How Women Get a Seat at the Table

black women get a seat at the table

Women are you invisible in the boardroom and have no say? Do men listen when you speak? If the answer is no, then find out how to get, a seat at the table.

In this episode I interview Kimberley Bussey Lewis, Author of , A Seat At The Table, Or Part Of The Meal: Creating A Culture Of Diversity

How did you come to become passionate about, diversity and inclusion, for, women of color?

How to Get a Seat at The Table

I first really started thinking about, a seat at the table,  when I was a very young reporter in Charleston, South Carolina.  I was the only female reporter at the time within this 600 person company.  And what I was struck by is that there were so many decisions that were being made that we would complain about; but none of us had, a seat at the table, to help make those decisions.

I realized that if I didn’t have a place in the room that I was both invisible and silent; so it didn’t matter how much I complained or how much I didn’t like what was going on or simply just didn’t understand it because I was not part of the discussion; I needed, a seat at the table.

So that’s where my passion for, diversity and inclusion, was born.

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CNN wrote a column on getting, a seat at the table, for women. They were discussing congresswoman Harris, basically what they’re saying was that women are invisible and they have no say.  When they speak no one listens.  So I understand what you are saying.

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What happens when there is no seat at the table

I stayed in that company as a reporter without, a seat at the table, about 12 years.  It took me that long to get that awakening.  Sometimes we think that we are fortunate to have a job so we don’t want to stir the pot.  I just increasingly became more and more of a little rebel challenging the status quo. Eventually I left  and ventured out to write my first book.   I was scared to death.  Because here I am I’m going to write a book, I’m going to leave my job.  I took a leave of absence to write the book;  but it was really a step of faith and in writing the book and doing the research.

I became energized when I interviewed older relatives, my mother and great-aunt who were already in their 80s and 90s at the time. I  became energized by their tenacity as, Black women. I knew that we had a lot of strong men in my family, but my eyes are really flew open at the strength of the, black women, and how they held businesses up,  they held a family up and the men of the family up, and brought us all together.

I stumbled into the nonprofit arena by my volunteer work. I was volunteering and working on writing the  book and one thing led to another.  I got to a small job at an organization that was run by a, black woman, who became my mentor.  She took me under her wing and even though I was  just volunteering she taught me so much about strength and tenacity and making your voice count.

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Diversity and Inclusion for Women of Color

Her company was called Family Assistance Management Services

And she was the first black female insurance broker in SC. She had been a full time teacher before she built quite a nest egg with her husband. They owned several pieces of property in Charleston SC. She then became a broker and started several businesses, an insurance company, a computer training clinic all kinds of other businesses, because she had a passion for helping people.

You got your feet wet on the nonprofit arena and but it sounds like you have, a seat at the table, at Goodwill Industries. Why you write the book, “A Seat at the Table or a part of the meal?”

I was born in September 1964 a month after the discrimination Act, and my parents had not long moved to Charleston, SC. All of my siblings, I  have one brother and two sisters, they had all been born at home in the country by a midwife so since it was now illegal for place public places to discriminate my father thought, well I will take my wife to this nice Hospital for my fourth child to be born.  So my mother was in labor he rushes her down to this hospital the Medical University of South Carolina and by this time she’d begun to hemorrhage as I was a breech baby.

It was pouring down rain and he got my mom into the emergency area into the lobby and he started screaming for the doctors to come and help they turned looked at them and turned their backs right away.  All the white doctors and nurses ignored them, so he ran up to them and screamed my wife is bleeding you got to help her and someone told him to just sit down we’ll get to you.

So he scooped her up, put her in a wheelchair and ran with her down the street to the black Hospital. McLennan banks Hospital in the pouring rain with my mom gripping for life on that wheelchair.  He pushed her up into the emergency area and as soon as they saw that she was drenched in blood they rushed her into the emergency room and delivered me.  The doctor who delivered me was a, woman of color, from  South Africa and he named me Kimberly after the Kimberly diamond mines.

Black Women are born to be at the table

It sounds like you were born in to do this work!

I was tried of being the only, Black woman, in the room. I felt we as, Black women, have to do something to get , a seat at the table. If anyone was going to wave that flag of, diversity and inclusion, equity and of, diversity, it should be Goodwill Industries. So it really began then.  We started a task force with a group of CEOs and started to study, diversity and inclusion, and equity programs with fortune 500 companies and fortune 100 companies and other nonprofit organizations. We studied who was doing it well, what were they looking at, what were the metrics and how do you build that diverse pipeline.  We came up an implementation plan.

We were really intentional about attracting, maintaining and keeping a, diversity, workforce.  Whether it is individuals who are Hispanic or individuals who African-American or LGTBQ or disabled.  We recognize that all of that build a table of, diversity.

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The first time that I heard the phrase, a seat at the table, was from one of my coaching clients and I’ve heard it several times since. I heard Gabrielle Union say it that she’s just gonna make her own table because you know the black actresses in Hollywood are still working to, get a seat at the table.  They go through the same discrimination with, diversity and inclusion.  It’s not just in Corporate America or in the board rooms.

Women of Color getting a seat at the table

Kimberly you have, a seat at the table,  what advice would you give to women who are hitting the glass ceiling and get, no seat at the table.

African-American women unfortunately have been absent from the room!  We have not even been invited into the room much less have, a seat at the table, for quite some time.  Women in general have been hitting the glass ceiling for quite a long time.  I’ve heard that men are hired based on what their hiring manager or that supervisor thinks that they can do while women are hired or promoted based on performance.  it is that way because the majority of the, seats at the table, are already held by men.  Predominantly white males and they look for men who look like act like they came from where they come from.

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Black women in order to get, a seat at the table,  have to do 3 things:

  1. They have to network. It’s all about relationships. Else there is, no seat at the table. Everything that you do is about relationships and it’s about networking.  If you didn’t grow up playing golf, learn.  Go around places and do things that make you feel uncomfortable. But you must be part of the conversation. Go to the theater,  go to the Opera, you could serve as an usher and get free tickets.
  2. Get a mentor – All women should have a mentor.
  3. Get a Sponsor – a sponsor and a mentor are two different people. A mentor is someone that you can talk to about your fears and your aspirations. A mentor can give you sound advice and can talk you through some of the issues that you’re having and help you create a plan a plan of attack.

A sponsor on the other hand is going to be that person who’s going to make sure that you’re invited to that meeting.  They’re going to take you under their wing.  They’re going to make sure that there’s a place for you in the conversation and that there is, diversity and inclusion, that you are a part of the discussion. Sponsors are usually white males.

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Book: Seat at the table

Have you ever wished that you had the information to elevate the conversation at work on how to build a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion?  Well, now you do; with my newly published book A Seat At The Table or Part of the Meal, by Kimberly Bussey Lewis.  This book will give you examples of intentional efforts that will level the playing field and yield dividends for your career and your company. The book can be found on Amazon – A Seat at the Table Or Part of the Meal, by Kimberly Bussey Lewis or on www.motivationalmuse.com, so get your copy today and your seat at the table.

