Sunday Soapbox: Watch How You Speak To Yourself.

Sunday Soapbox: Watch How You Speak To Yourself.

Your inner monolog  or the voice you use to talk to yourself will literally make or break you. You have to be especially careful how you talk to yourself. I am a firm believer in whatever it is that you think about anything will manifest itself into your life. Your body responds to whatever it is you’re saying to yourself. If you’re always looking down on yourself, saying you’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough – you won’t be. If I’m being honest, some of the things I say to myself, I would never say to even my worst enemy. I’m a bully in my own right, to myself, and even just thinking about it makes me sick. Especially considering all the kind things I’ve said and how gentle I am to others about their feelings, I don’t even give myself the same in return, but I should. You and I both deserve to talk to ourselves kindly.

Personally, I’ve been trying to combat my negative self-talk. But it’s hard.  My favorite strategy currently is redirecting. If I notice myself becoming too negative about myself, I’ll immediately stop that thought, do 5-10 circle breaths (like in through my nose, out through my mouth), and rephrase the thought. For example, if the thought goes like this, “I am really screwing everything up, my life is never going to be the way it should,” – I rephrase it like this, “God’s plan is perfect and even if I don’t see how it’s working out right now, it’ll work itself out. I am still discovering who I am and how everything works, but it will be worked out in the end.”

I have been focusing on changing the way I talk to myself and think about myself for about a week now, and it has honestly been so worth it. I found that my mind is starting to go straight to the positive thoughts – this isn’t to say that I don’t sometimes fall short, but it is a work in progress.

What are some positive thoughts that keep you going when you get into a negative rut? Share below in the comments – I would love to hear them!

XOXO,

– Tanesha

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Define Life Yourself

How often are you allowing others to define your life? Stop and think about it, like really think about it. Subconsciously, we all do this. We allow others to define what our success should look like, what it means to be in a relationship or what being a 20-something year old should look like. But honestly, the only person who should be defining what our lives look like, what our success looks like or relationships look like is ourselves. You as the individual should define that, not your parents, your friends, the lady on Instagram who you admire, none of them.

Many times, we allow what other people are doing and what is trending right now to define what things are for our lives. For example, people think that their relationships aren’t real until they’re on social media – which isn’t even the case. Or we define what success is by looking at somebody else’s success. Think about how life was before social media, where we couldn’t see every single thing about everyone’s life, where you didn’t know what other people were doing – how would you then defined your life, your success or your relationship?

I feel like we think about what other people are doing and how other people are living their lives – as the “template.” However, the “template” might not be the correct fit your life. God has a specific and unique path and plan for you and it might not look like everybody else’s. You have to be ready to just accept whatever it is.

This weekend I encourage you to really sit down and define your life and figure out exactly what defines YOU. What does success look like to YOU? What do YOU want your relationship to look like?

Share below how you define your life, your relationships and success! I can’t wait to hear about them.

XOXO,

– Tanesha

Sunday Soapbox: Standards for Life

I am one of those people who have super high standards in dating and I am unashamed! But when it comes to other aspects of my life – such as how I allow people to treat me – I am much much more lenient. You need to have standards for literally every aspect of your life not just dating. Having standards in dating is great and really necessary,  but your whole life is not focused or based on dating, you’re much more than who you date.

I feel like if you don’t have standards in your life, especially for your social circle – you’ll just allow people to treat you any type of way and then they’ll be able to walk all over you thus break your heart and hurt your feelings. And you don’t deserve that. Yes, in a perfect world people would treat everybody with kindness, but that doesn’t always happen so you should have the standards in place so that people do not treat you any type of way.

Think about in your workplace, if you’re just putting out mediocre or half-ass work – people aren’t going to want to hire you or want to promote you because you’re not doing anything above and beyond. You’re not making the company or yourself look good. For example, I pride myself in the type of work I produce. I’ll make sure to give the project 1000% and ensure that it is the best work that I’ve ever produce, even if I’m feeling lazy. I do this because I want people to associate me with having an excellent work ethics and producing amazing work.

Imagine if you had a standard of how you present yourself and how you dressed,  how people treat you, what type of work you put out, what type of people you entertained in your social circles and much more. People would then HAVE to (or at least be more inclined) to treat you by the standard you have set. If you have a standard of how you look, how you carry yourself and how you interact with people – people always associate you with those things. If you’re always super kind, super positive and happy person – people will always associate that with you (and that will become the image they have of you).

Standards are for you alone to make, and whatever standards you choose – make sure they make you happy.

What are some standards you already have in place in your life or planning on incorporating? Share Below in the comments.

XOXO,

– Tanesha

 

 

Beating the Post-Graduation Blues

Are You A Recent Grad? If so this post is for you!

