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Power of One January 31, 2011

Filed under: Personal Improvement,Success — thesupersistah @ 2:07 pm
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“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: Those who are afraid to try themselves, and those who are afraid that you will succeed” (Ray Goforth).  Don’t let the fears of others tell you how far you can go. If the tree branch looks slightly out of reach then that’s the branch you should reach for.  How big you dream, and what you can achieve, is totally dependent on you. A popular saying claims that there is strength in numbers. I don’t always agree. Sometimes your drive is diminished by a lack of support from those you love. You crave their approval but they don’t give it. You seek their help but they don’t offer it. You ask for their wisdom but it’s withheld. You feel alone. But there’s a silver lining. Evoke the power of one which is the belief that you can triumph over any obstacle life presents.  There will be times when the people around you will tell you that you’re less. Those people lack vision. They don’t see what you see. They have given up; letting life bury them under an avalanche of doubt, fear, and anxiety. Carry a shovel so you can dig yourself out. Sometimes being alone is better than being in a pack as supportive as a bunch of Desperate Housewives. Seek out people who will be there when you need them. These are the folks that believe in you and see the world as full of possibilities. Drop the dead weight of the past. You can’t maintain relationships based on nostalgia and blood ties alone.

Are you being supported in your goals?

The Power of One

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Warrior War Cry January 25, 2011

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?”


 

Bitter Best Friend January 18, 2011

My sister says that when I walk down the street people see me coming. She claims I have a bounce to my step and an attitude that says here I come or for my Jamaican readers, “see mi ya.” I never gave her observation much thought.  But recently I realized that not only was I not bouncing, I was dragging and moving slow. There was no pep to my step and no fire in my blood.  I started to disappear. When I entered a room no one did a double take and when I walked down the street no one’s gaze held mine. These were things that happened to me regularly which I had taken for granted as my right. People always stared at me. I never knew why. Didn’t care.  It certainly wasn’t because I was beautiful or had any striking features that made me stand out.  I generally attributed the curious stares to the fact that when I was ready I knew how to vibrate. I knew how to unconsciously convey the message, “look at me, I’m important.” Someone must have blown up my bull horn because I’d gone silent. I attribute this silencing to the old saying that ‘you are what you say you are.’

Recently I fought with my evil twin. Amidst all the hoorays, good jobs and high fives I gave myself, I was also sneaking in some put downs. As I told myself I was pretty behind my back I whispered for a big girl.  While I told myself I was smart, snidely I said, so why aren’t you more successful, dumb ass? While I was telling myself I was well-liked, to my secret self I admitted, yeah for someone who has no friends. I was my own bitter best friend like the sister that always has positive things to say to you while hiding the voodoo doll with your likeness in her backpack.

I have to kill the secret side conversations going on in my  head. When negative thoughts intrude shake the venom free. Learn to push pause on the auto play button when its starts to sing songs of acrimony. I’m not the positive affirmation chick with the Hare Krishna Hammer pants and tambourine so this is going to take some work.  Does anyone have any techniques that might help that doesn’t include shaving my head bald except for two wispy ponytails on the side?

 

Bitch & Her Boots January 12, 2011

I had a pair of bitchin’ moon boots back when I was young. I don’t want to date myself but for the infants they are like slouchy boots minus twenty plus years. Back then I already had a healthy self-esteem but in those boots I thought I was the shit. Coming to school that day I was all swagger with my beaded braids swinging, shoulders thrown back and an attitude that already screamed F*%# You, even though I was too young to swear. I was fierce and gangster. I was unaware, but already I had a kiss my ass mentality forming inside. I started down the school playground and treated it like a runway. I began with a sedate walk but as I neared my friends I could have sworn I heard the beat of Billy Jean playing in my ear. With every step I took the concrete path lit up just for me.  Michael’s glimmer socks and loafers couldn’t touch me. I had on my moon boots and I was on fire.  I expected my friends to love the look, congratulate me on my style and ask me to be their pre-pubescent stylist. Instead I got dirty looks, hate and whispers. Huh. What the hell!  Come again? I didn’t understand what everyone was so mad about. It didn’t matter. I never wore my moon boots again. Today, I wish I could pull that little girl aside and warn her not kill her fabulousness on the playground. It would take decades to rebuild.  I missed my chance. I’ll do it now.  

