Scaredy Cat ~ Are You a Fear-Fighter or a Fraud?
The world is a big bad place and it’s frightening. Everything we want to do as human beings requires a courageous spirit that many of us do not have. To get up in the morning and face the world requires a brave face. To get the things we want, we have to fight and do battle with the fear inside of us that tells us we’re not up to the task. There is an insidious voice that whispers in our ears that we can’t do it, won’t do it and if we fail to do it, people with ridicule our attempts and laugh. The fear of derision, disapproval and humiliation keeps us fixed in the same spot in our lives year after year. We cannot move forward because the fear of failure holds us in its terrible grasp. Fight free!
In our personal lives many of us have had some devastating setbacks. I for one know firsthand what a worthy adversary terror can be. Anxiety and I are lovers entwined in a forbidden dance. We are enemies at an impasse. Fear and I fight on a daily basis, and more times than not, fear has the last laugh. Everything I do, I do it scared but one quote speaks to me: Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.
As a self-proclaimed fear-fighter, to admit to any type of insecurity means that I’m a fake, a phony and a fraud. Are any of us as fearless as we pretend to be? I say no. Instead, we all wear a mask of invulnerability. Life has taught us to live with the knot in our stomachs every time we try to conquer a new task. Experience has taught us to swallow past the lump in our throats. The lumps that form when we’re faced with the debilitating awareness that we may not succeed. Pride has made us hide our hands behind our backs every time they start to shake. Determination has taught us to project a calm that we do not feel. Sheer stubbornness has made us accept that we cannot make fear define us. We learn to accept that the most fearful people are the most critical. They will work the hardest to tear our ambitions down. Courageous people use fear as a driving force because they refuse to let anxiety hold them back.
Are you a frightened feline who can’t make progress because fear is holding you back? Are you a fear-fighter or a Scaredy Cat?
Tags: Confidence, courage, Fighting Fear, Personal Power, Self-Confidence, Strength, Success
New Year – New Attitude
Looking back on 2012 it has been a good year. I haven’t scaled any mountains, rescued any kids, adopted any dogs or run for office, but I’ve accomplished some things I never thought that I could. In 12 months I’ve:
- Established my own publishing company and published my first book which is fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I was 16
- Written 29 blog posts this year (probably should have written more)
- Been a guest on 5 book promotion blog talk radio shows
- Celebrated a successful book launch
- Lost some real, Twitter and Facebook friends but I have gained so many more
- Worked off 10 stubborn pounds. The holiday lasagna and red velvet cake has only made me gain back 2. Whew!
- Visited 3 different countries and in doing so reconnected with family and friends
- Inched closer to accepting who and what I am with the Lord’s help
All is good. In the past, always wanting an expecting more has led to a sense of dissatisfaction no matter what I’ve managed to accomplish. This year, I’m just giving thanks. I’m thankful that unlike parents in Connecticut, I haven’t lost a child. Like some soldiers in Afghanistan, I haven’t lost hope or a limb. I’m grateful that unlike some of the homeless wandering the streets, I have a roof over my head. When the New Year comes to an end, as human beings, we lament about all the things we should have accomplished but didn’t. All the things we tried to do but failed. All the goals we wanted to reach but fell short. This year I’m trying something new. I’m practicing gratitude. I’m living with a spirit of expectation and thanks. I’m loving with an open heart and participating in life on a day-by-day basis knowing that hard days will come, but that I’ve been blessed. It’s easy to remember the bad things that have happened in 2012 but can you list and remember the good?
Despite the Mayan doomsday prophecy, we’re all still here. Despite scary hockey mask Jason, the number 13 can still mean something good. Whether you’re in church clapping your hands or in the club raising your glass for cheers, will you remember all the things you should be grateful for in the last year? Do you believe that a good New Year is dependent on a New Attitude?
Wishing all the Super fans, both old and new, a prosperous and happy 2013!
Tags: 2013, Celebration, New Year's, Resolutions, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Success
Ms.Can’t Get Enough
I want it. Got to have it. Need it bad. Can’t get enough. The Super, me, Stephanie to my friends, can now say that I’m a success. I’m an author, officially. Not only a blogger whose words were one hack job away from obscurity or whose written legacy was at the mercy of my web host’s control-freak grip. Now my words and thoughts have moved offline and are forever captured for posterity in print. Yeah. Hooray. Gold star for me you think? Nein (No in German), non (No in French) and Nee (No in Dutch) and kuzimu hakuna (Hell no in Swahili). I think by now you get my point in whatever language you happen to speak.
