3 Tips to Stay Motivated When You’re Ready to Quit

Before writing this blog, I felt like a hypocrite. I don’t always feel motivated or have an innate desire to push through. It’s hard sometimes. But, I guess, that’s what makes us human. However, in my little stint, I discovered 3 tips to help me get motivated again.

  1. Remember Your Why

Whatever you do, if it is any value to you then you have to remind yourself of why you do it in the first place.

Remembering your why is probably the best, most important way to stay motivated.

Because motivation is a fluid concept. It comes and goes, has its highs and lows. But your why, that NEVER changes. And so, you should hang onto your why pretty often.

2. Ask for Help

The thing about motivation is, it can be transferred. There have been many people who’ve mentored me and have not even known it. And the ones who I do know have provided even more help. For me, and dare I say most black women, have an idea that asking for help makes us look weak. And that is so far from being true. I just wish we could understand this more but asking for help makes you human. What does make you look weak, is feeling unmotivated and staying there, without using the resources around you.

3. Celebrate Your Progress

Looking back at where I started just does something for me. And knowing that I’m no longer at that place supplies more comfort and motivation.

If you’re at the point where you feel like quitting, don’t.

Remind yourself of where you came from and celebrate it.

My hope is that you, at least, find some truth in my words. If you are ready to quit, please know that I have been there too. These three steps, over time, have helped me find my motivation again.

Keep Being Honest,

Shanisha.

Girl Talk: Black Women & Mental Health

Honestly Me’s Girl Talk Series is about all the topics women love. This is Girl Talk Series: Episode 2 | Black Women & Mental Health. If you are not familiar with the series, you simply suggest a topic by going to the link here and fill out the suggestion box, so I can discuss it with some of my girlfriends.

For this episode I have my girlfriend, Marissa, with me to discuss how black women can maintain mental health plus other tips and tricks. You can follow her on IG at ms_brown1

Year End Review

It has been a remarkable year for Honestly Me! This post is dedicated to the top 3 blog posts readers have enjoyed most from 2020. Cheers to an even better 2021!

First up, with the MOST views, is The Girl Talk Series. This is a relaunch and rebrand of something I started back in 2018. However, I am so glad I did. Girl talk is simply a conversation I have with my girlfriends about anything from relationships to mental health and the beauty of it is, you get to choose what we discuss, seriously click here to fill out the suggestion box. Conversations like these are what need to be had especially during uncertain times as this. I had an honest talk with my good friend, Danielle. She talked about being a single mom during a pandemic and all that comes with it. Click here to watch the full video on Girl Talk Series: Being A Single Mom.

Next, is the Tip Tuesday series. This is a new edition to the blog I started in 2020. I felt like my readers needed something a little different to add to my usual content and, I’m glad my feelings led me in the right direction. 7 Side Hustles Creatives Can Start Right Now had the most views for Tip Tuesday. Click here to read the full post.

Finally, National Poetry Month, as usual, had a great turn out. The poem with the most views was When the Smoke Clears by, my friend, Holli Locher. She tells a beautiful story of love and lost, heartbreak and healing. You can read the entire poem by clicking here.

And dassit, fam.

2020 has been quite a year but I want to focus on the positive because there’s enough negative going around.

Keep Being Honest,

Shanisha.

2020 Wrap-Up

Let’s be honest. I think we all can agree when I say that 2020 has been a ——- year. And you can fill in the blank with what ever word you like. For me, it has been surprise after surprise. Let’s go down the list. First and most annoying is the pandemic that is COVID 19 and the subsequent quarantine. Then came racial tension (click here to read No More), an entire circus posing as a presidential election, bold opinions (especially on social media. Audacity has been on sale ALL year) and let’s not forget, death (the black panther, the black mamba), disease, job loss, home school/online school, along with everyone trying to adjust to a new life.

I do not want to belittle any of the reality of this year or what some people have experienced. I realize I may be privileged in that respect. So, I do want to recognize that fact while providing some optimism.

To bring this year to a close I’d like to focus on the good that’s happened. So, let’s wrap up 2020 on a high note.

  • Passions Awakened

So many people have SO much time on their hands and they’re picking up old passions they’ve let die out. I mean, I’ve seen people crafting, podcasting, YouTubing, writing books, starting small businesses. It’s truly amazing. The good that came from this year for me was the current memoir I’m working on that doubles as my thesis for grad school. It’s amazing to have had worked on this story over a time when the world has literally came to a standstill. But maybe your passion looks different than mine and that’s okay, boo. Let’s celebrate the small wins.

  • Meaningful Connections

Time has afforded us opportunities to make meaning connections with loved ones. Some of us have cultivated better relationships with the people in our homes. And that, fam, is a win. Life can get crazy busy and often we forget that what matters most is right in the four walls of our home.

  • The Online Advantage

The world has literally shifted online. And that may have been the case before, but it has accelerated. Almost everyone I know works from the comfort of their own home. Which that’s a plus. This trend, I’m sure, will last until after this strange quarantine has ended. For me, I’ve learned that most of the students I teach are better focused online than in the classroom. Which is a win win. I know we all crave the day when we can actually walk into a public space without wearing a mask or hoisted hand-sanitizer. But until that day, online is where it’s at.

I know we all are hoping 2021 will be a necessary escape from the last 12 months. So, may the new year bring you nothing but good and if you happen to have some bad sprinkled in, remember that you’ve been through trenches before and came out alright.

Cheers to better days,

Shanisha.

Girl Talk Series: Being A Single Mom

Family, this is Honestly Me’s pilot episode of the Girl Talk Series. If you are not familiar with the series, you simply suggest a topic by going to the link here and filling out the form, so I can discuss it with some of my girlfriends.

For this episode, I invited my friend, Danielle, a mother of two, to share some of her wisdom with us. You can follow her on IG @e_vonnne

7 Blog Posts from My Archive Every Dreamer Should Read

Hey, fam. If you’re just joining Honestly Me, then Welcome! And enjoy the ride. If you’ve been rocking with me for a while, then you’ll be familiar with these archives. They’re oldies but goodies!

Why are these for dreamers you ask? Because I, too, am a bit of a dreamer. Well, actually, my life can be described as one (but we’ll get to that in another post). These archives are meant to inspire (dreamers crave inspiration) educate (who ever not needed education) and propel you to dream big (because dreaming small is stupid). ** To view these blogs, make sure your click on the link embedded in the section titles**

  1. Celebrate You!

Celebrate the essence of you. Failures included. Failures are signs that you are doing something right. Last time I checked, no dreamer ever became a full time, bonified dreamer without some failure in their life. So, celebrate the failures and celebrate those small wins too!

Tiny progress is the fuel of a dreamer.

2. For Those in Waiting

This blog post is all about waiting. I know, I know it may seem like a curse word to you. But, fam, it is necessary. Your dreams won’t manifest overnight (okay, maybe they will but that is extremely uncommon). The waiting period may seem like a weird limbo, but it is purpose in the waiting.

3. Reverse Self Sabotage

I have had a few stints with self-sabotaging thinking. But it is completely toxic. Every dreamer must know how to shift their thinking first! Success, or anything worth having, begins in the mind.

4. Know Your Limits

Every dreamer has a limit. Whether it be time or talents, everyone has a point where we cannot go anymore. And that’s okay! Learn from your mistakes, plan better, and do better. Once you identify what your limits are (through trial and error) then you can better plan for them in the future.

5. What’s Your Motivation?

The thing about Motivation is, it’s a fluid concept. This blog is for those who have episodes of high and low motivational sparks. But the key is to NOT lose that motivation! Hold on to it, boo.

6. Challenge Yourself

Every single dreamer faces challenges of all kinds. But that does not mean you should stop facing them. Keep pushing, keep showing up, keep going. Your worst failure can be not trying hard enough.

