GeekyTricee

Mindset & Productivity

Struggle Love vs. Self-Love

[EDITED TO MAINTAIN POSITIVE FEELZ OF THIS SITE]

Yesterday, I posted this very long message on Facebook and decided to share it here. I have since decided to delete it from here so that I can maintain positivity here. There was a lot of negativity there I just don’t want lingering around on my little corner of the internet.

The topic was about the push to get black women to take on people and situations that don’t serve us positively just so we can have someone to call our partner. Many black women have coined these unions “struggle love.”

In my own experiences with dating, I’ve also tried dating men whom are essentially not ready to be proper partners. They, in my opinion, date so they can get help with things like a place to stay, money to “borrow,” or food to eat. I’ve left these relationships feeling spent and taken advantage of. Of course, there are some who simply date for companionship during their time in need.

However, I have found if a man is dependent upon me for his livelihood, it is stressful on both of us and the companionship is doing more harm than good. Coming together to support each other through hard times isn’t all bad, it just isn’t something I enjoyed in my own life. Especially when my already busy life was moving smoothly, but then I added the concern of a man’s burdens to it. That’s extra responsibilities. I can do bad all by myself.

And a lot of times us black women get told that is the only way we can find love instead of being educated on our options. We’ve got plenty of options. We don’t have to choose partners as if we’ve showed up late to the sell. As if we’ve got to take what’s left at the store or go without.

As momma Eartha Kitt has put it, a partner should share in the love you already cultivated and have for yourself. We should love ourselves and be excited enough about this love to seek out partners that’ll support it. Not partners that’ll make us question it or will chip away at it. That means choosing a partner that doesn’t make you compromise what you want and see in your life.

Also, if you are in search of someone to love, you should already love yourself. How can you love somebody else if you can’t love yourself? Yes, that is Mama Ru (Rupaul).

Since giving up struggle love, my life has been less stressful and I have more time to myself. I’m more selective and date to be pleased and have a good time. Lately, I’ve been more marriage minded so I’ve learned to get even more selective. So far, it has gone lovely. I’m happy.

Dating this way has also done a lot to preserve my wellness and protect my wellbeing. I’m overall just a happier person. And with all the extra time, I’m strengthening the love I have for myself. That’s crucial. One day I heard this woman being interviewed on one of Black Girl In Om’s podcasts make a great point. She said something like we make the mistake of thinking self-love comes easy because it is ourselves we are learning to love.

Reality is we have to work for this love the same way we’d have to work with someone else. We have to date, court, romance, and learn about ourselves to love ourselves the same way we have to learn someone else to love them. We must take ourselves out on dates to learn what we like to do and then treat ourselves with those dates again. We must give ourselves the things, situations, and environments we love to have. We should shower ourselves in positive thoughts, affirmations, and sweet talk to strengthen that love. The same way we’d do that to show love to another human being.

It all made really good sense to me. I realized I hadn’t really spent enough time loving myself. I was spending too much time trying to prove loyalty to someone else so they could love me. I was working for the love I should have been giving to myself. As is the case with many women whom take on situations that don’t truly serve them or their purposes.

Searching for love before we love ourselves is a sure way to pick a partner that doesn’t quite get it. So that partner might do things that hurt us and our feelings. It isn’t really intentional, although some of it might definitely seem that way. It is Divine Truth. That’s how that person was going to act in your life regardless. That is their Divine Truth. They are there to teach you a lesson and show you truth. If even that truth is the painful realization that lack of self-love likely let them in.

So for me, letting go of situations that add burden (struggle love) rather than subtract stress and add value has been a pretty powerful step. I definitely advocate other women, especially black women, move to do the same.

Struggle Love As Described By Other Black Women 

Ring the alarm: Black women, save yourselves. Ignore struggle love propaganda!!

Black woman and struggle love

Struggle love for black women and their magical powers

Struggle Love Propaganda – Black Women Don’t Need This Bulls*** (video)

3 well-meaning, but bad-habit triggering people

Changing your lifestyle and behaviors can be challenging enough. The last thing anyone getting healthy needs are damaging comments that’ll encourage backsliding. I had these type of friends catch me off guard plenty of times. In the beginning my will power was weak and I needed friends that would encourage me to make the changes I wanted to make. Not friends that’ll make it easy for me to wait another day or go off my plan.

Getting your mind right to achieve your goals also includes surrounding yourself with like-minded people or people that’ll encourage you along the way. Here is a breakdown of the three people I’ve realized were well-meaning, but bad influences when first making lifestyle changes for healthier living.

