Be your best self.

How To Be The Star Of Your Own Life

Has anyone watched Hello Ladies? It’s Stephen Merchant’s (super awesome) show in which he plays this guy called Stuart who’s totally obsessed with being ‘cool’. Stuart chases supermodels, tries to be friends with important people, ditches his dorky friends to go to trendy parties and generally spends all his time trying to be noticed. It’s a wonderful series and there’s an awesome follow-up movie that’s easily the best romantic comedy I’ve seen in years but what I took away from it was that this Stuart character was really a wallflower in his own life. Phone Camera

He spent all of his time looking for approval from others and generally being a giant yet completely accidental douche bag. I’ve been an accidental douche bag on many occasions in my life and I’m sure there will be more accidental douche baggery to come but I’ve learned that what it all boils down to is the mistake of letting other people play the leading roles in your life. Think of your life as a movie. Do you want the whole flick to be camera shots of you looking around like a stunned bunny searching for approval in all the wrong places? I’m getting bored just thinking about it so to keep you on track I’ve knocked up a little list of tricks to teach you how to be the star of your own life…

1. Choose yourself

We live in a world where we’ve been taught to wait our turn, to not speak unless we’re spoken to and to wait until important people give us the things we want. I’m calling a giant fuck that on the whole situation. Choose yourself. Don’t wait to be invited or chosen for anything. Give yourself permission to do what you want to do.

2. Always be the person that’s having the most fun

Note how I said ‘having’ the most fun not ‘looking like’ they’re having the most fun. Posting a million selfies of your own mug from #totescoolparties isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about embracing every moment and having a bloody good time whenever you can. No one loves getting up for boot camp, doing the grocery shopping or cleaning out the car but if you make it fun it’s like adding a whopping a great spoonful of sugar to every dose of proverbial medicine you have to take. Just Mary Poppins the shit out of life.

3. Make an effort

I often have people compliment me on my confidence. I really love this because I work very hard on my self-esteem. Trust me, no one wakes up in the morning feeling like hot shit, it’s an ongoing process. My biggest secret and the best starting point is that I only wear clothes that I feel awesome in, all the time. I don’t own tracksuit pants because I feel sad when I wear tracksuit pants because they make me feel all lumpy and bumpy. Some people may feel hella glam in trackies, in which case they should stock up and shake their money-maker in them. Don’t get stuck in a clothing rut and never let anyone else dictate what you wear. If you feel fabulous in a corset, beehive and shocking red lippy – wear that every day. Same goes if you feel amazing in baggy overalls. Whatever you do, do it on purpose and make the effort to feel good about yourself every day.

Woman walking in the park, photo in vintage style

4. Don’t let others be wallflowers

I used to work in special education and there was a word we used that I absolutely loved. The word was ‘inclusive’. It was usually shoved in amongst a whole lot of pedagogical bullshit but it’s such a lovely word and I’ve totally stolen it for every day awesomeness. I’m an enormous chatterbox so I have to watch myself to make sure I’m not constantly dominating every conversation I have but if I just keep the word ‘inclusive’ in the back of mind at social gatherings it stops me being a scene stealer (scene-stealing is bad, even in your own life movie) and reminds me to talk to people who might be feeling a bit shy or who struggle with social interactions.

5. Be someone people want to hang around with

Whenever I meet someone who is particularly unpleasant, I try to come up with a few words that describe what made them so repellent. Nasty, mean, negative, grumpy, judgmental, bitchy, patronising, aggressive. Then I add that to my List Of Words I Don’t Want To Be to keep myself in check and make sure I’m behaving like the type of person I would want to hang out with. It’s fine to have a crap day and not be 100% on fire every day but you want to aim for 80% awesome most of the time or at the very least don’t be any of the adjectives that you dislike in other people.

Are you the star of your own life? Or do you accidentally let other people grab your microphone?

P.S Also you should totally sign up for my newsletter. It’s full of cool stuff.
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  1. johannetaylor 9 years ago

    Thank you! Exactly the kind of piece I want to read this morning, as I think through my intentions (rather than resolutions) for the future.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh excellent! That’s so lovely to hear thank you! x

  2. dove 9 years ago

    That is the best blog/ article/ story ( etc, etc) you have every written. If I may steal from Oprah and her cohorts, it was very authentic. Feel important, don’t aplogise but be inclusive. They should have a course in high school covering all of the above. Love your work. Keep it up!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh thank you so much! Authentic is an excellent word. I love it. I’d bloody love to go to high schools and teach kids how to be awesome to each other… that should be a career!

