5 Signs You Don't Trust Yourself. 3 Ways To Change That.
As someone who pretty much makes a living out of sharing all of the things that I've learned about relationships, if there's a consistent thread that ran through pretty much all of my dysfunctional ones, it's the fact that, at the foundation of each and every one of them, I didn't trust myself very much—even before they started. The reason why I didn't trust myself is because I didn't take out the time to really get to know me and my wants and needs before attempting to get to know other people.
Most of us would agree that trust is a core principle for all healthy connections, whether they are personal or professional. When you trust someone, it means that you are confident in their character and integrity. It means that you know they are reliable. When you trust another person, it means that, if anyone is gonna say what they mean and mean what they say, they are the one individual that you don't have to worry about; if anyone can be depended upon to have your back, they are it.
Unfortunately, a lot of us put this kind of confidence in the wrong people because confidence does not lie within us first. We don't trust our own judgment. Our gut instincts. Shoot, we barely even trust what our mind, body and spirit tell us that we need (especially over what our appetite tells us that we want). Unfortunately, the fallout of all of this is that, when you don't trust yourself, you can end up trusting the epitome of the wrong kinds of people. You can also end up making some pretty bad decisions too. And the fallout of all of this is you end up distrusting yourself…even more.
I know this isn't a topic that's discussed nearly as much as it should be. So, in the effort to make sure that you trust you before anyone or anything else, I've provided a few signs that you probably have trouble trusting yourself, followed by three ways to break free from that totally counterproductive mold.
You Can’t Make Decisions Without an Entire Tribe in Tow
Accountability is a good thing. More of us could stand to apply it our lives far more often, to tell you the truth. But it's one thing to be open to having people reel you back in or call you out on your ish; it's another matter entirely if you're mentally and emotionally paralyzed without 5-7 of your friends helping you to make a decision.
A lot of times, if a person requires an audience in order to make choices in life, it's because they want others to like what they are (or aren't) doing. They are so consumed by that, their own happiness doesn't even really factor in all that much.
So yeah, if you need a bunch of people to "get", understand or co-sign on what you are—or aren't—about to do in your life, that is a very telling indication that you don't trust yourself very much; that you think the opinion of others is more important, impactful and relevant than your own. (Pretty scary, huh?)
You Flip-Flop. A LOT.
I've got a friend who I pretty much always wait until her third declaration before I take her seriously. Why? Because she's one of the biggest flip-floppers that I know. Literally, over the course of one day, she can make three different declarations and profess wholeheartedly that she means each one.
What causes someone to be like that? Typically, they are very feelings-oriented and outside-influence swayed. What I mean by that is when they are up, they are going to make a choice based on that feeling but if they feel down 10 minutes later, they are going to make another decision about the very same matter. As far as outside influences go, if they decide to do something and then they read an article about how their favorite celebrity decided to do the opposite based on a similar scenario, suddenly, they think the famous individual—someone they don't even know—probably has more wisdom and insight than they do. (Yeah, that's pretty much a crap shoot most times, if you ask me.)
The problem with being a constant flip-flopper is two-fold. First, it channels mass confusion throughout your psyche. Second, it keeps you from making real progress. After all, the definition of decision is "determination, as of a question or doubt, by making a judgment". Did you peep that? A person who makes a decision does it by being determined to do so. They aren't easily swayed once they make a judgment call. That's because they believe that what they are doing is right for them—no matter what is going on around them (or how often their feelings change because of it).
You Rarely Try New Things
When's the last time you went to a new place, tried a new food or attempted something that was totally out of your comfort zone? If you're staring blankly at the screen because that's how long it's been for you, you've just ran into another sign that you don't trust yourself, nearly as much as you should.
Although some people probably think that sticking with the same ole' predictable patterns and routines is about "knowing oneself enough to not venture out", it's actually the opposite. A part of what it means to trust yourself is that you have a level of confidence that assures you that stepping out and doing new things is a good idea. That, no matter what happens, at the end of the day, you'll be just fine. If you don't know anything else about yourself, you are able to 100 percent trust that.
You’re a Closet Envier
Envy is evil. Straight up. It's all about being so focused on what someone else has going on that you're not able to pay attention to the good things that are happening in your own life. In fact, envy is so ridiculous that it's mentioned in the 10th Commandment (Exodus 20:17)—"Thou shall not covet." (Coveting is envying, by the way).
So, how do you know for sure that envy is something that you struggle with? You're constantly comparing yourself with others. You have a hard time being genuinely happy for people and their triumphs. You are always trying to set your life to the pace of someone else's. You think that success means outdoing someone instead of living your own best life. You are a copier. You dislike others for no real good or valid reason. In short, you're a hater.
Ugh. Just reading all of that can show just how draining envy is. It's also an enemy of your spiritual development because it can have you out here feeling like God loves someone else more than you; that He's looking out for someone else more.
