The day before Superbowl 50 was a very busy, but lazy day for me. I had been under the weather, and was extremely busy [and stressed] preparing for a Super
Bowl Beyoncé party. After spending over six hours running from store to store, I came home, pulled out my leftover breakfast from my favorite Mexican restaurant, devoured it within a minute, and went straight to sleep. Itis level was on a 1,000.
Before that day even started, I told myself I would run a few errands, pull out my computer, and put in some much needed work on my blog and anticipated personal website. Instead, I ate and took my lazy ass to sleep. Motivation? Bish where?
It didn't take long for my heavenly nap to be interrupted by calls and texts from friends asking if I had heard the new Beyoncé record. Words like "black power," "Hurricane Katrina," and even "anti-police" were included in the headlines as I searched for a place I could feast my eyes on the video. I had to brace myself before pushing play, but was pleasantly surprised.
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Beyoncé's song "Formation," oozes Black culture, greatness, oppression, and female empowerment all within four minutes and fifty-three seconds. Besides the fact that it is very fitting with today's current events, and has caused a ton of controversy, protests, and plenty of debates, "Formation" is serving up a platter of inspiration for the modern girl boss.
After watching the video, I was motivated to get off my behind and put in work for me more often- even when I work over 50 hours a week for one job and 10 hours for another. As I always preach to my friends and family, "Don't work all day for someone else and none for yourself." It's amazing how easy it is to preach to other people when you're struggling with the same thing.
While there are over 9,584 ways that this song gave me life, I only have so much time and you only care to read so much so I will give you just 5 takeaways that stood out.
1. Never Be Afraid To Evolve, But Don't Forget What Makes You YOU
"Earned all [the] money but they never take the country out me. I got hot sauce in my bag, swag."
Learn, grow, and evolve, but never forget what makes you YOU. With change comes growth, but never change so much that you forget who you are and what makes you unique. As a proud Southern woman from Texas, I love how real Beyoncé is in her video. In our work, whether it is in our own business or through a company that we work for, it is so easy to let money and other people change who we are. That in return diminishes our individuality, alters our personality, and our passion for our work and who we are in it.
2. Be unapologetic and proud of our natural beauty --especially in the workplace
"I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils."
As a young, Black, professional woman, I used to struggle with deciding on a hair style that will be fitting of the "professional workplace." If I wear my hair in extensions, I look normal. If I wear a puff, I get asked if I am sick or feeling okay. If I wear braids, I get compliments, but then I am annoyed at the millions of questions of 'how did you get your hair like that?' or 'wow, your hair grew so fast!'
In a study by ESSENCE magazine, it was found that 57% of Black women change their physical appearance to fit in at work (i.e. straighten their hair or change their personal style of dress). Some Black women do this to fit in and to conform with the stereotype of what a professional image looks like. In her song, Beyoncé reminds us to be unapologetic and proud of our natural beauty.
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3. Never downplay your greatness. Use your success to inspire others
"Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh. I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)."
I don't know how many times I have logged onto any social network and seen a positive post associated with a little downplaying. For some reason, people don't want to be seen as cocky or don't want to make other people feel inferior. So instead of celebrating ourselves and our own successes, we either don't talk about it, or we downplay it.
[Tweet "We should never have to downplay our accomplishments to avoid making others feel inferior."]
Personally, there is nothing I love more than hearing other people talk about their passions, their goals, and their accomplishments - especially in a society where it is is strangely normal to feel like you are boasting when you are honorably speaking about yourself. When you accomplish a goal, you deserve to be proud of yourself and furthermore, you deserve to tell the world. Your success is yours. You earned it girl! Use your success to radiate inspiration in others - you never know how your story can help others.
4. Never Stay Stuck In Any Situation That Doesn't Serve You
"Get what’s mine, take what’s mine. Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper."
In your life, you may be in a situation that you would rather not be in. For most, that situation may be your job or career. While you are counting the minutes down at work each day, remember that you are never stuck in any situation. Be gracious for the opportunity that you are receiving and try to make as many positive connections and soak in as much knowledge as you can. Build upon your skills and increase your network. Also remember these 4 key items for success:
1.) Always perform your job with excellence & actually want to do a good job (even if you hate your job).