Like me, lots of women of my acquaintance are very accomplished. They have a great career, a bad ass crib and enough clothes and shoes to inspire envy. They should be happy and for the most part they are, but like some women are nymphomaniacs who can’t get enough sex, some women are success nymphos who can’t get enough of the next. Like reggae singer I Wayne sings, Can’t satisfy her. She needs more wood for the fire. The fire for more that burns in some women is like a disease. Not unlike the euphoria a good orgasm brings, for some the rush of being at their best doesn’t last past the dying embers of the post coital cigarette. Inhale in and exhale out, now what bridge can be built, what ladder can be climbed, what bear can she fight with her bare hands and win? Lord Jesus, can you please calm down and chill! For these women I’m sharing the sound of my internal secret-self crying out in distress. The sound is ignored as we turn our attention instead to our To-Do list:
- Conquered the world? No check.
- Found the ideal man? No check.
- As rich as Croesus? No check.
- As fit and diesel as the Jamaican track team chicks? No check, no check, no check.
Sigh, despair and all our previous accomplishments are blown to bits. For indulging in this self-destructive nonsense I’m handing out slaps with a closed hand fist. Ladies, take the time to pat yourself on the back. Take the time to appreciate yourself. You may not get another chance. A successful life is not measured in accolades but in the moments and seconds in life that can’t be replaced. Breathe. Enjoy all that you’ve accomplished and then relax and release. The best time of your life is right in front of you. Stop chasing what’s next.
Are you incapable of living in the moment? Are you too preoccupied to experience a good cry, a good laugh or good sex? Are you Ms. Can’t Get Enough–What’s Next?
Tags: black women, Confidence, Dreams, Money, Personal Power, Sex, Success
Unmasking the Masked Crusader, the Super Sistah Revealed
I’m feeling bare, stripped, curiously naked and exposed. I’m addicted to privacy and have been from my youth; but there is a time for the dark and there is a time to let the light in. Besides the Superhero aspect of my pseudonym and all its inherent fabulousness, the mask of the Super Sistah appealed to the Clark Kent inside of me. I could be the studious, academic, introvert that is me but I could also switch to my gregarious, irreverent and theatrical side when the inclination arose. Existing behind a mask gave me a certain kind of freedom; I could say what I wanted and do what I wanted without risking censure or criticism. After all, anything that was said against me was not said to my true self, the one I saw every day, but to my counterfeit and copy whose ego was not as easily bruised. But what happens when looking out through the world from behind a mask doesn’t suit? What happens when you have something critical and life changing to say? Can you send your representative to preach the message on your behalf? The Super inside of me said no and the real me agreed.
For a woman who likes privacy letting the world see my true self, without my protective layer, was scary. I had anxiety about how I would be perceived. I came across Michelle Obama at her conservative best if random strangers are to be believed, but inside I was all Halle Berry as Cat Woman— feral and fabulously decked out in leather spandex. In the end I had to choose; the safety of my masked crusader secret identity or to realize a lifelong dream. The dream of reaching women of color on a larger platform. I chose the dream and that dream has grown beyond the need for anonymity and the confines of my blog. My blog readers have encouraged me and inspired me. Their issues and anxieties and their struggles with life and relationships have led to a book, a belief and a movement. The relationship, dating and self-help guide: Don’t Let the White Girl Win comes out in October 2012. Between the pages, the message is irreverent, funny and infuriating but offers real guidance and counsel for rebuilding black women and their relationships. Despite the title, it’s not about the other girl, it’s about us. It’s a boot camp, tough-love guide for how, as women of color, we can help and heal each other and succeed. So I’m going naked, nude and as bare as the day I was born to introduce my fans to the real me. The me without the mask. Hello everyone, Stephanie here.
Are you hiding behind a mask? Have you ever made the fear of exposing your true self get in the way of your destiny?
Tags: Black Love, Black Non-Fiction, black women, Confidence, Don't Let the White Girl Win, Fighting Fear, Girl Power, Identity, Interracial Dating, Self-Help Books, Success, Super-Heroes, unmasking
Battle of the Sexes – Mister versus Missus
Despite 5 inch heels that can crack backs and shatter a short man’s ego, in spite of six-figure incomes ballin enough to make the blue collar brother cry, and contrary to the societal shift that has put some sisters in the driver’s seat, still, after years of evolution, women still haven’t changed. No matter how powerful and professional a woman may seem on the outside, she still wants a man with strength and with cojones of steel (figuratively that is, literally might be a tad unsightly).
