In honor of my 27th birthday last month, I wanted to share 10 lessons that life has taught me over the years. Starting with:
1. You Are Your Brand
Whether you’re an aspiring fashion stylist, you run a nonprofit organization out of the goodness of your heart, sell weight loss pills, starting out as an unlicensed nail tech, you’re a freelance writer or blogger, YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. Only you can define yourself and what you bring to the table. Make a statement in your own life and own it!
2. You Are What You Do, Not What You Say You’ll Do
This one here is pretty simple. Actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, social media has taken over and words are kind of important nowadays. I.E. Stop telling everybody what you’re going to do. Just do it! If you’ve been working, it will show! You won’t have to go out of your way to convince the masses. Don’t talk about it, be about it! Besides, half of them don’t really care anyway!
3. Embrace Happiness.
We’ve all had those moments where everything is going great! I mean, your whole life is just LIT! Credit score high, your man is FINALLY being a man, you just got a raise, your kids ain’t acting a damn fool, your family is doing well and your friends are all thriving in their careers and then doubt creeps in. Things are going good. But they’re going too good. Kick those negative thoughts to the curb and embrace the LITuation! Remind yourself that after all you’ve been through, you DESERVE this piece of happiness. You earned your right to have stress-free moments. And even though it may be temporary, you still deserve it!
4. Stop Settling
Comfort causes many of us to settle for a life that we didn’t envision for ourselves. But that’s okay. Life doesn’t always come with a manuscript. The best thing about your life is that you change it anytime you want! If you are unhappy, unsatisfied or just plain old bored with the direction your life has taken, stop settling and change it. Nothing will change if you don’t change.
5. Everybody Can’t Go Where You’re Going
I’ll keep it simple. Sometimes the journey you’re on comes with a ticket for one. It ain’t meant for everybody. Stop trying to bring others into V.I.P when your name didn’t come with a plus one, two or three.
6. Self-Care is Essential
We have to stop neglecting ourselves! Making time for yourself is necessary. Get your hair done. Buy a new outfit. Take yourself out to eat. Get a pedicure or a facial. In a world of constant movement, don’t forget to pause and nurture the most important person in your life: YOU. Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself!
7. Learn To Say No And Mean It
I used to have this habit bad. Never wanting to upset anyone. Always wanting others to depend on me. Constantly volunteering my help. I never minded helping anyone because it was genuine. Until it became expected. And that’s where the problem came in. When you finally say “NO” one time, everyone forgets about the other hundred times that you said yes. Solution? Say no from the beginning. Everyone is capable of learning how to do things themselves. And if they don’t know how, luckily there is a popular search engine called Google.
8. Never Allow Others To Put Limitations On Your Goals
There will always be someone that’s trying to dampen your light, stop your shine or put a halt on your glow-up. Stay away from those people. Sometimes your dreams are just too big for small minded people. Don’t let them turn your sky into a ceiling!
9. When The Struggle To The Top Gets Real, Think About The View From The Top
Your path to success will not come easy. You will have those days where it gets overwhelming. You will have those moments where you want to give it all up. It can get stressful. Just keep in mind the aspirations you have set for yourself. Besides, you can’t complain about having too much on your plate when your goal was to eat.
10. Find Your Squad
The support that I’ve had over the years has helped mold me into the woman that I am today. I never knew how important it was to have a team of supportive friends around me. Your squad should be supportive, motivating and loving. On those days where you can’t find the strength to keep going, your tribe is right there to lend a hand. They will encourage you to be your best self and most of all, love you.
After glancing back over the years, I can honestly say that I still have some growing to do. Though I’m not where I want to be, I am heading in the right direction. I hope this helps you recognize the progress that you’re making in your life. Whether it’s fast progress or slow progress, it is still progress nonetheless. Have a great day, Queens!
EM Woodz Aka The Dream Big Pretty is A Nashville, TN native, Em is a twenty something year old millennial writer. When she isn’t penning a new book, she can usually be found stalking Pinterest for the latest trends, planning new vacations or enriching the lives of others with motivation. Feel free to follow her journey on Instagram: @thatFANCYwriter| Facebook: Em Woodz | Wattpad: thatFANCYwriterEM