“You’re way too strict” 

These types of friends that question your healthy choices as being too strict sometimes mean well and sometimes do not understand the extent of your transformation. They believe healthy living is a Monday through Friday thing. Or that it’s ok to consume toxic foods in moderation or at least once a week. One of my friends kind of made me feel as if I had an obsession or eating disorder because of my strict diet.

But we’ve learned better. You’ve realized overcoming food and sugar addiction requires complete elimination. Plus those foods don’t really do much for you anyways, but make you sick or bring back cravings. Being strict is how you started seeing changes. Being strict is definitely how I finally started seeing transformation.

Hanging with people that consider your healthy choices as being too strict can negatively influence you in the beginning stages of your transformation. Definitely while you’re still craving foods and overcoming addiction. Becoming mindful of these types of comments and people will help you prepare yourself to think differently.

“You never have fun anymore” 

This one is hard for me to ignore considering I’m still working on disassociating food and alcohol with fun and good times. Believe it or not we don’t need food and alcohol to have a good time. But it is so intertwined in our culture that it’s hard for anyone to respect the task of thinking differently.

Just because you are no longer having the half-off wings and five dollar margaritas at happy hour doesn’t mean you’re no longer having fun. It is hard for some friends to understand this. They might even show you their lack of understanding by accusing you of killing the vibes. Just because you’ve decided to make some changes.

If your friends are understanding and open to your lifestyle changes, a simple explanation might do. However, if your “friends” continue to make this an issue, perhaps it’s time to find new friends. Or meet these friends at engagements that don’t involve food and alcohol.

“Treat yourself sometime. You’ve worked hard enough.” 

Good intentions, but counterproductive. These people are often times holding on to the conventional idea that junk food is ok to “treat” yourself with. To them, it is ok to “treat” yourself with a food that’ll likely cause you cravings, spike your blood sugar, and might even lead to binge eating. Hell, they probably even treat themselves once a week.

When you’re battling food and sugar addiction, however, that “treat” can lead to a huge step backwards. Teaching your friends the seriousness of addiction and the threat “treats” pose to your progress helps plenty. Especially if your friends are supportive and want to understand.

 

What’s Really a Decision and How To Make One

Have you ever found a “self-improvement” program, a blogging workshop, or a branding e-course that’ll cost you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars? They can give you what you need and sound pretty awesome. Hell, you’ll jump right on it, but there’s just one problem: you don’t have a penny to invest in these helpful tools. Matter of fact, if you had the money, you’ll be well on your way to starting that business/blog/brand these programs promise to help you build. Because you’ve got plans and ideas up the wazoo.

I love a good online course, workshop or program and have taken advantage of plenty of programs within my budget. I’m a geek. I LOVE these resources. But come on now. There was even one women blogging retreat I wanted to go to that cost a grand total of $25,000 to attend. Twenty. Five. THOUSAND. Girl, if I had $25,000 to spend on a retreat that is meant to teach me how to develop a brand, blog posts, and ebooks, I would have started a business and gotten much cheaper help.

I’m lying. I’ll still go on that retreat for the networking and new techniques (I’m a geek), but still. Daaamn, my funds aren’t that “grown” yet.

Here’s the thing. Think about it. Why is it not only do you not have the money to pay for these tools and workshops you know you need, but you also don’t have the money to start a few of your ideas? Well honey, it ain’t the cost, it’s you. Profound “aha” moment I am also coming to terms with.

You don’t have the money because you haven’t seriously decided to have what you say you want. You also don’t have the money because you’re depending upon your situation and you lack creativity.

“But Trice, I’ve hella decided that I want to seriously start my online business. What do you mean? And did this heffa just say I lack creativity?”

Let me explain.

What’s a Decision and How to Make One 

The Latin root of the word “decision” means “to cut off” as in you’ve cut off all your other choices. When you truly decide upon something and “choose up,” you’ve decided to go all in and make it happened no matter what. The “cut off” is the “no matter what.”

Lets say you truly decided to go for building that online business. You need to take a few courses on blogging, branding, and marketing, purchase hosting and a domain, and you’re even eyeballing that new book by Amber Rose on How To Be A Bad Bitch. But your budget is so tight not even tiny Tim can get in there. You’re counting pennies as it is.

So what do you do if you’ve really decided to build your online business?

