If there’s one thing this city is showing me, it’s that if you want it, you have to be persistent and perseverant. This shit is not glamourous. I arrived in here sick af, my credit card info got stolen, someone maxed my card and called my bank pretending to be me, and now I’m living off a prepaid credit card. Let’s just say that LA reared its ugly head immediately upon my arrival, but I’m ready to chop it up to bits and make a soup, baby! I am not a spitter, I am not a quitter, I am ready to gobble it all up!
Cas (my name), synonymous with “the queen of a pivot”. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I waited out the storm and held my ground, ten toes down, ya know? I’ve started a few businesses and side hustles over the years, which have all been successful. I’ve managed to get everything to the level of “good”, but nothing to “great”, and I’m ready to change that.
Staying as focused, self-motivated, and unbothered as possible is super important if you’re a woman (particularly a minority woman) facing challenges and adversity. Let’s get it, let’s get it, let’s gooooooo!!! Here are a few techniques that I use to keep me grounded and on my path:
1. Having a “go-to” person in my corner
For me, this is my girl, Ashleigh. She will sit and listen to me vent and complain, but follow up with, “do you really want it?” At which point, I’ll say, “heck yes!” It’s that external push (which I’m oh so lucky to have) that jolts me in the right direction and to a clearer mindset. People like Ashleigh are to be cherished and held closely on your journey, don’t forget to express gratitude and pour back into their cup whenever you can.
2. Imagining the “worst case scenarios”
This one is morbid af, but hear me out. It’s like desensitizing your fear. I’ll sit and imagine, “what’s the worst that could happen?” - then follow up with the steps I can take to minimize/mitigate risks and negative outcomes. I’ll think about backup plans, and people that I can fall back on if needed; total defense mode.
3. Imagining the “best case scenarios”
I do this right after imagining the worst case scenarios because I don't want to leave my conscious and unconscious energy in “defense” mode (shit is draining). I start by thinking about all of the possibilities as well as the work required to bring them to fruition. I think about how I will feel not only when I accomplish my goals, but how I will feel doing the work - I love to daydream, so this is mad enjoyable for me.
4. Positive self-talk
Guess who is in my head all day long? Yup, it’s myself! I never paid attention to the way I spoke to myself, but making the shift has initiated a huge difference in my life and overall outlook. Since starting this company, I’ve realized that I have somewhat of a shared experience with so many other women. If you’re anything like me, you narrate your day and are always talking to yourself. I talk to myself with so much care. I call myself “baby”, I’m constantly whispering encouraging words, and complimenting my accomplishments - this might sound wild, but don’t knock it til’ you try it.
5. Watching/listening to interviews of people sharing their failures openly
There are interviews and podcasts that I will re-watch/re-listen to just for motivation. It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game, or disregard the work it takes to become successful. A lot of the time, we’re only seeing the end result, which is so shitty and can make things seem unattainable when we face even the smallest bit of pushback. Get real, failure is a part of life.
6. A motivational letter to self
This, I keep in my notes app on my phone - easily accessible and I can switch it up or add to it on a whim. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but write a letter to yourself. Include past experiences when you thought that your world was over, times that you’ve come out on top, all of the reasons to keep going!
Sidenote: I also have a letter called “Dear, Hungry Cas” - it remind me not to overeat myself into complete lethargy and discomfort. When it comes to food I do not enjoy boundaries, in fact, I hate em’
7. Looking back, but not for long
Next time you’re feeling like shit, take a moment to look back, not in an obsessive way, but to see how far you’ve come. To acknowledge past trials and give yourself a pat on the back.
8. Throwing a “Pity Party”
When things get extra real, they can knock us down with a vengeance. Learn how to stay down and regroup before getting back up. Have you ever seen those UFC fighters who get knocked down and immediately try to recover, only to stumble around before collapsing yet again? Don’t be that guy. Take your time, but don’t let anything or anyone keep you down.
I always have a good playlist at my fingertips. If you have Spotify, great. If you don’t have Spotify, get it. I’ve created several “happy” playlists in a variety of genres/tones, and self medicate with them as needed. A playlist that works today might not work tomorrow, you gotta be ready. Music and sounds really have the ability to switch up your vibe.. Speaking of switching up the vibe…
10. Establishing a “reset”
There are so many videos on YouTube and TikTok of women doing a “Sunday Reset”. The intention of a “Sunday Reset” is to begin the week with a blank slate and a full cup. Guess what? You don’t have to wait for Sunday to do this! Dig deep to determine the things that bring you joy, calm, and energy - if you don’t know where to start, I’m going to share my latest “reset” routine below:
In silence, I began by cleaning my house; sweeping, swiffering, washing all of the floors, and disinfecting every surface. I found a place for anything that was causing clutter. Next, I opened up all of my windows and saged my space. I left the windows open for about 15 minutes and even opened the front door to allow for negative energies to leave (yes, I’m a “woo-woo” girl). After my space felt lighter, I put on the oil diffuser with lavender oil, then showered and washed my hair. Something about washing EVERYTHING away makes me feel so good. After getting out of the shower, I used my “Sleepy” lotion from lush (ahhh, so calming), put on pyjamas, heated up dinner (soup and toast bc I didn’t want to cook) and watched trash reality TV. I didn’t worry about checking emails, texts, or even brainstorming ways to get my money back, I just allowed myself to disconnect and sit in the moment. Before going to bed, I decided that “tomorrow is a new day and things will get better”. Because comedy and laughter are big in my world, I closed the day by audibly laughing out loud at the situation… by myself, in bed.
Other things I like to do to “reset”:
Take a bubble bath
Go on a walk
Go to the gym, workout and then sweat in the sauna
Buy a cake and get “Happy Birthday Cas” written on it
Eat my feelings (Pizza Hut is usually my go-to)
Have a friend over and sit in silence OR talk shit
Sleep (oh my goodness, this one is amazing!)
Watch YouTube videos
Go somewhere with lots of stimulants/lights/energy, shut my mouth and take it all in
Shop: this can be as simple as walking around walmart or the dollar store or online shopping if I feel like waiting for my treat
Overall, the keys to staying motivated are different for everyone and have the ability to change with every situation/scenario. Staying connected and clued in with your mind is of utmost importance. As someone who is just starting to figure it out, trust me, there’s lots of trial and error - find your north star and keep your eyes locked in on it.