Remember this: “If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that someone won’t like you. That’s part of being remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out(Seth Godin).”  

Folks are going to hate you anyway so you might as well give them their money’s worth. I’m digging in my closet for my boots as I speak. I have to push past Prince’s silk ruffled shirt and high heels, Gaga’s meat dress and Michael’s glitter glove. Ah, there they are – my moon boots. Long time no see, love. It’s time for a wear.

What have you hidden away that you plan to dust off and rock this year?

Willow rocks her boots

 

Black Girl Screaming January 7, 2011

I’m reading a book called the Purple Cow. It’s a marketing book for developing businesses, brands and standout products. The premise behind the book is that if you want to be remembered you have to do remarkable things, be extraordinary and do what it takes to separate yourself from the herd and the crowd. To attract attention you have to stand out. Being ordinary, mediocre and a basic brown cow won’t do.  Halfway through the book and I’m already contemplating suicide. It asks me to do all the things I hate: namely speaking to strangers, abandoning fear and letting go of my insecurities and inhibitions.  I think the author might be on the pipe or some mood altering substance.  Already my hands shake, my mouth gets dry and I feel real shivers down my spine when I have to approach the unknown woman and tell her about my blog. Now I have to come out of my shell even more? I feel the beginnings of a heart attack? I feel light-headed with the mere idea of being the mouth piece behind my brand. Couldn’t I just pay the dude that sings on the train a sandwich and some Skittles to spread the word for me?  My greatest desire is to write quietly and be anonymous.  That’s why my Super Sistah mask suits me. I can see you but you can’t see me. The problem with my plan is that if I’m quiet, shy and laid back both my name and I will become extinct. A year, an hour or a minute from now no one will remember me. I will live a life of quiet disappointment and soundless misery. It’s not gonna work. If I want to blow the roof off the house that traps my dreams I have to be brash. So let’s get loud everyone. Split eardrums like the best Bose sound system. Rattle the walls like a Rock concert at full blast. Shout so that God can hear your dreams from the clouds.

In your life are you dying quietly or are you screaming?

Are you screaming?

 

Running Scared January 3, 2011

“Every Sistah is Super.” That’s my one line opener. I say this to women I give my Super Sistah postcard to in a never-ending attempt to build my brand. In cutthroat, aggressive, neck rolling city like New York City I tend to drop the card in the new reader’s hands and take off in something resembling a dead run. I’m not scared I tell you! The Super is fearless……sort of. In the midst of doing a better Bolt than Usain, I tell myself that I’m not running exactly, instead I’m avoiding the “oh no she didn’t” blank stare and the, “you better get out of my face with that” look with a hint of crazy eyes. Timing is everything in these interactions.

With a pounding heart, I say my line– rushing the words, drop the card and haul ass.  But recently my split second timing was off and WHAM my head bounced off the closing train doors. I was trapped.  I was surrounded by a half a dozen women with my card in their hands. It was like Fear Factor x 10. I turned slowly ready for the rejection of seeing my cards littering the floor with the rest of the trash. What I got was a row of teeth.

“I’m Super? Really? What’s the blog about?” The responses should have delighted me. I felt sad. I could tell by the mirrored looks of expectancy and surprise that no one had told these women that they were wonderful. My little sales pitch was their only positive affirmation. The mere idea was troubling. No wonder I expected rejection, cynicism and negativity from the women I was trying to reach. Obviously, I didn’t believe my own message. Everyone needs to know that they’re special and important. It’s what gives us the fuel we need to keep moving forward. So to my readers, I believe that you’re all extraordinary women. We all need encouragement. I include myself. If I know what I’m doing is important maybe the next time I hand someone my card I might just reduce my speed to a quick walk instead of a run.

Are you facing your fears or are you running scared?