Featured

Newlore Storyboard: #4ThingsThatInspiredMeThisWeek

From much needed closure, to self love challenges and timely writing inspiration, here’s a list of 4 things that inspired me this week.

1. What happened in 2022 stays in 2022…

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

…hopefully.

The best thing about a new year is the closure that comes with knowing you’re leaving a year behind you (with everything in it) and starting afresh.

Closing the records of the past year, no matter if it was great or sad or average, it’s over! And being born again, with renewed energy and spirit, with fresh hope and expectations, ready to go at it again.

I’ve decided not to have resolutions this new year but instead to let life lead the way, while I rediscover the things that really matter. I am so tired of struggling and caring in all the wrong places. I need a reboot and the new year is as close as we can get.

This Year I Intend To Try A New Approach…

Living for pleasure.

This year I have to find a way somehow to be my most selfish self. Let’s have a taste of it, and see how we like it. I intend to live for pleasure.

I need to learn where and how to utilize my energy. To rediscover my joy in all the little things I have already. To finally outgrow my need to please everybody else while I suffer in silence. In short, I need to learn to live with being the bad guy.

I’m definitely looking forward to a great week after finding these timely bits of inspiration over the weekend.


2. Writing Inspiration

I was feeling down a bit about the challenge of keeping my dream to write full time alive.

Here’s a piece that really gave me the boost I needed to stop beating myself up over my imperfections and just keep going.

You can check it out if you find yourself in a slump especially as a writer.

Or this article from The Writing Cooperative; Why You Should Write Daily Even If You Hate It

Or check out one of my very own articles that I rediscovered for myself at such a timely moment; Perfectionism or Self-sabotage?


3. Influence of social media in our lives today

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Today we have Influencers leading the way in society instead of leaders and we continuously seek validation in the wrong places and things.

Widespread influence and amassing likes on social networks has taken the place of integrity and love. We need a paradigm shift to a time where we lived and fought for the right reasons.

Influencers or Leaders? Validation or Invalidation


4. My Self Love Challenge: 8 Horrible Habits I’m Giving Up In 2023

  • Quitting

Yes I admit it. I’m a quitter! When I feel like an endeavor might fail, I convince myself I don’t really want it and then as easy as saying “pie” I’m able to just walk away. 

I avoid “embarrassing myself” by failing, and also avoid a possible victory or opportunity to grow. This habit has got to go! 

My mission is to give 110% in everything I do for myself moving forward. I know I can do it because I go all out every single time for others, but then bail out when it’s mine. I almost feel like cursing at this point at how frustrating this habit is. 

  • Negativity

This boils down to my over pragmatic (and sometimes pessimistic) outlook on things. I need to change my “glass half empty” mentality by cultivating a positive mental attitude. 

My self love challenge
  • Quitting
  • Negative Mental Attitude
  • Poor time management (the busyness bug)
  • Fear of leaving my comfort zone/taking risks
  • Overthinking & fear of failing
  • Over-explaining myself
  • Not keeping in-touch with loved ones
  • Not counting my blessings often enough

I wish you all a beautiful year ahead. Stay safe, keep fighting and be happy!

Featured

Perfectionism or Self-Sabotage?

For years, I struggled to begin my writing journey. I would write something I thought was good in the heat of passion, just to rewrite it again and again and again. My attempt to not settle for mediocre work meant I was not making any progress at all. This desire for my writing, font size, blog theme, color and everything else that (quite frankly) wasn’t relevant at all to be perfect kept me from taking that first step to accomplishing my dream.

Before now, if you asked me, I would proudly say “I am a perfectionist”. And this was basically my excuse for why I fail to make progress in anything. But isn’t that simply self-sabotage hiding under the cloak of perfectionism?

What I learnt from my struggle with perfectionism and self-doubt is quite simple.

You do not have to be perfect to set out to accomplishing your goals.

In fact, you don’t have to be anything. All you need to do is take that first step, as imperfect and as unprepared as you may feel. Holding out for perfection is admirable, but doing so right at the start could lead to self-doubt and lots of second-guessing which is actually more damaging to your self-esteem and confidence than possible failure.

Think of it this way; giving it a shot even though you feel unprepared means you actually tried and have gained some experience, but constantly second-guessing yourself only leads to self-doubt which most often prevents us from even trying. I cannot begin to count the number of opportunities I’ve given up simply because I was too afraid of not meeting ‘imagined’ expectations to even try!

From my experience, self-doubt has killed many more dreams than failure ever will.

So how do we ensure we aren’t stuck in the quagmire of self-sabotage in our desire to awe our audience right at the door?

