Let 2020 be the year you start doing more things that scare you. It’s time to live fearless.
I don’t know about you ladies, but I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to let fear stop me from succeeding. Here’s what I realize, when it feels scary to do something that’s when I should do it. If not I will continue to be stuck in the same place, thinking ” what if”. So this year I did some scary shit and I felt good after every scary moment. I felt good because I was finally doing some of the things I listed on my to-do list.
You may not be certain about 2020 and that’s fine. Just go for what you want. Do things on your to-do list. Dare yourself. Find different ways to get out of your comfort zone.
Remember this, the things that scare you are the same things that will turn you into the person you are meant to be.
So are you ready to do scare sh*t? Screenshot the list below or write each challenge down on a piece of paper.
Day 1 Today I dare to __________.
Day 2 Today I achieved mastery when________.
Day 3 Today I made a hard decision _____________.
Day 4 Today I ate ____________.
Day 5 Today I took a chance on __________.
Day 6 Today I mastered ___________.
Day 7 Today I said no to ___________.
Day 8 Today I stopped avoiding _______________.
Day 9 Today I accepted a compliment when _________.
Day 10 Today I asked for help from ______________.
Day 11 Today I stopped doing ______________.
Day 12 Today I let go of ________________.
Day 13 Today I got rid of ________________.
Day 14 Today I acknowledged that ______________.
Day 15 Today I was fearless when ___________.
Day 16 Today I surrendered to ________________.
Day 17 Today I took a chance on _________________.
Day 18 Today I reached out to____________________.
Day 19 Today I confronted ______________.
Day 20 Today I took a risk in_____________________.
Day 21 Today I said bye to __________________.
Day 22 Today I challenged myself to _______
Day 23 Today I did the hardest thing for me when I _________________.
Day 24 Today I did something worth doing like __________
Day 25 Today I traveled to _______.
Day 26 Today I was bold when ________.
Day 27 Today I resisted fear by ___________.
Day 28 Today I wore a color I’ve never worn before ________.
Day 29 Today I had the courage to ______
Day 30 I said yes to__________.
For the next 30 days take the challenge. I promise that you will feel Bold, Brave and Confident !
Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to go to therapy. It’s a big decision but now you have another equally important decision to make – what therapist are you going to choose? About two years ago, I made the decision to go to therapy. However, it took me some time, about a year and a half, to find a therapist that worked for me and helped me address my needs. In fact, it wasn’t until the third therapist that I spoke to that I found the right therapist for me. I tried out each therapist for at least 3 sessions before deciding to move onto another. Though it took me some time to find the right therapist, I learned that everyone can benefit from therapy. Once, I found the right therapist, I began to make significant progress with my mental health and gained some tools to help me address some issues. I encourage you to keep trying out different therapists if you know that you need that kind of help.
Before you start your search you want to take some time to think about what issues you want to have addressed in therapy. What goals do you want to accomplish through therapy? This is important because you’ll want to know if your potential therapist can help you address your issue. Once you have a clear goal or set of goals, you’ll want to have a list of questions to ask as you interview potential therapists. You can use the search finder on psychology today to look for therapists in your area. Aside from the typical questions about health insurance and office hours, below are some other questions for you to consider asking during your search.
What are your strengths and limitations as a counselor?
What is your general philosophy and approach to helping your clients?
What are your religious beliefs? Do you use them in your approach to helping your clients?
How often would you anticipate seeing me? For how long?
How do you set up counseling goals? What are they like? What does success look like for you?
What is a typical session like?
Do you give your clients homework assignments? What kind of homework/reading do you give patients?
How do I prepare for my first session?
How will we assess my progress?
My problem is _______. How would you go about treating that?
How can you help me and have you helped others like me or with this difficulty?
We hope these questions will give you the information and the insight that you need to choose the best therapist for you. No matter how long it takes, stick it out, the right therapist is out there for you and you will find them.
What are some other questions that you are going to ask when looking for a therapist? How long did it take you to find the right therapist for you? Share your stories and let us know in the comments below!
Typically followed by stress, anxiety, and depression, unemployment is an experience that can affect anyone at anytime. The level at which it negatively affects a person depends on their individual resources and coping strategies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is currently 3.7% totaling a whopping 6 million people. There are also 4 million involuntary part-time workers unable to secure full-time work or are dealing with a reduction in hours situation. Numbers of dissatisfied employees working low-paying or ill-suited positions are unclear, but all of the above mentioned situations can be extremely depressing.
