Transparency

Don’t Be Easily Broken: Develop an Indomitable Spirit

Image result for A Black Woman Crying

Although everyone experiences challenges and problems in this present world, one has to make a decision whether he or she will allow those challenges and problems to defeat him or her. Life will continue to present one challenge, one problem, after another; this is an unavoidable fact of life. Understanding this reality, it’s unacceptable to perceive every challenge or problem that emerges as a crisis. You can talk about “you don’t know my story” and “you don’t know the things I’ve gone through,” but, at some point, you must be frank with yourself: these statements have become self-defeating crutches. By no means am I lacking empathy and undervaluing “your story” and the “things you’ve gone through.” Here’s my question: when are you going to stop using your past in ways that inhibit your growth?

And I mean true growth.

Growth is not waking up one morning with optimism and the next with pessimism; optimism the following morning and pessimism the next—a truly depressing vicious cycle. Real growth begins when you truly start holding yourself accountable for your part in why you’re not progressing and your part in why you’re breaking or broken. Stop focusing on what others are and aren’t doing to and for you. Just concentrate on what you need to heal and grow. In fact, authentic self-care commences when one discontinues investing time in critiquing others and invests more time in developing an indomitable spirit.

How are you engaging in authentic self-care and you’re worried about everyone else? Worried about what everyone else is or isn’t doing to and for you. That’s not self-care—that’s being undisciplined.  

You know you’re on a path to developing an indomitable spirit when you no longer feel it necessary to concern yourself with how others are doing and have done you wrong. One gives himself or herself a chance to operate with an indomitable spirit when he or she takes ownership of what is necessary to own, and when he or she focuses on what is essential to be the best version of himself or herself and what is essential to achieve one’s dreams and aspirations.

If everything defeats you, if every challenge or problem overwhelms you, then you’re going to have to face a harsh truth: you’re going to continue to operate with a defeated spirit until you’ve truly had enough of it.                

One of the most effective ways of overcoming a defeated spirit is to first acknowledge that you have one, and then start living a life of real gratitude. Living a life of true gratitude begins by appreciating every moment and finding the goodness in every moment. An indomitable spirit is rooted in gratitude. When certain thoughts arise and when you start to make certain comments, ask yourself a critical question: are these thoughts and/or comments rooted in gratitude?

Liberate yourself from a defeated spirit by resolving to live a life centered on gratitude. When you’re intentional about living a life centered on gratitude, you’re well on your way to an indomitable spirit.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Get to the Heart of the Matter

White Couple

(Photo Credit: Daily Mail)

When you desire to have a serious discourse with someone, be sure you’re ready to be transparent with him or her. Beating around the metaphorical bush with the person you’re communicating with can cause him or her to distrust you.  It can appear to him or her that you have something to hide.  If you truly don’t have anything to conceal from the person, then get to the heart of the matter; that is, let the person know what’s truly on your mind.  When you’re having an important conversation with an individual and you’re not as forthcoming as possible, one has to wonder if it’s really a conversation or not; it could just be a performance.

No one wants to feel like he or she is banging his or her head against the wall just to get you to offer a smidgen of candor.  The reality is many people aren’t prepared to engage in frank discourses with others.  One can posit that most relationship problems, including legal separations and divorces, are a result of a failure to have bold communication.  Too many people lack the boldness to have the conversations that need to take place.

People will never really know what’s bothering you if you’re not willing to tell them.  You will discover that it’s liberating to disclose to people how you’re really feeling.

Although it may not be what you want to hear, you reveal yourself to be a coward when you lack the courage to say what needs to be said.  This is why it’s vital to help people to overcome their fears.  By helping more people to overcome their fears, there will be a reduction in the number of people who allow the fear to communicate candidly to hinder or sever their various relationships.

Some people are afraid to have bold conversations because they are fearful of confrontation.  It’s almost impossible to go through life without experiencing confrontation.  Those individuals who aren’t afraid of confrontation and who aren’t afraid to have frank discourses with you are demonstrating maturity.  There will be some who will say they just love drama, but the reality is mature people never leave what needs to be said unsaid.

Being bold about what you say does not mean being intentionally hurtful to others.  You can speak truthfully to people without being abrasive. Just don’t let the potential of someone getting hurt by your words prevent you from saying what needs to be said, however.  Ultimately, the person who receives your candid words will be better off having heard your words.

When a person is honest with you, what he or she says to you may make you angry.  Give the person credit for being truthful.  Respond to the truth in a mature way.  You don’t want people to avoid speaking candidly to you because they know you will react immaturely.  The way we receive truth will unveil important revelations about us, even some revelations we may not be ready to receive.

It’s time to get real with the people around you, and it’s time to get real with yourself.  Have the essential discourses you need to have today.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

You Don’t Call Until You Want Something

Black Man Yelling

Stop calling me only when you want something!

Do you know people who don’t call you until they want something?  Do you know people who don’t even want to have anything to do with you until they want something?  If your answer to one or both of the aforementioned queries is yes, then you know people like this can become burdensome and exhausting really fast.  You don’t have to tolerate those individuals anymore.  All you need to do is treat them like they treat you and they will flee from you.

One excuse folks like this will use when you call them out on this issue is “I stay so busy.”  However, when they need something from you, they’re able to find all of the time in the world to talk to you.  “I stay so busy” is simply a lie.  This is language people employ to attempt to camouflage the fact that they only care about what you can do for them and don’t have the slightest concern about you.  When these folks don’t need you, you’re nothing more than an afterthought and footnote.  You need to know that people like this are only using you or attempting to use you.

You may be busy but you’re not “so busy” that you cannot take a few minutes to call someone you always call when you want something

People who call you only when they need something should be more honest and transparent.  Are you afraid to let people know you’re only interested in them for what they can do for you?  Stop telling lies about being “so busy” all the time.  You can find the time to call someone just to say hello or check on them on your way to work or to the store.  Even if you let a person know you don’t have but a few minutes to talk, this will show them you’re interested in them more than just for what they can do for you.  It would seem like you would have enough sense to call folks enough so that it does not seem like you’re just using them, even if it’s really your intention to use them.

When people who only call you when they want something call you or text you, stop returning their calls and text messages.  Shut down all communication with them.  You have to do something to let them know you’re not going to accept this type of behavior from them.  If you continue to allow this type of behavior to occur, then you have to take just as much responsibility as they do.  People will do as much as you allow them.

Don’t feel guilty when you end all communication with people who call you only when they want something.  You have nothing to feel guilty about, considering they’re the individuals responsible for this termination of communication.

If you’ve never given it much thought about when people call you, I encourage you to begin to observe when people call you.  You need to begin to seriously observe if people are calling only when they want something.  Eliminate these individuals from your life and you will see how much you ameliorate your life.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison