The start of the year is when we figure out what we want to accomplish. It is rarely spent recognizing what has been accomplished. Trust me, I’m guilty of it too. I love the start of a new year for inspiration and motivation! In fact, I love it any time of the year. I took the Strengths Finder test and one of my top strengths is “Futuristic”, which basically means I’m very good at envisioning a future that I want and leveraging that for motivation. (It also means that I’m good at helping others do the same, which makes me a great coach).
But there’s a downside to this: I can get so wrapped up in what I want my future to be that I don’t take the time to appreciate the present and recognize how far I’ve come. I’m making a conscious effort to change that starting today.
Women — especially Black women — need to start tooting our own horns more. If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to “brag.” You don’t give yourself enough credit or applause because you don’t want to seem too cocky. I’m letting that mess go right now, and I want you to do the same. We need to celebrate our excellence! We need to recognize our accomplishments! I’m kicking us off by sharing 3 personal achievements that truly help me recognize the excellence that is MINE.
Coming Back Stronger After the Worst Loss Imaginable
Growing up, I was a daddy’s girl. As first-born there was just something so special about the relationship I had with my dad. (Tears are coming to my eyes as I write this.) On June 6, 2013, my dad was killed by a drunk driver. He was driving on a road that he’d driven on nearly every day for 25 years — in the middle of the afternoon, no less.
I got to see him on a Monday, and he died that Thursday. I can still hear my brother’s voice when he told me. The shock I experienced, the sadness I felt — my best friend was gone. The person I felt the most unconditional love from, who I could talk to on the phone for hours was just . . . I was utterly devastated.
One thing my dad always instilled in me was positivity. “Make it a great day,” he would say. Thinking back, I wouldn’t take it serious. But after he died, I finally understood why he stressed it. I was 24 years old when he died, and I was living in Los Angeles. There were two roads I could have gone down: drinking, partying, and men to fill a void, or I could fill it with the family I had left back in Texas (my mom and brother).
I chose the latter. I didn’t drink any alcohol for a year and a half after my dad died. About two months after his passing, I moved back home to Austin. I worked full-time, kept my spending in order, and started a business. My dad was a full-time business owner, so it was in my blood.
Although it took me a long time to accept and come to terms with the grief, I did not let the worst loss of my life take me down a dark path. My dad would be proud.
Taking My Business Full-Time
As of June 2021, I run my financial coaching company full-time. This was a long time coming. When I started in 2013 (coincidentally after moving back home because of the loss of my dad), I didn’t dream of taking it full-time. I was just sort of seeing what would happen.
Eventually, I realized helping women turn their financial lives around was my passion, what brought me the most joy. However, I still had responsibilities and couldn’t jeopardize my full-time corporate salary right away. After nearly four years of aggressively saving, purchasing a condo and my dream car, and growing the business to sustain a salary for myself, I was able to cut the cord.
I put in my 4-weeks’ notice (yes, the Virgo in me needed the extra time) and I was off. Nearly seven months later, I’m not making as much but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been — truly happy every single day. Again, my dad would be proud.
Gaining Control of My Mind and Emotions
After my dad died, I was on a quest to understand myself and my feelings. Some days I would be snappy, other days easy-going and happy. I felt emotionally unstable.
I started seeing a therapist. I began reading books about positivity and mindset (P.S. I highly recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle) and consuming things that challenged me to think differently. Over time, I began to gain control of my thoughts. I could recognize what made me feel sad, worried, or anxious. Then, I could counter it with thoughts that made me feel happy, empowered, or excited.
This practice helped me take control of my emotions and become a more present and mindful person. Now, I make it a point to constantly see multiple perspectives and points of view. I see that we’re all doing the best we can with the tools we’ve got, and I don’t hold a lack of tools against anyone.
While I still have a long way to go, I’m stopping to recognize how far I’ve come — the excellence that is mine.
Now, I want you to recognize the excellence that is yours! What are you most proud of right now?Leave a Comment