 

Additional Resources, A Seat at the Table

https://blog.myhelps.us/how-transform-your-career-with-purpose/

How to Ask for a Raise or Anything you Want in Life.

What are the, Secrets to Success,? Here are my 10 Secrets

https://www.demos.org/research/taking-our-seat-table-black-women-overcoming-social-exclusion-politics#Black-Women%E2%80%99s-Leadership:-Making-a-Way-out-of-No-Way

https://www.talentintelligence.com/blog/bid/377611/inclusion-and-the-benefits-of-diversity-in-the-workplace

 

Why Confidence Directly Impacts Your Success or Failure

Russel Wilson Confidence

Confidence, impacted the AFC Championship, Quarterback Russell Wilson had the, confidence, not to fold and give up and it resulted in success.

Let’s say you are down by 16 points with 3 mins to go in the 4 quarter. You have played the worst game of your life. You have thrown 4 interceptions. Not only that, but the world is looking on and judging you. What do you do? Do you fold up like a flower without sunshine or do you have the, confidence, to play one drive at time? Do you dig deep and remember the last time you were down 16 to nothing and you came away with the victory? Quarterback Russell Wilson did just that on Sunday to win the AFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

With 3 mins to go in the 4 quarter, Wilson was having his worst game to date; he had thrown 4 interceptions. The commentators were saying they had never seen Wilson play this bad. I started to route for them. I was routing for the underdogs, the Packers, because the Seahawks were the Super Bowl champions; but I hate to see a team embarrassed in front of millions. I have heard of quarterbacks who were tagged as not being able to win the big games. But this is where, confidence, separates the true champions. Confidence, and the spirit of never giving up. Even though Wilson had already thrown 4 interceptions to Kearse, he had, confidence, in him to give him another chance and he caught that winning touchdown and held on to that ball like his life depended on it. If you allow the facts like you just threw 4 interceptions, and you let negative thoughts snap your positive energy; you will loose. But like Wilson tearfully declared after pulling off a stunning overtime victory, he had the, confidence, in himself and in his team that they could win.

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How Confidence affects Sales Teams

I saw this same scenario play out on a, sales, team  that I was a part of. We were a team of about 40 outbound reps in a call center. The top, sales, persons on the team were selling about 40 units per day. Then a new girl was hired. She started banging out 40 units by noon!. Sales Management, thought she was cheating and started to check her sales to make sure she was not sandbagging leads. She calmly declared that she was not cheating; but that she had, confidence. She said when she picked up the phone, she had, confidence, that she was going to close the sale, and she usually did. I started paying attention to what she was doing, and I too started selling 40 units by lunchtime! My, confidence, grew.

Confidence, is usually the result of prior successes. As a sales manager, confidence, should be the first skill you coach to. If your, sales, team is not, confident, that they cannot win. You have to exhume past victories to give energy to present day activities. Why did Wilson feel that he could win?; because he won before. He knew that if there was time on the clock, his team had a chance.

Coaches need to build, confidence

“The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure.”

In, coaching, teams, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and to build their, confidence.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A, coach, can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. Coaching, can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better with, confidence. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

Coaches sometimes destroy confidence by being too harsh. 

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for, coaching. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots.

Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move because of a lack of, confidence, that teams loose.

A player can be, confident,  in the way they play the game. Confident, but not cocky. It is up to the coach to build that, confidence, by highlighting the players strengths  and minimizing his weaknesses. That is what makes them improve overall, and become an asset who could become an  extremely great player and win Championships.

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What happens when a player looses confidence

The fight to get my, confidence, back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would’ve had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could’ve been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. My, coach, took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. He  took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without, confidence, you won’t go very far.

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Additional Resources

https://blog.myhelps.us/confidence/

How to Use Mantras to Build Self-Confidence (The Skill of Self Confidence)

Build self-confidence

To me the most important thing about that Ted talk,  the reason I did that talk has over 20 million views is because I struggled with, self-confidence.  I had to, build self-confidence so I sat on the bench of a soccer team.  I got kicked out of University. When you grow up as a black man in a white man’s world, you’re always not feeling like you’re quite up to it. ~ Dr Ivan Joseph

I am speaking to the infamous Dr Ivan Joseph. Dr Joseph is a best-selling author of the book “You Got This: Mastering the Skill of Self-Confidence.

Listen to the full interview 

Short Bio: 

Dr Ivan Joseph was born in Guyana, South America, my birth country.  He immigrated to Toronto, Canada at the age of 5. I immigrated to Toronto, Canada as well but at the age of 17. As he became a  young man of color, he often felt disenfranchised and disconnected. But he excelled in sports and  attended a small University in Iowa on an athletic scholarship, then achieved his Master’s Degree, and  a PhD in psychology. This lead to him becoming a professor, AND being awarded Coach of the Year. For ten years he was the Director of Athletics for Ryerson University in Toronto, and spearheaded the 100 million dollar renovation of the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens. Dr Ivan is now the Vice Provost of Student Affairs at Dalhousie University, one of Canada’s most distinguished and competitive institutions. ”

Introduction to, Self-Confidence Definition

Self-confidence definition, is the genuine belief in your ability to accomplish the task at hand.  Everybody needs to understand that you may have all the talent in the world,  you may be the most beautiful person in the world, the smartest person in the world,  the strongest person in the world; but if you don’t have this genuine belief that you have that skill,  you will never put your hand up to answer the question in the math class or sit on the board, or volunteer to be the do the presentation,  or choose to join the team.

Myrna – What was your journey from an immigrant boy and a man of color and then transcending that to becoming a doctor, a performance coach, a Tedx speaker, an author?

Dr Ivan – l  think  like many immigrants who come to North America whether that be your audience, that’s American or my audience that’s Canadian, we all choose to leave our countries of birth for hopefully a better future.

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There’s something that’s grounded in all of us that chose the country of citizenship and that is a desire to achieve.  We were not comfortable or we were not content with what we had and discontent drives us.  That desire is to be better and to pay it forward for our families.  Those parents who are immigrants who grew up as kids, we are drilled with that constant mantra you need to be twice as good.   It’s not good enough to be average, you need to get an A.

You could end up  internalizing that message where you’re never quite good enough and that is where a lack of, self-confidence, gets rooted. Great jobs will pass you by because you don’t have the, self-confidence, to go after it. So you’re pushed to the corners or to the edges of society.  You start to not achieve what you may have achieved if you had, self-confidence, whether that’s from your own internal belief or from society.

All of us will fail in life at some time. When you fail, you hang on to that failure and it becomes paralyzing.  You’re then not willing to take the next risk to achieve. It took me many strikeouts, to use my sports analogies,  or swinging and missing to succeed. With every success I , build self-confidence, was tapped up.

How do we, Build Self-confidence?

Myrna – As I was preparing mentally for this interview I asked myself how I, build self-confidence? I think I have been, self-confident,  all my life and I was wondering how I, build self-confident,  and my own response was that life experience was my confidence builder. If somebody tells you that you’re good at something or somebody tells you you’re pretty or you get good grades in school, you start, building self-confidence, that you can do most things.

Dr Ivan – One of the things about, build self-confidence, is the more you achieve the more it grows. The more you achieve the bigger it gets.  You’ll get your opportunity, you’ll get your promotion and then you start all over and your, self- confidence, will wane.

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How Does, Build Self-confidence, Equal High Performance?

Myrna – So let’s transition to our, build self-confidence,  topic.

Why do you believe, building self-confidence, optimism,  grit,  and resilience are fundamental skills in achieving high performance goals?

Dr Ivan –  If you don’t believe in yourself, you will not put yourself in front of anybody and risk failure.  So the genuine belief is the foundational cornerstone of success.  We can all outwork and learn to do whatever we want, given enough time; but if we’re not willing, really willing to put ourselves out there, it doesn’t matter how talented we are.

Myrna – I understand not having the, self-confidence,  to do a job or not having the, self- confidence, that you’re gonna win the race or not having the, confidence, when you’re down 20 points in the fourth quarter and have the, confidence, that you can still win because I’ve seen that happen.

But what I don’t understand is why women can be beautiful, have a great body and don’t have the, self-confidence, that  they can walk in a room and own it. Instead they don’t project anything, they  don’t protect any energy.  They want to be in the corner, and then you have the woman who is not by standards attractive; but she walks in a room  and she feels that she’s got it and you know she gets the guys.  Because guys think that, self-confidence, is sexy.

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Why do we Lack, Self-confidence?

Dr Ivan – Well I’ll never comment on a woman’s appearance or looks.  What I would say that anybody whether it’s a female or a male or an athlete or a young girl or a young man. It’s the measuring stick that they’re using to measure themselves against.  This is key.  If I’m measuring myself up to Denzel Washington, I may never feel like I’m good enough.  It’s human nature to always be in competition and in comparison with others.  Whether it’s the Joneses next door, whether it’s what you did last week,  we are always looking at how we compare and stack up.

So your message to the young woman who may not be attractive, or the gentleman who may not be as smart, or the person who doesn’t think they have as much as the next person; you can’t tell them they are attractive or smart, they won’t believe it.

This is why we have to start with this genuine belief and, self-confidence. We’ll call this maladaptive perfectionism.  This is when you  have an unrealistic understanding of what perfectionism is or excellence is and you chase that almost impossible thing.

Myrna – What about optimism and the gift of resilience to achieve, high performance goals?

Dr Ivan – Optimism and, build self-confidence, takes you to the next level.  You believe that you can make it.  You’re, confident, you may have setbacks,  you may fail or flounder; but this is where grit comes into play. Grit, is the genuine belief in your ability to accomplish the task despite setbacks.

The only way to develop, grit, in order to achieve your goals is to experience failure.  There is no other way to grow, grit, and resilience than to sit and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

So many people out there won’t ever achieve, because they are so caught up with the embarrassment of failure.

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How to, Build Self-Confidence, Resilience and Grit

Dr Ivan – One of the first things you have to recognize is that your thoughts influence your beliefs which influence your actions.  It’s this whole cyclical self-fulfilling prophecy. What you tell yourself you become,  so you gotta stop the negative talk like:

  • Oh my God I look terrible in this dress.
  • or I’m never going to get this Job
  • Or I’m not as smart as these folks
  • I can’t do this, I’m no good

We keep saying these things to ourselves and they beat us up,  so you got To Stop the negative talk.

3 Centering Mantras to, Build Self-Confidence.

  1. In my book I teach some centering exercises to help stop the negative self talk and, build self-confidence
  2. Positive statements or mantras help replace the negative self talk.
  3. Replace the negative self talk with a positive statement or an affirmation e.g
  4. I  am the captain of my ship and the master of my fate.
  5. Nobody outworks me,
  6. I can learn anything.

Mantras to,  Build self-confidence:

1 – “MY TIME IS TOO VALUABLE TO WASTE IT WORRYING ABOUT THE THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER.”

2 – “THE OUTER IS ALWAYS A REFLECTION OF THE INNER.”

3 – “I TAKE NOTHING PERSONALLY.”

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Myrna – I’m a big believer in positive self-talk.  I fluctuate back and forth about affirmations; but I know as a Life Coach, that you should speak it until you believe it. Sooner or later if you keep on speaking it, you will start to believe it.

Dr Ivan – In sports we call it the as if principle.  Act as if you already have it.

Myrna – How can we , build self-confidence, and develop a winner’s mindset?

How, Building Self-confidence, contributes to a Winners Mindset

Dr Ivan – I think  a, winner’s mindset, and, self-confidence, go hand in hand. I’ll flip your question around and say, build self-confidence, helps you build a winner’s mindset.

Write a letter to yourself about all the things you’re great at. There’s going to be times when you feel like you can’t do it and you need to change that. Take that letter and read it to yourself and whatever that letter says congratulate yourself on it’s accomplishment.

Write that letter to yourself because, there will be  times when people tell you you can’t do it.

When you feel like you can’t do it,  that, winner’s mindset, will be turned on. The other way to build that, winner’s mindset, is to be careful and be intentional about the company you choose.

Myrna – I know personally that will work because how did we start off our conversation?

Saying that, self-confidence, comes from past experience.

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Mastering the,  Skill of Self-confidence

Tell us about your book “You’ve got this: Mastering the, Skill of Self-Confidence”  I know that your TedX on the, Skill of Self-confidence, has over 19 million views. Why do you think  that talk resonated with so many people and did you put some of that content in your book?

Dr Ivan –  To me the most important thing about that Ted talk,  the reason I did that talk was because I struggled with, build self-confidence.  I sat on the bench of a soccer team,  I got kicked out of University. When you grow up as a black man in a white man’s world, you’re always not feeling like you’re quite up to it.

One day when my wife came to me, she was my girlfriend at the time and she realized after I’d been sitting on the bench, that  she saw me practice and said I was terrible. She had already seen me play a really good game and she said to me.

“What happened to your game?  You let that man define your sense of self-worth.  Didn’t you tell me that he didn’t play high level Soccer?  That you’ve been coached by some of the best?”

I realized I had given my power away and that affected my performance, because I didn’t believe I was good any good anymore. I stopped that very day and changed my mindset. I went on to start to play like I was meant to play, I became the captain of that team playing in the all-conference finals.

It wasn’t that man who belittled me, I belittled myself. There’s always going to be people who don’t believe in you,  it’s your job to change that person’s mindset, not to fulfill their belief prophecy about you.

So the reason that TedX talk resonates with everybody is that we all have feelings of Self-doubt. We all need to, build self-confidence.

  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not rich enough
  • I’m not skinny enough
  • I don’t look good here
  • My teeth aren’t this
  • You get the new job and you’re great but then you get the promotion
  • I don’t know if I can do it
  • I don’t think I can do it

What I did with the book, was I shared some of that Ted talk and I went even further to create exercises, practical pieces and workshops in that book as a self-help guide about how to go about, building self-confidence.

