This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post. To read Part I, click here.
6. Set your own value.
Sometimes we struggle as black women because we’ve been socialized to believe that our value is not as high as women in other racial groups. We’ve also been taught that we have to work harder than other races to be deemed just as good. At what point does a black woman stop believing the hype, and start believing that she’s beautiful, wonderful, intelligent and competent just as she is? For me, I’d say it was around the age of 28. I’d stopped comparing myself to others and started really appreciating everything about myself and finding contentment in my own company. When you begin to really know yourself, then you know that you are worth more than your weight in gold. But if you wait for others to recognize that before you do, then you’ll be waiting a really long time. We teach others how to treat us and how much value we have by how we treat and value ourselves, and by what we will and won’t accept. So set your own value.
7. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Whenever I had to step out of my comfort zone, I experienced the fear of uncertainty. My early coping mechanism was to ask others about their experiences, but as I’ve said above, that doesn’t always work. My old roommate mentioned this phrase to me and I’ve found that its very helpful. Instead of beating myself up for fealing fear, I know that others feel that same fear yet move ahead with the goal that they’re pursuing. Sometimes this can be a comfort to me because no one wants to feel like a coward. Knowing that other people have the same anxiety and discomfort at wearing new mantles of responsibility certain helps to ease the process until I become comfortable. And living by this principle also removes the option of being ruled by fear. Fear doesn’t stop others and I won’t let it stop me, either. Do you feel the same?
8. You are responsible for your own happiness.
Are you waiting to get a new job in order to feel happy, if your current one makes you miserable? Are you looking for a mate, so that you can feel happy and complete? What about losing weight, is that your catalyst for happiness? I’m sure you’ve heard it before and you already know its true that only you can make yourself happy. What happens if you achieve these things, and yet you’re still unhappy? Do you find another job, another mate, or lose more weight? And those of us who study and practice the law of attraction know that you won’t be able to manifest the job, mate or release the weight you want unless you’re happy first. It takes alot of practice and changing your self-talk, but being happy right where you are is achievable. I think the biggest part of that is living in the now. And let me tell you, not allowing external people and circumstances dictate how I feel, is one of the amazing aspects of getting older. I guess you can call it ‘not sweating the small stuff’, but I also like to think of it as living an unconditional life. My happiness is not based on what condition my reality is in.
9. When people show you who they are, believe them.
Has someone every done something to you, that you didn’t like? What happened the second time that they did it to you? Did you complain that they keep doing something stupid? Or did you move away from this person, so that they don’t continue to offend you? Its sometimes hard to accept people just as they are. We want to admire the qualities they have that we like, and want them to stop indulging in their qualities that we don’t like. But if you know that the finest guy in your rotation is a liar, that you have a girlfriend that’s in ‘secret’ competition with you, or that one of your coworkers indulges in office politics, then you really can’t get mad or upset that these people do these things to you. Because you were already on notice. So make sure to take the blinders off and govern yourself accordingly. I had to learn to stop holding out hope for some folks, wanting them to change and wasting time expecting certain things that are outside of who they really are. By the same token, recognize when someone is good friend or boyfriend material and believe who they are, too.
10. Know when to swallow your pride and ask for help.
This is a very recent lesson for me. I was brought up with the principle of “mother may have, father may have, but God bless the child that’s got his own”. I think I might take this principle to heart more than others…. swallowing my pride is one of the hardest things for me to do, but I’m finding it easier. I do not want to be seen as weak, incapable, lazy, etc. But at the same time, I’m appreciating that your friends and family don’t mind helping you if you’re able and generally self-sufficient. I realized too that not one of us lives in a vaccuum and people need others to survive. But this isn’t something to be abused, and I’m thankful for the times when I reach out for help and others do so if possible.
Did you look forward to turning 30, why or why not? What are some of the things you’ve learned along the way to your 30s?