1. RECOGNIZE WHERE YOU ARE
Life is compartmental: You can be effective in one area and be a hot mess in another. When you’re in breakdown, you aren’t necessarily dismantled, your hair disheveled and two steps away from wearing a white gown that ties in the back. You may still wear your flawless makeup and produce stellar results. But some areas of your life might need to be reevaluated.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Consider this: Does thinking about your credit score, your cluttered garage, your work, your health or relationship with your partner energize or drain you? If it’s the latter, then that part of your life is in breakdown and needs your attention.
2. RATE YOURSELF
Sit down with a piece of paper and list these seven environments of your life: relationships, finances, connection to nature, professional network, physical environment, health and spirituality.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: On a scale of 1 (it’s unbearable) to 5 (you love it!), rate how you feel in each area. Ask yourself; Is it okay for me to live like this for the next ten years? If the answer is yes, then it’s a 4 or 5 and you’re trending in the right direction. But if you’re simply tolerating an area of life, then that’s a 3-it may not be in the ICU, but it’s in the waiting room ER. The goal is to move every single area of your life from breakdown (1 or 2) and toleration (3) to absolute joy (4 or 5). If your simply putting up with your wrecked finances, your lack of closeness with friends, here’s the reality: it will become less tolerable over time. And everything you tolerate is taking your energy away from the bliss you could be creating.
3. GET CLEAR ABOUT WHAT’S DRIVING YOU
In every area of your life, are you running toward abundance and joy, or are you trying to outrun failure? It’s important that you make that distinction. Are you building relationships because you want more love in your life or because you’re afraid to be alone? A fear-based motivation will not last. So what will last? Moving toward possibility.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Ask yourself the following: Am I making relationship that result in amazing love or so that I won’t be alone? Am I working this hard to build my financial dream or to avoid being broke? Am I saying yes because I love to help or because I want to be liked? Share your honest answers with a sisterfriend.
4. UNPACK YOUR FEAR
Let’s say you want to launch a new business. You’re consumed with anxiety that you’ll fail. You ask yourself, What if I start this business and it flounders, then what? Answer the question: If your business flops, you’ll go in an altogether different direction. But eventually, you will make more money. In the meantime, your family and your real friends will support in starting again and love you in starting again and love you no matter what. When you breakdown each of your misgivings with answers based in logic rather than in emotion. I will minimize the trepidation and allow you to focus on the possibilities.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Write down a desire that makes you anxious each time you think about pursuing it. Now write down four of the worst things that could happen if you moved forward on this desire. Next write down four actions you would take to bounce back if things didn’t work out. Remember, take the emotion out of your answer, and watch the fear evaporate.
5. MAKE AN ALREADY-DONE LIST
Recall the past 3, 5 or 15 years. What are you most proud of? What have you already done? Rather that starting from deprivation, start from celebration-it’s a far more powerful place to begin. Now take out a favorite notebook and let’s get to work.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Write this heading ” I have already…” and then finish that sentence with your accomplishments. Maybe you’ve already started an awesome career, made a health change, or became a great parent. You’ve done so many things well. Acknowledge that.
6. KEEP THE END IN MIND
What would success look like in each of the seven environments of your life? Picture it. Break it up into milestones. Write that down. Your goal, for example, may be to live in prosperity, but you are deeply in debt. Set yourself up for micro wins and those that grow into macro wins.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: To shore up your finances for example, identify tasks. One may be to develop a working budget that trims your spending. Another may be to negotiate your debt down by calling up creditors. And your finish line? Perhaps it’s to have enough savings to cover all your living expenses for a year. The only way to tackle the large goal is to do one task at a time while leaving the worry about the overarching goal in the distance.
7. SHIFT YOUR MINDSET
Pay attention to your thoughts and conversations about each area of your life. I’ve heard women say, “I’m trying to make it to the end of the month.” Or “I’ll never find a good man.” A breakthrough is more than an “aha” moment-it’s a paradigm shift in which you limiting beliefs disappear. Your mind-set-what you think, repeat and profess out loud-will become your reality. You can go on as you like, but if you ultimately believe that all the good men are taken, then guess what? That’s exactly what will be true for you.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Replace your old belief with a new proclamation.Try this one: “I am on a path to finding a magnificent person I can share my life with.” Then get out of the house!