I teach  about higher expectations, talking about skill and mastery. Listeners of the podcast will get a 20% discount using the coupon code Myrna

To order click the link below

https://drivanjoseph.com/ivans-bookivans-book/

If you go on  the website and order the book, I’ll give you the course materials.  I think it’s a great opportunity for people who want to grow and learn how to develop their, self- confidence, to improve their performance.

Follow Dr Ivan Joseph on Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram

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Soundcloud Transform your mind podcast
Transform your Mind Soundcloud podcast

I do have a contest this week. The prize is a 25 gift card from hbnaturals.com

This $25 gift card allows you to purchase any of the 80 natural organic products including, coffee, skincare, tea, CBD oil, super-foods, essential oils, pet products and more. All you need to do to enter this contest is to subscribe to either The Transform your Mind iTunes podcast or the Transform your  mind YouTube channel. Once you subscribe, send me an email to info@myhelps.us with your contact information and one lucky winner  will win this $25 gift card.

Dr Ivan how can our listeners Transform their Mind to Transform their life?

Just remember your mantra! You are the captain of your ship and the master of your fate.  So whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember You Got This!

Additional Resources

How to Build your Self-Confidence Muscle

Setting Goals Leads to Higher Performance

How to Heal After being Abandoned

Being, abandoned, by  a loved one cuts deeply in the heart resulting in emotional, abandonment.  It is the result of a significant person discarding you, dismissing you, devaluing you, or not acknowledging you. This type of invisible injury causes great harm to the recipient.  In fact, the term “recipient” is ironic because often the recipient receives nothing; which is the problem.

Abandoned by Love
Abandoned by Love

Regardless if you are, abandoned by your parents, a lover, a friend, a sibling. The feeling of, not being enough, overwhelms those who are, abandoned. No one sees it and it tends to go underground in terms of abuse. Victims simply feel empty and invisible.

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Here are the top 3 reasons for feeling, Abandoned:

  • Devalued and rejected by others
  • Abandoned, by our parents
  • Feelings of, not good enough,  because we have lack.

When the, abandonment, wound is caused by an absent parent. When one of your parents has chosen to not be in your life, this cuts deeply. There is no easy explanation to be found by those who’ve been abandoned by a parent. Some try to make the best of the situation, ignoring that fact that they don’t have this parent in their lives; but the damage is still the same.  There are life-long consequences to parental abandonment.

Children in the foster care system that have been, abandoned, by their parents never regain their self-esteem. They look are other kids who have their parents and feel worthless. They end up most time becoming promiscuous because they look for love in all the wrong places.

Some learn to cope in different ways. Some pretend it doesn’t matter; some question their worth; others may be openly angry.  With, abandonment, comes defense mechanisms.

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Abandoned, by Love

Most women who were, abandoned, end up in unhealthy relationship with narcissistic men who abuse them and, abandon, them again.  This pattern is repeated often.

Women who have been, abandoned, could be likened to a cracked vase. If you have been broken from, abandonment, then you can’t hold love, you can’t hold self-esteem, you can’t hold purpose, everything pours out of you.

It takes work to heal your cracks.  The first step in is to identify that you are broken from, abandonment.

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Identifying your, Abandonment, Feelings

Once you have identified your, abandonment, issue and have processed through some of the feelings there are some other imagery exercises you can to do heal yourself. These are described below:

  1. Identify the part of you that is hurt.This can be labeled as your, “hurt inner child.” If the source of your hurt occurred in adulthood, this does not matter because the wound of, abandonment, most likely put you in a regressive state of mind.  You have likely regressed emotionally to a younger, more helpless age. Use imagery and visualize this inner child.
  2. Now imagine the part of you that is healthy and compassionate.This part of you is going to be instrumental in your healing from being, abandoned. You must come to the rescue of your inner, hurt self by offering love, time, empathy, hope, and encouragement.
  3. In addition to the hurt, abandoned, part of yourself, identify your coping mechanisms – particularly any personas or sub-selves that act out; the part of you that is trying to compensate for the hurt experienced by the abandonment of your loved one. Identify parts of you that are trying to respond to the hurt in an unhealthy manner.
  4. Talk to your inner hurt, abandoned, child.Assure her of her value and worth. Be present for her in a real and tangible way.
abandonment hurts
abandonment hurts

In the end, no matter who has hurt you, no matter how affected you may be from the resulting injury from, abandonment, you still have a life to live. Even if you have an ache in your heart for the missing person, you can still thrive in life; find hope and love, and live well. You do this by honoring your feelings, acknowledging the loss, validating the consequences of the loss, and enjoying your life.

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Transform Your Mind iHeart Radio
iHeart Radio

How the, Abandonment,  wound plays out in relationships:

  • Oversensitivity to criticism or feedback
  • Overreacting to conflict
  • Becoming a pleaser
  • Anxiety and fear of the other person leaving
  • Ending relationships early before the other person has a chance to leave
  • Jealousy or suspicion that your partner will hurt, cheat, or leave even when there’s no sign of malicious behavior
  • Self-doubt, insecurity, and lack of self-worth
  • Staying in an abusive relationship for fear of being alone
  • In more extreme cases of being deeply triggered during events such as break-ups, a divorce, or a loss:one might feel a total loss of control over their emotions, hyper-reactivity, anxiety attacks, fear, insomnia, weight loss or gain, and obsessive thoughts or behavior.

An, abandonment, wound is invisible to the eye, but it leaves telltale signs in how we relate to the external world, how we feel internally and how we behave in our relationships. It can have us spend our whole lives running from perceived danger. To test someone’s love like a straw that inevitably breaks, then using their resignation as evidence we’re living in an unsafe world. It can cause us to blindly accept the bad behavior of others, ignoring our own needs and prevent us from having a strong, powerful voice.

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Additional Resources Abandonment

https://blog.myhelps.us/how-single-women-find-love/

How to Heal Your Brokenness

https://blog.myhelps.us/10-ways-childhood-trauma-impact-adults-in-love/

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-the-effects-of-childhood-trauma-4147640

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindful-anger/201706/4-ways-childhood-trauma-impacts-adults

 

 

Are you waiting on Love? How Single Women over 40 Find Love

single women over 40

How do, Single Women over 40, find the love they want? How do they prepare themselves in the meantime while waiting on, Love.  Where do they find, single men?

Single women, who are believing God for a partner, can enhance their in the meantime experience by having the right mindset on why they want a partner, what are the best watering holes to find a partner and how to renovate, Love’s house, so that it is ready for Love.

Listen to the full interview here: 

Finding Love Introduction

I think the best, dating advice, is that when, Love’s House, is fully ready for, Love, the right partner will appear.

