Here's What's Keeping You From Leveling Up In 2019
Ciara was definitely onto something when she chanted "Level Up" in the chorus of her 2018 chart-topper. When you think about it, why not? Why not raise your level of success? You often hear the saying, only you can stop you. So I ask you, are you getting in your own way?
If we're being honest, there are many cases when we stand in our own way of success. For example, no one but you chooses to let a high-paying job with benefits pass you over. No one but you skipped that workout session, and there is nothing to stop you from asking for that raise. You get the point.
As women, we are taught to be master jugglers and twice as good at everything, but how can we be resilient when we put everyone else's needs before our own and second-guess ourselves? Exactly, it's almost impossible, which leads to us feeling unhappy, tired and "stuck."
Ladies, it's time to stop the self-sabotage and start the self-love. To assist in your come up, we enlisted the help of an inspirational speaker, Morgan Owens, who has given us five enlightening tips to get out of our own way and level up for the new year.
Give Yourself Permission To Be Great
If you have ever looked at a job description and thought, "This is the job for me," but feel a bit intimidated by the tasks required, then you are not letting yourself be great. According to Morgan, "If your peers are comfortable enough to go after that position, then so should you."
We must allow ourselves to feel worthy of greatness and do our very best to achieve it and also believe it.
Perception Can Sometimes Be Deception
If you don't believe in yourself, you can't expect anyone else to do it for you. Stop looking at yourself with the eyes of other people.
"When we are honest with ourselves and determine the common denominator of what's stopping us from living out our best life, we can get out of our own way," Morgan explains. "If we don't like our weight, make a plan to get healthy. Never do it because someone else thinks you need to lose weight, do it because you know that you need to."
The more we see ourselves in a better light, the more we get over our view.
You Refuse To Say "No"
Sis, sometimes you just have to say "no."
"When you learn to start saying no, then you will lighten the load on your shoulders and you become less stressed," Morgan shared.
If a person cannot accept your reasonable no, it is not your problem – it's theirs. Remember to be fair in your delivery but also be sure that you are protecting your space and comfort because you can't build a career or business from an empty tank, you just can't.
You're Not Investing In Your Personal Development
Billion-dollar corporations send their employees to workshops and conferences to further their personal development for the company, why shouldn't you?
"Instead of investing money on materials things (I love a good handbag, honey), invest in a course to further your career or a workshop to help build your business," says Morgan.
Your investment will pay off in more ways than one.
Remember To Use Adversity to Fuel Determination
When someone tells you that you shouldn't start a business or that you should never start a new career, use that as fuel to prove yourself right.
"Often times the people saying these things lack confidence in themselves to go for their dreams, don't let their shortcomings influence your decisions," Morgan says.
Make sure that you are living for you and not for others.
With these tips, you are sure to be stepping out of your unsure ways and walking a brand new path to success.
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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.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports