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
Dr. Vibe Interviews the Super Sistah “Author Stephanie Small”
Join me on Dr. Vibe’s Radio show tonight as I discuss my new book: Don’t Let The White Girl Win. Dr. Vibe’s show is a podcast for black men & those who love them. It’s a perfect place for a Super Sistah to get her point across.
Tune in and stay tuned @ 9pm EST. Wednesday, November 7, 2012.
Don’t Miss It!
Tags: Blac, Black Love, black women, Dating, Dr.Vibe, Interracial, Interviews, Love, Marriage, Men, Podcasts, Radio Shows, 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
“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
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
Law of Subtraction
When we’re young we learn how to add about the same time we learn how to subtract. As soon as we are old enough, fairy tales make us want to add a prince or a knight to our dreams. We conjure Mr. Right out of thin air and shape him to be all that we want him to be. We picture him tall, handsome and smart with the ability to make our hearts beat. He is a fantasy and a figment of our little girl dreams. We make our dream man perfect because we believe that we deserve the best so we don’t leave any good qualities out. He is the Ken to our Barbie and our budding self-esteem demands that we make him worthy.
As we mature the mathematical maneuvering begins. Life teaches us that a good man has more than what the eyes can see, so we add things. We multiply the facets of our guy’s character so he can be strong where we are weak. Like God made Adam out of clay we reshape our dream man until he’s a masterpiece. We’re done creating. As young women we test our dreams against reality. We delve into our first relationship with stars in our eyes and our hearts open wide. Our first love is human and he has faults; he’s far from ideal so we cross him off the list. Moving on is easy. The next guy comes (mean), then the next (lazy), and so one. Things with our prince aren’t going as planned. It’s time to reassess. The next guy is far from perfect, he has only a few of the things we need, but time is passing. We decide to ignore that he doesn’t call or treat us like queens. We’re tired and weary so we look at our childhood list and subtract. We say to ourselves, I’ll take some traits off the list but not everything. The relationship fails and we’re left with broken hearts. Was it our fault? The next guy loves someone else, the other has a problem with fidelity and the third says, ‘he’s just not ready.’ Again we press the minus symbol and subtract. We tell ourselves, I can’t have it all. I’ll take just one more trait off the list but not everything. After a few more failed relationships we consult the childhood list. We rewrite, rearrange and strike things off completely. Maybe we wanted too much. Maybe our requirements were unrealistic. With just one requirement left on the list finding Mr. Right will be easy. Our only condition now is that he love us unconditionally.
The lack of standards now attracts men who are just fractions of what they should be. We start to think that love is overrated. We don’t need it if we have someone to snuggle up with at night? Our list is empty but the thought settles into our minds that, we will take just one more thing off the list. Just one more thing. Surely no woman can have everything. Subtract.
All we want now is a man to be there and most nights he can’t even do that. The little girl with the list is gone. We look at ourselves in the mirror and subtract…subtract…subtract.
Have you practiced the law of subtraction just to add a man to the equation?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Dating, Family, Love, Marriage, Self-Confidence, Success, Super-Heroes
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
Warrior War Cry
I can see it now, Rocky running up the stairs with his hands thrown in the air. The music is blaring in his ears making him take the steps two at a time. No one can stop him. He’s invincible. I can see it now, Lenox Lewis entering the stadium with his white silk hood covering the dreads of his hair. In the background the DJ blasts, “I’m going to chase those crazy baldheads out of town.” The crowd goes wild. That’s his jam. The Rastafarian boxer uses the Bob Marley classic to strike fear into his close-cropped challengers. He’s Sampson and his hair is his strength. His music makes him powerful.
Every woman needs a theme song. It’s the song that is going to motivate and energize us when life gets us down. It’s the song that you put into your CD player and turn it up full blast. It’s the song that speaks to who you are and inspires you to settle into your fighting stance when people come to do battle. It uplifts and it warns your enemies not to mess or they’ll have a fight on their hands.
The rapper Kool Moe Dee wrote a song just for me. It’s the song that makes me sing out loud and launch into the running man no matter whose watching. If I’m down it gives me life. My choice is very fluorescent socks and acid wash jeans but I don’t care. I didn’t choose my song. It chose me. From the moment I heard the chorus, “how ya like me now?” I knew that it was my war cry. The song settled into my soul and took root. It was the song that I was going to sing when all my dreams were realized. I would ask the haters, “how ya like me now?” If someone doubted my talent, told me I couldn’t do something and proclaimed that I would fail, the minute I proved them wrong, I would ask the question, “how ya like me now?” It’s the theme song for the underdog and it fits me perfectly. I don’t play it all the time. I don’t play it everyday. I play it when life gets tough; when I’m on the verge of failing or giving up. I play it when I think I can’t go on. I play it in my head so much that the real song isn’t necessary. I can succeed. I can win. My song says I can. Cultivate a theme song and if you don’t have one borrow mine temporarily. Win at everything. When you have defeated all your detractors ask them with only the barest hint of sarcasm, “how ya like me now?”
Tags: black women, Bob Marley, Dreams, Identity, Kool Moe Dee, Music, Personal Power, Rap, Self-Confidence, Success