Dating advice, for, finding love again

  1. Work on being the best you.

Become clear on your strengths and the areas that needs improvements

Eg. Are you a good housekeeper or a good cook; but you lack self-esteem and self-confidence? Then work on improving your self -confidence

  1. Advice for single women, Be clear on why you want a partner
  • Do you want a partner for security or to help pay your bills?
  • Do you want a partner because it is culturally acceptable to be married or in a relationship?
  • Are you looking for a partner to complete you?
  • Or Are you looking for a soulmate and equal partner to share your life?
  • The last one was the perfect answer. Many, single women, and some, single men, are out there looking for a partner that contributes something to their lives; but never consider what they are bringing to the table.  Why would someone choose you?
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Where do you, single women over 40, meet, single men?

The reason that so many, single men, and, single women, are still single is because it is hard to meet people.

Here are the most popular Watering holes for the, single woman.

  1. Church
  2. Bars
  3. Gym
  4. Sports events
  5. Networking events
  6. House parties
  7. Work

Most Christian, single women, would love to meet their spouse or partner in the church; but that is rare because most, single men, in church are using the church as their watering hole!

Bars are the most popular place for, single women under 40,  to meet a man; but here is some, dating advice. Bars have become hookup places for casual sex with no commitment; but in every scenario there are exceptions to the rule and you can, find love,  at a bar.

My daughter had the perfect combination, she met her Fiancé in a club; but he was also from her church!

I met my husband on a train. He was the officer who checked for tickets. The train is definitely not a watering hole; but soul mates will attract each other like a magnet in any place. Gas stations, parking lots, grocery stores, bus stop, anywhere!

I have met past boyfriends at a car wash, by friend introduction, Dance club, school, bus stop, train, and work and they were all committed relationships.

Transform Your Mind iHeart Radio
iHeart Radio

Finding love again, on Dating Sites

The newest place for, single women, to meet, single men, now are dating sites. The good thing about dating sites is that everyone on the site has the same goal, to meet a partner, or to start, dating, again.

As a realtor I love FSBO (For sale by owner) because they already want to sell their homes.  I don’t have to convince them to sell, only that I am the right agent to sell their homes. Same with the dating site. You don’t have to convince anyone to have a committed relationship, only that you are the one they are looking for.

Dating sites are tough if you are, finding love after a heartbreak, because it would be hard to trust. They are great for, single women over 50, because these women are not in the clubs or other social events.  They are home on their computers.

Transform your Mind TuneIn Radio
TuneIn Radio

My co-host today is Arifah Yusuf, a registered social worker and mental health counselor.

Arifah from a mental health perspective what can, single women, do to make sure they are sending the right vibes to a potential mate? Let’s say they meet someone at one of the many watering holes?

  • It’s really challenging sometimes, when it comes to giving off the right vibes, as different people enter spaces with their own intentions and interest.  It’s important for those that identify as women, to be mindful of their expectations and also have personal boundaries for themselves and others, so when engaging in conversations with, single men,  they can better be aware of the right vibes vs negative vibes, from themselves and others interacting with.  Some key tips, I would give are:
  • Before you try, finding love again, get to know yourself first and understand your past relationships (what worked/ didn’t work). This will help you get ready for a relationship, as you will be better able to recognize what you are looking for and if that relates to signs of a healthy relationship.
  • Some,  dating advice, Go to spaces where you may find someone with similar interest like you, somewhere that you feel comfortable and exudes positive energy. Most likely, you will attract  like minded, single men,   that will give off similar positive energy.
  • Be assertive and clear when communicating. Engage in conversations to discover common interest, identify personal traits.
  • When, dating, be open to new experiences.
  • Know your boundaries and if you feel someone is not respecting them, have your exit and safety plan ready.

These are some of the, dating advice, I would tell  my, single women, clients to keep in mind when thinking about meeting a, single man.

Where did you meet your husband?

  • I met my husband Kevin Mortley while I was working in the entertainment industry as a promoter.  He was also involved in the industry, promoting concerts for artist, and a graphic designer.  He reached out to me online and we had a conversation over the phone.

How do, Single Women, prepare, Love’s House?

Almost 20 years ago, I read a book by Iyanla Vanzant called” In the meantime, finding yourself and the love you want”

The concept of this book is prepare yourself and your life for love while waiting in, Love’s House.

One of the first things I remembered she said was to,

  • Start by living your, single life, like you are already in a relationship.
  • Park on your side in the driveway or garage,
  • Sleep on your side of the bed. Etc.
  • Let the Laws of Attraction work on, finding love again.

You are making room for a partner. But the synopsis of the book is to look at your, single life,  as a 3 story house, complete with a basement and an attic.

She calls this house, Love’s House. Loving yourself in the meantime while you are waiting on, finding love again.

In the basement of, Love’s House, you are pretty miserable. You are hurting, lonely and disillusioned. Your emotions are blame, anger, and fear. But the basement is also a place for healing. For understanding yourself. If you don’t fix yourself in the basement, you will carry that baggage and hurt into your next relationship.

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Arifah how do you help, single women, heal from hurt and blame?

  • Finding love after heartbreak, first fdentify and validate the pain.
  • Express yourself –Talking to a trust friend, family member or counselor is often a good way to soothe painful emotions and support healing.
  • Self care – take a break and find time for things you enjoy or would like to try (creative activities, manicure, hairstyles, movies, journaling, baking etc.)
  • Learn from it – An attitude of learning will help you discover value in the experience. You may also discover a curious new freedom: recovering from an emotional trauma or heartbreak makes you stronger, wiser and more resilient.
  • Reinvest in your new reality. Set goals and write down the steps and supports you need to begin working on them. Spark new energy and interests into your life, to find purpose and love of something else.

On the first floor of , Love’s House, you are no longer miserable and is able to look objectively at why you attract the people in your life that you do. Who are let’s say are emotionally unavailable, abusive, unsupportive etc.

On the second floor of, Love’s House, single women, Love’s house is where you change the dialog from victim to player. You educate yourself to play. You read books on, finding love again, you listen to podcasts on relationships, you start improving yourself, you become the picture card that everyone man wants.

The most important, dating advice  for, single women, on the second floor is that there is nothing wrong with you. You are enough and any man should be happy to have you. Say it until you believe it if you need convincing.

The third floor of, Love’s House,  is when, single women,  are living the, single life, and loving who you are as a, single woman. Content with herself, whole, needing no man to complete her. She is confident, self-sufficient,  courageous and beautiful inside and out.

The top floor is the Attic

In the attic, single women, showers themselves with unconditional Love. Single women over 40,  are able to receive the love of, single men. This is where you will begin to attract the perfect partner because negativity, does not live here.

You know what you want and, who you seek is also seeking you!

Podbean Transform your Mind Podcast

https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/acfds-6b7e1/Transform-your-Mind-Podcast

Arifah What, dating advice, you have for, single women, through the phases  of finding themselves in, love’s house.

  • Make sense of your past

In order to thing about, finding love, first uncover who we are and why we act the way we do, we have to know our own story 

  • Differentiate

Differentiation refers to the process of striving to develop a sense of ourselves as independent individuals. In order to find ourselves and fulfill our unique destinies, we must differentiate from destructive interpersonal, familial and societal influences that don’t serve us.

