As I celebrate my 41st birthday today, I reflect on all the life lessons I’ve had. The one that sticks out the most, and that has helped me become the person I proudly am today, is to stop caring what others think of me. Truly, to embrace my own dreams, desires, and decisions as MINE has been the best lesson ever. Having the courage to embrace my desires, and trusting in God to lead me to my path, ignoring the haters, naysayers, warriors, pessimists, and skeptics. Once I really stopped caring how others reacted to my decisions, I started making huge, bold moves in my life that have helped me transform more in the past year than in my entire life.
I used to be a shy and insecure “hustler of love,” but no more!! Now I decide that I matter! What I think matters, what I do matters, and how I live my life matters! I don’t need or want to hustle for love from others, because I decide to love me, all of me, and accept me for who I am.
When facing your fears, whether it’s a fear of failure, or getting hurt, or being laughed at, whatever it is, you have to dig down deep, and find the courage within to seek your own level of badassery! No matter how small or how big your next decision may be, it takes courage to step outside your comfort zone and step into a new level of you.
One of my most beloved courageous badass heroes was faced with many very tough decisions throughout her life. As if being born a slave in Mississippi to white people who owned her and all of her family wasn’t hard enough, she then grew up in post-Civil War racism and prejudice. Then more tragedy struck her family when her parents and one of her siblings died from yellow fever. At the time of their deaths, she was only 16 years old, but she made the bold decision to leave college and care for her younger siblings. She convinced the county that she was 18 years old so she could keep her family together. Ida B Wells had a decision to make, a once in a lifetime choice, a life-altering and courageous decision. And she decided the toughest possible path she could have, to raise her siblings herself, get a job as a school teacher to support them, and never look back.
As a single mother of a small child myself, I often wonder…what was young Ms. Ida thinking? She had her whole life ahead of her, but she chose to become a mother and provider for children not even her own. What kind of deep courage does that take?
Or the countless, nameless single mothers out there, facing all types of insurmountable odds, stacked against them. Financial struggles, having to file for bankruptcy, being homeless, healing from emotional & mental trauma, having the strength just to get out of bed in the mornings, not knowing where to turn to for help, there are so many brave souls who make tough decisions to keep moving forward daily.
But the one thing I have discovered we all have in common, all the single moms out there, the ones who are the breadwinner and the nurturer, the ones who rule the boardrooms and the bedtime books. The ones who always find a way to make the birthdays and holidays special, to make sure our kids never really see, know, or feel all the struggles behind the scenes, we all have one thing in common: courage, deep down, badass, faithful, unwavering moral & mental courage.
We dare to be who we need to be every day for our children, we dare love, dream, hope. We dare to love ourselves, despite all the past negative habits & emotions, because we know that loving our kids, teaching them to love, means we have to be love for ourselves. We have to be the change we want to see in the world.
We are the ones who brave the boardrooms, write the blogs, fly the planes, sell your homes, nurse your loved ones, teach your children, deliver your mail, and so much more. The ones running for Congress because we lost our child from gun violence, or from an unjust war. We are the ones who believe Black Lives Matter and in a women’s right to choose. We are the ones who don’t vote along gender lines, but for the person, we believe in.
I want to leave you with my top three tools for daring greatly and creating the life you want to live. First, LOVE YOURSELF! You must pour love into yourself, fill your cup first. Whatever it is you love to do for you! Maybe it takes an exercise class, or paint, or read, or write, or take a walk every day. Perhaps it’s meditation and prayer, maybe it’s hiring a coach or attending a seminar, watching your favorite movie. Whatever small things you can do daily to love yourself will help you strengthen that courage and decision muscle!
Second, your vibe attracts your tribe! As you show more and more courage to live for yourself, you will attract others on that same vibe. So get out there! Go to a meetup group, create a Facebook group, get out to meet other people who are living the life you want. Raise your peer group up! Lastly, get a mentor! I would not be where I am today without the many mentors in my life, some of the most influential have been Tony Robbins, Maya Angelou, Napoleon Hill, Louise Hay, Jen Sincero, Brene Brown, and Iyanla Vanzant to name a few. I do not know any of these people personally, and some have passed on, but I read their books, attend their seminars, follow them on social media, listen to videos on YouTube, and soak up as much advice as I can! The ultimate mentor is to hire a professional coach or consultant who is an expert in helping people dig deep and make changes in their lives. In addition to my mentors, I have several coaches and consultants who help me daily to make the changes I need to make to become the person I want to be.
So dare to be you! Dare to dream, dare to achieve, dare to live the most fulfilled life you can! If not now, when? If not you, who? Who will stand up for you, if you won’t even do it? Who will finally decide that you’re worth it?
Sending you all love and light today and always!
Christina Wallace, Business and Education Consultant