Enough already with the question, ‘can I kiss you?’ If you have to ask then the answer is probably NO! Take the kiss already and be done with it! Rejection, the occasional slap for presumptuousness, is a part of life. All the heehawing, feet shuffling and hand ringing is enough to drive a strong woman crazy. Men must remember their caveman roots and take charge. I’m not saying to headlock and drag a woman off to some dark place by her hair, but if she has to instruct, teach and perform tutorials on how to woe and win her then her interest has probably already waned. You’ve lost, so long sucker. Hit the Road Jack cause she won’t be coming back no more, no more, no more, no more. Hit the road jack… sorry the tune got stuck in my head and I got sidetracked. The point I’m trying to make is that the feeble, the weak-willed and the fearful have no chance in the battle of the sexes. If the article I read recently is correct and 40% of households are now headed by female breadwinners, then things are bout’ to change. Who Runs the World? Girls apparently. How does the old school dude compete with women who are bringing the heat?
A bit of advice for my male readers, although some women won’t agree with me, I say bring it back to the biblical days. Get your Adam on before the unfortunate snake. Be almighty like my man Moses on the mountaintop. Direct and lead like bad boy Noah showing the beasts of the earth who’s boss. Attracting women is all about swagger, strength and steel. If you have to ask, plead and persuade then you have no chance. Power and personality are attractive to women no matter the amount of loot she might be packing in her purse. If a man fears failure and is easily intimidated then the next woman he meets he should ask her if she has a pair of panties she can spare. God gifted men with testosterone for a reason. Come to the love battle prepared to win.
If both the man and the woman wears the pants in the relationship then who’s boss?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Careers, God, Love, Marriage, Men, Money, Relationships, Super-Heroes, winning
Back in the day if a man loved a woman he gave her father a horse, a cow and two mules. In them days, the price of your “PRECIOUS” to quote Gollum, cost a damn sight more than some chocolates and a Hallmark card. Men understood that for the benefit of a lady’s time he had to put in some work. He earned her affection through the persistent pursuit of her heart. Fast forward a century and now some men have forgotten what love is about. On Valentine’s, which is the most romantic day of the year, stats show that most couple’s end up succumbing to what I call a Total Eclipse of the Heart. To translate Bonnie Tyler’s song into layman terms, it means that love fades to black. When women should be shaking the sheets on the 14th, instead, most are showing their men the curb. I don’t have a Ph.D. in Sexual Healing but there is a reason for the fallout.
Tags: Black Love, black women, Break-ups, Dating, Love, Marriage, Men, Self-Confidence, Sex, Super-Heroes, Valentine's Day
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he?” For those who haven’t read their Bible since the dark ages, no it wasn’t Yoda who said that, it was the Lord. I don’t personally possess a Masters in Divinity but if this quote is correct then I should already be rich, thin, vastly intelligent and immune to insult and insecurity? Let me do a quick mental rundown of my bank account, my profile and my mindset. Nope, if this was a test I would get an F for fail. Now I personally believe that both the Force and the Lord is with me. I wonder why then my thoughts haven’t manifested into a house on the hills and a Bentley? Could it be that like most human beings my positive thoughts are combined with ones filled with doubt and negativity?
Our lives are often a direct reflection of what we think about regularly. If we dominate our thoughts with feelings of fear and anxiety then how can thoughts of abundance abound? They cannot. Light is a powerful force but it can’t fight the darkness without our help. If we want all the things promised to us then we must ask ourselves these questions:
- What are our first thoughts of the day? (Reflections on the past? A replay of failed relationships? A catalog and mental list of mistakes made?)
- What do we say to ourselves when we look in the mirror? (I’m getting old or fat. I’m unattractive and out of shape? I’m not as pretty or smart as I used to be.)
- What do we say to ourselves when someone criticizes us? (They’re probably right. Maybe they know something I don’t know. Is it me?)
- What are the thoughts that run through our minds most often? (I’m not good enough. I’m not lovable. I’ll never make it or get to where I need to be.)
Positive thoughts need nourishment. Like hot house flowers our image of ourselves and our feelings of personal power cannot flourish without attention, concentrated effort and care. Before we can convince others that we are exceptional we have to first convince ourselves. We have to get drunk on Jedi Juice which is a concoction made up of mental strength, visualization and discipline. If we are what we think we are then we must think big. The downtrodden and the defeated drink disappointment and fail while the ambitious drink Jedi Juice and win!
What is your drink of choice? Are you getting drunk off of your accomplishments or are you inebriated with your inability to succeed?