  • Seek meaning

In order to find ourselves and, finding love after a heartbreak, we must all seek out our own personal sense of purpose. This means separating our own point of view from other people’s expectations of us. It means asking ourselves what our values are, what truly matters to us, then following the principles we believe in.

  • Recognize your personal power when, finding love again

When we know what we want, we are challenged to take power over our lives.   We are accepting ourselves as a powerful player in our own destiny. Harnessing our personal power is essential to both finding and becoming ourselves

  • Single women over 50, must silence their critical inner thoughts

This destructive thought process can be made up of a judgmental attitude that tells us we aren’t good enough to succeed or don’t deserve what we want or a soothing-seeming attitude that tells us we don’t have to try or that we need to be taken care of or controlled.

  • Know the value of friendship with, single men

We can seek out people who make us happy, who support what lights us up and who inspire us to feel passionate about our lives. Being friends while, dating, gives you the opportunity to learn things about the person that you may not have learned otherwise

Story of a, single woman, finding love after a heartbreak

In the last episode, I mentioned that I would love the listeners to join my Life coach group on Facebook.  They could ask questions and have myself and other members give them, dating advise.

Here is a question from Mari.  Her husband died last year and she wants, dating advice,  on how to start over. What should she look for in a mate?

As a, life coach, I think that, single women,  starting over or starting out, dating, again should have a list of what they want in a man.

  • It should go deeper than tall, dark and handsome!
  • You should have common interests,
  • be equally yoked,
  • have the same standard of living,
  • same religion,
  • similar sex drive.
  • The list could be lengthy and you are not going to get every thing on  your list but you are shooting for 80%.

Arifah What’s your, Dating Advice, for Mari

Hi Mari, its never easy after a significant loss, or, finding love after heartbreak. There is no starting over, as your husband will still play a role in your lifestory. Moving forward, you want to know what type of role that will be, maybe its pictures in a photo album or another memory keepsake. You need to figure this out, before you move forward, as sometimes we feel guilty, which is normal; but its apart of the grieving process, allow yourself to acknowledge that is what it is and determine what new reality are you hoping for in seeking a mate.

You can start with figuring out what you want, create a love resume for yourself in terms of what would characteristics, interests, you are looking for in that, single man.  Once that’s done, you are half way there to having a mindset and discovering possible spaces or friends your potential mate may visit.

I also got a question on my website. www.myhelps.com/contactus

No Fear : How to Live with Courage

This is a question from our last episode. We talked about fear and courage in our last episode.

How Do I handle the fear of, Dating, Steffy from India. Writes.

All I know is that I’ve a great fear. I’ve some kind of burden in my mind and I am not able to figure it out. I am a, single man,  I wake up in the middle of night and I have these panic attacks and stuff, tried meditation; but I am not able to concentrate. I need advice on, dating. Finding love again. The more I try the more I lose my hopes and start feeling worthless. Please help.

Since this is a mental health question I will let Arifah answer this one.

Hi Steffy, thank you for sharing your lived experience with fear.  It sounds like it is impacting your daily routine and ability to accomplish meaningful goals, such as, finding love. I want to say its common for people that are experiencing anxiety to lose hope, but you not worthless and help is available.

It may be helpful to monitor your daily routine and meals for the day, for example, stress/sugar and caffeine can increase anxiety.   Make an appointment to see your family doctor or at a clinic if you are able too, to share how you are feeling emotionally and physically.  Your doctor can provide professional advice to best help you.

In regards to fear of speaking to, single women, it’s helpful to practice writing down what you want to say, then reading it to yourself out loud or in front a mirror.  If you have friends/family you feel comfortable around and that are supportive, you can also practice public speaking in front of them first to get comfortable before larger crowds.

Breathing exercises and drinking water/herbal teas can be helpful in calming the nerves.  As well, watching videos or reading books from motivational speakers, that may offer tips you may find helpful.

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Additional Resources

No Fear : How to Live with Courage

https://blog.myhelps.us/surviving-r-kelly-mindset-sexual-predator/

How to Heal Your Brokenness

https://news.abs-cbn.com/entertainment/03/28/17/erich-gonzales-im-enjoying-my-single-life

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/05/the-reality-of-life-as-a-single-mom/

https://www.scarymommy.com/dating-a-single-mom/

 

No Fear : How to Live with Courage

no fear just courage

No fear, How do we say goodbye to Fear and live with courage?

What is fear? The first thing we must realize is that FEAR is False evidence appearing real.

Fear is an energy. Created totally in our minds. The energy of fear is powerful.  It can change the quality of lives.

A few years back, I had a guest in my home. When it was time for her to leave, it was dark and she refused to walk out the front door because she was afraid of Frogs jumping on her foot. Now, I have never seen a Frog in my front yard and neither had she; but she must have had an experience of a Frog jumping on her foot and it had traumatized her. So now every time she walks in a yard at dark, she was afraid of Frogs. How can we live with, no fear?

No fear, it is not real
Fear is not real

Now this is an example of a trivial fear but ask yourself. Is fear affecting the quality of your life? What would life be like if you had, no fear?

The problem with fear is that it is the bottom feeder of all emotions, that means that if you have fear in your heart you can’t have:

  • Love,
  • Happiness,
  • Feelings of belonging,
  • Self-reliance,
  • Self-control,
  • Initiative,
  • Ambition,
  • Enthusiasm,
  • or Certainty.
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  • The most common appearances of fear in the, African American Community, are:
  • Fear of poverty
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear of ill health
  • Fear of loss of love
  • Fear of old age
  • Fear of death

Today Arifah and I are going to look at how Fear shows up in African American families and how it prevents us from living a life of purpose and abundance.

Here are the symptoms of the, Fear of poverty:

  • Willingness to tolerate poverty
  • Acceptance of whatever compensation that life offers without protest.
  • Mental and physical laziness
  • Lack of initiative
  • Lack of imagination
  • Indecision
  • The habit of permitting others to think for you
  • Sitting on the fence of indecision
  • Excuses for not taking initiative
  • Excuses for failures
  • Envy of those who are successful
  • Finding fault with others who are successful

My co-host is Arifah Yusuf, registered social worker, specializing in, mental health. She is the founder and program director of Lifted by Purpose.

Lifted by Purpose Provides a diverse range of services including training, workshops with the intent to engage youth in conversations about mental health and learn practical strategies to cope with life stressors.

