Girl Holding Vinyl Record

How "It’s All in Your Head" by Russ Took Me on A Journey to Start Finding Self-Love


As much as I like to think or pretend that I am always confident and don’t care what others have to say or think about me. In reality, I question who I am every day. More often than not, I am actually just ripping myself apart while keeping a smile on the outside for everyone to see. I second guess myself and ask, “Is this outfit good enough?”, “Do I look fat?”, or “Are they judging me right now?” All the things that I wish I didn’t let get to me somehow slip out of my grasp and tear me down. But even as I tear myself down, I find myself helping others with their problems first, putting myself second. It’s been drilled into my head that girls who aren’t strong don’t get too far, if you want something you have to be able to persevere, and that’s what I do. I have always seen failure as weakness, not as an opportunity to thrive. 

My friends have always told me that they wish they could let certain negative comments bounce off them the way that I do, but I am here to tell you in all honesty that I may act like I am not affected by little sly remarks when really those are the things that keep me up at night. I have had countless restless nights where I overthink backhanded compliments until I feel like I am going crazy. I compare myself to others because of comments that I am sure were not intended to come off as offensive, and then I will go stare into the mirror and pick apart all of the things I don’t like about myself instead of seeing all those critiques as things that make me unique and different from the next person. 

You are lying to yourself if you haven’t beat yourself up about the things you don’t love about yourself. I know one of my biggest insecurities is being a little thicker than all of my friends. I always feel like the chunky one in the group, insecure about my double chin, thunder thighs, and extra rolls here and there. I used to try angling my head differently, as if that would erase my double chin, and even today I always wear clothes that don’t define my curves. In college, it has become even more real, comparing myself to all the “skinny, pretty, popular” girls. At least at home, I felt like I could get away. 

One thing I tried was cleansing Instagram, knowing that social media puts so much pressure on me to make my life seem so good on the outside, even though behind the scenes I am picking out everything wrong with each picture. So, one day I unfollowed every person that I found myself comparing myself to, and it has helped, but not entirely.


I went home for Thanksgiving break, only five days long (BS), and found Russ’s new book waiting for me. I was bored and decided to crack it open, not expecting to read the whole thing in one sitting. Anyone who knows me knows I love his music, blasting it at any time of the day. A lot of people shit on Russ because he likes to talk himself up, which comes off as cocky to some people, but he doesn’t do it to be cocky but rather to hype himself up and turn his failures into opportunities. Personally, I love his music and it has been a real outlet for me, something that I can listen to at any time of the day or when I am in any mood. The whole book is about overcoming the biggest obstacle, your own mind, you yourself. Unlike many other rappers who somewhat become famous off their first hit, Russ wasn’t so lucky in getting where he is today. It took the man ten years of making music every day that continued to never catch, passed up a record label believing in himself that he could do better, knowing he had more potential than that, to get to where he is now as a successful rapper (He’s on Forbes’ 2019, 30 Under 30, too). He continued to teach himself and learn from all of his past mistakes, all while keeping this mindset that at some point his time would come and he would take off, and he did.

After reading the book within an hour, my whole mindset changed. I learned it’s not about the past, it’s about waking up every day with a positive mindset knowing that each day is a new one where I will be faced with failures that I can make into opportunities if I choose to. I realized I am the trigger of all of these negative thoughts, I can’t blame the people around me. I need to stop comparing myself to the people that I see as “better than me,” considering no two people are the same or have the same journey for that matter. To be honest, they could be masking all of their insecurities too.

For some reason, all this time, I have felt like I was the only one taking L’s, but there are so many people struggling just like me. To be honest, I wish everyone would just be open about the things they hated about themselves rather than just shoving it down, pretending it doesn’t bother them. We should be able to talk about the things that bother us without being ashamed or questioned, or even without feeling bad about ourselves for sharing.

I have been putting on a mask, making it seem like everything is okay. I have not been okay in accepting who I am. I am currently on a journey with a new mindset, just trying to produce good vibes from the time I wake up to the time I lay down. It’s time that I get out of my own head and see the good in life rather than focusing on all of the bad. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be easy. You can’t just flip a switch and change your mindset, but I am slowly working on it.

It is time I wake up with an attitude of being grateful, not letting other people tear me down. I ask myself why I have let myself question who I am when I know more about myself than anyone else. I need to do what’s best for me, as selfish as it may sound. I am on a path of eliminating the things and people who make me feel down, and I am starting to do what’s best for Emma. I shouldn’t be looking out for others when I can’t even do it for myself. I am ripping the band-aid off and stopping feeling bad for myself and starting on a journey to find self-love, and maybe you should too. Life is too short to worry about being thicker than other girls and comparing yourself to people you think are “better” than you.

Read a book about or written by someone who inspires you; you never know what you can learn or where you could go. You don’t always know someone as well as you thought, what is on the outside could be completely different from their past or who they are on the inside. I never would have thought a book by a rapper would change my life, but here I go, stepping outside of my comfort zone. Will you?

P.S. Check out Russ’s book, it’s a game-changer!