First, get an understanding of where you’re starting from. And no, broke as f**k is not a starting point. A starting point will be figuring out how much you need to do what you’ve got to do. We’ll say you need $900 to get started.

In the whelm where you’ve made a decision, you’ll then start figuring out how to get to $900 by a particular deadline.

This is where not depending upon your situation and employing creativity come in.

Not Depending Upon Your Situation 

Look around you. What do you see? You’re budget is stupid tight right? Well why is it so tight? You say it’s because your job only pays you x amount of money a week and your bills gobble that up as you earn it? Or are you in between incomes like I am? Trying to figure out what you can cut out and move around so you can make room for $900 in available funds?

Some… Ok. Many of us look around us and use our current situations to determine our next moves and what we can and cannot do. Big mistake.

Times like these we are being called to become more resourceful. We are being pulled to think beyond the level of thinking that created the “problem” we’re currently in. Ever hear how you can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it? Well, same applies here. You just can’t.

That’s where we start getting the creativity flowing.

Get creative!

Now that I’ve freed you from the prison of your current situation (doesn’t that feel awesome?), you can start thinking about what direction you’ll like to go in to raise money. For me, this is sometimes the scary part. This is where I have to stop being afraid, start being confident, and step the hell on out there with my ideas and skills. You feel me?

What ideas do you have? It can be anything. Legal and safe of course. Sell your skills on a freelancing website, sell some of your stuff, drive for Uber or Lyft on the weekends and after work, deliver food, do hair and makeup if you’re good at it, help someone develop a website, or even doggy sit.

I freelance, drive for Uber, and help people I know set themselves up online professionally. It’s not enough to get $25,000 for a 12-day retreat, but it’s good enough to make sure I’m able to pay for my online presence and any of the programs I use. I might also start selling my precious purse collection. Hey, when you’re being called to give up something, that means something better is coming.

Do it! 

Hopefully I’ve got you pumped to get out there and do what you’ve got to do to get where you want to be. Don’t wait for a better time either. Trust me, it will not come. Not ever. Thinking next week will be better? Ok, wait until next week and see what happens.

Do it, do it, do it now, do it good, make that money just like you should. Right now, do it good. Make that money just like you should. That course, that ebook. Get that domain and that hosting.  *sung to the tune of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back”*

 

5 methods for improving self-discipline on a weight loss routine

I’ve experienced several situations where the pressure seemed like too much to deal with. I gave in. One of them being the pressure of fitting in and “having fun” like everyone else.

But what I realized is I was the only one that would have to deal with being unhappy with my decision. I was going to be the only one to have to feel sick from eating a food I shouldn’t have eaten. It was me that would have to put in the work to get back on track.

Making a conscious effort to approach social settings mindfully and prepared helps a lot when on a weight loss routine. Weight loss doesn’t leave room for weekly cheats and slip ups when trying to keep it consistent and significant.

So below are five methods I’ve used for improving my self-discipline on a weight loss routine.

Remain Mindful

The first method I use to improve my self-discipline on a weight loss routine is to be mindful.

Entering a situation with your goals in mind is a HUGE HELP. Reminding yourself how much effort it took to get to this point of your weight loss journey, keeping in mind how well you’ve been doing, and reminding yourself of what it will take to start over are all helpful things to think about when entering a social setting where temptations are lurking.

I remind myself of how difficult it is for me to get back on track after I’ve fallen off. I think about the cravings and binge eating and how sick and out of control it makes me feel.

Basically, I think about all the things I would have thought about after a cheat before the cheat.

Also keep in mind what you’ll like the outcome of the situation to be. How will you like to feel when the party is over? Will you like to feel disappointed in yourself and negative about your decisions? Or will you like to feel accomplished and proud of yourself for the healthy decisions you’ve made?

Go Prepared

The second method I like to use is going prepared. I eat or pack something.

Going prepared to a social setting is one of the best ways to protect the body against cravings and the mind against justification.

Eating is definitely important. Avoid going hungry at all cost. I don’t know how often I’ve went to an event hungry and justified my decision to “just eat something” because I was hungry. Going hungry is a huge mistake.

But going with your blood sugar stabilized, and your tummy satisfied, dramatically lowers your chances of craving foods and your mind running a series of thoughts that’ll eventually place your weight efforts on the furthest to the back burners.

Drinking plenty of water is another great way to remain in control. Being thirsty and lacking enough water can also be misinterpreted as hunger and cravings.

