Life. It throws curve balls. It’s a rollercoaster that can take you from the lowest of lows to unimaginable heights within hours, minutes even. And life is definitely scary. As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down. The trick: Don’t allow society, or circumstances, to define you. Being afraid is normal, no matter how much the bad-ass chick you met at a networking event tells you she’s fearless. Being afraid also holds you back from what you truly desire. So conquer your fears and be the best you can be.
Remove the “lack” conversation from your life
You lack money. You lack power. You lack insights. You lack connections. You lack experience.
It’s easy to get down on yourself for all the qualities your mind is saying you “lack”. Your thoughts may even turn to the dark corners of imposter syndrome. Truth is, we all lack something. The next person may have all the connections in the world but be short on talent or work ethic. Another may be extremely talented and not know how to market those gifts.
Stop beating yourself up about what you think you’re lacking. Instead, do something about it. Lacking connections? Start attending networking events. Lacking experience? Volunteer your services temporarily to grow a portfolio. Lacking expertise? Attend adult classes at the community college to fine-tune your skills. Lacking (fill in the blank)? – Transform it!
When you’re tempted to remind yourself of all your shortcomings – don’t. Focus on how to grow as a person, and growing your business will follow. You don’t have to be perfect.
Stop complaining and do something about it
This one’s another tar pit that is difficult to pull out of. But you can do it! When you’re second-guessing yourself, giving in to self-pity is natural and easy. But complaining never solves any problems. In fact, it may alienate the very people you need on your side.
Yes, as a single mom you’re facing unique challenges. But no one likes a Debbie Downer. You know, the one who lays out her troubles and complaints at every opportunity. The one who has a whole lot of problems, and no solutions. The one who blames others/circumstances/the economy for all her issues. Odds are you know someone like that, and you need to fight hard to not become her.
Instead of focusing on problems, focus on solutions. People in your network are more likely to offer a hand if you’re able to pinpoint exactly what you need to drive your success. There’s a big difference between lamenting that you’re tired all the time, and saying you’re in the market for an intern.
The internet is a magical thing. Answers are out there if you seek out respectable, trusted resources. Still, nothing beats personal connections to help you cope.
Get recommendations from your personal network to help solve your issue; if you don’t have a network, build one
It’s ok to ask for assistance; and when you receive it, pay it back (or forward)
Refrain from negativity; find the positive in any problem and adjust your pitch for help or advice accordingly
Do something outrageously fun. Weekly!
We all get caught up in work, and sometimes it takes a real effort to break away and recenter. Saying no isn’t easy, and neither is shutting down your phone or laptop. But, you have to. It’ll save your sanity, allow you to re-energize, and even gain new perspective as you ignore an email and come back to it later.
Meanwhile, have a little fun! Better yet, have lots of it!
Catch up with family and friends, spend an extra hour with your kids to do something special, or just relax in the bath with a good book. Humans aren’t robots – no matter how busy we get and what expectations the workplace loads on us. Regenerating is a crucial component of doing your best work.
Sometimes, the pressure is extremely high and we feel like we can’t even take a minute for self-care. Do it anyway! Go have fun, whatever that looks like for you, personally. A latte with a friend. A visit to the amusement park with the kids. A picnic or road trip with your significant other.
Time is a gift. Use it wisely. No one wants an obituary that reads, “She worked herself to death and never had any fun”. We work to live. We shouldn’t live to work.
Go on rollercoasters. Stick your toes in the sand. Taste the wine. And if you don’t have time, make the time.
Do it every…single…week. You owe this to yourself. Because you are worthy and worth it.
Live your life full out. There is no such thing as rehearsal.
Our years on earth are limited. If we’re lucky, we get 70, 80, even 90. But, our time to go is up in the air from the moment we’re born, and we never know which minute is the last. So we have to make every second count.
Most of us get several shots at many experiences and opportunities in life, until we get it right. If not this job offer, maybe the next. If not this marriage, maybe the next. We search, and search some more, for the perfect job, the ideal mate, our perfect life, a sense of fulfillment and purpose. But, we rarely get do-overs. There’s no rehearsal, only memories to live with where we wish we would’ve done more, and victories to celebrate. Both, we hopefully learn from.
So don’t waste time. Let go of relationships that are toxic, both in business and your private life. Identify your goals and focus on them, even if it means sacrifice. Do what you love – you’ll be great at it. Above all, keep true to yourself. Take chances, forgive, and find fulfillment.
And never, ever, regret. Every step you take is a learning experience.
Here’s to a risk taking, successful and above all, joyful, 2023!
Neferteri Plessy is a trailblazer for mom entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders. A sought-after motivational speaker, Neferteri has coached over 5,000 women into living their best life now. As the founder and CEO of Single Moms Planet, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, she has developed programming, events and resources which have not only uplifted and inspired thousands of mothers, but also celebrated their amazing achievements. She is the creator of the “Smart Mommy” brand, a global movement that empowers mothers in business. Neferteri has been featured in The Huffington Post, BBC News, MSN Lifestyle, KIIS FM, and the cover of LA Weekly.
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