Much of this depression may stem from a fear of failure, financial instability, history of episodes of depression, or losing a sense of purpose/direction. Much of our identity is intertwined with what we do for work. When this identity is underdeveloped or lost-even temporarily- depression can firmly plant it’s roots. While fixing depression is not always possible during situations such as these, there are plenty of ways to effectively manage symptoms.
Although negative feelings can be easily recognizable, the extent of emotional havoc can go unnoticed. This is why it’s important to recognize symptoms. Some people may cope by rejecting their feelings altogether. Stuffing them down, rather than acknowledging they exist can make the situation worse and make you less likely to seek help. Some symptoms to watch out for are irritability, not being able to sleep at night due to anxious thoughts, drinking or smoking more than usual, coping by engaging in anything excessively (eating, sex, etc.) feelings of worthlessness or self-deprecating thoughts.
Hustle And Market Yourself
This involves a little bit more than dropping applications in. This is a form of problem-focused coping, which is aimed towards eliminating the stressor altogether (job loss.) Problem-focused coping is consistently associated with obtaining reemployment. Create or update your LinkedIn. Tailor your resume and past job descriptions to the language and tone of the different companies to which you apply. Utilize social media to explore job opportunities. Facebook and Twitter especially have postings listed all the time and not just by hiring managers but by regular employees. Don’t be afraid to reach out to old acquaintances, your sibling’s ex’s, or people you went to high school with for information on who’s hiring or just to let them know what you do. It’s not weird it’s all part of adulting.
Studies show that having a strong circle in your corner for emotional support can help not only with depression, but with obtaining reemployment. The thought is that support helps with self-esteem, fighting against negative self-talk, and as an outlet for expressing emotions. People close to you can help you stay motivated in your job search as well as have their own eyes and ears out for job listings.
Individuals with higher levels of self-esteem believe that re-employment is certainly achievable. They believe they possess the right tools and talents to navigate the job search ahead. Unemployment has been shown to more strongly affect the mental health of men over women due to household responsibilities. However, not being able to contribute financially to the home is a tremendous stressor that can negatively affect anyone’s self-esteem-male or female. To Maintaining feelings of usefulness is important- whether that’s increasing your help around the house, learning new skills to increase marketability, or creating a schedule to add routine to your day.
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and many other platforms all share one thing in common: they’re vehicles that transport personal information to global society. Most people have an account with at least two of these. There appears to be an obsession or fixation with sharing pieces of our lives with the world and receiving some kind of feedback-whether it’s in the form of likes, comments, or private messages- just being acknowledged is a gratifying feeling. But as studies show, depression and anxiety can arise or worsen from too much time spent on social networks. There’s the risk that being attuned to everything going on in other’s lives makes us feel inadequate about our own.
Also, when some people receive more attention than us in the form of likes or praise, we may ask ourselves, “what’s wrong with me?” “What am I lacking where this person is always more noticed than I am?” Countless thoughts can run through our brains that feed into a routine of negative thinking patterns. This is why it’s important to build awareness on properly navigating the waters of social media.
Stay Away When You’re Feeling Grey.
If you’ve been feeling depressed lately, cutting down or eliminating daily social media usage until you feel better can help alleviate the weight of depression. Removing yourself from social media, if not just for a short time, can make you feel less lonely as well as cut down on those “fear of missing out” (FOMO) feelings.
Actively Engage With Others
Studies suggest passively browsing through news feeds, clicking through photos, and essentially “lurking” throughout social media is associated with a decrease in bonding and an increase in feelings of loneliness. This also can lead to envy and believing others’ have happier and successful lives. To reduce these feelings, it’s important to engage with other people. Drop comment here and there. Respond to comments. Join Facebook groups which are a more condensed, intimate setting and members are there for a specific purpose.
Balance With Productive Activities
Negative moods can also be influenced by the idea of “time wasted” spent browsing through meaningless content. Balance this with hobbies that make you feel good about yourself. Clean the house. Be engaged at work. (Even if you hate your job and feel like your current role is doing nothing to better society!) Try to incorporate at least 1-2 productive activities in your day so that if you do find yourself aimlessly scrolling through your news feed, it won’t feel as if you have no life.
