Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mean Girls Series-Part 4: Dream Killers

It’s not uncommon to meet a sistah who has a dream. She may dream of owning a salon, writing a book, or being a rock star! The question then becomes, “Why isn’t she going for it?” Trying to pinpoint exactly what the obstacles are, I realize that it can be from external forces like a lack of contacts or financing, but from internal ones, as well. I began to think about some Dream Killers that could potentially hold us back from living our dreams. And for illustrative purposes, I will address them as ‘sistahs’ to make them more real to you. As you’re reading their descriptions, feel free to do some self-examination and see if any them sound familiar.

Sistah Anger: There’s a name I give a sistah who walks around mad at the world with a chip on her shoulder acting like a rebel without a cause. I call her an ABW: Angry, Black Woman. You know her; she always has an ‘attitude’. She has a negative opinion about everything & everybody. She’s usually using this demeanor as a cover-up for some pain or injustice she’s experienced in the past. Having a hard time moving past it, she wears this Anger like a badge of honor.

Sistah Bitterness: Bitterness is a close cousin to Anger. She shows up when you feel you didn’t get a ‘fair shake’ in a situation. She is hardened to possibilities of greater opportunities because she doesn’t have faith that the situation will turn out in her favor. I mean, why should it now? It hasn’t in the past. Like the taste of something bitter, this sistah is just unpleasant to be around.

Sistah Resentment: Anger, Bitterness and Resentment are BFF’s. Resentment makes her mark by making it difficult to appreciate positive things going on whether it’s in her own life or someone else’s. This sistah can never celebrate your accomplishments. When you tell her that you’re getting a promotion on your job, she says something like, “Ummph! It must be nice. Everybody ain’t able…” Don’t you know people like that? I do! Ugghhh!

Sistah Jealousy: Okay, so if you have the three BFF’s, Anger, Bitterness and Resentment, you know Jealousy will not be far behind. She’s gotta hang with her girls, too. Not only is this sistah Angry because you always get picked for the special projects at work but she’s also Bitter ‘cause no one notices how good of a job she does. Resentment manifests when she then starts resenting you, anyone who acknowledges you and the whole fact that she was the one that trained you in the first place. And then she becomes Jealous of you and the fact that everything always works out for you.

Can’t you just smell the toxins that are oozing out of these sistahs? Because of the stronghold these attitudes may have on them, everything is viewed through the color of their emotions. They are Dream Killers because it is very difficult to have the motivation and stamina necessary to pursue your dreams if you are laden down with all this baggage. Too many of us won’t deal with the REAL, but we instead act like we got it going on. When, in fact, we’re walking around with these festering sores all covered up in our Gucci & Prada.

What’s the solution? How about doing some serious self-evaluation and see what’s REALLY going on. Okay, so Ray-Ray left you for Bonequesha? So the person you trained eventually took your job? So your best friend told everybody that Ray-Ray left you with a “gift” that keeps on giving? You have a decision to make. Are you going to allow yourself to be consumed with the pain of those betrayals? Or are you going to use them like fertilizer and allow them to make you grow and flourish? Harboring ill-feelings is toxic; physically, emotionally and spiritually. They hinder you moving forth in Purpose and stunt your growth. Do yourself a favor: In the words of Martin Payne, tell those Dream Killas to "Getta Steppin'!"

Next week we’ll wrap the Mean Girls Series with a special tribute to our Sistah Friends and some possible solutions to dealing with Mean Girls and their antics.

Until next week…
Be Inspired!

Inspired Sistah

Last Week's Poll Results...

Last week’s question was: Jackie, your BFF since 2nd gr. always seems to pull a disappearing act when you need her the most. Fed up with her behavior, what do you do? Fifty-Seven percent of you took the high road and decided to express to her how you feel & ask that she respect the friendship. Some of you, though, said that you would delete her from FB, MySpace, Twitter, Email & your Cell Phone! LOL! Only one person wanted to give her an ultimatum and tell her to clean up her ugly ways or getta steppin’! And no one wanted to overlook her behavior.