Make sure to stay hydrated and drink water when at the gathering. It also helps to drink sparkling water. It is more fulling and makes you feel like you’re drinking more than “just water.” I love water, but hey sparkling water is definitely an awesome stand in.

Another way to go prepared and improve discipline is to bring your own food. This usually only works with family gathers, events that allow packed food, and pot lucks.

Bringing your own food not only makes for great conversation, but it is also a way to keep yourself occupied and feeling included if you’re not quite at that level of not focusing on the food of a social gathering. Make a small plate, nibble, and baby sit your plate for a while.

Going prepared to social gatherings by preparing your body with blood sugar stabilization, hydration and with bringing your own food just in case helps keep the mind strong and you on the right track.

No Wishful Thinking

The third method I learned was to quit wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking got me in trouble often. Wishing I could eat like other people and still lose weight made discipline hard to stick to and eventually I’d cheat anyway.

Think Negatively of All the Things You Know You Shouldn’t Eat 

 Since going paleo years ago, I’ve learned a lot about highly processed foods, what are put in these foods, and what terrible things these foods have done to the human population as well as the ecosystems of many animals and our environment. There’s nothing really beneficial about these highly processed foods accept for they provide some extremely poor form of nutrition for those in poverty and cause your pleasure receptors to “light up” so to speak. They might taste ok (debatable), but besides that they do nothing and cause more harm than good.

It helps to remind myself of all of this when entering a social gathering or encountering nagging peer pressure. Instead of thinking about the taste of the food and how “good” the food might make me feel at the moment, I keep in mind all the reasons why I’ve stopped eating these “foods” to begin with. They’re not really foods!

Another negative to keep in mind is the blood sugar deregulation that will for sure occur. Then what about how long it might take to get your glucose numbers back in check? Is it really worth that slice of pizza, those cookies your annoying co-worker brought in, or that vodka and cranberry that cute guy offered you from across the bar? I would have had to think hard about the vodka and cranberry, but no. No, it isn’t worth it.

Instead of thinking about what “good” you think will come out of eating that donut or froyo, think about all the bad things that made you walk away from your old habits to begin with.

Don’t Take Peer Pressure Personally 

It took you some time to get to this point in your health journey. You didn’t wake up one day knowing all you know about food and the keto lifestyle. So expecting your friends to get it and fall right in line with your lifestyle is a bit much. It is best to not take their request for you to “join in” personally and to just understand they’re simply not there. And maybe never will be.

I used to take the peer pressure so personally that I would actually sacrifice my hard work and goals to make my friends feel comfortable. They would complain about me being too strict and not having fun with them. I actually had one friend convince me to drink with him because we hardly ever spent time with each other like we used to. Because he didn’t understand my mission, nor my change in perspective on food and social settings, he took personally my denial of alcohol. So to make him feel better, I took his ignorance personally and obliged him.

Taking peer pressure personally can guilt you into giving in to make friends feel better and more comfortable. But approaching peer pressure as if it is ignorance helps you see that the problem isn’t yours to fix. You’ve got a mission to stick to and their feelings about what you’re doing isn’t going to hinder that.

Conclusion 

Preparing yourself for social settings and arming yourself against peer pressure might take some practice and serious thought, but it is definitely worth the strength gained by surviving. Remaining mindful, going prepared, not wishing I could eat those damaging foods, reminding myself of all the negative things about those foods, and not taking peer pressure personally has helped me get stronger with application. The last party I went to, I ate nothing but keto friendly foods. I was so proud.

Social settings don’t have to be a scary thing when getting into a new healthy routine. Becoming stronger and practicing will power does take time, but by applying any of these 5 pointers regularly to social settings you’re sure to see improvement. Your consistent discipline might be a bit shaky, but with persistence you’re sure to get better. Stick with it.

What does persistence look like?

It was unrecognizable in the mist of faulty consistency and discipline. When failing to create what I wanted to create and have the things I wanted to have, I figured persistence was something I lacked. Boy was I wrong.

Persistence, as defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is “the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by others.”

Um yeah, I’m pretty damn persistent. Although I’ve failed at remaining disciplined and consistent enough to see the results I wanted to see by the time I wanted to see them, I’ve remained persistent by never letting my failures conquer me. I know exactly what I want. By keeping those images in my head, I’ve remained persistent despite.

Persistence can be hard to recognize when discipline and consistency is what makes shift happened. It takes mastering these two to make changes, but with persistence discipline and consistency are sure to see improvement. With each restart, the drive to be better disciplined and consistent grows stronger. Eventually discipline and consistency become second nature. It takes practice and that’s where persistence comes in.