Graduating college is nothing like I imagined. I imagined, I would graduate on May 8th, 2016 and complete a summer internship, get into the graduate school program of my choosing, move out of my parents’ house into a cute little apartment with my Yorkie (dog) and all of these other things that a lot of my other friends were accomplishing or at least what I thought a 20-something should be like after graduating college. One of my very best friends, graduated, moved into this bomb ass apartment and started his full-time job about 3 weeks after graduating – and like in October, he called me and was like “What? You’re still at home? When are you going to move out? What are you doing with your life?” And here I was sitting at home (my parents’ house), with no job, no graduate school, essentially nothing. (NOTE: Thankful my parents are not the type to just kick me out of the house – Thank God!) So on top of already feeling mighty shitty about my situation, one of my closest friends had confirmed basically what I had been thinking for months – that I was a bum, I was wasting all this potential that I had acquired in college, and that I wasn’t going to amount to anything (especially with all this time just passing me by). All of that made me extremely sad (and still does to think about from time to time). I stopped doing the things I loved, just sat at the house – sometimes went to the gym, sometimes went church, but that’s about it. So I spent about a month or 5 months, sad, crying, upset.

I honestly think I needed to go through those things and experience those emotions before I was able to fully be able to trust the process of my life and begin to conquer a lot of the negative self-talk I was doing. But this blog post isn’t for me to vent about how sad my life sometimes is… This blog post is to help you conquer these feelings – well at least the things that have helped me.

  1. Revamp your resume, application pieces, and other things. I took about three days to really revamp my CV/resume. So often, at least for me, I never update my CV – it’ll be two or three new things that need to be added every couple of months, however, I won’t put it on there. I created cover letters (for jobs). I also took the time to work on my personal statement for graduate school. I purchased some new GRE study books and guides, and sign up for a Kaplan course. I feel like this was so important so that when I begin to start applying for school and jobs I won’t have any excuses because all of the “hard things” are already done.
  2. APPLY FOR EVERY-FUCKING-THING. Listen to me, even if you think you are not eligible or not qualified – APPLY. My mother always says, “Let them tell you – no.” – You never know an employer or school admissions board might like you enough to give you the opportunity or the chance. You never know.
  3. Practice some Self-Love. Self-Love for everyone is different. You may want to eat the things you love, start a weight loss journey by working out, read a BUNCH, listen to podcasts – whatever it takes. For self-love includes working out, taking a break from social media, spending time with the Lord, and knitting.
  4. Spend time learning new things – career oriented or otherwise. I think taking time to read some educational books and learn new skills is so important. Not only will it fill you time, it is good to put your energy into projects. My new skill that I learned was really perfecting my videography and being able to start a vlog. Not only does this feed my need to be creative, but it also gives me a way to document my experiences.
  5. Spend Your Time Wisely. I’ll admit I didn’t do this at all, but I regret not spending my time doing more productive things. I spent a good 2-3 months wallowing in self-pity and borderline sadness. But I think if you get into a really good routine of doing different things you will be able to transition smoothly into something new (whether that be a new job or graduate school or new move across the country).
  6. Give yourself time and stop negative self-talk. Graduating college is such a huge accomplishment – ABSOLUTELY DO NOT minimize your accomplishments. So many people do not graduate from college and you have. You are not going to magically be happy again overnight, that is going to take time and effort. I have to intentionally wake up and tell myself, “Today is going to be a great day – no matter what.” You have to believe in the things you are telling yourself as well. One of the main (and most challenging) habits you are going to have to kick is negative self-talk. A good friend of mine gave me this positive affirmation that I have been using lately and it goes like this – “I can have success and success is for me,” and “I can have love, love is for me and I deserve it.” You can just fill in the italicized words for the things that you want – love, money, success, happiness, or literally anything.

 

Have you recently graduated college recently? How did you beat the post-graduation blues?

XOXO,

– Tanesha

10 STANDOUT IDEAS from 2016 (thus far)

I feel like 2016 has been the year of learning for me. I am forever reflecting on this year and what things I could’ve done better, what things were good. I think self-reflection is one of the most beneficial things a person can do, because change has to come from within. People can tell you all they want about the things you do wrong, or the things you are doing correctly – BUT until you recognize it yourself, you probably won’t make longterm changes. So here are some of the main things that I’ve learned and that I plan on keeping with me for the rest of my post-undergraduate life.

