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Meet Trailblazer Ayla Bell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ayla Bell.

Ayla, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all started one night before I went to sleep. I was frustrated by being prejudged and categorized by people, so in that exact moment, I decided to write a blog post on Tumblr. Tumblr eventually turned into WordPress and now I am on YouTube as well. I was interested in sharing my growth with others as I overcame trials and tribulations of life, whether big or small. I felt as though I never ” fit in”, so I thought it was important for people to be encouraged to stand out as themselves! What better way to encourage others to do that than to share my life as I embrace that very thing.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has not been smooth and I don’t believe it gets easier. First of all, sharing yourself with others is not always easy. Personally, it creates drawbacks. Specifically concerning the consistency of the release of my content. I can be over critical of my work and not share it with my audience and that really hurts my brand. Like most content creators, I have a vision and idea of how I feel things should come together. From the smallest all the way to the biggest details. They all matter to me. A goal of mine is to just focus on why I started versus what I expect things to always look like regarding Proud Ayla. I’d encourage anyone who is just starting out in any adventure to always keep their reason of why at the forefront. Things are going to come up and life is going to happen but just continue to press on. You’ll be so much more proud of yourself for following or at least attempting your heart’s desire than living a life of regret. When I started Proud Ayla it was very random but something I’d been saying I wanted to do. My friend was in town and urging me to start a YouTube. I gave her every excuse of why I couldn’t do it. Until that Very same day she helped me produce my very first YouTube video! I received so much support and encouragement from people known and unknown to me just from the first video and I continue to whenever I put out content. It’s a true realization that a lot times, we are just in the way of our own selves. Don’t be that person to yourself.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Proud Ayla – what should we know?
I’d believe people who really know my brand know that I stand for making yourself proud. Each opportunity I take to share myself with others, whether that be through a blog post, YouTube video or just an Instagram photo of an outfit is a chance for me to show other it’s ok to be you. After all, I’m on a journey to make myself proud as well. Every day is an opportunity to meditate and find gratitude in how far I’ve come and prepare for where the Lord will lead me next in life.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
For sure! I believe women are positioned for whatever they prepare themselves for. The only limits we have are the ones we set for ourselves. I’m not saying that women do not have to face challenges and obstacles because we do but it shouldn’t be taken as a stopping point. If there’s an opportunity any women is set on, I encourage her to fiercelessly go after it. What’s the worst that can happen?

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Image Credit:
Alisha Dowd

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