Tags: Bible quotes, Confidence, Faith, God, Jedi, Mind over matter, Personal Power, Success, Super-Heroes
New You Resolutions
In the past as the 1st of January loomed I would get frantic. I’d dissect my year’s accomplishments one-by-one. What had I accomplished? What goal had I reached? What problem had I solved? Every impossible goal one could devise I had it on my to-do list. To me, the end of the year was like a final exam where all the questions of the universe had to be solved single-handedly. Needless to say I was ambitious. For many years I assessed my accomplishments for the twelve months based on the strictest criteria. If in the year I failed to reach a goal I set for myself then I considered that entire year a bust. Even before the last fireworks went off on the new month I’d have myself on the success hamster wheel with a new set of priorities, plans and pursuits.
Tags: 2012, Bad Habits, black women, Girl Power, God, New Year's Resolutions, Success, Super-Heroes
Greedy (Always Hungry)
With Christmas on its way and thoughts of delicious holiday meals dancing around in my head, the state of my appetite has been on my mind. The Super has always had a healthy appetite. I like to eat. In the event of a famine I’m the first to go. As a child the pudgy little belly that hung over my Underoos was evidence of my love of a good meal. Despite the fact that I’ve never gone without sustenance a day in my life, I’ve always been hungry. I’ve always wanted more. As I got older this need for extra expanded past food and into other areas of life. The desire for more kept me in constant pursuit of things just out of reach. If I set a goal for myself the minute I reached it I was on to the next. Forget the celebration and the pat on the back for a job well done, I was already wondering what new hill I could climb, what new dragon I could slay and what new adventure I could wrestle to the ground and destroy. There was no satisfaction. The greedy rarely revel in the moment. Ambition is good and drive is important if you want things out of life, but when you can no longer enjoy your victories then you have to reassess.
Emptiness is not a natural state of being. The people who constantly feel that something is missing habitually try to fill the space with food, sex, work or whatever gives them temporary relief from the vast hole which is their lives. But as the holidays roll around, The Super advises her readers not to fill themselves up with empty victories and meaningless pursuits but with the things that matter. For the over-achievers, you can always make the next dollar; touchdowns are always being scored, but if tomorrow never comes make sure that love, joy and happiness is the motivating factors in life. A blind man once asked God, “Is there anything worse than losing your eye sight?” God responded, “Yes, losing your vision.” Keep focused. Gorge and overindulge on bliss. Pursue emotional, physical and spiritual harmony. Strive to fill your life with meaning. To women and women of color and confidence, the Super Sistah wishes her readers a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas.
Are you always hungry and constantly in pursuit of things beyond your reach? What emotional food do you plan to fill yourself up with this year?
Tags: Achievement, black women, Christmas, Over Achievers, Personal Power, Sisterhood, Success, Super-Heroes
In order to change our lives we must first change our minds. For many this is a hard concept to grasp. We are committed to ideas, thoughts and actions and a lifetime of routine makes it hard for us to change course once our paths have been set. As women we have expectations. We want things. We want to be married, we want to be loved and we want to avoid feeling pain. If love is what we are after we think that it should land in our laps without hurt or rejection being a part of the game plan. Those of us who are afraid of heartbreak pray for the white dress but hide behind protective glass that even the greatest disappointment can’t shatter. We use our emotional walls as barricades. Nothing can hurt us because we keep all negative emotions out but by default we don’t let any positive emotions in. As with all things worth having, if we want big results we have to take big risks. This means risking our most prized possession: our hearts.
The Super is a daredevil. I’ll leap and jump off anything just for the rush. I’m a lion with the nerves of Mel Gibson playing Braveheart. It’s nothing for me to endanger myself physically. I’ll bungee jump in a heartbeat. I’ll leap from a plane if asked. A roller coaster going 100 miles per hour makes adrenalin run through my veins. I think a little jeopardy makes life interesting. I’m brave and strong. It’s my belief that many strong women have the illusion of fearlessness even as they live in terror. They fear being weak, needy and vulnerable. Being dependent on another human being for their happiness makes them huddle in fear. If they want nothing and need nothing then they can avoid being let down. But this fear robs them of their ability to live life not with expectation but with intent. As women we have to set a course for ourselves, let our mind accept our intentions and seek love and happiness wherever its hiding. Like the contestants on the old show Fear Factor we have to face our fears head on and not take the coward’s way out. The way to change our love lives is to fight fear daily until courage is ingrained.
