Lately I've been feeling the pressure of making my side hustle my MAIN hustle, maximizing my time, and building a community. I've even made it a point to make sure I'm creating content everyday and posting on the 'gram. My thinking was that I should use whatever time I had available to create content, working on my brand every minute I get. I say all this to say, passion, a little insecurity, and impatience will drive you into work overload if you let it.
It got to a point where I would wake up and just feel sad about the way things turn out. I would put in all of this work and still feel stuck, and I questioned if I should even still be doing this. Then it trickled into being over-critical, unsatisfied, and just mentally and emotionally out of it. Insecurities can make you think some crazy things. So I had to take a step back and allow myself to gain some new perspective, information, and inspiration.
Earlier this month, I attended Blavity's Summit21 conference in Atlanta (which I'm still on a high from) and I think that was what I needed to get me back into a healthy, clear, but productive state of mind. The conference featured a variety of successful and inspirational black women from different industries: Karleen Roy, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Pinky Cole, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Karrueche Tran, and so much more. The abundance of love, information, and inspiration was truly amazing. In just two days, I was able to get my physical, professional, and emotional self all on one accord again.
Managing a business, building a brand, or achieving any professional goal can be tough, so attending a talk that focused on confidence, self-care, and finding your voice was the affirmation I needed. Here are some self-care gems to keep in mind while on your journey.
Remember Your Voice
Remember who you were when you were a child, know who you were, what you were like, and what you did for fun. For some of us, as children, we navigated without fear and saw limitless possibilities. We were dreamers and had a sense of wonder of the world. It also starts the story of who we are and what our voice was. Getting in-tune and reintroducing your adult self to your younger self is a great start for finding your voice.
Be Kind To Your Mind + Body
This topic has so many umbrellas and in my experience, it's been echoed by so many people. One essential habit that needs to go is the team "no sleep" lifestyle. Sleep allows us to find balance, dream, and physically and mentally recharge. Giving yourself the time to dream and just be is very important when it comes to finding inspiration, especially for creatives.
Advocate For Yourself
As black women, we've been conditioned not to advocate for ourselves or each other. A key to leveling up, period, is to gain confidence, understand that you are whole and complete, and show up as yourself every day. Make a decision on who you want to be and who you align with emotionally, professionally, and mentally. Be with people who align with your goals and allow yourself to show up in different spaces.
This topic is when it got real for me. Boundaries are essential for every relationship and as much as we want to deny it, we can't do everything for everybody. It's important to know your bandwidth. It's essential to know when you can give and when you cannot. It's okay to say no. People will get upset when you don't live up to the expectations they've set for you but it's important to know what's a full body yes and an absolute no.
"If it's not a full body yes, it's an absolute no." - Dr. Crystal Jones
It's important to be open, expansive and receiving, but if it doesn't feel like a safe space to be that, then reconsider how it aligns with your body, mind, and soul and don't be afraid to say no.
Mindfulness by definition is the mental state that requires you to focus on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
We've been conditioned to think multitasking is a trait of productivity but it's anything but that. Focusing on one thing allows us to have "radical presence and allowance" and it fosters a sense of vulnerability to that moment in time. It actually allows us to tune into ourselves and take in the value and inspiration of a particular moment. Practicing mindfulness also requires you to be silent with yourself. It guides you to a space where you can get to know who you are and allows you to get to know your own thoughts rather than be afraid of it.
"What if there is nothing else to be than who you are?" - Dr. Crystal Jones
It's easy to get caught up in how things should look, so instead, focus on what's here and what's now.
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