2.) Over prepare and over deliver at whatever task there is to complete.
3.) Present yourself professionally and be personable at all times.
4.) Plan your exit strategically until you are able to venture off into what you really want.
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5. Visualize It, Then Work Hard To Get It
"I see it, I want it. I dream it, I work hard, I grind ‘til I own it."
Drink your water. Do your squats. Read more books. Meditate. Mind Yours. Be Unapologetic. Work hard. Repeat. #GetInFormation
In her song while looking like a Creole Queen, Beyoncé reminds us to not only slay, but to work hard and always grind for what you want. Yes you have dreams and you have goals. But what actions are you taking to accomplish them? What new habits have you formed and what old habits are you working on destroying? What conferences have you signed up for, and what new courses are you planning to take to further educate yourself? Who have you recently networked with, and who is on your list to connect with soon?
Related Post: Why Successful People Invest In Conferences
There are a million and one questions that I could pose, but simply I just want you all to be seriously thinking of what you want out of life and what it takes to get there. Try to create mini goals for your dreams and set a realistic schedule of when you can complete them. Sometimes I feel that we set goals that are huge and the minute we start working on them and realize how big they really are, we get intimidated and let life pass us on.
On the same note, strive to be more specific when goal-setting. I was recently listening to a podcast by Curlbox CEO Myleik Teele and she spoke of the importance of really honing in on your goals and being detailed when you dream. If you aspire on starting a blog this year, ask yourself questions like: What kind of blog will it be, who will be your target market, how will you host it, how will you build it, how often will you post. When you are specific in your goals, it helps you paint a clear picture of what you want and what it takes to get there.
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When you have goals that you want to reach, times will get hard, patience will get low, and your motivation will try to sneak away. When it happens, throw on your Beyoncé mix, remember why you started, and keep the grind alive.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If you’ve ever wondered what type of mindset it takes to reach icon status like Oprah Winfrey, it’s probably best to start by knowing which one she’s managed to avoid over her long-standing career.
And let’s just say imposter syndrome didn’t make the cut.
While promoting her new book, Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier, with her co-author Arthur C. Brooks, Oprah shared in an interview with People that when it comes to imposter syndrome, it’s one emotion she hasn’t experienced.
"I don't have any of that imposter feelings that so many people have," she says. "I didn't even understand it, I had to look it up."
According to the acclaimed talk-show host and media mogul, she attributes this to her early life experiences, specifically the impact of her father's influence as a child. "I remember as a young girl being a strong orator in the national competition for speaking and winning the local championships, then the state championships. And then placing, I think it was No. 3 or something, in the nationals," Winfrey shares.
"And I remember after every contest, the families whose kids were just in the contest were going to celebrate and their families were all excited. My father's thing was, 'Get your coat.'"
She continues, "I learned, in all these years, every exciting thing that would happen to me it was always, that's good, get your coat. Get your coat. I don't know if that was ingrained in my personality or I just learned that nobody's going to be excited about it, so you might as well just get your coat and go. I don't have high highs and I don't have low lows. Which is a good thing, because no matter what I'm going through, I know I'm going to come out of it and be okay."
Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon, is a psychological perspective of persistent self-doubt and the feeling of being a fraud despite evidence of one's competence, skills, or accomplishments. People experiencing imposter syndrome often believe that their success is due to luck or external factors rather than their own abilities and fear that others will eventually discover that they are not as capable or knowledgeable as they appear to be.
With over 40 years of accolades and history-making impact, it’s clear that Winfrey doesn’t shy away from the fact that her success is due to her hard work and diligence, with everything in her life being that of what she earned — which she finds deep value in: “the ability to live in the space of true appreciation for a life, not just well lived, but well-earned."
From coming from the lineage of an enslaved great-grandfather who earned 80 acres of land in exchange for labor, to becoming the first Black woman billionaire in the world without the foundation of generational wealth, Winfrey beams proudly at her ability to shift her and her family’s legacy for the better.
"I didn't have a grandfather, a great-grandfather who could give me land. But now...I am able to have my own and to know that I work for it. And it wasn't a husband that did it. It wasn't a brother or an uncle, or whatever did it, but I did it," Winfrey says.
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