Here are Arifah’s experience in working with youth and dealing with, No Fear, Living with Courage

In my experience working with young people, majority of children and youth live with anxiety.   The anxiety impacts their relationships to function in socially and or academically.  As well, how they view themselves and their ability to complete tasks or take risks.  Common signs of an anxiety disorder in youth I noticed are:

  • Constantly worrying about grades
  • Always trying to be perfect / Being afraid to make mistakes
  • Not sleeping well
  • Difficulty managing daily tasks and/or distress related to these tasks.
  • Anxious predictions – Worrying about something horrible happening (ie. Being embarrassed or humiliated)
  • Anxious thoughts “ I’m out of control, I can’t do this”
  • Avoiding friends or social situations and activities
  • Being afraid of speaking up and asking questions in class
  • Blanking out or freezing up in stressful situation
  • Safety behaviors (habits to minimize anxiety and feel “safer,” e.g., always travelling with a friend or have cell phone in their hand)
  • Excessive physical reactions relative to the context (e.g., heart racing and feeling short of breath in response to certain spaces or when they see certain individuals)

Anxiety is the most common disorder in Canada.  2.6% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported symptoms consistent with generalized anxiety disorder, an anxiety disorder characterized by a pattern of frequent, persistent worry and excessive anxiety about several events or activities.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada, “the 12 month prevalence for any anxiety disorder is over 12% and one in four Canadians (25%) will have at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime”.

No fear living with courage
No fear living with courage

Seven Major types of Anxiety Disorders:

  • Agoraphobia,
  • generalized anxiety,
  • specific phobia,
  • panic disorder,
  • social anxiety
  • separation anxiety
  • selective Mutism.

(ie. Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed)

Other Anxiety Disorders:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, hoarding disorder, trichotillomania, and excoriation disorder).

Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders(reactive attachment disorder, dis-inhibited social engagement disorder, PTSD, acute stress disorder, and adjustment disorder).

 

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No Fear, means Living with Courage: How do we define courage?

Aristotle believed courage to be the most important quality in a man or woman. “Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible,”

How do you build your courage character?

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  1. Practice courageous acts.

To build a courageous character, with, no fear, the muscle of courage must be continually strengthened. Aristotle, the ancient philosopher who focused most on courage, said that we develop courage by performing courageous acts. Recent psychological research also suggests that courage is an ethical habit that we develop by repeatedly practicing acts of bravery.

Let me share a personal story with you, that helped me develop courage and have, no fear.

Years ago I was living in the United States as a temporary resident as a Canadian Citizen.  I was married and my husband sponsored me and applied for me to become a permanent resident. Before my application was finalized, My brother was getting married in Toronto, Canada and I just upped and left the country for the weekend to attend my brothers wedding.

When I tried to return to the USA, a few days later, border patrol  asked me for my Advance Parole documents.  I told them I never applied for Advanced Parole.  This is a document that gives you permission to leave the country while you have a pending application.   The border patrol told me that I had voluntarily abandoned my application by leaving the country and that my husband had to apply again.  He also told me I would have to stay in Canada for approximately 2 years while my new application was processed. To date that was one of my darkest days!

Then because he knew that as a Canadian Citizen, I could come back into the country at any time as a visitor, he added that if I tried to sneak back into the country as a visitor and I got caught, I would get a 10 year ban from entering the United states.

I returned back to Canada, and for a week I weighed all my options. I had a husband in the USA, my daughter was in school in the USA, I had a good job in the USA.  I decided I had to take the risk of returning to the USA as a Canadian visitor.

So I strapped on some courage, and made myself have, no fear, rented a car and drove myself over the border alone because I did not want to implicate any of my family members.

I drove up to the border patrol with, no fear, and as calmly and as courageous as a dove, I told him that I was going to Buffalo to pick up my husband from the airport.  He asked me if I had anything to declare, I said no and he  and waved me through!

I would tell you that after that incident, I look fear in the face every time and do it anyway. That is how I started to build my courage muscle having, no fear.

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Arifah, do you have a story to share of a time you had to look fear in the eye but do it anyway?

This is a good time to introduce a question I received on my Life coach group on Facebook. I would like for my listeners to join that group.  It is a forum to ask questions regarding your current struggles and get answers from me and the group.

This is a question from Mari: How do I have, no fear, to stop bullying

I really need some advice, I have a lot on my plate right now. I lost the love of my life. In December and since I moved in with my dad and brother I have been picking up after them. Folding their clothes. And they make me out to be their maid. I have paid money to have the house clean and it gets messy by the second day. Now since I’ve moved here my brother has been bullying me. He calls me little girl. Saying I’ll never make it on my own. Saying he feels sorry for me. Calls me a retard. Saying I act like a 12 year old. Says I don’t clean up after myself when I have been picking up after them both. Saying I’m a bitch. Calls me dumb ass. The list goes on but I’m trying to get an apartment and I don’t wish nothing bad on him but If he will ever be homeless I’m not going to put up with this. I thought of suicide but hell no!!! I’m just tired of him bullying me.

Arifah, what advice would you give Mari?

As a Life Coach, here are my steps for having, no fear, and building courage.

Exercise and meditation both have the power to lower stress levels and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, which could help you to act more courageously in the face of challenges.

This is a meditation practice  I use every day to  build my courage character. It is from the Tibethan Monk Dandipanni

  • Sit quietly and start witnessing your breathe
  • Be aware of the air as it enters your nostrils and follow it all the way down to your belly.
  • Hold your breathe for a few seconds and then breathe out, once again follow your breathe as it exits your nostrils.
  • Do this for 3 breaths
  • Now become aware of your feet on the ground. Focus your attention on your big toe on your left foot. Feel the energy in your left toe as it becomes warm. Now keep your attention on your left foot and feel the energy as it climbs through your feet, ankles, calf, knees, quads, hips. Move this energy into your spine and hold it there.
  • Repeat this with your right foot, left arm and then right arm.
  • Hold the energy that you directed from all your limbs into your spine and now think about a courageous act. I think of the courageous act I just shared with you.  Your energy body is now infused with courage.
  • Now send this energy back to your right arm, left arm, right foot and left foot.

This is how you build your courageous body and have, no fear!

Additional Resources:

https://blog.myhelps.us/principle-4-have-a-positive-mind-set/

https://blog.myhelps.us/who-is-tending-your-mind-garden/

How to Heal Your Brokenness

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/conquering-fear_n_3909020

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/22/nothing-to-fear-how-to-find-courage-when-you-need-it-most/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.43ce47fdd4e3

How to Build your Self-Confidence Muscle

So What is, self- confidence? How do we define, self- confidence, and what does it look like?

Self-confidence, comes from building your confidence muscle. It increases with positive input from your parents, peers, loved ones and from your personal victories.

Today’s episode is supported by Columbus Financial.  Are you in a deep hole of “Financial Depression” with nowhere to turn for help? Constantly being harassed by collection agencies? Then visit Columbus Financial and success coach. www.columbusfinancialcoach.com

In Today’s #podcast  Arifah and I are talking on the topic of How to build, Self-confidence, we want to  shed some light on one of the top struggles of , African American women,  self-confidence,

In the co-host chair today is registered, social worker and mental health counselor, Ms Arifah Yusuf.

How to Build Self Confidence
How to Build Self Confidence

What is Self-Confidence?

The most important thing to remember about, self- confidence, is that we were born with it. It is our natural state.

How many of you remember your play days as kids? As a child I was always the doctor or teacher.

Boys have no fear. They would climb to the tallest point in their home, put on a cape and jump! They were Superman!

So I would define, self- confidence, as certainty. Confident and certain that you are able to handle your job, your family, social events and personal relationships.