  • Dream HUGE, and don’t limit yourself, even if other people try to. You are the creator of your destiny, and absolutely nothing is out of your reach, unless you put it there.
  • Being Sure of yourself is a process, it takes practice. And by practice I mean every single day, looking yourself in the mirror and saying “You got this girl!”  You must be sure of yourself, because if you aren’t – who else will?
  • Trust God and his path for you, he will never lead you wrong. Romans 8:28 in the Bible says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
  • People only take from you what they know you will give them. This goes hand in hand with the saying, “people will only treat you how you allow them to.” (Thanks mom!) Folks are probably walking all over you and treating you the way they are because you are allowing them to by not standing up for yourself or correcting their behavior. Only you can change it tho.
  • SAY NO: with conviction. Stop doing things you don’t want to do and things that make you unhappy. Life is literally too short for you to do anything you don’t want to do. Say no, and leave it alone. You don’t have to explain yourself to ANYONE.
  • Friendships are reciprocal, and not everyone is your friend. If I’m being honest, I’m still learning this. But you shouldn’t be the one always reaching out, and always planning. You should be getting out of the friendship, the same things you’re putting in.
  • Plan early in your relationships, especially with marriage. Honestly ask yourself (and your significant other) what your intentions and expectations are up front. There’s no point of your intentions to seriously date, and your significant others intention’s are to casually date around. I believe that preparation is the key to success and that it should be applied to your relationships as well.
  • Explore the world – take in every opportunity, even opportunities you don’t think you will gain from. I think you should take advantage of every single opportunity and open door that comes your way, because you may gain skills that you wouldn’t have before. Also you could learn what type of career you don’t want to have.
  • The difference between you and someone else is what you are willing to sacrifice. I think there is something profound about being the person to go above and beyond the normative path. You should be able and willing to sacrifice for your goals. Sacrifice is temporary but the reward and feelings of accomplishing your goals are forever.
  • You can have it all, as long as God says the same. Galatians 1:10 says “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant!”As long as you are focused on living your life as an offering to God, everything will work out the way it is supposed because God favor’s His Children.

What are some of your stand out ideas from 2016? Share below in the comments!

XOXO

– Tanesha

Grown Up Life Goals

So now that I am about to embark on the next chapter of my life. Honestly, goal setting has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I saw on Facebook once that ” Goals are just dreams with deadlines.” How can you ever accomplish anything without knowing what it is that you want to accomplish?

Goal setting is pretty straight forward. You should use the cheesy acronym S.M.A.R.T to help set and achieve your goals.

S is for Specific.

M is for Measurable.

A is for Action-Oriented.

R is for Realistic.

T is Time-Based.

Some of my personal goals include: building my self-confidence higher by working out more and eating healthier (cut out all these random carbs), start dating again (9 months from now), face some more fears (especially my fear of bugs), move out and become more independent.

While my professional goals are get into a good graduate school with a strong emphasis in research, publish my first peer-reviewed article into an academic journal, perfect my elevator speech, recreate my personal statement and cover letters, and re-brand myself.

Even more important than just having these goals in your head, is writing them down. I don’t know about you, but whenever I write anything down it becomes more real to me. I would suggest you write your goals down. Maybe in a notebook where you can journal on your progress, or maybe on sticky notes that you place on your bathroom mirror, or even just down on a piece of paper that you carry around in your wallet. I think you should look at your list of goals at least once a day. The more you see them, the more you will work for them, the more progress you will make on them, and then before you know it you will be accomplishing so much.

I believe that setting personal (as well as professional) goals are extremely important.

What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?? Share below in the comments.

Be Blessed, and Love always,

– Tanesha 🙂

 

Tuesday Morning Thoughts: The Glo’ Up

Let me tell you what is the hardest thing in the entire world – growing up. Not just physically, but mentally as well. I don’t know why it is so hard, possibly because we get so comfortable with the way we are, that once we try to change it up our minds and bodies are like WOAH THERE, GIRLFRIEND.

The older I get I realize that the maturation/growing up/the glo’ up process is hard. It is uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Think about a caterpillar. At first, the little bug is just living his life then suddenly, his world is turned upside down. It has to suddenly wrap itself up in a small cocoon, which I imagine is very uncomfortable. So he is in this cramped space and then is growing – his body doing things it’s never done before, etc. He’s stuck and cramped and spending a lot of time thinking about what is happening and self-reflecting. And all he can do is literally go through that process. But the end result is a BEAUTIFUL butterfly.

You have to go thru some things first. But the end result is always so incredibly worth it. I know I’m maturing every day and I’m proud of myself. And you should be too if you are in this period of growth.

Keep Growing and Stay Blessed.

– Tanesha.

6 Things Hampton University Has Taught Me.

So I choose 6 because 2016. Get it? I know I’m corny. I spent 8 semesters at this wonderful institution of higher learner called Hampton University and it has taught me some truly invaluable lessons. So I thought who better to share these lessons with than the beautiful and intelligent followers of this blog.

