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
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
Do Black Women Need Rebuilding?
One of the questions I’m often asked is if I feel women of color need rebuilding. Based on the premise of my book: Don’t Let the White Girl Win, another question I’m asked is if I feel that black women are losing the battle for the hearts of black men? My take is that many black women are in need of some sort of instruction. As for our men, I believe that if we are losing them that’s because many of us are losing ourselves. Inevitably someone will disagree with me about our apparent need of reconstruction. I believe that like the Bionic Woman, Jamie Sommers, circa 1976, black women need to be better, faster and stronger. Discounting the blessed sistahs who have it all figured out, who are emotionally stable and who have never felt marginalized or incapacitated by their mistakes, many sistahs are walking around wounded. Despite the fact that some of us exist in a fractured and splintered state, we’re still desperate for love. The love that we feel will complete us and make us whole. It’s a myth.
As women we cannot find and maintain love if we’re not at our best. Light attracts light and darkness dispels it. No woman can expect to find happiness while weighed down by the hurts and heartaches of her past. To believe it’s possible is to accept as truth a self-destructive fairytale. Women cannot expect to attract Mr. Right with only a portion of their hearts intact. Even the best smoke screen will eventually reveal what hides beneath.
So to be a Better Black Woman, between the pages of my self-help guide I attempt to begin the healing process. Tempering harsh doses of reality with much needed laughter, I talk about the 5 B’s: Bias, Brainwashing, Beauty, Baggage and Better, and the lessons embedded in each that will lead us to a place of victory. What’s the prize besides triumphing over any and all rivals? It’s a successful life accompanied by healthy and happy relationships.
As a whole, are black women at their best or do we need rebuilding?
Read Don’t Let the White Girl Win available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Chapters on October 29, 2012.
Tags: Black Love, black women, Confidence, Dating, Don't Let the White Girl Win, Personal Power, Relationships, Self-Help Books
“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
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
The Wrong Mrs. Right
“Why you ain’t married? Whadup girl, how come you don’t have any furniture on your finger? You must be mean that’s why you ain’t rocking some dude’s solitaire! You’re pretty so what’s wrong withcha?” You’d think that the side eye, pursed lips and a get the hell out of my face with that bullsh%t profile would discourage strangers from attempting to start a conversation with a diss. No, not really. Often I’m left with the dilemma of figuring out how to tell a knucklehead with no game that his pickup line sucks? I must ponder on the right way to discourage propositions from admirers approaching forty who still wear low-hung jeans, who converse using questionable vocabulary, who have sketchy work histories and who admit to having at least one pending paternity suit on the books. It’s not to say that my more illustrious suitors don’t have these same inquiries dancing through their brains, but the first thing a college education teaches you is to keep stupid questions to yourself.
The older a women gets the more she gets harassed about her single status. It’s not the same for men. No one ever asks George Clooney why he won’t stop rotating ladies. Does he have a limp dick or prick? Is he stingy or stern with homosexual tendencies? Nah, he’s labeled a player and a pimp—a bachelor to the core. People don’t ask determinedly single men why they can’t catch and keep eligible tail. In contrast, the assumption for women is that we must be cranky, bitchy or crazy if we’re not hitched. The explanation is never that we’re waiting for Mr. Right to appear so that we don’t settle for less. It’s never understood that any woman can get a proposal. Somewhere on the planet someone will marry you if you perform yoga moves in the bedroom, give up half your check, support your man’s twelve kids and turn a blind eye when he creeps. Didn’t Whitney marry Bobby? Quantity abounds but quality requires patience and belief in one’s worth. One shouldn’t expect perfection but a little discernment never hurt.
The Super is single but doesn’t consider herself a spinster firmly on the shelf. I have prospects. Like George Clooney I’m a bachelor(ette)taking my time to taste, sample and select my mate. If I’m desperate for furniture on my ring finger, I can go shopping at Ikea. Decorating an apartment is easy. Decorating someone’s arm, life and heart is going to require more than a desire to wear a white dress.
Being single doesn’t always mean a woman is insufferable. Sometimes all it means is that the right man has yet to capture her heart. In the meantime don’t settle: select. Don’t make the mistake of marrying just any man to ease the loneliness.
