- Confidence is the best accessory.
A lot people think confidence comes from what you have (a pretty face, a nice body, new clothes, hair, etc.) but confidence isn’t any of that. I think we spend too much time placing confidence in “things” (a steady job, a happy family, a new home) that we don’t grow confidence inside us. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more repulsive to me than a pretty face and an ugly heart. And that’s for men and women. True confidence comes from within and isn’t attached to something or someone else.
2. Be You
The older I get the less I care what people think of me. And that, my friend, is a super power. Seriously, what you say or do, and look and wear is entirely up to you. When you start living for others then you begin to lose yourself.
3. Time is essential
I don’t know how many times I have to tell myself to be PATIENT, almost everyday, but it’s an art I’m honing daily. The truth is: this moment, right now, you’ll never get back. So, learn to cherish them.
4. Be Good to Your Body
This should be a duh. But some still don’t get it. You deserve a long, healthy life. And I don’t wanna get all preachy on you but what you put into your body matters. It may be challenging to change it (See Challenge Yourself) but it’s totally worth it!
5. Create Something
God gives us the ability to gain wealth, so gain it. Use what gifts he’s given you for your good (And his, too). Be your own boss. Make something you own, sell it, or keep it. Whatever you choose to create be proud of it.
6. Laugh Often
This should be a duh too… because it’s good for you. Make it a daily habit.
7. Love Yourself
Man, I love me some me and that’s not ego; that’s truth. When you know who are, others opinions don’t matter so much.
And, no, that’s not a curse word… Put yourself on a budget, especially if you want to live well and leave a legacy for future generations behind you.
9. Grow Up
Lol, I know it sounds comical but you’d be surprised at how many people my age behave like children. Which brings me to my next point…
10. Wisdom is Sexy
Sometimes you just gotta be the bigger person. (See Wisdom is Sexy) Learn some lessons, fail and fail again. The thing is, growth is a choice and wisdom looks good on you.
11. Practice Self Care
You gotta take care of yourself inside. Grow, learn, and heal. Go see a therapist if you must. Sometimes flowers do grow from the concrete.
12. Be Strong
I know us women think that strength looks like being ultra independent, self-made and blah, blah, blah. But sometimes strength looks like asking for help; or being help for someone else. And, no, you’re not weak or less than because you ask (or actually need help). Give yourself permission to ask. Find strength in interdependence.
13. Live Peaceably With All
This one may be rough. Living peaceably with everyone means you must put your flesh (emotions, desires) to the side. No, don’t silence your voice or stop standing up for what you believe is right, but let’s do that in love; let’s honor one another in our actions and speech.
Life is a breath of smoke. And I know that’s kind of heavy for this type of blog post. But I was thinking about life (yeah, the whole beginning, middle and end) this past week and I realized that it only gets shorter. I have been alive 25 years and the years are seeming to run together (don’t judge me because I’m young, lol). But seriously, after this whole big movie we call life is over; what will you have done that actually mattered? What will people remember you for? What one thing were you put on this big ‘ole earth to do? And are you actually living a life that fulfills it?
15. Feel It
Hmmmm… Tack a deep breath... Think of those emotions you tuck away and have become numb to? Feel them. But don’t stay there, dig deep and release that thing. It sounds counter-intuitive but it’s a form of healing… Now exhale.
16. Free Yourself
I wrote a poem this week titled I Forgive You; Have A Great Life. And it was totally a venting session. I realized there was a block in my writing because I hadn’t dealt with certain situations. I mean, who wants to address the ugly all the time? But I know if I wanted to be free, I had to be honest with where I was, and stretch myself to be the person I desire to be. And the stretching is the hard part. My freedom came from writing that poem, crying it out, and (finally) forgiving those individuals and their words that held me in bondage (See Free Yourself from People Pleasing). After I wrote that poem, I burned it. (See the full video here). There is freedom in confession. You deserve some.
17. Forgive Well
Forgive well and often. (See Forgive Well). Once you understand that you are capable of hurting others just as much as they hurt you, then this will be a lot easier. No one, NO ONE is perfect. No matter how much you try to get it right, please everyone, or apologize for an offense/misunderstanding; they still happen. So, the best thing you can do for yourself is forgive others because that’s exactly what you want them to do to you.
18. Silence is Necessary
I’m the type of person that is drained from too many people, and if you’re the opposite then hear me out. Many people avoid silence because, at some point, you’ll have to be alone with yourself, your thoughts, and your being; and some don’t like who and what they are. But silence is necessary. It’s there you can begin the work of finding out exactly who you are, address those broken places, reverse those negative thoughts and become a better you.
19. Community is Necessary
This does not contradict the last one. You see, they’re both necessary. In healthy community you’ll find people who will push back. They’ll uncover those blind spots in you. They’ll keep you accountable to becoming the better you you desire to be. And that never happens alone. You need other people. I had to learn this the hard way. I don’t trust easy and I don’t like sharing my innermost feelings, but doing this with the right people can yield incredible benefits for growth.
20. Prayer Changes Everything
Prayer is the best thing you can do for yourself. And not just something to do when things are going well or going wrong, but it’s the practice of intimately communicating with the lover of your soul.
21. Relationships Matter
I know imma make some of y’all mad but, listen, singleness isn’t a curse and marriage isn’t a reward. Read it again.
Finding “the one” isn’t the end all be all. Life doesn’t magically start after you’re married. Shoot, I am the one. I have purpose, calling and people to reach right now, while I’m single. And so do you. And I know y’all praying to God, asking him to send you that husband, and that’s fine. And I know y’all probably complaining to God in the same breath.
Fam, stop it. God knows you’re single, he knows you’re sexually frustrated, he knows how difficult it is to date, and every and all things in-between. The best part about that is: he knows. He also knows if you’re wasting your single season or not. The relationships you have with your family, your co-workers, your friends MATTER and will influence your relationship with your spouse. How you problem-solve, communicate, and are vulnerable with those you’re in relationship with now will determine how you do the same with your future spouse. These things matter and should not be taken lightly.
22. Have Fun
And I hate to admit it, but this was hard for me too. Hear me out, now, I’ve been challenged in this area forever it feels like. It isn’t that I don’t like to have fun; I think I haven’t actually figured out how. I’ve been bound to the opinions, thoughts, approval of others for so long that it affected my fun-life. No-kidding. People, don’t put a cap on fun. If you like spending your days at Barnes and Noble and dancing to Go-Go beats all night, then have-at-it. Tip: you can’t get fun back; you can only experience it.
23. Moisture is A Must
I don’t think this needs to be explained. But, people, moisturize your skin, hair, etc. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
24. Stand for Love
I bought a shirt from Target the other day (don’t judge me) that had a black and white sketch of a man upholding a cut out of a huge heart shape on his back. And that’s what the world actually needs more of. Choose to stand for love even when no one else is.
Wanna know how to level up in life? Focus. Your business, book, blog, etc will require this! (see Challenge Yourself). Don’t give up on your dreams. Focus is the thing that will turn your dreams into reality.