Are you a Happy Black Woman?
By Quanisha Smith, MSS

I’m sure you know this, but there will be aspects of our lives that we cannot control: an illness, a loss, or an unexpected setback.

However, one item always under our control is our response.

These two factors combined, the event & our reaction, impact the outcome we experience. And the outcome determines if the situation negatively or positively alters our lives.Meaning: Does the situation tear you down or does it foster your growth? 

As the Founder of the Black Women Rise Movement, I speak and receive numerous emails from the 2,000 women in our community. I hear women, like you and me, are going through some things, such as career dissatisfaction, feeling stuck and overwhelmed, lack of supportive environments, and health/emotional issues. And all of these circumstances are impacting your happiness.

With that in mind, today I share my Black Woman Happiness Formula. The formula is rooted in this principle: Take 100% responsibility for your life through controlling your reactions.

Within three months of adapting this mindset, I improved my moods and lost 30lbs. Most importantly, I felt like my old self: Strong, Beautiful and Unstoppable.  Since then, I have reached new levels of Black Woman Happiness as I continue to practice this formula.

Here’s my 4-part formula to help you achieve new levels of happiness in your life, career & business:

1) Focus on what you can control
You may not be able to control the event, but there are aspects of your situation that you can influence. Learning new information or seeking help from your network are two resources (information & people) easily at your disposal.

Here are some specific suggestions for common situations:
If you have a health concern, read related books to understand your problem and the best remedies for your symptoms.

If you are dealing with emotional dilemmas, find a therapist to help you through it.

If a home situation overwhelms you, ask a good friend or family member to help out or hire support.
Take Action: Make a list of three resources to help your situation. Within the next week, implement one of them.

2) Remember Your Strengths
When we face setbacks, we often fall into victimhood. Something is always happening “to” us. Victims are powerless and helpless, right?

Undeniably, something has happened to you, but you don’t have to succumb to it. To move past victimhood, tap into existing skills and strengths. Many times we’re unaware of our skillsets.

One solution is to analyze past victories to discover personal strengths. So, choose a recent success and ask yourself:

How did I fix that problem? 

How can that skill help me now?
Take Action: Make a list of your top 3 skills and strengths; describe how they can help you now.

3) Forgive Yourself
Inevitably, as we think about overcoming our setbacks, they remind us of the causes. Like me, you may recall these poor choices and conclude you are a failure.

Truth is negative thoughts reduce self-confidence and resilience (the ability to bounce back from setbacks).

Understand this, those choices are not who you are. Yes, you thought they were in your best interests, but they don’t define you. If you focus on the past, you will deny your present. Also, ruminating on negativity leads to depression.
The alternative is self-forgiveness. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know how to do that. Self-forgiveness begins with extending kindness and compassion to yourself. It’s simple, but requires dedication.
Take Action: Make a list of three ways you can love yourself this week (i.e. make a list of your 10 best assets; take a warm bubble bath; participate in your favorite activity.)

4) Follow Your Intuition
With all the mental clutter in our daily lives, it’s difficult to clearly hear our thoughts. To counter the noise, find a quiet place. Then, sit still and focus on your breathing.

As you mind clears, ask specific questions to guide your meditation. For example, How can I love myself today?

Your spirit will guide you to the correct answer.

Our spirit resembles a still small inner voice. It appears as a whisper or a clear thought. And you will feel a sense of inner peace and joy along with it.
Take Action: Write down what your intuition is telling you at this moment.
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Yes, implementing these steps will help you to achieve new levels of Black Woman Happiness.  Take 100% responsibility so you can enhance your life now. 

As the Founder and Chief Activator of the Black Women Rise Movement, Quanisha Smith, MSS provides services focused on Black women empowerment, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Are you a Black woman desiring a powerful position? Grab Quanisha’s FREE Guide12 Effective Leadership Resources for Black Women.