Creator of FROREALDOE, Valaencia Thompson, on How to Deal With Anxiety & Uncertainty
After battling with anxiety, Valaencia knows the feelings of uncertainty all too well. Now a social media influencer and blogger, she is intentional on creating a platform to empower all women to be more confident and to walk in their purpose. Read her story below, as she discusses her personal journey to freedom and the creation of FROREALDOE.
What would you like our readers to know about you?
I am a native Houstonian. I am married to my high school sweetheart, I am the oldest of three daughters, and professionally I work as a Hiring Manager. I am also a blogger of FROREALDOE.com.
Before working as a Hiring Manager, I was a pre-school teacher for 7 years and also a professional nanny. I started my blog, FROREALDOE, as an extension of myself. I felt like God was calling me to share my life as a testimony to others. I have battled many ups and downs including anxiety.
In my teen through early twenties, I also battled with my body image and did not deal with it in a healthy way. God brought me through and I believe that FROREALDOE is a positive product of my past struggles. It stands for faith, relationships, opinions, realism, empathy, admiration, love, dreams, overcoming and encouragement. All of those things have shaped me into who I am today. I use my blog as a platform to share things that are important to me, and also as a way to help other people share their stories.
How much time do you spend on blogging?
After I leave work, I usually go home, relax and start blogging. Whether it’s editing an interview or coming up with ideas for new content, I get excited to come home and start working on it. It’s fun.
Blogging has become a passion of mine. I’m actually planning my first event called “Glittered in Goals," it is going to be here in Houston on January 7th. It’s an event that will bring women to together to discuss their visions for the new year and beyond. I have organized some guest speakers, light bites, and invigorating talks for women to inspire, empower, and encourage one another.
That sounds like so much fun! What has been your proudest achievement?
One of my proudest achievements was graduating college debt-free in 2012, God did it! More recently, I have been proud to start FROREALDOE. December 9th was my one-year blog anniversary. I’m a person that loves exploring different ideas, but if I’m honest, I don’t always see them through.
Writing has always been a passion since I was a little girl. In high school, I wrote for my school paper and I majored in communications in college. I wanted to be a journalist, but when that didn’t happen, I thought I would never get the opportunity to share with others. I am proud that God lead me to share my testimony with others this way.
What do you when you’re not blogging?
When I’m not blogging, I spend a lot of time with my family. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big sister to two younger sisters. We happen to all be in our twenties at the same time, so we are growing at different stages of our lives. We’ve always been very close and I spend a lot of time cutting up with them, it's hilarious when we are together.
I also enjoy spending time with my parents, quality time with my husband, my friends, and other loved ones. I’ve been blessed to have the same circle of friends since my sophomore year of high school. My friends are really like my sisters as well. Apart from family time, I like watching “The Real," cooking, exploring health and wellness, and traveling when I can.
What quote continuously motivates you to keep going?
My favorite quote is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for disaster. Plans to give you a future and a hope.”
That scripture has gotten me through a lot of tough times. I even had this scripture printed on my college graduation invitations. I battle on and off with anxiety, insecurities, and uncertainty, but this scripture reminds me that God knows best, no matter the circumstance, I can always prevail.
What would you say is the best social media strategy to acquiring more viewers?
The best strategy is posting consistently. I have personally seen an incline in followers due to posting more. In the summer, I had around 780+ followers, but I was being inconsistent on my social media posts. Once, I started posting consistently and interacting more, my followers increased to the 1,100 range. You don’t have to overshare, but you want your followers to be engaged with your content.
Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?
I would say for them to just START. I still don’t know what I’m doing. I say this jokingly, but I seriously don’t always know. I kept putting off starting my blog until I finally just did it. My very first post was a cooking post. I’m not a food blogger and don't post recipes any more, but I didn’t have anything to write, so I just blogged about food at first. If I didn’t start there, I wouldn’t have found my niche. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and see where it leads you.
What are your future goals?
I want FROREALDOE to grow and be an empowerment brand for women and young girls, especially women of color. I have some great things that I’m thinking about, but I won’t give you all the tea right now. I will say that I want to continue collaborating with likeminded individuals and businesses that impact my community. I also have more event ideas for the next year, like the one I mentioned earlier, “Glittered in Goals.” A personal goal for me is to continue to be outgoing and to let God direct my path.
Visit frorealdoe.com for Valaencia’s latest blog posts. Also keep up with her on YouTube & Instagram, @FROREALDOE.