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After almost six years of following Gala Darling online and devouring her blog posts, I finally got to meet her in Brooklyn as she celebrated the release of her first book (which I have ALSO been devouring on the beach, on the train, and in my room whenever possible).

Reading the text, you really feel like she gets you, and it stems from her ability to tap into the collective fears and struggles of so many young, creative people.

At her book signing, she inspired the room with tips on everything from staying motivated to getting published.

If you’re not familiar with Gala, she’s pretty much a shooting star in the shape of a girl. She’s a powerhouse of positivity and an advocate of “radical self love”—a phrase she coined to encourage women to love themselves and prioritize the things they’re passionate about.

This movement aims to create a wave of good energy that will change the world, one awesome female at a time. In her book, she explains in great detail how she went from being a miserable girl to an empowered young woman.

I truly adore her transparency and creativity. Here are 6 things I learned from her talk.

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If you don’t do the work, the universe won’t meet you half way.

When Gala wanted to publish a book, she compiled one from years of blog and online course content, poured her heart into it, and approached publishers.

After being rejected, she decided to self-publish anyway.

Right after she self-published, a major publisher came forward and is now going to publish her book.

She manifested the release of her project, and showed the publisher that she meant business.

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You can be weird, smart and cool.

Gala talked about her idols growing up, like Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson, and emphasized how she identified with people who were unapologetic about expressing themselves, all while creating passionate art.

And that, she realized, was cool. It wasn’t about fitting in or trying to emulate society’s idea of cool.

This is good advice at any age!

The best of friends can be found on the internet.

If it wasn’t for Gala’s blog, she says she wouldn’t have met many of the people she considers her best friends today. And if you’ve followed her blog for any amount of time, you’ll have seen that those friends are some of the most creative, eccentric, amazing gals around.

Her strong community of readers have found one another at her events and workshops, too. You could facilitate amazing friendships just by getting online and putting yourself out there! (Of course, be safe and avoid creeps.)

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Motivate yourself with accountability.

If you give your word in public that you’re going to deliver on something, you are far less likely to let the ball drop.

Love & Sequins was a paid subscription on Gala’s website back in the day, where she delivered content as she created it. Those paying customers were eagerly waiting for her next release, so you can bet she followed through.

Even if you don’t have paying subscribers, you can use a similar technique by letting friends, family, and mentors know when you’ve set a goal for yourself.

If you’re feeling unmotivated, ask yourself questions.

Assess whether you really want to be doing the thing you’re avoiding, and whether your can eliminate or delegate it out of your life.

In order to shake off a mini-rut while working, Gala always leaves her apartment in favor of a coffee shop, where she can get hours of writing done.

She also suggested accomplishing a few small things, from self care to household chores, to get back to feeling motivated. That last one definitely works for me.

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Cut the toxic people out of your life, stat.

Everyone talks about this, but taking action is crucial. Gala stressed that if someone is depleting you, being honest with yourself is essential. Time to let them go.

If you can’t actively cut them out, just cease to engage. No small talk, no casual weekend plans.

Spend time with people who light you up and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. If you’re honest about your ambitions and the people close to you are cheering you on, you’re in with the right crowd.

At the end of the night, someone asked Gala if she had one piece of advice for everyone in the room. She responded with a straight forward, “Do what makes you feel good.” 

That resonated with me, especially because she seems to be taking her own advice—and building a career out of it!

Do you have a favorite inspirational author or life-changing book to share? Drop a comment below!

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Written by Mishka

A city girl who loves palm trees, strong coffee & late night writing. Founder of Hey Mishka & Day Job Optional. Learn more about her here.