It’s likely since you two were friends since the 2nd grade that you have some positive history and the relationship is at least worth trying to save. Probably the better way to handle the situation is to address her and see where her head and heart are. Her being undependable may be an awful character flaw, but her lack of support for you may not be meant to be malicious. And it’s likely if confronted, she may not even realize that she’s been taking you for granted. If she blows you off and continues her trifling behavior, then you know where she stands and you can make a decision based on everything that’s been presented to you. That’s the Big Girl way to handle it, but boy is it tempting to delete her and give her the peace sign! LOL!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mean Girls Series-Part 3: 'Frienemies'

I heard the term ‘frienemies’ some time ago and it piqued my interest. A frienemy is an enemy disguised as a friend. The sad thing is that a lot of frienemies don’t know they’re offenders. Most don’t deliberately set out to sabotage your success; they just do it as only someone in your inner circle can. There’s a saying that says, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Well, where do frienemies fit in that schematic?

I’ll admit that there are devious people out there that will deliberately befriend you in order to gain some particular benefit or inflict some hurt upon you, but I’m not speaking of them. I’m speaking of people who cloak themselves in a friendship garment, but who are secretly jealous of you or who can’t celebrate you or who are selfish and so consumed with their own drama that they can’t support you. A healthy friendship is based on mutual encouragement and support. There’s no room for hatin’. These ‘friends’ are what I call ‘SUCKERS’. They suck all of your energy, time and talent and leave you with nothing. They also have nothing to offer you in return.

Evaluate the people you engage with that you call your friends. When you leave their presence or get off the phone with them, how do you feel? Do you feel encouraged, motivated and free? Or do you feel discouraged, discontent and dumped on? Don’t get me wrong, Dee Dee may be your girl from the 5th grade, but if she’s a taker and not a giver, she may be doing you more harm than good. Good, healthy relationships have balance. Dee Dee should have a little sumtin’, sumtin’ for you sometimes.

So take a look around your life. What do you see? Cheerleaders or Dump Trucks? Friends or Foes? If they’re not for you, they’re against you. You may have to make a decision about what place they will have in your life. After careful scrutiny, you may just find that they’re more foe than friend. In fact, they actually may be a ‘frienemy’!

Next week I’m going to introduce you to some sistahs who may be lurking in the shadows of your life whose sole purpose in life is to steal your joy and kill your dreams.

I’d love to get some feedback from you regarding this series and answer any questions you may have. You can contact me at

Be blessed!
Inspired Sistah

Last Week's Poll Results...

Last week’s poll question was: You’re excited about your new promotion at work & you overhear some of your co-workers bad-mouthing you. What do you do? The majority of you chose to ignore their remarks "‘cause they’re just sippin’ on Hatorade!" The 2nd highest choice was to call them in your office at separate times to ask them if they had anything that they’d like to discuss with you. And finally, the 3rd most-picked answer was to "confront those skanks!" LOL!

One thing that I’ve learned in dealing with people who gossip about others is that, when confronted, very few of them will ‘fess up to their rhetoric. So, sometimes, the whole confrontation thing satisfies your need to let them know that you ain’t no punk more than it does to correct the behavior or get down to the real. I favor ignoring them because if they were so wonderful, they would have gotten the promotion themselves. People sittin’ around talkin’ ain’t doin’. And if they ain’t doin’, then they’re not worth your energy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mean Girls Series-Part 2; Negative Smiley

In this 2nd portion of the Mean Girls Series, Sistahs Gone Wild, I want to introduce you to some ladies you might be familiar with…