7. Do What Scares You

Doing what scares you can sound, well, scary, but it’s absolutely necessary. I don’t know about you, but fear can be crippling. It’s like the last thing anyone needs. But fear taught me that it is necessary to propel you forward. I mean, if I could do it, without the ideation of fear lingering over me, would I still have the same fervor to do said thing? Hmm… I think not. So, I’ve been doing it scared lately. Yeah, I said do it SCARED. I’m sure a lot of dreamers have been doing it scared for a long time and are still amazed at how their dreams came into fruition. It’s possible. So, get out there and do it. No matter how fearful you are.

Learning Consistency

2020 has just been a year. I mean, everything that could go wrong all went wrong at one time (Mary Mary – “Shackles” mood) but seriously, I had not envisioned the year to unravel this way. But I digress…

The blessing I found in it, is that I learned consistency.

 A few things I am being consistent in currently is my health. And I know what y’all thinking (I know I need to eat healthy, get moving, etc) but this post is not about that at all (you can click here for my post on my weight loss journey). So, many of you don’t know this, but I have battled with HS (hidradenitis suppurativa) since I was in high school. If you’re not familiar with what HS is then to sum it up briefly, it is an autoimmune condition that presents itself as inflammation in the skin in form of boils and cysts located in places where hair or skin meets. Or, more plainly, boils that grow, drain and don’t go away.

 My story is that I had to learn consistency. And that is focusing and pulling all of my energy into one, and only one, thing.

I find, for me, being consistent with many things at once can cause a serious case of overwhelm-ment.

So, my one thing was a new diet I began that is supposed to put my HS into remission. There is, currently, no cure or cause for HS. Thus, some believe a change in diet works. And let me tell you, this diet, ain’t no joke. The autoimmune protocol diet, or AIP for short, is sister to the paleo diet but much more restrictive. On the list of foods to avoid are diary and eggs; all grains and legumes including beans and corn; nuts; gluten; yeast; all berries and some apples; nightshade vegetables – tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers (hot sauce, too); mushroom; fermented foods (think olives, kombucha); all sugar, fried foods and vegetable based oils; and alcohol and caffeine.

I know right? Totally unrealistic and uncalled for! Some of you may be looking at that list like – so, what can you eat? And it’s been interesting discovering that BUT, what’s more, is that I found that I am a lot stronger than I thought.

Diets, like all good things, require an unbelievable amount of consistency. Since I began this in August, I have not had one cheat day. Truth is, if I did, I would have had to start all over again. Research shows that those on the AIP diet begin to see changes in their health between 30 and 90 days and I was not about to start all over again at day one.

Here’s what I learned about consistency:

  • Find support

My family and close friends who know what I’m doing and why have been hugely supportive in my struggle. Some have even made recipes to help me with the diet. Others have prayed for me. And others still have made sure they stopped brining around foods I can’t have. Talk about real love? Get you a tribe or find a support group on Facebook for whatever you want to be consistent with.

  • Champion yourself

No one truly knows exactly what I go through or exactly how it feels to deal with my own unique form of HS. So, in those moments when I find no one else is rooting for me, I push myself not to eat philly cheesesteaks, fried chicken and chili. Championing me, patting my own self on the back and tracking my own wins have been the single most beneficial aspect of staying consistent. Progress is not made through leaps and bounds but with each small step.

  • Plan ahead

If I hadn’t planned my meals ahead of time, then I’d be forced to eat whatever I could quickly get my hands on. And that, my friend, is a recipe for disaster. Planning out whatever you plan to do in a daily, weekly, or monthly planner is just plain smart.

These steps to consistency I learned are exactly what I need to keep striving. And I know they’ll help you too.

Keep being honest,

Shanisha.

7 Myths About Natural Hair Debunked

  1. It’s Not Good Hair

Idek why this is still a thing. I thought it was exposed with Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair but for those who are hard of hearing, didn’t see it or refuse to believe the truth, I’ll summarize his thesis: Good hair is any kind that grows out of your scalp. And for those in the back, read it again.

Natural hair isn’t better or worse than any other hair style.

But it needs to be considered good because black women have been told the opposite since the first time a black woman covered her hair with a wrap.

  • It Doesn’t Grow

Girl, stop it! You know your hair grows! When was the last time you saw new growth and you knew it was time to take your braids out? Or the last time you noticed your dyed hair needed to be dyed again? That’s because your hair is growing, fam.

