An acquaintance and I went for lunch the other day. We did the usual banter and bullshit, and then the convo became a vent session where she shared that she felt she should be further along in her journey. While discussing her pain points, my journey was mentioned as a subtle comparison. Comparison isn't the thief of joy -- it kills the thing.
I did my best to encourage her, share a few resources and remind her that everything isn't as it seems. Building my personal brand has been a long time coming, but I can't be expected to post every missed shot, and all of the failures that led to this moment. When you're looking at the tip of the iceberg, you really have no idea how much of it you don't see.
If we choose to envy our sisters instead of seeing their own successes as inspiration, we all lose.
I identified with my IG friend's current state of mind all too well, before I had the epiphanies that introduced me to purpose. She was in a space of giving too much time and attention to people that didn't believe in her and questioned her abilities. I empathized with her because I know that our feeds, the comments and the smoke and mirrors can blind us to the greatness that lies within, but between you and me - she's really freaking dope. Chances are, you are too.
Here are 3 reasons you feel envy where you should feel inspired:
1. You haven’t discovered your own purpose.
It can be difficult to hear your bestie gush over her new promotion at work when you've been floating between meaningless desk jobs for the past 12 months. You hear the little voice in your head telling you that you should be happy for her, but the words never come out that way. You purposely scroll past her New Job posts on social media because showing her love would mean that you're only getting further from your own purpose...no? If that sounds a little crazy to you - it should.
Learning to be happy for others in their season of winning can do the complete opposite. The energy you exude while embodying those negative feelings will never attract happiness. Instead of being miserable in a corner, you could see the seed of opportunity and ask her how she got there. As friends are supposed to support each other, she may let you know of an opening you could take advantage of, etc.
Spend time with yourself (an energy cleanse of sorts) and allow yourself to find what it is you truly love. Being upset with others because you haven't tapped into your potential is not the answer. Your purpose isn't always tied to your profession. Your happy could be found teaching art therapy classes at an old folks' home. Whatever it is, your sister's purpose has nothing to do with yours but your attitude towards it may be postponing you finding your own.
2. You have too many people in your ear convincing you that winning is a myth.
Let's be honest -- you wanted to have a career as a beauty influencer too. Someone along the way got in your ear and convinced you that it was all a lie. Someone you valued shit on your dreams and you accepted their limited perception as truth.
Just because it didn't happen for you doesn't mean it's impossible. Just because it hasn't happened for you YET doesn't mean that it's impossible. When I changed my environments to get close to the winning team, I realized just how small I was actually living. I was able to see that it really was possible to turn one's annual salary into a month's income. I was able to see that one really could travel the world and get paid to do it just by being themselves (amongst other things).
I learned to spend less time with the people that convince me my dreams are too big lest I adopt their paradigms. I've brainwashed myself to believe that winning is the only option. We think/act and operate on the level of our perspective. Be mindful of the perspectives you adopt.
3. You aren’t busy enough with your own life.
This new Screen Time feature on the iPhone put into perspective how much time I spent on my phone per day on average. Sadly, I must admit to spending five hours on the device itself daily, and half of that is social media. I'm a content creator so I have a legitimate excuse but that's almost 20 hours a week of keeping up with the Joneses. I'm a mommy, have a full-time hairstyling business, am a part-time writer/ghostwriter and STILL somehow find the time to mind other people's business via the gram.
What prevents me from getting caught up in the whirlwind of social media is being present in the activities I enjoy outside of scrolling. When I am with my hair clients, we talk about their new jobs, pregnancies, boyfriend drama, etc. And my phone stays in my hair drawer until I'm done and ready to take pics. When I'm mommy-ing, I get my son in the kitchen for a little entertainment. When I'm writing, my phone is on Airplane mode with an instrumental playlist in the background.
You need to live a life so full that you no longer have the capacity to play the comparison game.
I don't live a reality TV-worthy life but shit, it's mine and I love it. And because I love it, deeply, I can meet another on her best life journey with a genuine, "Yassss, girl yasssss."
Can we make celebrating our sisters even when we're in the trenches our new hashtag goals?
