ones I genuinely want to work with, which makes me think that I must be doing something right if I can slowly build a brand in a way that I am excited about. (Being invited to Tea Collective‘s tea tasting event at FVF was an example of this.)

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I have also met so many incredible people throughout the years that I have been running LFB and appreciate each and every one of you – especially the lot of you that come back each and every week because we have a meaningful connection to one another.

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I am sharing my personal story with you because my personal story is all that I know. But in doing so, what I am trying to say is that hard work and honesty without compromising your integrity is always the way to go. And when you do this, you will always be satisfied with who you are. It also comes with bonus points: When you do finally go viral, you’ll be all smiles because you know you have gotten there on your own merit. So go on with your bad self.

Want more fashion and words?

Photography: Leni of Paperboats

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Thank you to my September sponsor, Sophie!

Stay conscious, Rae

Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Very applicable, to both my day job and also as a blogger. “Seriously, I am all for blogposts giving honest advice, but so many
    titles are clearly false advertisement when the advice given is a
    hastily pasted together list of common knowledge” oh my god I’ve noticed this as well! On the blog side of things I guess I have the freedom of not feeling the pressure of numbers since it’s not my job, but I do admit there are times where I’ve been tempted to do things that wouldn’t be true to it for popularity etc.

  • I love your hair! Wish all the success for you in running this blog :)

    Oh Dear Bumblebees

  • Abdelkhalek Benrahho

    You look so gorgeous

  • Zorica

    Thanks for sharing this post

  • “my instagram is not full of minimalistic Scandinavian design and marble in black and white tones” you’re da best ;-) as usual, a brilliant read which is so often overlooked! I guess it’s always hard to feel proud of your successes when everrrryone (for me, at least!) you is living the life you know you can do but there are always so few opportunities for so many people… While I do try to be the most ‘genuine’, sometimes I feel like you do need to act a certain way to get things done??? Haha I don’t know if this makes sense!

    Cherie | sinonym

  • I can relate to so much of what you shared. It’s rough seeing other bloggers out there seem to skyrocket over night, but I’m staying true to me and working hard. That’s what’s important!
    Fizz and Frosting

  • thisgirlloveschic

    wow you have a beautiful blog!!

    This Girl Loves Chic xx

  • Bloody loved this post, its so different to anything I’ve read and I can relate to most of it, really great read :) Have a lovely weekend :)

  • really great post!
    I felt the same way when I fashion blogged first and foremost a few years ago, because I got a little caught up in buying so i could post more and not necessarily buying from places that felt GOOD to buy from. Now I go way slower (and my blog is a bit on the back burner now with school) and I buy almost entirely second hand and it feels guuuuuuuuud. And that’s what matters to me more.
    So, yea! Agreed. And good for you – I think that’s one of the many reasons why I love your blog and keep coming back. You’re pretty damn real with us!

  • I can relate with this post on so many levels! Being a freelancer / running your own company / focusing on your blog professional IS so very stressful, and it never stops. But as long as you’re hard working, there’s no other way than going up up up. You’re doing such a wonderful job, i’m wishing you all the best with your career and dreams <3

  • I definitely feel this once in awhile when it comes to blogging, but lately I’ve been feeling that way in school. But over the course of college, I’ve also discovered for myself and truly believe how rewarding it is to get somewhere on your own merit. And even when I haven’t reached where I want to be (yet!), I’m always so proud of how I’ve made it to wherever I am now when I know that it was me that got myself there :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Elizabeth Hisle

    I relate to this so much. Authenticity is also part of why I stopped doing mostly outfits – truth is, I am tired of thinking about outfits and I am really happy to wear a lot of the same stuff over and over. I hate constantly feeling like I need to buy new stuff just to show off (which over time has become the OPPOSITE of my core beliefs). When I switched to my new blog, I decided I was not even going to look at page views for a while because I need time to figure out this new part of my life, you know?

    Anyway, I guess I am just rambling to say I wholeheartedly agree with you… whatever success I do or don’t have in life, I want it to be mine, and I want to have earned it. I am not down for taking a shortcut, and I am especially not down for over thinking what I should write about just because it’s an easy, popular topic.

  • Public Lives, Secret Recipes
  • Zaire Q

    This is such a good and well needed post. it’s only easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and what you’re not doing. I’m not sure if it’s because theres this culture of it or if it’s because our goals are usually based on someone else’s success i.e I want to be like that person and if I’m not doing what they’re doing then I’m the one whose wrong/aren’t working hard enough. Then u get caught up in doing stuff that helped that person reach their goal but it doesn’t work for you and I think that you just gotta find what works for you and go with it. I just figured this out for my blog and my life and I just had to redo everything and start from scratch. It can be frustrating at times but I know it’s going to be worth it and everything based off of what I did and I know worked for me.
    Hey Zaire

  • Rach

    I love the authenticity of this post. Not many people do that these days. And honestly, the more you are honestly the more organic the blog grows. When I decided to be open about my illness, the amount of support was amazing and it showed that people who care will be there (and to read). Thanks girl for sharing this!

  • Good luck with future progression! I can see how much you have developed as a person and professionally since I started following you over a year ago! I cannot imagine that it was over 365 days ago! Best wishes, Iga

  • I absolutely love the honesty in this post. Congrats on pursuing your goals, and I’m excited to see where you are headed. Your photos and writing are both beautiful! Keep it up. :)

    Looks by Lau

  • These are really cool photos .. . Keep on doing you girl! IT works

    Life is just Rosie

  • Looking so cool, lady!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • this is overall a good post. in general, i do believe that people work their ass off to get where they are. waiting around and hoping for miracles won’t give you anything, right. but i’ll admit that i lost respect once i know the truth of how some people reach and gain something not through hard work but through something that i deem as…cheating. well maybe that’s not the right word but i can’t think of any other word to use right now. you know what i mean, hopefully. some people who work their ass off really hard can have their effort be shoved away and be treated like garbage just because the other person can use shortcuts to get to that objective first – does that make sense? like they say, money gets the world spinning. that’s how i see it in where i live but that doesn’t mean i lose my integrity of achieving something honestly. for me, putting real effort instead of waving cash to get to the objective is a way more respectable method. that’s integrity and dignity for me. i’m just saying how i lose respect towards people who are busted for achieving things through dirty method. makes me sick tbh.

    i love reading honest blogs and honest writings. your blog is one of them. i just recently discovered your blog but i can assure you that there is quality here. your blog is minimalistic and personal and still reaches out to people but with genuinity – and no, this ain’t flattery. i don’t usually comment on blogs i think as great and “up there”, if you get me (it kinda intimidates me for some reason) but i am commenting right now because….well, i like this blog and you and the way you write your post honestly :D

    of course we all wants readers. let’s not lie. but doing that while writing a genuine post and running a truthful blog, i feel like not everyone can do that long time. it may slowly vanish from some bloggers who have reached their peak that sometimes people think they’re turning into sell-outs only hungry for sponsors. my own principle tells me never to go down that road though :D


  • Love your outfit and your hair babe! I couldn’t resonate more with your post. Thanks for sharing your personal story and I look forward to reading more! xo, sharon