Are you afraid? Does fear factor into why you haven’t gotten the love and life you want?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Dating, Dreams, Fighting Fear, Love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, Super-Heroes
Do you have T&A (tits and ass for those who don’t text)? If you do you might as well mark a red X on your back because you’re going down? Some women don’t like other women, so much so that without provocation they’re always in the process of plotting a sister’s downfall and demise. Most folks work in places where there is an abundance of muchachas. You can’t escape them because they overflow the cubicles and are everywhere. In places where women congregate in great numbers I’d like to tell you that it’s all India Arie and group hugs, but that would be a bald faced lie. Truth is, as it most cases where there is an excess of estrogen, many women spend their time locked in battle and missions meant to search and destroy. Sometimes we don’t know why we’re doing it. We see a woman who seems to have it going on and we claim that she thinks she’s all that. We tell ourselves that she is the enemy because she acts like her shit don’t stink. We claim that we don’t like her spirit because she thinks she’s better than somebody. All excuses for being trifling and mean. To survive and prosper, as women we have to stop fighting amongst ourselves. There’s nothing uglier than ladies locked in combat. It could be argued that we’re not taught to love each other. Instead, we are taught to compete, demean, chop down and scorn. These actions stem from envy and insecurity. As we struggle for equality we must understand that we can’t fight the world and win while fighting each other. It’s a losing strategy. How can we advance if we do it singularly, one by one and without the support of our sisters? The strategy is plagued with pitfalls. We have to band together and uplift each other or we will fail. Sometimes it’s difficult. Some women are straight back stabbing bitches. Yeah, I used the B word, run and go get the PC Police while I make my point here. Seen too many times to discount, one woman tries to help another but only one lady got the memo to stop the bullshit. As a gender if we want to rise and overcome then we need our sidekicks. We have to be on the lookout for the Robin to our Batman and our island full of Amazon warrior princesses. We all need a cheering squad, mentors and number one fans. To succeed at anything we have to resist the temptation to talk badly about any woman trying to do better for herself. We must refrain from thinking she ain’t shit because she has more shit going on than us. We must battle the temptation to hate on her because she’s more beautiful or talented than we are. We should hope instead that she’s willing to share some of her shine with us so we can shine independently. We must pray, that like some of us, she hasn’t been so disillusioned by bad experiences that she is reluctant to be a friend. As black women we must abandon our fear and embrace each other. We must realize that women are not our enemies. Resist the urge to use your verbal venom to shoot and kill. Instead, aim your smile and acceptance their way and pull the trigger.
Are you a female assassin licensed to Lady Kill?
Tags: black women, feminism, Friendship, Girl Power, lady killer, Sisterhood, Super-Heroes
Masking the Truth
While most of my friends love my writing style, a few hate my Super Sistah alter ego. Evoking Sacha Fierce is not acceptable for me but fine for a celebrity like Beyoncé who’s entitled to her creativity. My friends go on to admit that they despise my Super mask and they think she, me, is a superhero wannabe. Why would a woman with education and multiple degrees aspire to be a cartoon character? They don’t get it or me. Be authentic! Is the advice I’m most given. The consensus is that I should be what I seem which is scholarly and serious with a hint of prep school superiority. There is no need to be a masked anything I’m told with condescension. ‘Your everyday face is fine… not even ugly. Why hide?’ They go on to tell me that my makeup mask is ridiculous and the concept behind my persona just plain wack. They criticize my vision, my plans and my marketing strategies. They’re my friends so I value their opinions and acknowledge without bitterness that they make some valid points. They just want the best for me, right? In the end though whether I try and fail, rise or fall, win or lose the life I lead is mine. I refuse to give a good goddamn about what anyone thinks but me.
Comedians are sad, beautiful people feel ugly inside and in the body of every big girl beats the heart of a super model. The world is filled with contradictions. We all have our personas and Super Sistah is mine. The face we present to the world is the one we want them to see. Each one of us is pretending or hiding behind a mask forged through a lifetime of conformity. We are either pretending to be more than we are or less. To get a job, stay married or keep friends we hide, we dim our light and we refuse to shine so people won’t be blinded and threatened by all that we can be. If I’m pretending then the world is pretending with me.
Those that urge me to ditch my Superman for my Clark Kent don’t really understand. I’m not in disguise. The powerful, beautiful, fierce and fabulous woman living and breathing behind the mask is my true self and the shy and slightly introverted woman is my real disguise. It takes courage and fearlessness to show the world the face that only our heart sees. It’s easier and safer to be who our friends want us to be. But as the innovator Steve Jobs once said, your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Steve advises us to Stay Hunger. Stay Foolish. With this in mind, the fool that I am who is dressed for Halloween daily will adhere to who my heart knows me to be: Super without compromise.
Are you ready to show the world the face of truth or are you hiding behind a mask of fake reality?
Tags: black women, Confidence, Identity, Masked Crusader, Masks, Steve Jobs, Strength, Super-Heroes