Out of desperation have you ever considered becoming The Wrong Mrs. Right?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Dating, Family, Marriage, Mr. Right, Personal Power, Relationships, Sex, Super-Heroes, wedding
Fight for Your Life
If you’re like most women then there have been times when you’ve woken up in a cold sweat wondering in a daze why your life wasn’t going as you’d planned? If you are anywhere north of twenty then this has happened more than once. In those times you’ve questioned why everyone else had the luxury of ups with their downs while you had the misfortune of having only valleys with no hills in sight. In these times your ass hit asphalt so often that pebbles in your butt crack seemed customary. In your quest for relief, prayer became begging and begging turned into negotiations with the big G. You didn’t want much from him just moments of uninterrupted peace. What’s up, Lord? Can you cut me some goddamn slack! Now you’d done it. In frustration you’d used the Lord’s name in vain and now you’d earned yourself a set of Biblical roundhouse kicks. But enough was enough. You felt battered like you and Laila Ali had done a couple rounds in the ring. It was quitting time. It was over. You’d fallen way too far down to ever get back up. But as the saying goes, It’s at the precise moment that you think you can’t go on that you get your second wind. Like all the best boxers I would like to think that we can’t be beat. As women, no one can defeat us unless we choose to defeat ourselves. No man, no job, no disappointment is enough reason to throw ourselves down in the middle of a chalk outline. As long as we breathe, we can turn things around. Persistence pays off. Determination wins in a fist fight. Personal power starts from the inside. Refuse to live your life on your back looking up at the world while it looks down. Spread-eagle and unconscious doesn’t look sexy anywhere outside of a triple X movie DVD. Despite the porn reference, being on your knees isn’t a bad thing. It’s the space we exist in right before we get back on our feet.
So get up and put up your dukes. It’s time to fight! Dodge and weave your despair. Bare knuckle box your bitterness. Counter punch any obstacle that life throws your way. When you fight despair always fight to win. It’s just when you feel like giving up that you should kick box your courage into high gear.
In the ring of life does disappointment have you against the ropes? Let the fight card show that you fought for your life and won.
Tags: black women, boxing, feminism, Fighting Fear, Girl Power, Laila Ali, Personal Power, Strength, Super-Heroes
Black Girl Blues
Oprah is off the air but I remember one of the quotes from her final show. She said: The show has taught me that there is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering and that is unworthiness. Not feeling worthy enough to own the life you were created for. What I got from this is that sometimes life deals us some difficult cards and we get disappointed. There are times that despite our greatest effort we don’t get what we want and we get discouraged. We internalize all our setbacks and start feeling like we aren’t worthy of the life we envisioned. We start believing the discouraging people around us that tell us that we want too much and that we can never achieve all that we planned. We try blocking out all of their negative energy but some of it seeps into our pours and strengthens our doubts. As a result, we start singing the black girl blues well enough that Billy Holiday would have given us the side eye and the oh no she didn’t look. Like many of the gifted and blessed, we let depression nip at our heels and allow the spirit of defeat to settle into our souls. What we must remember is that delay is not denial and we can’t give up. If being the best at anything was easy then everyone would be living the life they dreamed. If you choose to be extraordinary then it’s going to take more than wishing on a star and a penny in the wishing well for our ambitions to be more than just fairy tales. If we can dream it then it can be achieved. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. The song of defeat isn’t sexy.
Are you committed to singing a song of success loud enough for God and his angels to hear?
Tags: black women, Careers, Confidence, Dreams, Faith, God, Oprah, Personal Power, Strength, Success, Super-Heroes
Who Runs the World? Girls!
