Unbothered and Fly: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Singleness

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I used to be the woman who felt that if I were not married then my life was meaningless. Perhaps my youthful plan to be married with children by 25 could be to blame. And, I think it’s safe to say that my life looks nothing like I planned and that isn’t a bad thing. I used to get hung up on the things that I didn’t have. I wasn’t making the money that I thought that I deserved, I didn’t have the relationship that I wanted, and I was far away from family and friends more times than not. My life felt restricted and I wasn’t happy about it. But, what could I do? This was my reality and I didn’t see a way out, so I decided to maximize it.

Unfortunately, when women start to get closer to 30, they begin to question themselves if they aren’t married. They may start listening to their biological clock, hear the chatter of family and friends during the holiday season, or even the small voice within themselves asking, “why aren’t you married?” I, too, know what this is like but I decided to do something about it that would NOT take me out of the will of God. In the past, I would try to change my situation and circumstance by medicating with other things that just left me even more empty, but I’m about to share some tips that have helped me maximize my singleness and glow up! Literally.

  • Mind your own business--it’s easy to get caught up in other people’s business. This is especially true when you’re scrolling on social media all day. Maybe you aren’t doing it all day but you do it every chance you get a break. This is bad behavior. Your brain is not built to sustain the overload of social media. Your emotions aren’t strong enough to withstand the subtle comparisons. Limit your social media time and start focusing on other things. If you have some spare time then call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Check on your family. Do something other than invest your emotions into the lives of other people. When I limited my time on social media, I was much healthier and happier. It’s time to stop scrolling.

 

  • Transform your negative outlook into positive energy–Ok, so you’re mad that you don’t have a boo for the summer. Well, maybe you aren’t mad that you’re not with anyone in this season, but cuffin’ season is soon approaching and you might fall into those emotions. It’s easy and I have to work daily to ensure that I don’t succumb to them. So how do you transform your negativity into positivity? First you have to admit that you are a negative Nancy in this area. You have to be honest with yourself. After you do this, then you must find some hobby, life group, or activity that would allow you to channel your energies for good. When we harbor ill emotions, it impacts our physical, psychological, and emotional health. You honestly don’t have time to be negative. When I found myself in this position, I became a mentor in a women’s substance abuse center. I poured myself into the women in the center and realized that my limited perspective of my life was nothing compared to the traumas that they’ve endured. Sis, challenge your perspective.

 

  • Write a book. Start a podcast. Start a blog/vlog–I believe in the power of writing. During my singleness, I wrote my first book that did very well. It took me about 30 days to pen the book and a few months to revise and edit, but I did it. I believe that there is power in writing and power in focus. Perhaps, one reason that you aren’t maximizing your singleness is because you aren’t capitalizing on your time. There are people to be reached, problems to be solved, and solutions to be created. The world needs you. Get busy. Help others while you’re helping yourself.

 

  • Invest in yourself–What will the dash on your headstone say about you? Will it tell a story of one who wasted their life on careless living, or will it tell a different narrative? You have to invest in yourself. This may mean getting a job, staring a small business, learning trade or hobby. You are your greatest asset. Too many times, people believe that they need a plug to help them reach their destiny, and while I believe that relationships are important, people will not invest where you haven’t invested first. You should also invest in your physical health and outward appearance. Being healthy is not a fad but has to be a lifestyle. Further, you must remember that putting on clothes to make yourself feel good about yourself isn’t bad. When I dress up, I feel a lot better than when I’m lounging. While I do believe that lounging has a time and place, use wisdom. You should trade too.

 

  • Do your work–This is the step that most people skip, but it is the most important. You cannot attract what you will not become! You have to work on yourself in tandem with Holy Spirit. This means that there will be days when you cry. There will be low days and high ones. There will be moments when you feel like giving up. Times when God will show you the ugliness about yourself and you might be saddened by it. But, you have to realize that doing your work is messy but the person on the other side of your wholeness will thank you for it. You cannot afford to continue to create victims. You cannot live lackadaisical and expect to feel fulfilled. You must do something and this will lead you into a new understanding of who you are.

 

A couple of things:

If you haven’t already ordered, you should check out my latest book Woman of Royalty, which teaches women how to find their identity in Christ.

You can also join my t-shirt campaign, Academically Dope, which is on sale now through June 20th in honor of Juneteenth. Just use the code Juneteeth at checkout.