  • Embracing Mediocrity: Of course, nobody wants to be mediocre. And it’s perfectly understandable that we push ourselves to produce our best in order to prevent this. Not surprisingly, this same desire to accept only what we consider the best from ourselves often becomes a determent to making any move at all especially when we’re just starting out. You would be amazed at how much courage you can gain simply from accepting the prospect of being somewhere in the middle. This singular philosophy got me started on my goals, and once started I have no intention of staying in the middle!
  • Avoid being Judgemental: Yes, passion and some feelings are needed for just about anything you sincerely want to accomplish. But make sure to do without them when making your decisions. Most times, we are actually better than we think we are. Or possibly not. Either way, we need to take that first imperfect step first doing our best to be non-judgemental about the quality of our work then work our way to becoming better. Remember that perfection is relative. What seems wonderful to you may not be to the next person and vice versa, so do not let the need for perfection hold you back.

Greatness doesn’t just happen. It is built one little brick at a time. So, do the best you can right now!

Featured

How Being Too Nice Is Harming Your Happiness & Well-being

For some of us, life can seem like a constant struggle between letting ourselves look bad by saying no, and sacrificing our own happiness and independence with unnecessary commitments. Yet we have to avoid the mental trap of “not wanting to let others down” in order to make progress in our own lives.

In fact, studies have shown that taking on tasks you’ll rather avoid causes you to harbor feelings of resentment that eventually could result in anxiety disorders and depression.

So if you’re like me, and you think it’s easier to “just do it” and avoid a confrontation than to frankly say no – be warned! You’re seriously harming your physical and mental well-being.

I am so bad in fact that if I have to lead a project, I can go so far as doing the tasks of myself and my team mates just to avoid having to police others into doing their parts! And just like that, I have a solid reputation of “getting the job done” even if those responsible choose not to. But how fair is that to myself? And what a self destructive habit to cultivate!

In the end we’re all given the same 24 hours in a day, and each of us is responsible for how their time is spent, not just for a day but for the whole of our lives. It’s not fair to yourself to use your own time (which equates to your life) in taking on the burden of others.

Admittedly, it is important to offer assistance to others when we can, but we must know when to draw the line between helping others and being sucked into their problems. Or worse, becoming the go to person for others to unload their burdens on.

Ask yourself this; How high does my own happiness rank in my life?

Remember that your life and happiness are important too so don’t sacrifice them for the convenience of others!

The only way to undo the habit of indiscriminately saying yes to the demands of others is to gradually learn to say no wisely. So how do you do this?

Firstly, believe in yourself.

Believe in the fact that you deserve to come first in your own life. Believe also in your capabilities and in your value, and that you do not need others to validate your existence or importance. Understand that you are valuable.

Your time is valuable, as are your skills. Don’t sell yourself short by serving others at the expense of your own responsibilities, time, health and happiness. Pleasing others all the time is all well and good but when compared to the cost on your time and wellbeing, it’s not really worth it. Your time is a valuable commodity which you need to pursue your own goals so use it wisely.

Don’t sell yourself short by serving others at the expense of your own responsibilities, time, health and happiness.

Secondly, don’t guilt yourself into believing it’s bad to say no sometimes. It’s not!

When asked to do something you’re not sure of, take your time to evaluate the situation. Keep in mind that once you establish the habit of saying yes always, those around you will begin to feel entitled to your time and will never understand even when you absolutely have to refuse.

So don’t wait for their understanding now, instead choose the responsibilities you take on based on your availability and the cost on your time and on your life. Remember that your life and happiness are important too so do not sacrifice them for the convenience of others!

Featured

The Happiest Day of Your Life Could be Today

If you were asked what it was that you absolutely needed to do to live a happy and fulfilled life, what will your answer be? And most importantly, why are you not doing it right now?

This question is actually what led me to start writing. Before now, I’ll always find excuses like; lack of professional training, lack of time, ability, inspiration and so on. But then while working my butt off in a low pay job and going through the monotony of everyday life, I’ll find myself frustrated with my inability to actually do what I want to do instead. Then I asked myself, why not? I mean, why can’t I just pick up my phone and write what I feel like right now? And that was exactly what I did (and what I’m still doing actually). The moment when I did that felt so satisfying that I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to give myself the freedom to just be!

I was speaking to an old acquaintance some days ago and she said; “Cynthia you are always so calm and purposeful. Amongst all of us friends, your life must be going best. I feel like I’m the least accomplished”. I laughingly responded to her that “calm is my superpower, and my facade”. Of course it wasn’t funny. I have battles I fight everyday, they just don’t appear on my face.