Who runs the world? Girls! Black women are exceptional. I know a lot of women who I admire, look up to and try to emulate. They have shown me how to be the best woman I can be. What their encouragement has done is that it has powered my ambition and fueled my self-esteem. I know without being told that I’m worthy of love and all of life’s rewards. Every woman has a gift and something special about them that separates them from everyone else. On my end, from the moment I knew myself I knew I was gifted. I knew that I was extraordinary, different and unique. I couldn’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, I couldn’t dodge a bullet and I couldn’t see the future — no x-ray vision. I had a cape but it was hidden. It didn’t matter. As far as action heroes went I was in the Justice League. I was a super hero and I had a name. My special power was to educate, motivate and to teach. Living inside me where all the action heroes of old. I was Wonder Woman and Super Woman wrapped up into one. I had super powers. I could recover from a broken heart and will the organ to regenerate and heal. Men could hurt me and leave me for dead but I could defy death and live again. I could give birth to Gods, balance the temperaments of the vicious and I could mold the minds and thoughts of others. I could heal hearts with a kiss and I could balance the world on my shoulders without losing my breath. Loved ones could turn against me and I could still find the power to rise as if I was impervious to harm or pain. I was the black Jamie Summers and like her I was bionic. In the twenty first century I conditioned myself to be better, stronger and smarter. I’m not unique. All women possess super human strength. We’re women of steel and it takes an army of combatants to harm us. Our weakness is our human heart which leads us to succumb to heartache time and time again. To overcome, all women of color have to claim our gifts and powers and announce them to the world. We must release our inner avatar and give our super selves a new fear-fighting moniker. We must release the super heroine living inside of us and let the extraordinary woman out. She should no longer be contained. I’m Super Sistah. I said it therefore I am. No one had to tell me. Own yourself and own the world. Beyoncé didn’t have to sing a song about it for me to know that girls run the world. As women we have to learn to live out loud. Let’s start today.
Do you run the world? What makes you Super and extraordinary? Tell me.
Excerpt taken from the upcoming book entitled – Don’t Let the White Girl Win.
Tags: beyonce, black women, Girl Power, Personal Power, run the world (girls), Self-Confidence, Sisterhood, Super-Heroes
Bitch Slap Brides
A backhand across the mouth is the best way to silence a woman. A punch to the left tit is one way to get her to close her trap. Is she being a little lippy? Threaten to knock her teeth out and see if she utters another damn word. A little beat down never hurt anybody. Say what now? The world is full of bullies. I don’t want to single out a young, high yellow brother with an album ready to drop but if the title fits then let’s point some fingers and throw some chairs.
Some people think violence is the only way to shut some women up. If you’re acquainted with such people I say prepare them for an ass kicking, a beat down and a sucker punch to the left testicle. I can hear cheers from my End-Domestic-Violence advocates; another weak ass man hits the tarmac and its lights out. I know many women who think that a little slap, shake or shove is forgivable. He didn’t mean it. He was just angry. I shouldn’t have made him mad. These are the excuses that these women throw around to defend unforgivable behavior. If you’re one of those sisters, I’m tempted to slap you myself so you can see sense. I‘ll refrain because you’ve been hit enough already. The violence and physical abuse against you ends now. It ends with me telling you that you’re enough. That you won’t die if the man you’re with is no longer a part of your life. It ends with me telling you that you’re not alone. I want you to know that although the man you think you love has trapped you in a web of silence, fear and hurt that there is still a way out. The door to freedom begins by refusing to become a Bitch Slap Bride and knowing your value and your worth.
A man is not worthy of your time or affection if he:
- Communicates with punches and backhands
- If name calling, belittling and humiliation is a part of your daily routine
- If feeling less, inadequate or unlovable is standard when he’s in the vicinity
- If memories of the last time you were happy are vague
- If the physical pain inflicted is just the surface of your wounds
- If you tell more lies to yourself than anybody else
Remember that the more we let people destroy our spirits, steal our dreams and rewrite our histories the more we are abandoning pieces of ourselves to heartbreak. Don’t let any man use your face for a punching bag. Summon the strength within for which all women are renowned and get out! Love shouldn’t hurt.
Can you love someone who shows affection with a five finger fist?
Tags: Betrayal, Bitch slap Brides, black women, Break-ups, domestic violence, Girl Power, Love, Personal Power, Tough Love
Climbing Trees, Men & Mountains
They say inspiration comes from strange places. Don’t I know it? I was recently inspired by an 18 year old pop star? Don’t ask how, but I found myself listening to a Miley Cyrus’ track called, The Climb. The lyrics go like this:
There’s always gonna be another mountain. I’m always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be a uphill battle. Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose. Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.