8. GET MOVING
We can, map out a plan for a break through, we can meditate on it and pray over it and pray over it, but action is what actually produces change. Folk singer Joan Beaz once said, “Action is the antidote to despair.” I’ll add that action is the prescription for success. You do the work yourself. If financial prosperity is your goal, get aggressive about finding new ways to generate income. Is there a skill set you could develop to create another revenue stream? Or if you crave a better work-life balance, what career shift can you make to carve out more time for yourself and how can you set a budget to make this possible? Or maybe you want frequent in-person time with your mate, your children or your friends. How can you rearrange your calendar and become intentional about scheduling time?
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Don’t just make a list. Get busy living out your list daily. And celebrate your wins!
YOUR POWER CHECK UP
Take the quiz and see how you stack up
1. Are you paying down your debt? Yes or No
Power Move: The stress of carrying debt doesn’t just deplete your bank account-it can cripple your health. Start paying down debts one at a time and watch your stress melt away.
2. Do you share a pew with your gal pals? Yes or No
Power Move: Sociologists have discovered that not only does church attendance bring inner peace but connecting with others at your place of worship heightens your sense of joy.
3. Have you truly forgiven those who have hurt you? Yes or No
Power Move: Forgiveness is an amazing gift: Reasearch shows that when we pardon others we also lower our blood pressure and strengthen immunity. So don’t forgive because others deserve it. Forgive because you do.
4. Do you eat fruits and veggies? Yes or No
Power Move: Noshing on veggies has many heath benefits. New Zealand researchers found that study participants who consumed more of nature’s goodies reported feeling calmer and more energetic.
5. Are you groomed for success? Yes or No
Power Move: In a 2011 Harvard study, women who moderate makeup were deemed more hireable. Authentic power comes from within-but a little red lip can’t hurt.
6. Do you hand over your burdens to a higher power? Yes or No
Power Move: You do yourself a huge favor each time you surrender your troubles. Prayer and meditation send the body into a relaxed state, which increases tranquility.
If you answered yes to five or 6 questions: You’re one powerful sister-you’ve set aside life’s biggest energy suckers and you’re giving yourself the nurturing you need to keep your spirits up and your dreams within reach.
If you answered yes to 3 or 4 questions: What’s love got to do with it? Everything-and you could stand to bless yourself with a little more of it. Sure, you’re moving in the right direction, but now it’s time to shift into a higher gear. Take inventory of the areas of your life that may be TLC- deprived and map out a plan to maximize your power.
If you answered yes to 1 or 2 questions: Girl, you need a major life tune-up. Consider a vacay, but to really put yourself back on the path to power, you’ll need to create a detailed plan to get to your breakthrough. Take pledge. and reach out to a pro- a counselor, a coach, a pastor, a financial advisor, a nutritionist-for some direction. We all need a lifeline at some point. Reach for your.
YOUR POWER PLEDGE
I am unique. My journey has been filled with experiences that have built my resiliency, defined my character and made me a better woman.
I am ready to cash in on my greatness, my brilliance, my God-given possibilities and my prosperity.
I will turn my valleys into my mountaintops, my obstacles into my opportunities, my tests into my testimony.
I love my cinnamon, caramel, mocha and deep chocolate skin, my full lips, my round hips and my kinky hair.
I am a masterpiece of humility, gratitude, godliness and divinity. My beauty is real. My heart is good, and my strength has been confirmed through the test of time with my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
I will show the world how to treat me—and it’s my job to give the world the best example possible.
I have turned my crawl into a walk, my walk into a run, and I’m now turning my run into my soar.
I am unapologetic about my brilliance, untamed in my quest to discover me.
I am no longer asking for permission to be me. I’m giving notice!
Article from ESSENCE magazine June 2013 issue.