We had a good long conversation where I helped her take account of what she had accomplished over the years, and she parted with the realization that she had done quite well for herself. And I left with the realization that making comparisons between your life and the lives of others is dangerous for your self esteem, your happiness and your life in general. This was what she had been doing for so long that she wasn’t seeing her own accomplishments.

Unlike what she believed, my life is not all sunshine and rainbows. I struggle like everyone else with life’s lemons. And like everybody, I have to figure out how to turn my lemons into lemonade – by changing my mindset. Each day I wake up, I am grateful to God for the life I have and make a conscious effort to BE HAPPY!

I mean all it took for me to feel happier and like my life mattered beyond paying bills and chasing the clock was to change my mindset, and start doing exactly what I felt like doing one little goal at a time.

Today I am determined to do my best in what I can, to smile and to laugh with the people I meet on my way. To share myself with others, and appreciate my little victories. Its not always easy, but when I remember that I don’t want to live a life without regrets or what ifs, that gives me the strength to keep going.

So what if you don’t have the qualifications yet? Who said you can’t start now and figure it out as you go. The secret to making everyday the happiest day of your life is simply to follow your heart, and be grateful for the little joys we easily take for granted. This is the only way to maximize your life and make it count for something, to inspire somebody and to live without regrets!

Ask yourself; “What is that which I am already regretting not doing right now? Why am I not going after it? Why am I going in a completely different direction from what I know will make me happy”? “Why am I in this job? Okay so I need this job to feed my family, but then, why am I not using every spare time I have to pursue my dream”? This could be the only reason you are frustrated, unmotivated, angry with your life right now or even possibly depressed.

So why not take the first step now to make everyday of your life regret free and as happy as possible!

Dear Diary. . . Day 7/365

My mood right now is weird. It’s been that way a lot recently.

I lost my main work account last month and the bulk of my salary, but that’s not it. 

I decided to try harder in my relationship. Particularly in those areas where I’m not comfortable with like being romantic and agreeable lol.

Thinking about my relationships in general and how little effort I put in salvaging or sustaining them is definitely a big part of my melancholic mood. 

I honestly don’t try too hard. I’ve being that way forever and I just realized how much that has molded me into being perceived as an unfeeling, prudish, drone, when I’m anything but.

I love the people in my life so much that I know I’ll do almost anything for them, and I want love so bad but after years of not showing it, I don’t know how to show it anymore and I just realized how much it hurts that they don’t see it anyway. How ridiculous is that? How utterly ridiculous and pitiful. 

My life isn’t sad. Not at all. In fact I’m quite grateful for so much everyday that I don’t dare ask for more from God. I’ll however appreciate a little direction at this point.

Dear diary #6

Right now I just want to coil up and sleep and wake up when everything makes more sense.

Choose to live as beautifully and as freely as possible. Day 5/365

Ever wondered what you’ll be doing right now, if there were no boundaries and you could do absolutely anything?

I would choose to live as beautifully and as freely as I can.

I love to write

One of my life’s greatest loves is writing, and my love for writing began with personal essays and narratives and even poetry while in my baby stage up to my teens.

Fast-forward to the current me (30 and counting), who no longer writes honest personal essays and creative narratives. Unfortunately, I’m not even sure I can be as honest about my feelings anymore, but I intend to use this year to find out.

After all, there’s no better way to know If you’ve still got it until you try. Particularly because I’ve been feeling the itch lately to express myself more in my writing.

So I’ve decided to do this by exploring more personal forms of writing, and while I’m at it, pick up my reading that’s been pummeled into the ground by adulthood and it’s unending demands.

Passion led me here…

Passion led me here.

The Happiness We Missed . . . Again. Day 3/365

For most of people, 2022 was not a great year; nor was it a bad year, or a particularly good one for that matter. But for some of us still, we may decidedly just give it a pass as it is after all behind us.

There’s no denying however that buried within all of us is a hope that the new year will be better and more fulfilling than the last.

If asked about my 2022, my answer will be the classic “it was okay”. Because quite frankly, I have no more words to describe a year in which I had the most expectations ever at the beginning of it and by the end of it, had to start over.

Yet, we all lived through it. Didn’t we? So, it was okay. We swallow the disappointment of unmet expectations yet again, and we find the heart to be thankful and hopeful.

A Glimpse Ahead. . .

I’m afraid to make any commitments anymore. But I need to trust myself to be able to. I know I feel disappointed in myself so far, but me of all people absolutely cannot give up on myself. So here we are again!

I’m embarking on a 365 days writing/journaling challenge!

My Journal

Day 1 was on the 1st of January 2023 which was a very emotional night for me. Somehow all those emotions I let out has given me the strength to try again. 