Someone who trusts themselves doesn't have time for envy because they are confident in their own gifts and abilities. The end result is they are too busy creating their own glow-up to be concerned or worried about someone else's.
Your Voice Isn’t Loud Enough
Back in the day, there was an episode of A Different World where Tisha Campbell played a student by the name of Josie who had HIV and Whoopi Goldberg played her professor. An assignment was given to the class to write their own eulogy (you can watch a clip of it here). As Josie was fidgeting to get through her presentation, which included sharing that she had HIV, Whoopi's character told her, "You are a voice in this world." She sure was because, all these years later, I still remember that scene. That's how powerful a story can be.
Above my bed, there is a quote that says, "Your story matters. Tell it." Your perspective, your experiences, your personality—there's something about all of these things that are yours and yours alone. They are what make you a rare commodity on this planet. But who's gonna know just how significant and relevant to the culture you are if you're not speaking up?
A lot of people have a hard time trusting themselves because, quite frankly, they aren't sharing enough of who they are and what they have to offer with others. You can't trust yourself if you don't believe what Josie's teacher told her—"You are a voice in this world". What are you waiting for? Speak up. (A good read on this topic is "The Power of Your Voice: 3 Steps to Finding and Embracing It".)
How to Trust Yourself—First, Take Great Risks
It's kind of weird that a lot of us are able to trust other people when we don't even trust ourselves. But when you think about those who you do put your confidence in, how did it get to the point where you felt sure that you could? You took a chance on them, right? You told them a secret and they kept it to themselves. You asked a favor and they came through. You needed them to be an ear and a source of support and they made themselves available. In short, you took a risk and they didn't disappoint.
The same way that you extended yourself to others to see if they were worthy of your trust, that is the same thing you must do in order to trust yourself more. This means you need to meet new people, attempt something that you've never done before and again, be intentional about going beyond your comfort zone, both personally as well as professionally, from time to time.
If the thought of doing this terrifies you, but you're going to try it anyway, that is already a step towards building trust and self-confidence. The cool thing about taking risks is they can open the door to new opportunities, teach you lessons about yourself and others, and prepare you for taking even greater chances in the future. As a result, fear will fade. And that's always a good thing.
Next, Develop Your Strengths
A huge mistake that a lot of us make, far too often, is we focus on our weaknesses far more than we do our strengths. But if all you do is focus on what you can't do well, you're never going to refine and perfect what you do.
A good example of this is me and my brother. I have a gift for writing; it comes effortlessly to me. Something I have the talent for is singing. My brother is the opposite. He's had great success as an artist, but if I looked at him and said, "I'm going to abandon my natural writing ability to become a better singer", while I might've gotten better, I know for a fact that I wouldn't have seen the kind of success that I have had as a writer.
Strengthening weaknesses is cool. But man, take it from me—if you put more sweat equity into further developing your strengths, you'll be unstoppable in so many ways. The trust that you have in yourself and what you can accomplish will go straight through the roof!
THEN, BE YOURSELF. UNAPOLOGETICALLY SO.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." He is so right. I venture to say that a lot of people are out here, totally distrusting themselves, and it's all because they are paying more attention to what society, their family and their peers are telling them to be rather than 1) pondering who God created them to be and 2) looking within to figure out the kind of person they want to be.
I can personally attest to the fact that when you're intentional about being your true and authentic self, not everyone is going to like it. A part of the reason is because genuineness is foreign to a lot of folks; it's uncomfortably different. In fact, I've got a quote by a writer named Shannon L. Alder that's the signature on one of my email accounts. It says, "Being different is a revolving door in your life where secure people enter and insecure ones exit." Say that, Shannon.
Always remember that trust is about strength, ability, sureness and integrity. If you focus on developing these things in such a way that you can be proud of yourself, what others think (or don't think) won't matter nearly as much. You'll accept that who's meant for you will enter, who isn't will exit—and both are for the best. Because life is too short and you are too special to be out here pretending to be someone else, simply to please others. You'll know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you've got to trust yourself enough to be completely and unapologetically yourself. And graduating to that kind of mentality will bless you tenfold!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
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There is no denying that a new norm of inclusiveness and diversity within the beauty business has emerged over the past few years. As a result, several businesses have been making an effort to differentiate from the competition by asserting that they are the best for both customers and the environment. However, it has been shown that many are lying about their sustainability initiatives, the ingredients in their products, and the care they take in manufacturing their items.
So, to ensure you pick the clean beauty brands that are ideal for you, here are 10 Black-owned clean beauty companies that you should be aware of. That way, you can be confident that your beauty brand of choice was developed with you and your world in mind.