Not interested in those baby ads? Too much sponsored content on subscription boxes you’ll never purchase? That girl at work keeps flaunting her new engagement ring when you know how miserable she is? Check out those three little dots in the corner of the post.Facebook allows you to hide particular ads and snooze people for 30 days. Many Twitter applications give you the option to hide certain content that may be driving you crazy. What are you reading or listening to right now? Based on your preferences, you should be able to filter content by topic for television, music, or books– anything of general interest.
Let Social Media Make Your Life Easier
Have a purpose when you use social networks. Utilize hashtags to discover informational reviews on a new date night restaurant. Your new hairstylist or manicurist may be only an Instagram hashtag away. Facebook Marketplace is amazing and plenty of discounted items are at your fingertips. On Snapchat, many people use their awesome image filters to take fun photos without even uploading them. Instead they download to their phone to glance over later or upload to a different network. Job hunting is another opportunity in which you can engage. If you’re in the job market, enter “type of job”+”hiring” in the Twitter search box and see what you find. Employment managers frequently use social media to advertise job openings. Social media is a powerful tool you have more control over how it affects your life than you may realize.
I’m a single Black mom and I am unashamedly so. I remember when I first discovered that I was pregnant, I was single at the time. Looking for some encouragement, I turned to the internet. Sadly, what I found was a ton of unwarranted vitriol and disrespect thrown towards Black single moms in particular. I found quote-unquote statistics used to back up the discrimination and hatred towards Black single moms. All I kept thinking was why? What crime had Black single moms committed to deserve it? Especially because Black single moms become single moms for various reasons. For me, it was so my son could grow up in a healthy environment versus around two parents in a toxic relationship. It was so that he could learn what healthy love looks like.
Almost 1 year and 8 months since embarking on this journey, I don’t, I repeat I don’t regret my decision to become a single mom. It has been at least speaking for myself worth it. I have learned so much about myself and life. Single motherhood pushed me to find my voice and to speak up for myself and my son. It taught me how to make a little go a long way. It helped me to honor my truest self. It demanded that I pursue every dream and goal knowing that my son is always watching my every move. It taught me not to fear to be alone. It helped me shed any ounce of shame or guilt that I felt because of other’s negative opinions about me. It taught me how to surrender and to let go of what and who no longer belongs in my life. It taught me not to settle in any aspect of my life.
Yes, there have been many tears cried silently at night but I remind myself of a few things and I want to remind other single Black moms of a few things too. For one we are not statistics and we are not tragically single mothers. Nor do we need rescuing or have to stop pursuing our dreams, goals, and aspirations for the rest of our lives. In fact, pursue all of them with reckless abandonment. I want to remind other single Black moms that you are enough. You just the way you are is enough for you, and for your child or children. Also, you are not a statistic or a number. In fact, you are not who they say you are. You are so much more. I want to remind other Black single moms that every single thing you do matters and you matter. You have made it this far in the journey, so please keep going. Even when you don’t know what to do, take the next step forward and the next step and the next. Just whatever you do, please keep going. Find the joy, in most of your days. Laugh, smile because you deserve to. Give yourself permission to be who you want to be in any given moment. I want to remind other Black single moms that we are not defined by our marital status, past, or what others say. Finally, if you know other Black single moms don’t be afraid to reach out, form support groups and make new friends. The journey does not have to be lonely.
Self help and self love comes in many different forms and is a constant revelation for many people. While some people turn to books and articles to learn more about the subject matter, many people are turning in to Instagram and watching Jada Pinkett-Smith drop gems on the topics.
The actress, wife, mother, and now host has been transparent in sharing her journey of self love as well as other inspirational lifestyle topics. She’s seen most times with her daughter, Willow and her mother on their show “Red Table Talk” dropping gems about relationships, love, friendships, even traumas. Smith invites you into her mind and her heart as she shares relatable issues she’s dealt with and is still dealing with in her late 40s. While the Red Table Talk is currently on hiatus until the next season, she is inspiring the masses with her weekly chats on her Instagram page.