Now I understand why there was a whole chapter dedicated to persistence in Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” It’s discussed as the ONLY trait all self-made successful people possessed. They were extremely persistent and didn’t allow any set backs or failures to stop them.

I’ve failed at sticking to my plans several times. I’ve questioned if I would even make it. But the desire to have what I want never left me so I kept trying. And I’m still not there, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t grown by this point. Remaining persistent has allowed me to strengthen the characteristics and skills I need, including discipline and consistency.

You might not have stuck to the plan this time, but if you stick to the desire, hold tight to the image of your dreams, and persistently give it a good try to do better, you’ll eventually reach your goals. If you’ve restarted and retried several times like I have, you are extremely persistent also. Be happy. You too share the only characteristic shared by all highly successful people – persistence.

Paralyzed by fear?

I’m paralyzed by fear. Fear that I’m making the wrong decisions. Fear that it isn’t the right time. Fear that I don’t have the right tools. Essentially fear of failure. It is a fear that is becoming more apparent as I learn more about myself and how “the laws” work. There’s something longing to come out of me, but I’m too afraid to experience what it has in store. Whatever that might be. Fear shouldn’t stop me, but it is stopping me. Right here and right now.

The fear is masked in preparation I once believed was solid movement. Searching for helpful guides, reading ebooks, watching YouTube tutorials, taking notes, jotting down lists and scheduling my days has taken up a majority of my time. I look busy and hold on to the comfort of being able to tell people that I’m working. Which is true. I am working. But this busy work isn’t exactly movement. It’s how I justify stalling and wallowing in my paralyzing fear. My gifts continue to go unnoticed by many, including myself.

In the meantime my bills go unpaid, my accounts accumulate overdraft fees, and my credit card is quickly approaching its limit. I know I don’t want to go back to work for anyone, which strategically places me between a rock and a hard place. I can once again be a miserable employee or I can get over this silly fear. Can’t live on unemployment forever. How else will I create the life I desire unless I get over this fear? How else will I step out and pursue my dreams? No one is stopping me but me and that is a scary thought, yet reassuring to know I have that control.

“They” say being paralyzed by fear is a lack of faith and respect for my unique purpose. If the vision has been handed to me as I am right now, there is nothing more that I need to get started. I am now all that I need to be in order to head towards my vision. As I move forward to the next step, the next level, I will be provided with what ever else I’ll need. I’ll learn what needs to be learned. And I’ll meet the people that need to be met. But all that doesn’t happened unless I move. That’s faith and that’s respect.

But how do I get there? How do I heal myself of this paralyzing fear? Passing this hurtle will make me stronger and conquering fear will become easier. I know it. But how? One thought that comes to mind is practice. Taking on tasks I’ve feared pursuing because I feared failing. Another thought is reevaluating my ideas surrounding failure. Failure, in my past, has meant more accumulated debt and wasted money. Two things I definitely cannot afford to have right now. But I can’t continue to expect failure to be something I can’t afford. Failure is a vital part of success. There are lessons in failure. There is growth and development in failure. There are things I need to obtain from failure. If I’m too afraid to fail, I’m too afraid to develop, grow and succeed. At least on the level I’m being called to do so.

I also must change my expectations. Lately I’ve been absorbing the work of Bob Proctor and Derek Rydell. Both say (what many master teachers have said) you’ll bring to you what you think about and what you expect. If you dwell on the worse, you’ll expect the worse and bring forth the worse. If you focus on the positives you’ll manifest positivity and good things as well as improve your expectations. This doesn’t mean that failure won’t happen, but I’ll no longer expect bad things to come of failure. As a speaker in “You Were Born Rich” mentioned, failures will no longer look like walls, but chances to open new doors. I should expect good and have faith that I’ll be taken care of no matter what the outcome.

Healing from paralyzing fear is practicing faith one “scary” task at a time. It is realizing there is plenty to be had and given with movement and much to lose with immobility. Healing involves seeing failure in a different light and welcoming it as a bearer of gifts instead of a robber of resources. It is settling with the fact that failure is an essential component of success. Healing from this paralyzing fear will be scary, but will get easier with each task. It is important to keep in mind, however, that movement is crucial and the only way to heal.

So I declare to conquer things that scare me. Starting with submitted query emails and letters to blogs and magazines. As well as starting my ebook and sharing these posts in more places.

Are you also paralyzed by your fear? Get started now. I am. It’s important.