For ladies who are concerned about how they treat their skin and the origins of the ingredients in their skincare products, hanahana beauty is a clean beauty line for you. Hanahana Beauty (stylized as hanahana beauty) was established by Abena Boamah-Acheampong with the intention of upending the international beauty industry, which is notorious for using substances that are oftentimes difficult to understand, to create products that are accessible, sustainable, transparent, and more humane.
This clean beauty company creates products that give women, especially women of color, a smooth and confident feeling in their own skin using raw shea butter and natural oils that are directly imported from Ghana. Over the last six years, the brand has dedicated itself to improving the economic, environmental, and self-sustainability of women who work in the Shea trade in ways that prioritize the health of our skin and the environment by using products that are clean, ethically sourced, fairly created, and never tested on animals.
Unquestionably beneficial for the body, mind, and spirit, hanahana beauty is a wellness brand worth every cent.
Top Products: Amber Vanilla Shea Body Butter, Lavender Vanilla Shea Body Butter, Shea Lip Balm, and more.
Everyone should have access to secure, efficient skincare and body care products, according to the founders of the eco-friendly color cosmetics business Plain Jane Beauty. With products free of synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, and dangerous preservatives, Plain Jane Beauty employs tried-and-true ingredients and fully discloses them. Why? Well, simple: the brand believes that fresh ingredients feel better and uses this belief as its brand's guiding principle.
PBJ, which takes inspiration from the vibrant colors of nature, mixes sustainability and beauty with ethical and aesthetic ideals to provide people the tools they need to look well and do well without sacrificing their feelings of well-being or attractiveness. Plain Jane Beauty is committed to making luxurious, high-performing cosmetics with nutritious, vegan-based formulae, which will inevitably make you feel appreciated and cared for.
Top Products: Creme Minerals Natural and Organic Foundation, Creme Minerals Foundation Stick, and more.
You might recognize 54 Thrones from a Season 13 episode ofShark Tank. During the episode, founder Christina Tegbeis presented a compelling argument and fantastic branding, and after showing why they were a brand worth investing in, ultimately landed two sharks for a deal of $250K. For the past eight years, Tegbeis has partnered with passionate craftsmen who handcraft the rich components that make up the brand in an effort to showcase the beauty and authenticity of an Africa that is often overlooked. The brand 54 Thrones, which is an acronym for the 54 nations that make up Africa, collaborates with local cooperatives to develop natural cosmetics while supporting “trade over aid.”
In order to create clean yet opulent skincare products that sustainably honor the rich natural resources of Africa and the genuine beauty rituals that have been passed down from generation to generation, 54 Thrones offers award-winning African Beauty Butters, Glow Body Oil, and Moroccan Body Masks that are just right for any consumer.
Top Products: African Beauty Butters, Barrier Repair Cloud Cream, Alata Samina: Black Soap Detox Bar, and more.
The brand Peak and Valley was established in 2015 as a result of creator and neuroscience researcher Nadine Joseph's search for natural remedies to relieve her chronic stress. After months of looking for a remedy, Joseph finally found the botanicals she needed to maintain her skin, mental and emotional wellness. However, in the process of obtaining the proper herbs, Joseph also learned that the herbal trade wasn't as dependable as she originally believed. Like the other creators on this list, Joseph demanded to know where the materials originated from and if they were manufactured with sustainability in mind. When her questions could not be answered, she traveled worldwide to source the herbs herself. Thus, Peak and Valley was born.
Peak and Valley believe that supplement production should safeguard the well-being of all individuals who consume and produce their products. Therefore, Peak and Valley manufactures products with the intention of developing a better herbal trade, one with transparent sourcing, undeniably high-quality ingredients, and science-backed knowledge. It offers herbal supplements designed to improve sleep, reduce stress, care for the skin, and nourish the brain. As a clean wellness brand, Peak and Valley’s mission is to foster relationships directly with the growers of the herbs and the customer who consumes them.
Top Products: Restore My Sleep Adaptogen Capsules, Nourish My Brain Adaptogen Capsules, Balance My Stress Adaptogen Capsules, and more.
Oh, Tabitha, Tabitha, Tabitha. I’d buy anything she’d make, especially if she mentioned it over a 30-second Instagram post, with her Southern drawl, and with little to no information provided. Why? Cause that’s my business. But just in case you want to make her business your business, too, let me explain why you should. Donna's Recipe, established by Tabitha Brown and Gina Woods and titled after Tabitha's Hair, became live in January 2021. Together, they set out with the goal of providing only pure, vegan, premium products for a reliable hair care regimen. The entire product line is made up of nutrient-rich, pure, vegan components that perform well for all hair types to create and maintain natural, healthy hair.
This product, which has only been available for two years, has been hailed for its sustainability, accessibility, and affordability in several reviews and was voted the Black-Owned Beauty Brand of the Year by Ulta Beauty. It has been credited for promoting the growth of healthier hair, hydrating the driest hair, and fortifying the weakest root systems. The mixture created by Ms. Tabitha and Woods could be just what you're looking for, especially if you're looking for a clean haircare line that at last takes your demands into consideration.
