The year was 2016.
I was throwing aReset Your Life event in New York that was meant to encourage attendees to not be afraid to press reset versus settling for a life they no longer loved. Although I sat alongside a phenomenal panel of women, I couldn't help but think, What am I doing here? I need to be in the audience. I need to be the one being inspired.
And then it happened.
"Necole, you carry yourself with such humility, that you never stand in the fullness of who you are and say 'look at what I'm doing.' But to change your life…
"It was so successful to stay where you were, but you chose DISCOMFORT. And all of us should be that courageous."
At the time, I didn't understand the magnitude of her words. But today, it has become a key component to my journey.
I could have stayed where I was. Where it was safe…
During that time, I was 36 years old and enduring one of the lowest years of my life. I was coming off of my first year of pivoting from running the very popular celebrity gossip blog, NecoleBitchie.com, to launching what is now xoNecole.com, a motivational media empire.
And the future wasn't looking so bright.
A month prior, I had just told the world in an emotional video titled, "What They Forgot To Tell Me About Leaving A Successful Brand", that I was literally struggling with rebranding, and the headlines that followed made me feel as if failure was looming. I started questioning everything: my decision to publicly and abruptly shut down NecoleBitchie.com, my decision to launch a new venture so soon (while swallowing up my own money and resources), and my willingness to go broke to see my vision come into fruition.
Sitting on that stage, as a former big-name bloggerwith little in my bank account and no idea when the next check was coming from, was uncomfortable. And feeling like I was failing, while the readers of my old brand watched, was uncomfortable. But I had to live in that discomfort. I had to learn how to survive in that discomfort. I had to learn how to grow in that discomfort.
Looking back, I'd rather live a few years in discomfort, than live a lifetime of suffering knowing I deserved more than the life I had settled for.
Fast forward to present day, and I am coming off of one of the most progressive years of my career. In 2019, xoNecole moved its headquarters to Atlanta. We launched events such asPajamas and Lipstick - a first to market Girls Night In Experience,ElevateHer - a curated festival celebrating women-owned brands, and the Table of 50 FoundHers Brunch. We also launched popular videos series likeBoss UpandManCrave, and ended the year introducing ourHappy Hour Podcast which peaked at #6 on Apple Podcast All Time Relationship charts. As we've blossomed, our readership has quadrupled, surpassing the audience of my former gossip site.
And we added a few phenomenal women to the team!
We would have never experienced this success had I given up in 2016.
I wanted to share this as a reminder to keep going!
If you are about to make a major life pivot or are switching career paths, just know, it will be uncomfortable, but you have to be willing to live in that space! That's where you are going to build the muscle you need to climb to the next level of your life.
That's where you are going to grow.
I'll end with this:
In 2020, I'm ready to stretch myself beyond what I thought my capacity could be. But this time, it'll be in the form of choosing life goals that terrify me.
I'm sharing them with you for accountability.
I'm committing myself to:
- Three Keynote speeches (I am terrified of public speaking),
- Be more forward-facing on xoNecole and intentional about sharing my story (the introvert in me is cringing right now…),
- Take up space in rooms that make me feel uncomfortable.
Rooms that are filled with Black Girl Magic is where I feel at home and the most comfortable. But it's time for me to use my influence to pull up in rooms where there are people who do not look like me, so that I can be a voice and create more seats at the table for black women.
Now that I've shared my terrifying goals, I'm ready to hear yours. What are three goals that terrify you? The three goals that you know that if you work to accomplish them, they would push you to the next level in your life, career or relationship?
I want to know!
Drop me a comment on Substack (I'm housing my weekly newsletters to you guys there) or leave me a voice message onspeakpipe! (I'll return the favor and leave you a voice message back!) You can also keep up with me on Twitter orInstagram @hellonecole.
Let's hold each other accountable and claim that 2020 is the year of tremendous growth, and showing up in the fullness of who we are!
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Featured image by Tailiah Breon
Necole Kane is the founder and Editor In Chief of xoNecole.com. After spending 7 years as a successful celebrity gossip blogger, the Maryland native launched xoNecole.com with the mission to promote positive images of women of color as well as empower, educate, and inspire millennial women to live their best lives. Keep up with Necole on Instagram and Twitter @hellonecole, or through her personal website NecoleKane.com.
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