  3. merilyn 9 years ago

    this is a great post smags! … you are a good teacher/educator!
    I am an INFP/INTP and I’m naturally quiet … it’s in my artistic nature and my alter ego is in my work! … analysed to the enth degree!
    I am strong though and over the years have learnt to be assertive! … I try not to be passive aggressive which sometimes happens, if I think I’m loosing my power!
    I’ve done a basic counceling course [still can’t spell it though] and a lot of work on my self development! … I certainly know who and what I am about! cheers to you smags!
    lots of love m:)X

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Thank you so much my dear… I just love hearing from you every day! x

  4. jenni@stylingcurvy 9 years ago

    I used to work for the Australian Red Cross. ‘Inclusion & exclusion’ were words that we focused on a lot. It’s served me well. Great post! X

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      It’s not something I ever really thought about but unless you’re aware of it, it gets totally overlooked!

  5. Christine 9 years ago

    Hmm.. I think the older you get the less you worry about what other people think about your appearance, actions, life choices. But I think it’s fair to always try and consider family, because your actions will probably affect them most. Inclusive is a great word. Everyone knows what it feels like to be left out – it sucks. You’re a bit of a deep thinker Mrs Smaggs (took me a minute to transition fromTuesday’s equally D&M post about the correct method of consuming lollies ????)

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh definitely – I care HEAPS less now than I did in high school but lots of people my age still struggle with it. Ha! Yes the topics change a bit around here… it’s the Smaggle method. Laugh, think, laugh, think, PUPPIES!!!!

  6. Love this. I too am prone to chat the leg off a chair (especially if I have been at home a little too much) so “inclusive” will be stored in the back on my brain. Must check out the series.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      I’m exactly the same. If I’ve been alone in my office all day god help the local barrista!

  7. Karrine Beasley 9 years ago

    Loveeeeee! Off to share on Facebook and create a meme with that Mary Poppins sentence cause it made me smile so big! 😉

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh I saw that! You absolute darling! Made my day! x

  8. It took me a long time to realize that I deserved to be the star of my own story, that I had something important to say and had a life of my very own to live. Now though? I know I’m a happier, better, more confident person.
    And I totally understand what you’re saying about wearing schlumpy clothes. If I look schlumpy I feel schlumpy and then I get nothing done and feel bad about my day.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      That’s totally it! I work for myself and everyone is like ‘Do you wear pyjamas everyday?’. CERTAINLY NOT!

  9. Pure awesomeness. You are one hellava writer lady. “Mary Poppins the shit out of life” and “whatever you do, do it on purpose”? I gotta go and write these pearls down.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      It is actually my most favourite thing when people quote my own writing back to me! 🙂 Thank you you made my day.

    Number 3 is really resonating with me this week. I went back to work on Monday and besides not being overly excited by that prospect, it was made worse by not having something I was excited to wear. That might sound trivial to some, but I cannot explain the awesome feeling a really good outfit gives me. Oh wait, yes I can: CONFIDENCE. Which, for someone whose self-confidence is still very much a work in progress, is a huge deal.
    I love the shit outta you. x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Love the shit outta you back! I’m going to come to Adelaide and squish the shit out of you. x

  11. Mystery Case 9 years ago

    I fear I don’t get out enough and when I do I tend to be a little too over enthusiastic and possibly end up looking like a douche bag. I’m looking at intentions rather than resolutions for 2015 and will be definitely be making more of an effort to be less of a douche bag to the list.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Being less of a douche bag is on my mind CONSTANTLY! Join the party!

  12. Tamsin Howse 9 years ago

    YES YES YES! I have had to tone down my personality a lot over the past 15 years as I realised in late high school I didn’t want to be that loud person who dominates every conversation. It took me a while to be able to do it, but inclusive is what it’s about.

    I wear PJs at home because that is what I am comfortable wearing. I don’t own tracksuit pants because I don’t like to wear them.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh me too! I’ve had to learn to like listening to other people but I actually really like it now! I like PJs but I’m more of a maxi dresses kind of gal… or just a singlet and undies if I’m about to go to bed.

  13. Vanessa 9 years ago

    This is what my entire 2015 goal/word/whatever is about.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Being a good person? I cannot think of a better resolution.

  14. Carmen 9 years ago

    Danged fabulous post. I love a girl that knows how to write and swear.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Argh! Best comment ever. I don’t trust people who don’t swear. x

  15. styleonv 9 years ago

    Awesome post Carly. A fabulous reflection on life and how we should live life and be happy. V x

  16. Bec @ The Plumbette 9 years ago

    Love this post. It may actually be one of my fave posts to read… Ever. I’m always reminded of that quote about being the leading lady of your own life.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      It’s so important to remind yourself of that! It’s not a dress rehearsal, this is the main show!

  17. Alyson 9 years ago

    Fantastic post Lady and as the school secretary at an inclusive high school, one that I relate to big time – also these are essentially the things I would have my teens know right from the start, rather than get to mid 30 like I did!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Definitely, that’s why I’d quite like to go around to high schools and teach kids how to not be douche bags. I think it would be a great public service.

  18. Christine 9 years ago

    Hmm.. I think the older you get the less you worry about what other people think about your appearance, actions, life choices. But I think it’s fair to always try and consider family, because your actions will probably affect them most. Inclusive is a great word. Everyone knows what it feels like to be left out – it sucks. You’re a bit of a deep thinker Mrs Smaggs (took me a minute to transition fromTuesday’s equally D&M post about the correct method of consuming lollies ????)

  19. Mrs Woog 9 years ago

    So loved this Smaggs, and I think that INCLUSIVE thing is really important. It is a terrific thing to do x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Thank you darling! You do it so well already… you are the Goddess Divine of Inclusive. xxx

  20. Christine 9 years ago

    It would take a much more technologically astute person than me to explain why my post from breakfast time appeared again when I checked in at tea time to read everyone’s comments. Sorry everyone. Now there is burrito stuff all over my iPad – serves it right. X

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      That’s so weird! I thought it was odd that you commented twice… and now you’ve commented three times! I love that you check back and see what other people say! It makes me feel like a real conversation is happening! 🙂

  21. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid 9 years ago

    This one’s a corker. From this post I’m going to take away “inclusive” and “Mary Poppins the shit out of life” with wild abandon! High five, lady! Love your work x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Thank you! I think Mary Poppins the shit out of life went a bit nuts today! Someone made a meme out of it! 🙂

  22. Tash @ Gift Grapevine 9 years ago

    Love this. I hate to think of the hours I wasted when I was younger worrying about what other people thought. I’m still a work in progress but I find that as I’m getting older I’m becoming so much happier with “me”.

  23. Laney 9 years ago

    Thanks Smaggle, love this post and love your sass. I am overhauling my life at the moment so all this resonates with me. Sharing this on my page if you don’t mind x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh of course! I love it when people share! 🙂

  24. Katherine - The Beauty Of Life 9 years ago

    F-ing love this. SO. Much. Love. Stay awesome, Lady Smaggle.

  25. I love the dressing tip. That’s a good’un!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Yeah people tend to forget that one… I’ve had friends be really down and not know why and i’ve been like ‘Maybe it’s because you wear the same thing everyday?’ it’s such a game changer.

  26. Ali 9 years ago

    Love love love this, thank you. This topic has been written about in so many ways but you nailed it with what we can actually do in our lives to be in our lives, this came into my feed at exactly just the right moment. I find that all of my suffering comes from trying to live a watered down version of someone else’s life and/or cramming myself into low rise, waist pinching jeans. Amen. 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      That’s so true! Whenever I feel a bit blergh it’s usually because I’ve been living inauthetically. x

  27. Vanessa 9 years ago

    Best New Years advice i’ve ever read. Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Mrs Krome 9 years ago

    I feel as though you wrote article just for me – just what I needed right now, thank you! I remember somene saying that by the time you are in your 40s you should know who you are. Well, I’m not quite there yet so must be a late bloomer, but articles like these are getting me closer to being the person that I want to be and being confident and comfortable in being that person.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh my goodness what a beautiful comment! That made my day! There’s no deadline for growth and self discovery – you should be doing right up until you’re 80… then you can stop and just eat buns and read books all day!

  29. Carly 9 years ago

    Loved this article & it reaffirmed that I live my life happily & to the best of my (authentic!!) ability most days. I definitely want to model this to my children.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 years ago

      Oh that’s lovely! Well done you! I love hearing from people who are happy with their existence. Most excellent. x

  30. Maxabella 9 years ago

    I reckon the only way to really be the star is to just do your thing and let others get on with whatever it is that they are doing in the movie of their own life. Hence, I don’t have any inclination to do the selfie thing because frankly I don’t need people to care what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and definitely not why. x

  31. Alix 8 years ago

    “Just Mary Poppins the shit out of life.”

    Love it!!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I use that phrase whenever I’m having a shit day. I’m like ‘Let’s just get a spoon full of sugar all up in this day’s grill!’

  32. Bec 8 years ago

    I love number 3. I bought a new hat yesterday (one of those dime a dozen Panama hats, white with a black band) and I feel like a mother f*cking Queen in it. I feel like my life has changed because of an $8 hat.


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