Smith reminds her followers on a consistent basis that the most important love is self-love and the relationship you should constantly work on, is the one you have with yourself. One inspiring message she sent to her followers was, “The journey to self love can be a brutal process. Especially in those moments when we must deny ourselves that which is familiar…but harmful. Like releasing victim-hood and embracing personal power.“ She then added to her message,“Without personal power/self love, there is no foundation to build love for someone else because it’s the power needed to dissolve the ego which is our greatest obstacle to truly loving through its brutal and unkind nature.”
With the messages she sends, she also opens up about her own journey with mental health and overcoming trauma to reach the level of self love she has for herself today. She shares with the audience, her practices of “deep self love” and how to properly feed your spirit as well as heal yourself. A few things she shares is to watch what you eat, the things you consume via tv and social media, how you care for your body, and the people you surround yourself with to name a few.
Self love is a daily practice and not something that comes overnight. It is a process that requires consistency and the best version of you at all times.
Smith shares all of her inspirational gems on herInstagram.
I haven’t always trusted myself, not competely anyway. I can recall times where I made decisions based on how it would affect everyone else but me. I have put more faith into others than myself at times and ended up being the only one who paid for it. In learning to trust myself I have had to sacrifice comfortability for growth in learning and practicing both patience and grace daily. So how do you learn to trust yourself? It honestly is a growing experience that takes a lot of work and accountability but the rewards are endless. Here are five tips to learn to trust yourself.
1.Go with your gut
Have you ever had a gut instinct to do something and instead of acting on it you chose another route that ended up going horribly wrong when your gut instinct or first thought would have given you much better results? Why do we do this to ourselves so often? We end up over-thinking a simple solution and go against our own better judgement. Stop doubting yourself, your first “mind” is usualy the right one. Try going with your gut instinct more often and watch amazing results unfold.
2. Listen to yourself first
Your opinion should trump than anyone else’s. Mostly, the decisions made in your life typically tend to affect yourself the most, so why are you trusting your life in someone else’s hands more than your own? Perhaps it’s easier to blame someone other than yourself if things don’t go as planned. Maybe you are so untrusting of yourself that someone, anyone else’s idea are more appealing than your own. Ultimately you have to live with your decisions, no one else, as great as someone else’s opinions or ideas about your life may be, ultimately you have to trust yourself first and rely on yourself to make the best decisions for you.
3. Stop making excuses
Maybe in the past you made a huge mistake and are still punishing yourself for it. Perhaps you have never been good at making the right decision and always seem to be making another mistake. You can stop that cycle. Life is all about learning and growing. The truth is, you are never going to make the right decision if you don’t start trusting yourself to do so. You are going to make mistakes, it’s inevitable, but you are also going to grow and learn and perhaps make a few more mistakes along the way, but that is life. You will fall, but you will also fly.
Learning to trust yourself after years of not doing it can be extremely difficult. However, start leaning towards what feels right. Learn to tune out all of the other noise and simply practice trusting yourself . It’s not going to be easy at first but I promise it will be worth it.
“Hot girl summer” is all over social media, we are seeing it in people’s captions , on memes , twitter feeds and we’re even hearing it in conversations. The phrase belong to Texas Rapper Megan Thee Stallion aka Hot girl Meg. The rapper suggest that we all indulge in the hot girl vibes this summer and if you don’t know what this means keep reading.
Every girl who is screaming “Hot girl summer” right now is living their best life. The hot girl summer vibe is about doing you for you, hmmm sounds familiar right. We talk about this all the time, which is why we are here for it! It’s about enjoying life, being confident, having fun with your friends, securing the bag and not giving a damn about how people feel about you living your life. If you want to have a hot girl summer here’s what you can do.
Go on dates
Dress up and show up more
Book a Girl’s trip
Book a Romantic Trip
Attend after work spots this includes: lounges and happy hour
Stop worrying about that fu** Boy
Stick to your goals
Say ” No” to everything you don’t want
Work on Building your credit
Accept every job offer if you can
Register your business name
Block everything that’s in your way
Make sure you keep your crystals on you, good vibes only.
Megan you really got the net working with this one and if you know what I know you’ll own “hot girl summer” and I say that in my BOSS VOICE *coughs*
Social media gives us access to so many things these days. Our whole world and most of our interactions are digital. We’re able to have our favorite brands and celebrities right at our fingertips. Ten years ago, the digital space was not as accessible as it is today and the social media industry comes with a lot of pros and cons.