I also want to live my life this year for me. Prioritize myself, and my self care. No more expectations than to survive and flourish. Be more selfish basically.

Finally, here’s a List of 4 things that inspired me this new year

What happened in 2022 stays in 2022…hopefully. Day 2/365

The best thing about a new year is the closure that comes with knowing you’re leaving a year behind you (with everything in it) and starting afresh.

Closing the records of the past year, no matter if it was great or sad or average, it’s over! And being born again, with renewed energy and spirit, with fresh hope and expectations, ready to go at it again.

I’ve decided not to have resolutions this new year but instead to let life lead the way, while I rediscover the things that really matter. I am so tired of struggling and caring in all the wrong places. I need a reboot and the new year is as close as we can get.

I need to learn where and how to utilize my energy. To rediscover my joy in all the little things I have already. To finally outgrow my need to please everybody else while I suffer in silence. In short, I need to learn to live with being the bad guy.

This Year I Intend To Try A New Approach

Living for pleasure.

This year I have to find a way somehow to be my most selfish self. Let’s have a taste of it, and see how we like it. I intend to live for pleasure.

To Move That Mountain, All You Really Need Is Desire

It won’t get any easier, it really won’t. So knowing this, just get on with the ordeal. This is one of my personal mantras when I’m afraid of facing something and it works like a charm.

Ask yourself;

Where I am right now, is it all that great? Is it really where I want to be? If not, then don’t you want to know what’s on the other side of your fear?

Well I do, and that’s basically why I keep pushing. I want to know, I want to discover, I want to be more than what I am right now. Don’t you? I bet you do.

Don’t sit around waiting for things to get easier, or for the perfect time to pursue your dream because that time will never come, so just take off. The perfect time is right now. Right where you are!

Move that mountain

If the need or desire is strong enough, even a mountain will move from the path of the determined.

I used to be so envious of those go getters daring enough to keep going for what they wanted regardless of the circumstances. I’ll always find myself wishing I was bolder, more daring, braver, and so on – I still do.

Until I went through a very difficult time in my life and right after I pulled through that period, to my surprise I had people coming to me to confess how inspired they were watching my courage and strength – characteristics I would never have associated with myself at the time, or anytime for that matter.

So I got to the other side – the side of the victor, in-spite of how terrified I was and I realized that all those I envied before were the same.

They could have been terrified or unsure of themselves but they simply kept pushing through all that to get to the other side.

Yet what we see when we look at them is ‘The Victor’. Not the journey. Never ever their struggles or their fears.

To achieve anything in this life, we must get past the fear standing between us and our desire. We must want that thing or goal or ambition more than anything else.

Our desire must be strong enough to move the mountain that represent our fears, and only then can we come up victorious.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

To fan the flames of our desire, we need to learn the art of visualizing what we want and who we want to become.

Picture yourself exactly where you imagine yourself (realistically) to be in the future and you’ll find you’ll naturally start mapping a path to get there with each of your choices.

The question; “where do you see yourself in 5 years” has become a popular joke, but it’s a very important question.

If you take the time to try and answer it, you’ll find you likely don’t have a clear picture of who or what or where you see yourself in the nearest future. Most of us don’t.

Yet, you need to have a clear picture of where you’re going to be able to get there, or else you might very well be wasting your efforts going around in circles.

Your map to victory

So the question of the day is; What is the mountain stopping you from taking action on your goals? Is your desire strong enough right now to move it?

If not, then try to visualize; Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Picture your answer as clearly as you can and return to that image as often as you need to.

Make a visual board of your vision and change it up if necessary but no matter what, do not lose the image. Remember, that image is your map to victory!

Live Your Best Life Starting Now

Do you think your life is overwhelming, and spinning out of your control? That the fates are against you somehow? Well, you’re definitely not alone.

Not so Long ago I found my self in a place where the wheels of my life seemed totally out of my control. I was overwhelmed with just dealing with the endless little problems that arise in my daily life that I lost sight of my dreams, hopes and even happiness.

Maximize your weekend with these 5 hacks

I was like a robot; wake up, rush off to a job that didn’t bring me any joy or satisfaction, join the evening traffic, get home late and tired (most times too tired to enjoy a simple meal) and definitely too emotionally & psychologically drained to sustain any kind of relationship. And I still struggled to pay the bills!

It is really sad when we get so busy with life that we forget to live it. Life is beautiful and should be lived to the fullest! There’s so much more that we can get out of it if we choose. Of course it can be hard to see this sometimes when you’re struggling to make ends meet, but it’s no less true.