This week we’ll meet, ‘Negative Smiley’. A friend of mine introduced me to this term and I was completely intrigued with it. A Negative Smiley is someone who appears to be very caring & supportive & sweet, all the while sharpening the dagger to stab you in the back! She will probe you about your personal business in such a sincere-appearing way ("How's Rayquan?" "Is June Bug feeling better this week?") that you don’t know you’ve been gutted until you’re lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Quite honestly, insincere people rub me like jeans two sizes too small on a hot summer day! Just be who you gone be! (Ebonics intended)

When you get to the heart of it, Negative Smileys are really insecure themselves, so they seek information from others to help boost their deflated egos. They also live with a sense of false humility in that they are portraying themselves as caring individuals, but their motives are not pure. People who are just kind of bold and ‘in-your-face’ often get a negative rap. They are seen as ones who don’t regard anyone else’s feelings. But I like dealing with those kinds of people because you always know where you stand with them; unlike Negative Smileys.

Okay, so here’s an opportunity to check yourself: Instead of working on being nice, how about working on being authentic. I’m not giving you a license to be rude, but what I am saying is work on being true to yourself and others. You may not be the most popular girl at the party, but you will be the most respected. And in the long run, that’s what matter most. So, away with the Negative Smileys!

This week your challenge is to examine your motives when dealing with other people. Are you skinning and grinning all the while plotting their demise? Are you going along just to get along knowing that you’re being phony? If so, stop the madness; right here, right now! Practice genuineness. Watch how far it will take you. You may be a little surprised….

Next week we’ll talk about our BFF’s, frienemies, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, keep your questions and comments coming to

Be blessed!

Inspired Sistah

Last Week's Poll Results...

Last week’s question was: You’re ready for Ladies’ Night Out and your girl, Von, shows up with a dress that is 2 sizes too small. What should you do? Seventy-Five percent of you agreed that you should call her tomorrow and have a heart-to-heart to see what’s really going on with her. That’s what a true sistah-friend would do. Typical Mean Girl behavior would be to talk about her, avoid her or lie to her as the other choices suggested. Being sincere with your girl will cultivate a healthy relationship and be of greater benefit to you in the long-run. Remember: when you belittle someone else, you’re only making yourself look small. So, keep doing the right thang, sistah!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mean Girls-The Series

As you know, my interest lies with women and their issues. Lawd knows, we’ve got plenty of them! But we all know that. But where my true passion lies is with facilitating positive change in our lives so that we can be a blessing to our spouses, families, friends and communities. So, lately, the subject of Mean Girls has been sticking with me and I feel impressed to do a series about them. When I began to do my research, I learned that this is a very Hot Button Topic amongst women and bears some attention. Now the thoughts that I present will not be anything we haven’t heard before, but I will present them as only Inspired Sistah can. :-) Also, it’s my desire that it will spark real dialogue between us sistahs with hopes that we will all learn and grow and be the better for it.

So let me start with a definition. A Mean Girl is a woman who gossips, back-bites, ostracizes, intimidates, humiliates and demeans other women. Now before you count yourself out of this definition, I want you to seriously reflect on your attitudes and behaviors toward other women on your job, in your church or even in your family. There are different layers to the Mean Girl. She can be the bold, brassy bully that no one can stand, but she can also be a conniving, sneaky, wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing kind of sistah, too. I’ll admit I have been both a perpetrator and a victim; even as an adult, even as a Christian!

The Mean Girl spirit is insidious and you don’t know you’re That Girl until you’ve been overtaken! Make no mistake; she’s your boss, your co-worker, your sister, your mother and even YOU. But we all know that, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, we are familiar with the Mean Girl and her antics, but we don’t acknowledge some of her traits we or our compadres may possess and we really don’t attempt to foster any solutions. We just say, “It is what it is…” and figure it will always be that way. Well, I beg to differ. So in this series, I will introduce you to the Mean Girl, but at the end, I will try to offer some solutions to eradicating the Mean Girl’s behavior that manifests itself in others and even in YOU.

Stay tuned next week for, “Sistahs Gone Wild!” where I will introduce you to or reacquaint you with some specific Mean Girl behaviors to see if you recognize them.