  • I definitely think the whole blogosphere is something that can get its hooks into you and make you obsess over rapid growth. But a blog, being such a personal thing, is bound to get more shallow when that is your focus. I’ve found that my own pace has slowed down considerably too. I used to get new followers each day and it hasn’t been like that for a long time. It’s partly because I moved out of my mom’s house and now have so much more to do. (I just don’t have the time to blog, comment and network like I used to.) Partly because I was exploring other things I am passionate about, like music and knitting. But also because I just didn’t want to turn into some sort of machine that was out there pleasing the masses and obsessing over likes and followers. Seeing it slow down so much was a little frustrating at times, but then I realized that it doesn’t change my feelings towards blogging. I love it. I really enjoy making posts about things I’m excited about. Even if it’s less frequent and even if less people read it. And I’m staying more and more true to myself as time goes on too.
    Every once in a while I get the minimalistic urge to not blog about stuff/products, but as it turns out I just really like things. Especially when it’s made by independent artists! So I’m keeping “stuff” on my menu, haha.
    What you said about brands resonates with me too. I happen to have posted my first review in over a year today. But I also pick and choose companies that I really want to work with (and mostly ones that seem to be doing business in an ethical way) and turn down the ones that I don’t feel good about.
    I agree, it’s always quality over quantity, isn’t it? It’s better to produce less that is genuine, and to grow fewer connections, but ones that are actually valuable.
    Anyway, great post! I like how you do things. And I’ll try to comment a bit more often again too;)

  • first lemme say that blue hair is so beautiful on you. It was such a bold step quitting your job to concentrate on what you really want to do. If you give your all to something, it will surely be successful.


  • Love this. I love your integrity and work ethic. Also your outfit.

  • Thank you for sharing, Rae! I have always appreciated your authenticity, and though it can be easy to compare, what you said is so right: “hard work and honesty without compromising your integrity is always the way to go. ”

    Kathryn • Simply KK

  • Yellowicing

    I totally agree with you Rae, I’ve been feeling this way myself a lot lately and beating myself up over not progressing as far or as fast as others in life.
    Your blog is always honest, real and truthful and your integrity always shines through in your writing, which is why it’s one of my go-to reads!

    Lucy x- Yellowicing

  • I love this, so much, and my brain is a hive of such other things, but I felt I had to say something. You’ve got it and you do you so well and I’m always gonna keep coming back, especially when it feels like you’re far more eloquent on so many of my thoughts.
    erin | try it yourself…

  • Being part of the online community does often feel like a numbers game and a competition for resources, but as I return from hiatus after hiatus, I feel like I actually become more and more desensitized to the numbers, mostly because I gradually stop caring. The right people will eventually find my blog and stick around, IMO, and that’s one of the more wonderful aspects of a more slow approach(?). As well, I stop caring about creating content I’m not passionate about just to stay relevant–BASICALLY MY SOLUTION TO EVERYTHING IS A HIATUS, CLEARLY. (I think I’m at a pretty happy place with my blog ATM–I’m posting what I like, and I’ve got a long history of accepting the least amount of PR samples because I’m alllllll the way up on my high horse. It’s an expensive curse but I like having control over my content) But yeah, it’s also hard to accept such slow growth when people in your tier are being invited to events or are given PR samples when you’re like, “But I have just as many followers/subscribers as x and y, where’s my invite?”

    And I don’t know man, I’m quite fond of your bohemian aesthetic. My home office is definitely not ‘minimal + marble’–definitely very plant-y and black and wood-y, but that’s ok, because these spaces are for our own personal consumption and no one elses’ (well, and your friends/house guests, I suppose)

  • I couldn’t agree more with this post. I’ve actually been working on a post that touches on some similar things for quite a while now but haven’t articulated my thoughts properly just yet. But it’s so strange to have seen the blogging world change from something people did in their bedrooms after school to being the industry it is today. I think it’s so important to find your voice when blogging and not to lose sight of what makes your blog and your voice unique, because that’s what people are attracted to in a blogger and that’s what makes them stick around and keep reading.

    While I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with wanting to be a professional blogger, there are still so many people who go about it in the wrong way, and I also really hate those posts you mentioned, where someone throws together 300 words worth of general knowledge and posts it under a preachy “how to be as good as me” title. It’s SO boring to me and just feels like lazy content creation for the sake of getting a post up, plus it makes them sound like they think they know everything and are a source of wisdom and advice for lesser bloggers.

    It’s just becoming a really tricky thing to navigate but I think as long as a blogger stays true to themselves and, if they want to do it full time, works their ass off without compromising their integrity then the success they want is bound to come their way eventually. :)