I saw a quote once that read,

“Life is hard, and then you die”.

Just imagine that. Unacceptable!

Of course life can be hard, really hard in fact. But that’s not all there is to life. There’s beauty and joy to be found in the seemingly insignificant little bits of daily life and you will be amazed how many things (former stressors) loose their importance once you focus on your happiness.

Personally I have tried being miserable and that didn’t make me any happier, or more successful so now I choose to find what makes me happy and in that way my purpose.

How to reboot your mind and rejuvenate your body in 3 easy weekend hacks

So resolve right now to spread love and joy to those you encounter, and delight in the miracle of each new day.

Let’s share a moment of peace & laughter with loved ones, and bask in the sunlight while we watch the birds soar in the sky. And in all these, let us try to imagine; what life would be like if we couldn’t do these things?

Life is beautiful and should be lived to the fullest . . . without regrets. In every little way possible, I want to be able to live the best life I can and to take time to enjoy the little things, because those are the things that make life count.

My Self Love Challenge: 8 Horrible Habits I’m Giving Up This Month

My self love challenge this month is a psyche & emotional cleanse. One I choose to do by myself, for myself.

Our outlook and mentality towards life is what shapes our opportunities, challenges, fortunes and misfortunes. I saw a quote this week that reads;

We’re all in the gutter, some of us are simply looking up to the sky and can’t see the filth.

My Inspiration this week is self love

Here is a list of habits I’ll be letting go of for my mental health and progress;

Quitting

Yes I admit it. I’m a quitter! When I feel like an endeavor might fail, I convince myself I don’t really want it and then as easy as saying “pie” I’m able to just walk away.

I avoid “embarrassing myself” by failing, and also avoid a possible victory or opportunity to grow. This habit has got to go!

My mission is to give 110% in everything I do for myself moving forward. I know I can do it because I go all out every single time for others, but then bail out when it’s mine. I almost feel like cursing at this point at how frustrating this habit is.

Negativity

This boils down to my over pragmatic (and sometimes pessimistic) outlook on things. I need to change my “glass half empty” mentality by cultivating a positive mental attitude.

Poor time management(the busyness bug).

Honestly I think poor time management should be a sin. It’s that serious. I’ve always been very time conscious – still am, so I’m not even sure how I suddenly (through last year) became what I seriously detest – A person who is always so busy but hardly accomplishes anything.

So I’m scrapping the word “busy” from my personal repertoire of words until I can use it the way it should be used, not to mask; un-productivity, inefficient time management and a gross lack of direction.

Fear of leaving my comfort zone/taking risks

I am currently in the air right now flying out of state to attend a conference, and it just occurred to me (like it does whenever I’m flying) that I really do love flying.

On the other hand, I’m not a good risk taker but will always feel a deep profound joy whenever I finally let go or take a leap of faith.

Considering how empowering and rewarding it feels every time, I really wonder why it doesn’t get any easier. Either way, I need to learn to step out of my comfort zone one baby step at a time.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

Overthinking and fear of failing

It’s ridiculous how hard I am on myself. I overthink things, berate myself mercilessly on the possibility of failure and then (obviously) successfully scare myself out of doing anything.

Nobody sabotages my hopes & plans like I do. That’s just so bad!

Over-explaining myself

This one I can say that I’ve honestly outgrown. I’m at the point in my life where I really don’t care anymore if I’m understood or not. Dropping this habit is going to give me so much peace!

I already started it and realized I don’t miss it at all. I feel so much more powerful and unburdened knowing I don’t have to care what the next person thinks. As long as I satisfy my conscience and responsibilities, I’m good.

Not keeping in touch with loved ones

This is an important one for all of us living in this fast paced world today that’s crowded with noise but devoid of real connection.

My mum and I live in different countries so it’s hard to stay as connected as we want to, but I don’t even call as often as I know I should. There’s literally no excuse for not picking up the phone and calling a few times a week. Non at all!

Not counting my blessings often enough

Gratitude is key to a fruitful and glorious life so I have been working on this since the start of this year. I want to adopt a mentality of “when in doubt, count your blessings.”

I honestly believe that thankfulness and gratitude can create miracles and open doors where we never expect, and exactly when we need it so I’m sticking to this one.


Other Bad Habits I’ll Have To Live With For Now

  • Procrastination
  • Being too nice
  • Zero tolerance for literally everything
  • Not giving second chances
  • Bad/irregular eating habit
  • Taking too much coffee
  • Being too lazy to socialize

What I’m Reading

Red, white and royal blue by Casey McQuiston (z-lib.org) — A free source for books.

This should be an interesting experience. Wishing you all a fantastic week❤️