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Remaining Confident Even When Your Memories Threaten You

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They come like flashes across the canvas of your mind without warning. You can be engaging in a very important conversation when suddenly your mood changes. You become uncomfortable. Silently grasping for air but hoping no one notices. You are in need of saving and this time it is from yourself.

Oh how swiftly our mind plays tricks on us. The optical illusions that position themselves systematically to block our sight are very misleading. We begin to see things that are no longer there. Remnants of a missed moment. Words never said. Thoughts too dangerous to express. Should have. Could have. Would have.

How do we remain confident in moments like these? How do we adhere to the command to not remember the things of the old (Isaiah 43:18)? It’s not like we willingly go back to the traumas of our past, right? Majority of the time, our traumas hunt us. They inject themselves into our present with the resemblance of smoke and mirrors. Our memories are unreliable. They are unstable at times. They change as we mature.

What if we remember incorrectly? I’m not saying that you didn’t experience what you felt, but what if your perception is so skewed that you start to reason through smeared glasses? This is the greatest assault on your confidence.

More times than not, when we encounter a familiar situation, we tend to travel back into those memories. The ones that we really want to forget but they’ve attached themselves to our psyches. How can we remain confident?

  1. Remember that memories can’t hurt you unless you let them. They are invisible remnants that you must turn to examine. And, each time you inspect them, they become bigger not clearer.
  2. Admit the point of pain. Many of us like to hide the fact that we’ve been hurt. When we do this, we destabilize our confidence. Hiding anything makes you insecure.
  3. Choose the future. It didn’t work then but who says it can’t work now? Your memories throw false threats to keep you from moving. Defy them.
  4. Remind yourself of the truth. Truth and fact are different things. The fact is that something hurt you, the truth is that you are not what you went through. Don’t allow old things to impact your present and your future.
  5. Ask yourself hard questions. This one is a doozy. When you question yourself, you come into a deeper revelation of things that may not have been so obvious. Ask yourself why you really stopped loving. Interrogate why you stopped living. Listen to the response your subconscious gives you. I can almost guarantee that it can be rationalized but not hold enough weight.
  6. Ask God for insight. We all need insight into confidence. What does having confidence really mean for you?
  7. Understand where you are going. Vision is stronger than failure. Adjust what you see.

These are practical things that I do to help me remain confident. I hope they resonate with you!

 

If you haven’t already ordered, take advantage of my current book, Woman of Royalty: Rule From A Place of Authority 

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The Power of Thrivation

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Thrivation (noun)

[th-ri-vey-shun n]
  1. The act or an instance of thriving.
  2. The state or condition of thriving, or being in a moment of consistent growth

(Definition: Briana Whiteside’s mind)

I’m convinced that there is no place called “there.” And, if we aren’t careful, we will push ourselves to reach this mythical place only to knock on the door and have it vanish before our eyes. “There” is not a place but a state of being. It’s the element where you find yourself operating in a rhythm. You’ve caught the beat of your drum. You’re moving with accuracy. You can see yourself clearly.

This is when you know that you have tapped into thrivation. It has been called other things in the past, but I like to think of it as the place where you’ve embodied your identity. There’s nothing like it, really. To know that you’ve finally accepted your difference. You’ve defied the stereotypes. You’ve found your footing. You are here! There?

Thrivation cannot be lent. It won’t be television or advertised. It won’t even be acknowledged by onlookers until it’s too late. It’s funny that people can be around you and still not perceive it. One day, they will look up and see that something is different about you. They will notice that your laugh is different–fuller.

Thrivation is the element in which you do what you do. It’s the place where your glow is bright. Your smile is welcoming. Your eyes invite wealth. It is the place where you find yourself unbothered by the competition because of your groundedness.

It’s where you Evolve. Simmer. Plan.

It’s where you THRIVE.

When you enter into thrivation, you cannot be stopped. Your focus is keener. Your thoughts are clear. Your intentions are known. You aim for success. Your confidence flows from it. You find yourself laughing at past fears. You doubt your doubts. You move past false burdens. You make it. Unscathed.

The power of thrivation is that you will finally see yourself the way that God sees you, as the light of the world. A town built on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). Radiant. Glow

 

Before you leave, take advantage of my new book, Woman of Royalty 

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What If I Were Given the Instructions?