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How do you build, self-confidence?

Self-confidence, comes from building your confidence muscle. It increases with positive input from your parents, peers, loved ones and from your personal victories.

But a large percentage of, African American women,  and men suffer from a lack of, self-confidence, because of negative input from parents, peers, and loved ones.

Usually centered on their intellect, the color of their skin, their hair, their lips, their butt, the section of town they live, their lack of designer clothing, and the list goes on.

It is important to note that lack of, self-confidence, always comes from negative comments that you believe. If you don’t let these negative comments in, they will never take root and grow.

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Here is a story showcasing how a lack of, self-confidence,  usually starts.

A surgeon opened his office one day and found a tall black man in the waiting room. He was six feet four inches tall and towered over the surgeon. He complained about his lip. You see his underlip protruded out from his top lip. His girlfriend told him she was ashamed to be seen in public with him because of his ugly lip; so he came to the surgeon to get it fixed.

The surgeon told him there was nothing wrong with his lip, it was just a minor protrusion. The black man insisted on getting it fixed; so the surgeon gave him an outrageous price of $1200 hoping he would go away.

He did, he said that he didn’t have that kind of money. But lo and behold, he came back the next day with a little black bag in his hand. He dumped the contents on the table. Bills poured out, his life savings; $1200 worth!

The doctor was shocked. He didn’t want to deprive the man of his life savings so he made him an offer. He agreed to do the surgery for a smaller fee on the condition that he tell his lady love that he paid $1200 for the surgery.

The operation was simple enough and one week later all the bandages came off and the man had a smaller lip he was proud of. All the surgery was done inside the lip so he had no visible scars except for a small scar inside the lip. The man was happy, he strode from the doctor’s office full of, self-confidence, A commanding figure. Tall, black and proud.

However a few weeks later he was back in the surgeon’s  office. His body seemed to have shrunk, his hands lost their strength, his voice squeaked. The doctor asked him what happened to him.

He said “the African Bug, sir. It got me and it’s killing me”

He told the doctor after he removed the bandages he went to see his lady love. She loved his lip and asked him how much he paid for the surgery.  When he told her $1200, she became enraged and cursed him saying she could have used that $1200 and accused him of hiding the money from her. She cursed him and told him he would die.

Deeply troubled and hurt, the man laid in his bed for 4 days worrying  about this curse that was going to kill him. Then running his tongue around, he discovered the horrible thing inside his mouth. He went to see a medical doctor who checked his mouth and confirmed that “the slimy African bug was stuck inside his mouth and it was indeed killing him.

The surgeon looked at this diminished and fearful man and asked him “Is it really in your mouth?”

“Yes sir,” the man said “the doctor tried to help get rid of it with liquids, pastes and potions – but nothing worked. The curse is too strong”. It’s burned inside my lip.

“Your lip?”

“Yes sir” the man said

“You didn’t say lip before”

The doctor ran his finger at the back of the man’s lip and told the disbelieving man that “the bug” was no more than scar tissue from his surgery.

The disbelieving man looked up in wonder and asked “then there is no African bug?”

The man stood up. Instantly he seemed to have regained his full height and strength. A rich smile spread over his face and his voice boomed out again. His, self-confidence, had returned.

The moral of this story is that you can’t get your, self-confidence, from other people. You have to take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses and deal with them on your own terms.

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Let’s bring Arifah into this, self-confidence, conversation. Arifah is a, registered social worker, specializing in, mental health issues. She is the founder and program director of Lifted by Purpose.

Lifted by Purpose Provides a diverse range of services including training, workshops with the intent to engage youth in conversations about mental health and learn practical strategies to cope with life stressors.

Arifah I am sure that a large population of your clients suffer from a lack of, self-confidence, Why do you think that is?

I think there are many reasons young people lack, self-confidence, I often work with young people who experienced unhappy childhoods or maybe their parents neglected them in some way or they weren’t involved much in their lives.

Also I’d say lack of, self -confidence, sometimes comes from negative input from teachers or authority figures in their lives. Sometimes teachers have a way of saying things that discourage young people.  Making them feel inadequate made and like they couldn’t be successful.  That kind of influenced how they feel about themselves and their, self-confidence, I’d also say young people who have experienced trauma or bullying from their peers can obviously influence their, self-confidence,

I believe that when young people don’t value themselves and sometimes that comes from people not validating them, they often lack, self-confidence,

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How to Build Your Self-Confidence through Courageous acts

As a, life coach, I believe that Courage is a byproduct of, self confidence,

It takes courage to walk up on stage and speak to an audience large or small.

It takes courage to call that guy you like and ask him out.

It takes courage to go into that interview even though you have no idea what you are going to say.

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  • Money Management
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  • Credit Consulting
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So how do you make yourself, Face the Fear, but do it anyway?

Tell yourself that it is not going to kill you.

My grandmother used to say “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

And that’s exactly what, Feeling the fear but doing it anyway does for you. It makes you stronger, it builds your, self-confidence, muscle because even if you bombed you got practice and practice also makes perfect!

Here are my steps to build your, self-confidence, muscle on public speaking or doing a presentation at work.

  1. You can start by writing out your speech word for word and just read it
  2. Then as you get more, self- confidence, and your brain recorded that you did not die, you weren’t booed off the stage, nobody laughed at you.
  3. So the next step is to write out the headlines and speak from the heart on your headlines
  4. Sooner or later you will have, self- confidence, muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Tony Robbins and command the attention of the audience.

Arifah What are your steps to building the, self-confidence, muscle?

I find that it  wasn’t only their, self-confidence muscle,  that needed to be built up, it was their self-worth,  it was a whole bunch of things there was all built into the one thing.  If we were to put a label on it,  it would be that we’re not enough.

You would not believe how many people feel that they are not enough;  even the most successful

people like, Michelle Obama, in her book “Becoming Michelle Obama” felt that she wasn’t good enough.  Why did she feel that way?  Because she was black and from the south side of Chicago!

As, African American women,  we have got a lot of things that we have to deal with, we just have to believe that we are all born with purpose and with the love of God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GetiPNOx9dU

I have seven steps that I use to help my clients gain, self-confidence:

  1. Self-reflection – every time I meet with them, I allow them to self-reflect on their day self-reflect on things that were happening in their lives with gratitude.
  2. Acknowledgement and self-acceptance – what makes them unique because everybody is unique.
  3. Positive reinforcement – praising their effort and not obsessing over mistakes.
  4. Mastering a skill – I had the girls work on a project. They created their own YouTube video. Everyone mastered a skill in the production of the video.
  5. Communication skills – I do a lot of exercises around different forms of communication. Assertiveness,  passive, passive aggressive etc.
  6. Positive self-talk and affirmations – paying attention to their internal dialogue
  7. Pay it forward – giving back helps build, self-confidence,

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Additional Resources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joyburnford/2019/01/08/confidence-one-more-muscle-to-exercise-this-year/

 

How to Raise your Self-esteem by Erasing Self Doubt