  1. It is not always what you know, rather WHO you know. Networking is soooooo important. Literally, every internship and opportunity I’ve received are due in large part to networking. Even within your own social circles and friendships. There are numerous times when opportunities are sent my way, and the opportunity might not fit your goals and ambitions but might fit another friend – there is no need to be holding on to what you can’t use. Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to opportunities.
  2. Act like you have some sense. I know you have heard this from your mother and grandparents at least growing up. But I feel like while I was at Hampton, I really started to understand that how you behave is a reflection of everyone around you. You are not only representing your family, friends, but also everyone who has every invested in you. Also, how you act in public will follow you. Your reputation is everything. First impressions are made within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone and takes about 12-15 interactions after to change that impression.
  3. Balance work and play. I cannot stress this enough. You have to be able to balance what you HAVE to do, and what you want to do – otherwise, you will be miserable fulfilling other people’s dreams. I can always sense when I am doing too much work because I begin to get super overwhelmed with the simplest tasks. If you are getting easily overwhelmed, frustrated or irritated – stop what you are doing and immediately take some time to refresh your life.
  4. Speak Up, but sometimes silence says it all. I’m always told that I don’t speak up enough. In an effort to avoid confrontation with people, often I am just silent. Partially because not everything in life needs a reaction or response, but also because I am generally passive. But, I have learned there are specific times and spaces where your voice needs to be heard. Especially if it deals with your money, your reputation or your emotions.
  5. Choose Happiness & Love. There was a young man at school who was a minister, and every so often he would say that “Love is a choice.” I don’t know why of all things that really stuck with me, but it made absolute sense. And the same could be said for happiness. Lou Holtz said that life is ten percent of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it. Respond with love and happiness.
  6. The experience is what you make it. One of the first things they told us during New Student Orientation is that “Hampton is literally what you make it. You can choose to make it lit and have the greatest of times, or you can choose to make it boring. The choice is yours.”  Honestly, this goes for anything. You choose how things are going to go up to a certain point. Even when things are going badly in your life, you can choose to stay positive and moving forward as opposed to remaining stagnant and unhappy.

So to Everyone in Onyx 11, who just started precollege and everyone at the illustrious Hampton University. Enjoy and trust the process. Even when things seem to not going your way, all things work together for your good.

Love Always,

– T. Renae

Quintessence IX’s 100 Days Celebration.

(This is our 300th blog post!!!!)

The last weekend in January was literally the BEST weekend of my entire life with my class. QT9 is absolutely the best class at Hampton University. Not only did we come together to celebrate, we put aside everything to have a great time.

So just for some context, at Hampton University since about 1970s each incoming class has a name. So in recent HU history the class names have just been in a rotation, Quintessence, Onyx and OPhiO. Each senior class gives the freshman class their name, and basically pass down the legacy of that class’s name. So my class, the seniors, is Quintessence IX, and the freshman class is Quintessence X. Get it? Cool. So for maybe the last 10 years, the graduating class has a celebration in honor of the last 100 days until graduation. So my freshmen year, my bigs QT8 had thee BEST 100 days celebration (check out their video here.). The student center was packed, and everyone just thoroughly enjoyed themselves. So my class being apart of that legacy decided that we had to do our 100 days celebration even better. So we did a “Color Run” right before mobbing to the Student Center, the peer counselor organization dropped balloons and like our bigs’ money was thrown from the third floor. Overall it was an awesome experience that I will never forget. So I basically recorded a lot of it using a GoPro camera, and I made a cute little video commentating the occasion. I made this video for my class – I love each and every one of y’all. QT9 were the best to ever do it.

Quintessence IX’s 100 Days. from Tanesha Renae Johnson on Vimeo.

Enjoy.

– T. Renae

New Semester Preparation CheckList

So today is my last, first day of classes in my undergraduate time at Hampton University. So instead of writing a long post about what I do every semester to prepare for my upcoming semester – I decided to make a quick checklist for you to follow to start your semester!

New semester checklist!

  • GET A PLANNER (Like my cute one from Erin Condren)
  • Put all known dates (like from your school’s academic calendar)  on your calendar.
  • Price text books.
  • Clean out old folders and binders of stuff you won’t need.
  • Input class schedule into phone (and other known events), as well as work out times, meal times, times for homework, etc.
  • Get new cute school supplies.
  • Once you get syllabi, mark down any major assignments into your planner.
  • Create a new assignment sheet based off of your course.

I hope this is a quick tip sheet to help you start off the new semester off on the right foot! For more detail on how I prepare for the semester check out this and this and this !

Keep It Classy,

– T. Renae