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Sometimes I reflect on my journey and I like to imagine the ways in which my life would’ve been easier had I had certain things. You know, the silver spoon, access to wealth, rich parents, a maid to clean my room…the finer things in life. I like to think that these things would’ve made my journey a bit easier for me because I know what it is like to struggle for almost everything that I’ve earned.

One of the main things I like to think that would’ve made a difference in my life is instructions. Yes, instructions. While many people have the grace to put together items just by looking at the box, I don’t have that anointing. I need to read the manual to understand how a thing should be working and how it should be constructed, but what happens when the instructions are not included?

This sense of panic is how I felt for majority of my life. I was navigating without a detailed blueprint, but with an entire picture of how my life should look. And, in an effort to get to the place called “there,” I made some major mistakes because I didn’t have the most important component to my life–the instructions.

When I was trying to come into the essence of who I was as a woman, people would tell me that I needed to find my identity in Christ. Sometimes more seasoned Christians will throw phrases around without doing their due diligence to unpack what they mean to the listener. So, when people would say, “Briana, you have to find your identity in Christ,” I agreed. Yes, that’s what I’ll do! I’ll find my identity in Christ. I’m on the right track.

Then I would realize that I didn’t know HOW! I once asked someone how to find my identity in Christ and they told me to ask God to show me. Um, ok. Yea! But what’s next. I wanted them to provide me with some tangible steps on how to do so, and they couldn’t, unfortunately. So, I had to ask God, “How can I find my identity in you?”

He took me through the book of Esther for an entire month. A short 10 chapter book of the Bible took me 30 days to unpack because it is filled with so much revelation on identity. Esther was a girl who was orphaned at a young age, but she manages to find her identity in Christ and move into her position as a Queen in the palace. Esther showed me how to find my identity in Christ and I offer this revelation to you.

My new book, Woman of Royalty: Rule From A Place of Authority, provides such insight and is now available here (signed copy) and here!

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The Power of Intentionality

I believe that our lives are the sum total of our thoughts. If you take a second to look back over your life, you may be able to pinpoint certain thoughts that landed you in your current position. I know I sure can. Contrary to popular belief, my thoughts are not always good. Sometimes, I actually have horrible thoughts and before I know it, I’ve thought myself into a bad day. And, as a result of bad thinking, I usually begin to speak negatively over myself and towards others.

This is an awareness post. More times than not, we allow our thoughts to run rampant without any accountability, and then we wonder why we receive certain outcomes. At some point, I grew tired of thinking lowly thoughts. I was irritated by the lack of quality of life that I was experiencing. I was frustrated more times than I was peaceful, and this is when I started to take a look at myself.

If we hope to accomplish anything great, we must learn the power of intentionality. We have to be aware of how the process of directing our thoughts towards a certain goal will begin to yield fruit. We have to start taking inventory of every negative perception, word, idea, or understanding, and bring those unto subjection to God.

Sometimes Christians believe that God is able to shift circumstances, lives, jobs, [insert your request here], but we don’t always want to do our part. We don’t always input the effort needed for us to partner with God. We don’t want the responsibility that comes with living our best lives. But, we do want better, just not the work.

Intentionality is an understanding that we must work to see things change. It is an agreement between ourselves and God that we are in partnership. That we accept responsibility for ourselves. That we understand what is required of us and we agree to the terms and conditions. That we will start being intentional about our lives.

When I started being intentional with my thoughts, conversations, words, relationships, and actions, the quality of my life started to change. The essence of who I was came forth, and that, my friends, is living my best life. Intentionally.

If you haven’t heard, my book is available for pre-order now!!! You can order online at http://www.brianawhiteside.com

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The One Reason I Settled: I Wanted To

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He tricked me. I mean really tricked me into believing that he was different. Though he told me that he appreciated me and would never do me wrong, something happened to change that. He went back to her. She, the woman of his past. The one who had his heart the entire time, so why did I think that I could change him?

So many women feel this way, right? We fall for a trail of lies that only lead us into deception. So, why do we do it? Why do we think that something will change if all the signs are there? We really believe that we can turn water into wine, and that is our own fault.

I used to tell myself the above narrative. In some way, shape, form, or fashion, I truly believed that I was deceived. And, I was, but I deceived myself. I settled and it was by choice. He was fine! He was a butter scotch complexion (which isn’t usually my type), light brown eyes, white teeth and nice smile, athletic, broad shoulders, and had a voice that was beautiful. He was fine and the weakness within me–both emotionally and physically–made me want him even the more. I wanted him so badly that I brought down my expectations. Purposefully.