In the meantime, feel free to email me at with your questions, comments, thoughts or concerns and I will try to incorporate them in this series.

Until next week…Be Blessed!

Inspired Sistah

Last Week's Poll Results...

Last week’s poll question was: You’ve been baking cakes for friends/family for years. Secretly dreaming of starting a catering business, what should you decide to do?

Everybody (100 %) said that you would start taking some business/marketing classes to get the ball rolling. That was an obvious answer, right? I mean no one wants to admit that they may have thought about choosing answer one, “Waiting until the economy stabilizes just in case it doesn’t work out. And answer two, thinking that “no outside of your family/friends would be interested in your ‘little ol’ cakes’” would make you seem like you were wimpy and lacked confidence. While I don’t doubt that, by faith, we all see ourselves as go-getters, taking the bull by the horns and running head first into our dreams, I think the reality is that we all have a teenchy bit of trepidation still lurking around. But that’s okay. Dream chasing is a marathon, not a sprint. It may take a few hurdles and setbacks to get us re-focused and back on course. But that’s all part of the process. Just know, in the end, YOU WIN! So, come on, let’s get it!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Let's Get It!

Here’s some food for thought: Have you ever thought about the fact that people who may have been in a debilitating, life-changing accident today didn’t wake up this morning anticipating that their lives would be forever altered? What about people who died today unexpectantly? Did they plan that today would be their last day on this earth? Probably not. My point is that very few of us, if any, know when we will no longer have an opportunity to do all the things we’ve been “meaning” to get around to. I’m not talking about the load of laundry or paying the light bill. Although, those are important tasks. I’m talking about the things that have been placed in our spirits that we’ve been mulling over for years. Have you ever heard the saying, “Time waits for no man?” And sistah, is that ever true today! If we don’t get busy about doing purposeful things, we will find ourselves weeks, months and years later singing the same ol’ tired songs about how we wish we could do such ‘n such.... I heard Joyce Meyer say, “You don’t need a wishbone; you need a backbone!”

To be in pursuit of your purpose doesn’t mean that you have to be on a mission to save the world. But what I’m proposing is that we’re not here to merely exist. There is more to life than getting up going to work (on a job that we may hate), tolerating a spouse (that we can’t stand) and sheltering children (that we refuse to raise). What is that thing in you that you are so passionate about that it is literally burning a hole in your gut? A lot of people, off the cuff, may not be able to answer that question. But if we take the time to examine where our true passions lie, we may see that our purpose could be that of being an awesome, dedicated wife or mother or to write a book that will inspire people to live beyond their circumstances or to be a CEO of a company. Whatever it is, you were placed here to do it and do it gooood!

So get focused! Stop spending your energy on fruitless things. Invest in someone or something else besides yourself. Come on! Time’s a-wastin’! Let’s get it!

Last Week's Poll Results...

Last week’s poll question was: After waking up from surgery, you are told that a hysterectomy was necessary. After reeling from the shock of never being able to have children, what do you do?

There was a tie at 44% for answers one & two. You equally thought that you would either book that vacation to Italy you’ve been dreaming of, realizing life is short, or check into a local mentoring program or review some adoption options. Deciding that your life was over and dying as a childless spinster just wasn’t an option for you. I’ve learned that we are best able to exemplify the greatest power when we get us off of our minds and extend ourselves to others. Does that mean that you have to deny your feelings or your current circumstances? No. But what it does mean is that you can facilitate your healing process by encouraging someone else along the way. ‘Cause if you think you got it bad, just take a look around the corner. That’s sobering! Also, doing some things that you’ve been putting off, while you were waiting for the “right” set of circumstances to come along, can also be empowering. It makes you appreciate what a beautiful gift life is even if things are not going the way you planned. So be encouraged, my sistah, the ability to be powerful is closer than you think. Leave the pity party to the whiners. You’re not invited, ‘cause you’re a Warrior!