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Last week ( May 21st ) it was my birthday & I love to do a post every single year to reflect on what I’ve learned in hopes that it provides you value, obviously.

This post is straight to the point & clear. It was a big year because I really toned down my chaos. Typically, I’m a chaotic person & I come from a chaotic childhood. This year I drowned it out with more peace, less cortisol, & a different mindset. If you follow me on Instagram Stories, you know that stoicism has been a big theme. I read a page of The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday every day & it’s been truly life-changing. ( >>> If you get the book, be sure to start on the exact date, & not the first page of the book. ) More on stoicism below.

Before we get started, I want to say thank you for all your DMs & comments. I love love LOVE you guys. Speaking of loving… let’s get to #1.

But wait…. can this dress have a moment? So cute & flirty for a birthday celebration. I should mention it’s on sale too. Really feeling the poofy sleeves.

Ok on to the 3 things I’ve learned this year:


1.) Community is key in every aspect of life.

“Alone, we can do so little: together, we can do so much.” – Hellen Keller

The importance of community grows stronger for me each year. It’s imperative to maintain & connect my community. The secret Facebook group launched over a year ago & it’s been incredible for connecting like-minded women all over the world. That continues to be my #1 priority as I grow The Skinny Confidential. Without community there would be no platform.

I want to create a brand that speaks to a niche group of people & connect & engage with those people while I’m doing it.

BUT ALSO… it’s not about me sharing with you… it’s about you guys sharing with me too. Some of the VALUE that you guys have provided me with is the Facebook group, TSC Master List, & tons of helpful tips & advice.

No matter how big the brand gets, I will continue to make the community my first priority.

2.) You’re gonna get criticized, no matter what you do. So just do it anyway.

“If you absolutely can’t tolerate critics, then don’t do anything new or interesting.” – Jeff Bezos

Recently, I shared my experience with sourpusses & how I deal with trolls. Criticism is just part of the game.

I believe if I am not being critiqued in some capacity I am not doing it right. It comes with the territory of putting yourself out there on a daily basis. It’s uncomfortable & scary & YES there will be critics but that’s part of life…& business. So whenever I have trolls, I sort of pat myself on the back. Because it’s like: GOOD. Good that I am putting myself out there to the point of criticism. Whenever I do anything new or interesting ( like the creator of Amazon, Jeff Bezos says ) I expect criticizers.

That doesn’t mean it’s not hard though. Here are some of my tips for dealing with it:

♡ Don’t feed into it.

♡ Don’t take it personally.

♡ Listen up ( sometimes ) – more here.

♡ Keep on keepin’ on.

I’m not going to let people’s negative opinions stop me. In fact, I’ll let them fuel me. GIVE ME ENERGY, INSTEAD OF DEPLETE MY ENERGY- you know?

3.) Stoicism has changed my life.

“External thinks are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.” – Marcus Aurelius

As I said, every morning I start my day with a page from this book. It takes 5 minutes & I like to write notes under each paragraph. It’s taught me to have incredible perseverance, wisdom, & made me realize that I can’t control outside forces- I can only control my reaction to them. It’s helped my EQ.

Sidenote: a little tangent on EQ ( emotional maturity & intelligence ) >>> it all comes down to self-awareness & for me, thinking time. Thinking time to sit with my thoughts & observe my reactions. Some signs of EQ are:

♡ can hear a different opinion or view point without becoming emotionally reactive.

♡ able to set boundaries & say no without extreme guilt.

♡ understands that perception is reality & accepts perceptions of others without trying to change them.

♡ can be vulnerable when hurt.

♡ can sit in undistracted silence with self.

♡ takes full accountability for behavior- does not seek to blame.

♡ finds humor & light heartedness often.

♡ does NOT view gossip as connection.

Those are the 3 things I learned from my birthday this year. As always I would love to hear anything you guys have to add- what have you learned this year so far?

With that, I hope you’re having an amazing, productive Thursday & I’ll see you tomorrow for a fun guest post with Curry Girls Kitchen.

x, lauryn

+ Check out another birthday reflection post.

++ How to plan a badass birthday party here.



  1. Happy belated birthday! These are great reflections and are similar to my birthday reflections from this past March. The biggest thing I learned as I got older is caring less about what others think and just do you – it’s life changing! So glad you learned that much earlier than I did.

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

  2. First of all … Happy Belated Birthday!!! Hope you had an amazing day. Well after the sexy stranger game I heard you had on the Podcast which is so insane, the interviews and the stories are on point and last not least LOVE the reflections on this post.

  3. Happy Birthday!! Hope you had a great one. Thank you for all your wisdom you have shared and continue to share. Love reading your posts, and I always get something from them! Thanks for sharing, hope you’re having a great day.


  4. Loved this post (these types are my fav) – learning how to tone down the chaotic is major! Reading the Daily Stoic every morning has changed my life and I have you to thank for that. Also love the point on community – everyday I realize truly how important it is. The biggest lesson I learned is to BE PRESENT. It’s so easy to get sucked into the past or focused on the future (not to mention all the online distractions) and the present is where all the magic happens! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! ?

  5. That last point of stoicism (I also have and LOVE the book), that gossip is NOT connection… I love that and it never really occurred to me but it makes perfect sense with the way it makes me feel. I don’t like sitting around and talking about people very much lol I hope you had a nice weekend!

  6. First off, Happy Birthday girl! I love how you celebrate your birthday for as long as possible. I do the same, and make my husband pull out all the stops. I love how you touched on stoicism and how one of those points of EQ is that Gossip does not equal a connection. This is such an important lesson and since really digging into EQ myself, I have really realized how many conversations around me are centered around gossip and it’s been extremely eye-opening and allowed me to set up more protective boundaries.

    1. EQ and stoicism are def underrated. Thank you for taking the time to share 🙂

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