From time to time, as I blog, I like to be transparent. This is one of those times. In December, I set the month aside to develop my vision for 2015. Both personally and professionally. One of the things I was determined to do was to expand my reach and increase my network. I joined a group of women and I am so glad that I did! But it was an adjustment.
I met women with a wide range of gifts, talents, and lifestyles. I began to compare myself to a few of them. Some of them have children. I don't. Some of them are married. I'm not. Some of them have large followings and tremendous support. I struggle with that. And I continued to find the differences. I also reached out to more networking opportunities. Many of these came with a cost that was outside of my budget. Either that or they were like 60 miles away. I quickly began to get discouraged. I asked myself:
"Why can't that be me?"
And then something great happened! I remembered something! Those women are worthy of all their happiness. And so am I! I almost totally forgot! I’m worthy of all my happiness too!
Too often, our mood is affected by other people. What they do. What they don’t do. What they used to do. What they said. What they didn’t say. What we think they should’ve said, or done. The list can go on. We cannot allow that. We’ve got to remember not to focus on others. We’re not in competition to see who can be the happiest! There’s no way to measure that! I’ve come up with three ways to keep from focusing on others to determine our worth.
1. Do not make comparisons.
As I was thinking of ways to expound on this point, the Grammy’s aired. There was a lot of speculation and criticism surrounding Beyoncé singing the hymn “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”. Many people preferred to hear Ledisi perform it, as she recently did in the movie “Selma”. I found it terribly unfair that the two ladies were being compared to one another. The tones of their voices are very different. Their ranges are different. Their genres are different. Their performance styles are different. And most importantly, their stories are different. This means that their delivery will be different as well. But does that make either of them any more or less great than the other? Not at all! They are both amazing women in their own right. The same applies to the person or people that you may be comparing yourself to. They have their story, and you have yours. And one is no more or less great than the other. Everyone has it in them to be great!
2. Keep a Blessings Jar.
I keep a Blessings Jar on the end table in my living room. It’s visible to me and anyone else that comes over. Every day, I find at least one thing that I’m grateful for that day. I write it on a Post-It, a paper, anything, and I fold it up and place it in the Jar. The Jar doesn’t have to cost a lot (I bought a flower vase from a dollar store). What’s important is what’s placed inside. When I’m feeling unworthy of blessings or having a difficult time identifying the good in my life, I reach into that Blessings Jar. I may pull out 3 or 4 pieces of folded paper. Once, I pulled out a receipt of something I saved up for. Another day I pulled out a note that said “best friend’s job”. It was a blessing to me that she landed a better job! As I read these Blessings, I began to smile, and I felt better. The Blessings Jar helps you to focus on your blessing each day, and to remind of you of blessings you may have forgotten. The way I see it: if God thinks I’m worthy of blessings, who am I to think that I’m not?!
3. Find a quote, a phrase, a song, a scripture, etc. to repeat.
I have a list of “booster” songs. “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae. “Let the Groove Get In” by Justin Timberlake. “Happy” by Pharrell. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Almost any song from the disco era, lol. I’ve even started keeping affirmations on Post-its on one of my bathroom mirrors like in Being Mary Jane! But my favorite is the “Our Deepest Fear” quote by Marianne Williamson. That charges me every time! I AM worthy of happiness and fulfillment! And so is everyone I meet!
So, back to my question: “Why can’t that be me?” It shifted from a place of self-pity to a place of self-motivation! Why can’t that be me? Yeah! Why CAN’T that be me?! Guess what! IT CAN!! And it will!