Top Products: Strength Hair Oil, Sweet Potato Pie Extra Creamy Moisturizing Shampoo, Sweet Potato Pie Extra Creamy Moisturizing Conditioner, and more.
CEO Melissa Butler, a self-proclaimed Shark Tank reject, channeled her ire at the intrusive one-size-fits-all beauty industry into action by abandoning the lucrative but dreary corporate ladder and turning to her Brooklyn kitchen to make vibrant vegan lipstick. Melissa's unwavering will was further fueled by her Shark Tank rejection, which motivated her to regain control of her own aspirations. She extended The Lip Bar beyond lipstick to become TLB: a top-selling, universally useful beauty necessity. The Lip Bar is entirely vegan, cruelty-free, and made with non-toxic products for non-toxic people with a focus on sustainability.
Top Products: Nonstop Liquid Matte, Just A Tint 3-In-1 Tinted Skin Moisturizer, Fresh Glow 2-In-1 Powder Bronzer + Blush Duo, and more.
Whitney White can be found on Instagram with the alias Naptural85. But you must spend some time watching her YouTube channel to properly understand where she has come from. White was one of the original content producers on YouTube who spent her time making videos that expressed her enthusiasm for natural and helpful hair products. She also shared the recipes and routines she used on her own luscious, natural hair. Years later, Whitney White and her sister Taffeta White have developed Melanin Haircare, a range of natural, non-toxic hair products. Melanin Haircare was established in 2015 with a love for providing the community it serves with high-quality products, distinctive lifestyle options, and natural, non-toxic ingredients for healthy hair and scalp care.
High-quality, all-natural, and non-toxic ingredients are the main emphasis of Melanin Haircare, which is carefully chosen to ensure shelf life and performance improvement. To ensure that they continue to be non-toxic, all of their constituents have been assessed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) of the United States, which makes this a clean brand worth trying. For the greater part of four years, I have used this product, and I have enjoyed seeing my hair go from a dry, brittle mess to a moisturized masterpiece. This cosmetic brand has never let me down, whether my hair was soaring in its fro or loc'd like it is now.Top Products: African Black Soap Reviving Shampoo, Multi-Use Softening Leave In Conditioner, Multi-Use Pure Oil Blend, and more.
Do you ever wonder: Where do all the plastic razors go? Well, it is estimated that two billion plastic razors end up in landfills every year, and the personal care industry is one of the largest waste producers. Eh, right? Right. Well, to guarantee that recycling is unavoidable, OUI the People's goal is to deliberately design the packaging for all of their products. Their single-blade razor provides a robust and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable plastic razors since it is made from stainless steel, which is the most recyclable substance on Earth.
Not only that, but several of their other goods, like their body gloss, are created with glass bottles, which are generally made from harmless basic materials and can be recycled or "upcycled." They never settle for anything less than the finest, and each product is designed with the needs of the customer in mind. Their products are devoid of the typical suspects (parabens, synthetic perfumes, phthalates, and animal testing), and their ingredients have been selected for their effectiveness. This beauty brand can be for you if you want body care that is eco-friendly and can get rid of dry skin, hyperpigmentation, hair, and landfill debris.
Top Products: Resurfacing Body Serum, Shave Starter Set, Hydrating Body Gloss, and more.
Because Desiree Verdejo loved skincare but believed that women of color were underrepresented in the skincare industry, she founded Hyper Skin. As a result, the beauty product line Hyper Skin was created to finally include people with dark skin in conversations about beauty. Hyper Skin recognizes that real skin has texture and dark spots and uses solutions that are highly suited to their needs while still being effective on all skin tones.
The discontent with today's skincare products led to the creation of Hyper Skin formulas, a modern clinical brand with clean, efficient clinical ingredients and strong natural botanicals. With Hyper Skin, give your dark spots the boot and appreciate your new shine.
Top Products: Hyper Even Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum, Hyper Even Fade and Glow AHA Mask, and more.
Jamika Martin made the decision to revolutionize the acne treatment market after having skin issues and using inferior skincare products. ROSEN Skincare, her business, creates affordable, healthy solutions that effectively treat acne. From cleansers to masks, ROSEN Skincare has a wide selection of cutting-edge and fun products to enhance your routine. In order to concentrate on the prevention and restoration of hyperpigmentation and breakouts in the acne industry, according to Rosen, their regimens use clean ingredients.
Rosen argues that traditional acne treatments have frequently disregarded the issues and skin types of people with varied skin types, and their out to ensure that doesn't happen, again.
Top Products: Earth Cleanser, Super Smoothie Cleanser, Tropics Toner, and more.
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