I bet you never thought that you would hear me admit that I settled a lot in life because I wanted to. I mean, there are several people to blame for my mistakes: my mom, my dad, my aunts, uncles, teachers, and anyone that refused to give me a chance, but that would be misleading of me. The truth is that I settled because I wanted to. Though my mouth told a different story, if you peel back to onion of my life, you will find that I am at the core of my decisions. I decided to live and date beneath who I was created to be and I did so because I didn’t know who I was.

My fractured identity lead me to this point. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to feel something…anything. I needed him. I thought. I needed his attention. He saw through me and capitalized on it, but I allowed him to do so. Why? Because I wanted to settle.

Can you relate?

My upcoming book Woman of Royalty: Rule From A Place of Authority, challenges women to find out who they are in an attempt to show them how they’ve been living beneath their essence. I use Esther’s life (biblical) and my story as a blueprint to show how living devoid of identity leads to traumatic experiences, decisions, and lifestyles. Don’t believe me? Order to book to find out.

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The God of the Last Minute–I Don’t Like It

My Post-102.jpgWhile He’s an awesome God, He is also the God of the last minute and if we are honest, in these times He doesn’t feel so awesome. As we move into the “deeper” things of God, He starts to show just how multi-dimensional He is. He shifts us out of the courting stage in Him and into the training, the breaking, the molding. He challenges our ideas, our limitations, and our processes–and this is the LAST MINUTE GOD.

I’ve often heard people say that “He’s an on time God.” In fact, there’s a song about it as well, but I don’t believe that we really understand the magnitude of this statement or even the unrest that it evokes within us. While the timing of God is perfect in His sight, it is not always perfect in ours. I’m learning this hard lesson as He destroys every plan that I’ve constructed for my life.

Can I be honest? It’s quite unsettling. It hurts. It makes me feel schizophrenic. One minute I’m up and the next I’m in the valley in tears. The God of the last minute is one that I’ve never met and I can’t say that I really like this side of Him. I’m used to the doting God. The one who tells me how wonderful I am. I like the God of the blessings. The God of mercy. The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.

But, didn’t He do this to Abraham? Didn’t God wait until there was no more time left in the game to show up? You know the story of how Abraham was instructed by God to take his son Issac on the mountain to offer a sacrifice unto the Lord (Genesis 22:1-19). God gave him the instruction but He didn’t offer much else. In obedience, Abraham went to the top of the mountain with His only son and was about to slay him until he heard the angel of the Lord speak, warning him not to kill Isaac.

But, what was going on internally with Abraham? While the scripture is silent on the matter, it does not take away from the human side of our father of faith. He was a man trusting God. And, trusting God is not always easy, especially if you can’t trace what He will do. I believe that Abraham had the ability to go through with the command because He had already learned God as the God of the last minute.

Let’s think through this: Abraham was impotent when God quickened his body with the ability to impregnate his wife. The Message version of Hebrews 11:12 says that Abraham’s body was “dead” and his “loins were shriveled.” (The shade is real). This shows us that God waited until Abraham couldn’t produce a seed within his own body to give him a supernatural seed. And, if God could do this then He certainly could provide the sacrifice, right?

This is where we come into a deeper relationship with God. It is not enough to say that God is God, the Lord, magnificent, a way maker, a healer, a provider, if we don’t have that type of history with Him. Yes, in the past I’ve known God as a way maker but never as a provider and they are distinctively different. Yes, He opened doors for me and gave me favor, but I didn’t have context to understanding Him as a provider until now.

The God of the last minute is God the provider.

Our timetables often get in the way of our understanding of this. Our desperate need to have timely provision restricts our faith and this is where God has to move in and change our understanding. God of the last minute is the same God of faith. It is only through hard circumstances, tight situations, unfavorable pressure that we can please God through our faith.

In Hebrews 11:6, it says that “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him” (MSG). Sometimes we think that our works please God–and they do. Sometimes we think that our moral standing pleases God–and it does. But, what pleases God the most is our faith in Him.

I had to learn the latter half of the scripture, which says that we must believe that “he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” In essence, I had to believe that God loved me and because he loved me that He would never withhold anything from me that would be for my benefit, but first He had to enlarge the territory of my faith.

This, He did through the last minute moments in my life.