4 Quotes I Hope All Teen Girls Hear and Believe

22 Jun

Written by Miss Iowa Teen USA 2017 Carley Arnold 

Hi readers! My name is Carley Arnold and I am your Miss Iowa Teen USA. It has been a wild, crazy, fun, amazing, challenging, breath-taking…  (the list could go on and on) year so far! I will NEVER get tired of wearing those four bold and empowering words across my chest. I have had the opportunity to experience so many once-in-a-lifetime things over these last 250 days. Through all of my opportunities and experiences, not only as Miss Iowa Teen USA, but also in my 18 years of life, I feel that I have learned a lot and want to share a few very important and powerful quotes that I hope will touch and stick with you. These quotes are a part of who I am and I carry them with me every day. I hope to pass them on to everyone I can.



“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” –Neale Donald Walsch

I must start with this quote because I can honestly tell you I would not be here, writing this blog for all of you, without it. My wonderful mom has always given me this advice throughout my whole life, and I could not be more thankful for her, or it. When I was younger I was very shy. My mom had to push me to go to new friends’ birthday parties, to get up on stage and perform at my dance recitals, and to get out on the field at my tee ball games. I hated it at the time, but I began to realize I always had fun; soon enough I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone any chance I got. Going into middle school and high school, I was always up for a new challenge and wanted to be involved in everything I could be because of this advice. I have always lived and breathed sports, so I was a four sport athlete, year-round. With each club or sport I was involved in came new challenges. Luckily I have a nice little necklace with this quote on it to remind me that being outside of my comfort zone is a great thing!

Going into my state pageant in October, there was no doubt I felt a little bit out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone was in a gym or in my softball cleats, not in heels on a stage. This was my first pageant EVER, but I was prepared and ready to face it head-on! I looked at every challenge as a new way to put myself out there, try something new, learn more than I knew before, and most importantly – I had FUN! Winning was the cherry on top! I worked hard, made amazing new friends, pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and my dream came true!

When you feel like you’re getting close to that fine line at the end of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to take that last step. If you have something you’ve always wanted to do – DO IT! You will only regret the chances you don’t take. Leap over the end of your comfort zone with your eyes wide open, because you really don’t know what you are missing or what kind of opportunities will come your way. It could just change your life…



“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.” –Brian Tracy

To everyone out there reading this… please remember this quote! This is extremely important and can apply to SO many situations in life.

For me, I apply this quote to two main parts of my life. The first way that I relate to this quote is the fact that I come from a very small town. I am from Chariton, Iowa; population 4,227. My graduating class in high school was around 100 students. We grew up together and went through every little thing in our lives together. There are wonderful things about a small town – like being able to go all the way through school with your best friends, or driving around town and swapping friendly waves with everyone you pass by.  I wouldn’t change my hometown for anything, but there are some things to overcome growing up in a small town.  The main one is having to work hard to not have a “small town” mentality. It is easy to feel stuck in your small town, or to feel like you are looked at differently because you are from a small town.  I am very thankful to have grown up in Chariton with such a loving and supportive community behind me; I am just excited to see and do anything and everything I can in this world! I will go whichever way the wind takes me – working hard all the way.

The second way that I really apply this quote to my life is through one of my biggest struggles. When I was thirteen years old, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which basically means that the body attacks itself. When I was diagnosed I was shocked. I was thinking, “This is the disease that I hear people’s grandparents always have. How is this possible?” But it is real, and I had to learn to live with it. I’m not going to lie, it was hard trying to manage this disease on top of all of my sports, but I am competitive and there was no way I was sitting out.  So, as time passed on, I had my good days and my bad days, but overall I am thankful for this disease in a weird way. It made me stronger and pushed me to work even harder to live a healthy lifestyle.

So, when you read this quote, just remember you can achieve anything you set your mind on. It does not matter where you are from, or what you have been through. Work hard for your goals and never look back. Set your sights high and be resilient in your journey for your dreams. You really can accomplish anything that you truly believe you can, no matter where you start.



“Happy girls are the prettiest girls.” –Audrey Hepburn


I am often asked, “Are you ever not smiling?”, and quite frankly – my answer is no. I am so thankful to have a million reasons to smile in my life. I am where I want to be, I have been blessed to represent the wonderful state of Iowa at Miss Teen USA, and I am surrounded by the greatest supporters and people I love. What more could I possibly need?

It is not that I haven’t ever had reasons to frown thrown my way. I just choose to overcome these obstacles and rise above. The teenage years can be hard. We are trying to figure out who we are, others are trying to tell us who we should be, and some peers try to tear us down because they think it will make themselves feel bigger. You just cannot listen! Stay happy, stay hopeful, and stay positive. Everything works itself out in the end and you are meant to be where you are at this exact second for a purpose; you just may not know what that is yet. Always be the bigger person and wear a smile across your face.

We attract those with similar goals and attributes. Surround yourself with uplifting people and those that make you happy. There is no way you will not succeed when you encompass yourself in a group of friends and family who push you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

Happy girls really are the prettiest. Let your light shine and never forget to put on your greatest accessory – a smile.



“I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect – they are much more interesting.” –Marc Jacobs


I am odd, I am imperfect, and I am proud of it. Perfection is overrated. I am 100%, unapologetically myself. I have flaws, I mess up sometimes, I am clumsy, I occasionally (always – lol) spill food on myself when I eat, and I’m a little goofy, but that is ok. I am me and I am confidently beautiful.

Girls, please do not let anyone else’s opinion define you. Other people are going to have opinions on the way you dress, how you do your hair, what you find interesting, what you look like, where you come from, what size you are, even what you like to eat or what you enjoy watching on TV. These opinions do not matter!

It is so easy to get caught up in the little things in life. With so many outside influences, like social media, around us today, you can get wrapped up in it all pretty quickly.  Stay true to who you are. I will be the first to tell you that yes, I like to dress up, but there is nothing better than a nice pair of sweatpants. My hair is messy and in a bun the majority of my day-to-day life. I like to geek out to Harry Potter movies, or vicariously live in a fairytale when watching Disney princess movies with my best friends. I am not a size 0 or 2 and I never will be. I am built athletically, I have muscles, and I am proud of them!

All of these things make up who I truly am. I have come to love my body, my personality, and all of the little quirks that make me, me. So stay true to you. There is no one else in the world that can be you. Love yourself for all of your flaws and everything that makes you unique. Be proud to be odd and imperfect, it really is more interesting! Never apologize for being who you are and always stay confidently beautiful.




Be Happy. Be Confident. Be Kind. Be Brave. Be Courageous. But most importantly – Be You! This is Carley Arnold, Miss Iowa Teen USA, signing off… Stay imperfectly perfect.


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