I was tapping my feet as she sang and then realized that someone might actually see me so stopped abruptly. Not only is it offensive to my BET and R &B sensibilities, but being a fan of little Miley is not good for this black girl’s rep. Only under extreme threats of water torture combined with fingernail removal will I admit that I liked the song and that the lyrics resonated with me. Confiscate my IPod if you want to; I have destroyed all evidence that the song ever existed sandwiched between Bennie Man and Jay-Z. I’ll admit to nothing but this.
In my life I’m always pushing, shoving, climbing and scaling walls. I’m always falling, losing and being knocked down. I get up each time, brush myself off and start the process all over again. Sometimes I’m moving quickly and everything seems right in the world. Other times I’m getting nowhere fast. I continually push the boulder up a steep mountain just for it to roll back down and crush my toes and my dreams. Like Christine Aguilera I want to have a Genie in a Bottle so I can make a wish. I’d wish for the life I want, the success I crave and for all my desires to see the light. I understand of course that life doesn’t always work this way. What little pot smoking Miley taught me is that the journey is just as important as the destination. It’s important to celebrate little successes. It’s crucial to take a moment to relish every single victory. Every milestone should be celebrated and every goal reached must be savored. Don’t lose sight of all the progress you’ve made in your life just because you have yet to reach the mountain top. Remember it’s not how fast you get there. It’s the climb.
Have you taken the time to celebrate your achievements lately?
Tags: Dreams, Miley Cyrus, Personal Power, Self-Confidence, Success
I went to the gym today. Push, pull, heave, run and lift. I’m glistening and I’m hot. Muy caliente— hot. ¡Ay, caramba— hot. Missy Elliot rapping the lyrics of her song called:
Really Hot. I make temperatures rise— hot. Do you get my meaning? Make no mistake, I’m not bootylicious like Beyonce or long and leggy like Rhi. My body is beautiful because it’s bionic. If you’re old enough to remember Jamie Summers then I need not explain what bionic means. This body of mine is something better than beautiful. It’s strong and powerful and built to last. It’s the kind of body doctors admire and I don’t mean plastic surgeons. This body of mine is like an Energizer battery. It just won’t quit. Without conceit I declare that my body is perfection.
Screech. Who scratched the needle over the record and woke me up from my dream? Sh*t, is that my belly hanging slightly over my waistband? Wait! I could have sworn that my naked nipples pointed straight out and not down. Damn, doesn’t the song say pull up to my bumper baby? What if I don’t have a bumper because since birth it has been stolen by thieves? Its okay, my opinion of my body still hasn’t changed. I love everything about it and it loves me. We’ve been through a lot together my body and I. How can I not adore a body that was there when I needed it? I can’t.
I once asked a portly and very rotund friend what he liked best about his body. I fully expected him to say nothing. Instead, he professed without blinking that he liked everything. When I showed skepticism he quoted me Psalms 139 which says, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I can’t say that I immediately adopted his body beautiful campaign. When I looked into the mirror I saw plenty that I wish that I could change. Like the best plastic surgeon I would delete the slight chin, lift the boobs and actually add junk to the trunk. I would narrow the waist and add some muscle to the overall design. Masterpiece complete. I don’t own a scalpel that powerful and the last time I checked wishing on a star never accomplished anything. I never loved my body in its natural state. Then one day I got sick. I had a health scare that made me look differently on this masterpiece which is me. I decided then and there to love my body. It had survived tests of endurance that its sexier counterparts had failed. No matter the symmetry or lack thereof, when I needed it to endure, my body kicked into overdrive and saved my life. This vessel that I had hated since the third grade was the most wonderfully designed body that God had ever made. It was stunning. So I urge all women who hate their bodies to love the skin they’re in. Stay lean, eat your vegetables, exercise and make the body you have a fat burning and disease fighting machine. Few of us are born Halle Berry with a body designed to make men salivate. But your body is amazing in any form. Love it and it will love you back.
When was the last time you looked at your body with lust?
Tags: Diet & Exercise, Personal Power, Self-Confidence, Weight