We sat down with six women to discuss the stories and wisdom they've learnt thus far on their journey of self-love and self-exploration. Without knowing our whole selves, fears, and flaws, we cannot truly love ourselves. Self-love and self-knowledge are inextricably linked. Self-knowledge flows from self-exploration. Self-exploration is self-care. Meet the beautiful Phoebe.

Q: What were three insecurities that you had when you were younger? How did you overcome them?

a) Feeling truly self conscious about something can create such a palpable inner turmoil for someone, even if they have full perspective on just how small the thing that they’re obsessing about is, and how much it shouldn’t matter. This was the way I felt about my body confidence from a very young age.

I knew that it was something I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about, there was absolutely nothing wrong with me, but I couldn’t shake this deep seeded mind set that it should be hidden away despite people telling me just how ridiculous I was being.

About a year out of school I began a performing arts course that forced me to explore all the different parts of myself, including this engrained, warped mindset that I had about my body. I realized how unkind I had been to myself for so many years, and how much I had allowed this self-consciousness to hold me back.Basically, I just learned to stop criticizing myself, and started feeling truly comfortable in my skin.

Of course, there are always going to be plenty of things that I want to change, but there are also a lot of things that I don’t, and accepting this allowed me to relinquish this burden that id lugged around with me for such a long time.     

The thing about body confidence issues (or any feelings of self consciousness) is that no one can tell you to not worry about them, its too personal. Learning to truly see yourself for who you are, and to give yourself a break every once and a while is a huge step toward the never ending journey that is self-acceptance, and a more peaceful mind.

b) When I was younger I would become very insecure when I could feel someone slipping away. I would feel as if the friendship was deteriorating and I’d try and do everything in my power to stop that from happening. Now I guess I’ve learnt that people naturally drift in and out of your life, and it’s healthy for them to come and go. If they are destined to be in your world forever then they’ll always find a way back to you, and if not then you can take the beautiful memories you formed with them, hold them in a place in your heart, and let them go. No relationship, whether its forever or fleeting, is a waste of time, and no friendship can ever be forced.

c) Something that the majority of people (if not all people) in any creative field battle with is thinking that their work isn’t good enough.This is more of an annoyance then anything, as it makes you want to destroy everything that you’ve created, and give up.  

This was certainly something I have had a relationship with, and often still is, whether it be in art, design, or performance. I constantly doubt myself, and always feel like there is ample room for improvement.

But the reality is that there is always going to be room for improvement, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing to think this way. Yes, self doubt can hinder and put you down, but it can also make you work harder and push yourself further for a better outcome.

Personally, I don’t think there is any true way of getting past my critical mindset when it comes to creative work, but I can use it to fuel my process, and take it in my stride.

Q: What are you like in the conflict?

I approach conflict in a few ways; I guess it all depends on the circumstance.

If things are pretty black and white I keep level headed and sort out the issue well, but if I feel as though myself, one of my friends, or my family members are being disrespected I can get rather fired up…like anyone would I guess.

I’m not really one to shy away from conflict, I certainly don’t encourage the drama of it, but I think it’s important to sort it out and be upfront with someone. It’s only when you allow an issue to fester that it forms into a true problem.

Q: How would you describe yourself in three words? Please explain why you have chosen each word

3 words – Warm, independent, non-judgmental

Respect and kindness are qualities that I hold in utter importance. I’m certainly not insinuating that I’m some kind of angel, believe me, but I’ve always tried to make an effort to appreciate the value of others, and be open.

In saying that, I’ve also always sort of moved at my own speed, and never really felt the need to necessarily ‘rely’ on others. Even as a little girl I was happy in my own company, and that’s certainly something that’s leaked into my adulthood. I love my alone time.

This doesn’t make me a ‘loner’, I love being with my friends and meeting new people too, but I also think there’s value in time spent by myself.

I feel this trait has definitely guided me into being a person with a unique outlook on the world, and has made me very comfortable being different to the people around me.

I can see how these two descriptions seem as if they contradict one another, but you can easily be someone who’s both open to people, and enjoy your alone time.     

I also would like to believe that I’m non-judgmental of others. It takes a lot to phase me, and I’ll always support those close to me, no matter what information they divulge.

Q: What are five things that make you really difficult to live with?

  1. I’m naturally very messy and have a habit storing my belongings in multiple rooms of the house.
  2. I always forget to clean the toasted cheese maker
  3. I often have paint or charcoal on my hands, so I sometimes leave a subtle track of art smears on the walls.
  4. I’m not great with phone communication and commonly fail to inform who’s home that I’ll be back later, meaning that they’ll have to get out of bed and take the lock off the door when I arrive.
  5. I run very hot and find it hard to have the heater on. I try to secretly turn it off, so the house can be cold for others.
Q: What does your self-care practice look like? Do you have any rituals?

If I’m ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed I’ll go for a long walk accompanied by very loud music.If I’m feeling sad or unsure of myself I’ll usually run away to my farm and create an artwork. But in hindsight there isn’t much that a wine with your best friends, a hug from your boyfriend, or a dinner with your family can’t fix. It just instantly makes you feel happy, relaxed, and loved.

Phoebe wears the JOURNAL tee and the BLUE RELAXATION SCARF.