Recently, celebrity stylist and actress Karrueche spoke on a panel at Blavity’s Summit21 conference and gave her thoughts on social media. She expressed how there are many times we see people only posting their highlights. Now, not saying that people should show the behind the scenes and traumatic events of their life but there are times where we could benefit from seeing less highlights and more relatable content.
“I have a love/hate relationship with social media because it seems like nobody wants to be themselves anymore. There’s so much more life than what people show, people aren’t being real with their audience or even themselves.”
Karrueche told the audience full of young 20-somethings who probably scroll their Instagram feeds multiple times a day.
There are so many times we can get caught up in comparison when we see a person’s Instagram feed full of smiling and perfectly curated pictures.
Think about it, how does it make you feel when you visit someone’s page and their aesthetics are perfect and every caption is a testimony about how their life is seemingly perfect? At first, it seemed to be inspiring but now it’s something many people scoff at. The perfect life doesn’t exist, no matter how hard we try to create it and although we have the power to make our social media pages exactly what we want them to be, it doesn’t hurt to have a sense of authenticity that people can actually relate to.
People don’t have to use their Instagram or any other social feed as a diary or personal therapy session but it does help to know that the people you’re following are real and go through real things. It can be very discouraging to see someone always living “the high life” while you feel as though you’re constantly going through the motions of figuring life out. That’s not to say that we should depend on someone else’s sharing of information to depict our happiness or confidence, but in a world where we’re constantly sharing and receiving information, it’s impossible to not look at who’s doing what.
Many people now may have a love/hate relationship with social platforms, especially in this age of “influencers” who have to be picture perfect everyday. However, nothing is wrong with taking a quick break from social media to tap back into reality with your close family and friends. Or, take some type out to curate your feed with people and things that make you happy and you feel you can relate to. That may mean you can no longer follow certain celebrities and influencers but instead, follow brand owners and public figures that live exciting lives but are also real with their stories and day to day journeys.
It’s always great when a celebrity can relate to something you’ve been thinking or feeling. Feelings when it comes to social media are no different and everyone has their own woes but what matters is how you deal with them. Be social on your own terms with social media.
Have you read the book, The Secret, or seen the film? I saw the Netflix special though I have yet to read the book. The basis behind, The Secret, is that everything that happens in your life, good or bad, you are attracting with your thoughts. You want to be rich, think about being rich, visualize yourself with lots of money and how you will feel when you have that money. You want to find the love of your life? Think about all of the qualities of the person you want. Visit places where you might find that person, speak about that person as if they are already there. Sound crazy? To some it might, but if you’ve spent your whole life doing the opposite, thinking about all of the bills you have and lack of money, saying you will never find your soulmate, being down on yourself about any and everything, what’s the harm in trying something new? Let me tell you a story, actually a few stories about how I used the power of positivity to get what I wanted, or perhaps it was all coincidence, either way, it worked and still does.
When I was in high school there were four boys in my math class that I absolutely could not stand. They were rude, mean and made it their job to in some way do something to irritate me every single day in class. I literally could not stand being in their presence. So instead of me focusing on how much I hated having these boys around me, I started pretending they weren’t even there. I would ignore their every action and focus on the things and people I did like in that class. Within a few weeks of me doing this, literally every single boy that bothered me was out of that class. One of them moved, one got kicked out of the school and I have no idea what happened to the other one, but he was gone and I was happy. This particular thing has happened to me several times in my life. As an adult there have been people that my friends have been friends with that I felt extremely uncomfortable around. Aside from avoiding interactions with them, I’ve visualized them no longer being around and either they have physically moved, or my friend saw what I saw in them and stopped talking to them.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive in the face of opposition, actually it can seem nearly impossible, but if you do it and often, it becomes a habit that is hard to break. You start seeing all of the things you’ve visualized come into fruition and you begin to transform your life for the better. Another time I stayed positive and had an amazing outcome was about four years ago. I was new to LA and was still getting use to the LA poetry scene and trying to find my footing as well as doing as many side hustles as I could to make extra money. I remember I got called to do a focus group, I really didn’t want to go but I needed the money. I wish I could make this same amount of money doing something I love instead of sitting in a stuffy room for 2 and a half hours, I remember thinking to myself.