Featured image by Getty Images
- These Are The 8 Friends You Need To Be Happy In Life - Barking ... ›
- How To Change Your Attitude When You Can't Change Your Situation ›
- How To Deal With Friends Who Aren't Happy For You ›
- Make the Friends Happy. Don't Have a Wedding Party. - The New ... ›
- How To Let Go Of The Friends Who Aren't Actually Happy For You ›
- How to Be Happy for Your Friends When You're Jealous ›
- How to Handle an Unsupportive Friend ›
- When Your Friend's Happy News Fills You with Envy Instead of Joy ›
- When You Can't Be Happy For a Friend | Psychology Today ›
Danielle Smith is a Toronto-based Personal Development Junkie on the gram @youbettaglowgirl. She keeps her hands full as a Writer, Speaker, Stylist & Non-Profit Founder, all while doing her most important job as a full-time mama of one. Marching to the beat of her own drum and a playlist of her favourite 90s R&B, she's blazed a path of her own.
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Kanobi Pollard/xoNecole
You all know we're big on affirmations over here at xoNecole, and we know all too well the benefits of speaking life over yourself and positivity on your day. And we love that affirmations can be used to trigger career advancement, workplace confidence, and motivation as well.
Whether you're struggling with a stressful project, need that boost of boldness for managing teams, or just need a few bright mantras to take your already sunny disposition up a notch, here are eight powerful affirmations to add to your list, specific to career promotion, leadership, and development:
"Everything I need to succeed at work is right inside of me."
This is something that has been repeated to me many times in life, from the people who raised me, to in-office mentors, to interviews with super-successful women, to church leaders, and it's real. When I sit and lean fully into my own ideas, my own unique way of looking at life, and my professional training and educational background that nobody can take away from me, I know I can create something great and continue to pay my bills.
"I am worthy and will stand on what my unique talents and time are worth."
Many of us struggle with this, and even I have to remind myself that I indeed should speak up more, advocate for myself more, and demand more. We've all worked hard to get to where we are, so we actually do deserve our heart's desires when it comes to salary, recognition, awards, commissions, and quality of work life.
"I am completely capable of fearlessly and eloquently closing that deal."
This one is especially good when you're up for a promotion, have a big meeting you're leading for your company, or are trying to land a partnership, grant, or other expansion opportunity that will take your career to the next level. You got this, sis.
"I am a bold woman who leads with grace, compassion, and vision."
As leaders, we can't shrink at the sight of a challenge. Instead, embrace a bold confidence (even if you feel you're a bit delulu) and face those fears with the tools God gave us for combat. Grace, compassion, and vision always win in the long run, so if you can offer those things to people and your company, you always come out on top.
"I am the divine thermostat in the room—setting the temperature and the tone."
Alfred Edmond, Jr., my forever mentor who's an entrepreneur, author, and senior vice president, once told me this when I was having a super-emotional moment as an editorial manager: "Always be the thermostat. You set the temperature as a leader. Stay pleasantly solid in your tone and demeanor no matter what. You keep the power by doing so. You can't let every little issue rattle you as a leader." I was taken aback at the time, but his advice has served me well.
We don't have to always "match" the energy others give us—especially when you're managing teams, leading departments, or managing processes. Instead, you can set the tone and let people know, through your play-with-your-mama-not-me demeanor and professionalism. This way, no one can visibly lure you into embarrassing, unkind, or angry exchanges. As a power woman, that's beneath you. Period.
"I attract positive, growth-focused experiences because I am positive and growth-focused."
Again, sis, you deserve. When you embrace this truth, you often find yourself thinking positive, seeking out all things positive, and adjusting areas where the growth of positivity is lacking. I'm not big on "manifestations" that center on "attraction" being an ego-driven act of exclusion, "magic," or privilege— I'm more into prayerand allowing God to be the master of "attraction"—but when I think about this particular affirmation, it's something to remind us all to focus on ourselves in order to draw that same energy toward us.
And it's not that toxic positivity where we ignore very valid feelings of hurt, burnout, or disrespect. It's a foundational belief that despite the challenges many workplace environments present for us as Black women, we will always think highly of ourselves and prioritize gratitude while addressing both the good and the bad.
"I am fully capable of walking away from toxic environments and walking into those where I thrive."
This is a big one. No matter what your circumstances are, I'm a big believer in having the power to change them if they aren't helping you thrive through your purpose on Earth. Even if you have to create an exit plan that takes years to see to fruition, do it. Let's stop staying at jobs we hate or careers that just aren't a fit anymore. You can unapologetically chuck the deuces, embrace the unknown, be strategic, and enjoy the work aspect of your life to meet your lifestyle goals.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by luza studios/Getty Images