If you are a natural girl, then don’t get frustrated with the pace your hair is growing. Black women’s hair does take longer to grow compared to our white sister’s whose hair grows twice as fast in half the time. However, this does not mean that your hair does not grow. In fact, your natural is much longer that what you actually see. Ever heard of shrinkage? I know, it bothers me too. But I would never say that my natural hair is too short or doesn’t grow, which are both lies.

  • It’s Unmanageable

So, with any new skill, maintaining and managing natural hair has to be learned. Think about it, we’ve learned how to make and keep relaxed hair straight. Specifically speaking, we’ve learned that water, sweat and any form of H2O is a no go for relaxed hair. We’ve learned what box perm won’t burn our scalp, which hairstylist is best and when we need to go in for a touch up. We’ve learned how long to leave the relaxer in, how much Vaseline will protect our edges, and which blow dryer and flat iron works best. So, why not give the same dedication and tenacity to learning what products work for your own God-given, hair type?

  • It’s Not Soft

You ever felt a plush pillow made of pure cotton? Yep, I’ll leave you with that.

  • It’s Expensive

In a word: no.

This one echoes number three. You do not need to become a product junkie or continue to use one product if it doesn’t work well for your hair. When first transitioning or big chopping, there is a bit of a learning curve. So, I suggest doing some research first in order to avoid wasting money. But once you find a product line (and there are many, which I think is amazing. There’s never been as many products for natural girls than there are right now. #WINNING) that works best for you then spending money on one or two products won’t seem so costly. The cost that you spent previously going to salons or buying boxed creamy-crack are now funneled to buying products your hair will love.

  • It Takes Too Much Time

Natural hair is time consuming only if you don’t plan it out… I didn’t mistype. You have to get yourself, and your hair, into a routine. Choose which day of the week is wash day, pick a time when you will do protein, hot oil, or deep conditioning treatments, set aside time for pampering your hair. All of that time you used to spend in the salon damaging your curly kinks will now be spent treating them with care.

  • It Doesn’t Look The Way I Want It to Look

If you are basing your ideal of what your hair should look like from an influencer, social media stranger, or friend or even family, then stop.

That is the easiest way to set yourself up for disappointment. Natural hair is different from person to person, that means everyone’s hair type will vary. And the way your hair looks will be determined by what products you use, how well you eat, your sleeping habits and how often you move. I know that may sound trivial but it’s true. You have to learn to love your hair, at whatever length and whatever type. Embrace the shrinkage (because it ain’t going nowhere) and reject the fake ideals you’ve made up in your mind of what it should look like. Accept what you have, no, love what you have.

Keep Being Honest,

Shanisha

Peace Playlist

Peace seems to be something this world is in short supply of lately but I’ve been fighting to stay wrapped up in it as tightly as possible.

All month, I have been desperately finding simple ways to keep my peace, especially because the world around me is everything but. You can visit my instagram page for all 30 ways I find peace in the chaos.

However, instead of discussing all 30 ways I find peace, I wanted to focus on the one I think everyone responds to pretty well, & that is music.

I think people can underestimate the power music has, I mean, it can be found in a coffee shop, an elevator, birthday parties, and concert halls. It all serves one purpose: to create a desired atmosphere.

I want to give you the tools to foster peace in your home, work space, gym, or classroom… virtually, of course.

I created a playlist on Apple Music called “Soul Rest.” Feel free to add it to your library as you see fit.

Some artists include Natalie Lauren, H.E.R, Tobe Nwigwe.

If you don’t have Apple Music or just prefer to listen on YouTube, check out some songs listed below. And, please, remember to enjoy them and find the peace you need in the chaos.

Keep Being Honest,

Shanisha.

The inviting lyrics and smooth beats create a dope bop for vibing out.
Tobe is known for his tribal, heartfelt lyrics. Pair those with Nell’s expertise and you have a bomb duo.
This song has so much sauce, words cannot even describe its greatness. From the bass guitar to the soulful voice of H.E.R, the whole ensemble works to create a bit of peace.