Moments later I received a text message from a friend from high school who had also relocated to LA. “You do poetry still right?” He asked. We chatted for a bit before he asked me if I wanted to perform for Tyrese for an intimate dinner at his house. I was so excited. He gave me a number to call which I did. The number however was disconnected. For some reason I kept getting ready anyway. The dinner was in less than an hour and I hadn’t even reached the contact person. I called my friend back and let him know what was going on, he gave me a new number which kept going to voicemail. I left a message, got in the shower, did my makeup. The survey time was fast approaching as well. Despite not wanting to go, I needed the money but for whatever reason I kept visualizing myself performing at Tyrese’s house, wondering if he really had a Starbucks in his backyard as I did my makeup. Around 20 minutes before the dinner I finally got a call back from his contact person. “Are you Dope?” Was the only question he asked. “Yea, I’m dope.” Was all I could think to say as I bit my bottom lip hoping I would get this opportunity, moments later I got a text message with the address and information and low and behold, I was getting paid the exact same amount I would have from doing the survey! I hadn’t even considered the fact that I would be getting paid. I literally had spoken what I wanted into existence. I ubered to Tyrese’s house, felt a bit awkward for awhile as there were only a handful of people there and I of course knew no one, and my performance was supposed to be a surprise so I also had to pretend like I actually knew him, or somebody, anybody there. I met a few of the other people he had performing there, some of which have went on to do amazing things in entertainment, performed, ate an amazing meal prepared by his personal chef, listened to stories around his fire pit about triumph and love and divorce and following your dreams, received the biggest hug from Tyrese, received my payment and ended up sticking around his house after he left, fellow shipping with his friends and entertainers and even helped with the dishes.
Despite having no idea what was going to happen, I stayed positive. I kept visualizing myself at his house. I refused to let fear creep in and tell me to just go to the survey. I refused to give up. I kept thinking no matter what, this opportunity is for me and it was and I had a great time.
As I said before, it’s not always easy choosing to think positive but it literally takes as much energy as it does to think negatively. When I am low on money I don’t cry about it. I don’t say woe is me or stare at bills or low balance notifications on my email, in fact I delete them. There is no reason for me to see a notification saying my balance is low if I already know that, that will only breed more low balances. Instead I think about what else I could do to make extra money, feel whatever emotion I would if I had it and go about my day and it always comes. There is always an opportunity for me to make money. In fact, I remember one time I was at the mall low on funds and I saw a dress I really wanted. I knew I didn’t have the money in my account but I just thought, what if? I checked my balance and there was an extra $300 in my account that I had no clue where it came from. It turned out that very day I had received a refund check from somewhere and my mom had deposited it into my account and forgot to call me. In order for this to work, you have to actually believe it and believe that you are deserving of what you want.
1. Ignore things that aren’t aligned with your wants in life
I didn’t like the way the boys were treating me in class, so I took away their power, my attention. I don’t like seeing negative things or accounts so I don’t pay attention to them. When I have the money to pay them, of course I do but if it’s a bill that I can’t pay in full I don’t stare at it all day and allow myself to become stressed. Instead I think about money, in a positive way.
2. Act as if
I could have easily not gotten in touch with Tyrese’s people. They may have found someone else, I could have stopped calling, my friend could have never called me about the opportunity. A million things could have gone wrong but I didn’t care. I didn’t allow myself to get stressed out when the guy wasn’t answering. I could have just went and did the survey. I could have felt like I wasn’t ready and just stayed home. I didn’t though. I kept visualizing myself being there, and eventually I was there, and by the way he does have a Starbucks in his backyard.
3. Focus on the positive
So what you gained five pounds, got cheated on, lost your dog, your kid said they hated you and wished that they were adopted, things happen. By focusing on that, guess what you’ll get —more of it. Focus on the positive. You still aren’t as big as your neighbor, your cat didn’t run away, your kid is probably just going through a mood and will definitely apologize when they want something. Life is funny, great things happen and some pretty horrific things happen as well. When we are focusing on the positive things though, even the negative things don’t seem as bad and we begin to attract more amazing things to our lives.
Today try a few of these tips out. Practice being more positive, focusing on the good, visualizing what you want and disdaining the things that you don’t. I hope you get everything you want!