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3 Things I Learned in 2023

A black woman sitting

Wishing You A Happy And Prosperous 2024 And Giving You The 3 Things I Learned in 2023

If, like me, you're probably taking stock of your life by reflecting on what occurred during the previous twelve months. Maybe you're scrutinising and taking inventory of your goals when the year began. How many did you accomplish? Which ones presented you with a challenge and why?

Perhaps you had hoped to start your blog, publish that novel, land that new job or grow your YouTube Channel, only to realise that life happens.

Because let's face it, now more than ever, life has become volatile and unpredictable. Things happen that we have no control over; all we can do is pick up the pieces and keep going.

Last year, I reflected on many things, including how I dealt with the aftermath of the pandemic, among other things. However, this year, I will give you the three things I learned in 2023, which are in no particular order.

 1. Checking In With My Mental Health

As a black woman, I've often felt compelled to keep going despite whatever else is going on within me or around me because society expects it, no thanks to the 'strong black woman' trope.

This year, however, I learned the importance of checking in with my mental health and allowing myself to feel vulnerable without guilt or shame. I found that mindfulness is a helpful practice to stay present in the moment, appreciate the good things in life, and avoid missing out on joyous moments.

I also learned the value of being aware of my thoughts and feelings and how to curb negative thoughts not backed by evidence. This helps me to stay positive and focused on my goals.

Furthermore, I learned that seeking professional help when necessary is a vital step towards maintaining good mental health.

2. Brutal Honesty

"Brutal honesty" often implies a certain degree of harshness, maybe something unpleasant. In this instance, it means tough love.

The tough love I'm referring to has been a gift, for it allowed me to sit myself down and take a closer look within and without and zoom in on all aspects of my life, asking those tough questions that force me to face reality.

Being brutally honest with myself has shone a light on both my strengths and shortcomings. It has also compelled me to face reality and grow, often through change.

Change sometimes means dismantling our current reality, which comes with its own challenges. Change requires courage, patience, and resilience. It also requires us to become resourceful despite fear and pain. I have learned that sometimes, a fiery furnace of change is exactly what one needs to be catapulted towards growth and success.

Most importantly, I have learned that while I'm being brutally honest, it is also important to extend grace to myself by forgiving myself for my mistakes and not being too hard on myself.

3. Sometimes, I'm My Own Worst Enemy.

A person can be their worst enemy in several ways: allowing yourself to be disrespected, not speaking up when needed, and not asking for help when needed are just examples.

This year has also taught me that it is crucial to recognise your limits and that there is no shame in asking for help and taking advice.

For example, asking for help puts us in a vulnerable position, but the irony is that it takes courage to hold our hands up and admit defeat. It is only the wise who can identify their shortcomings and seek correction.

Pride has its place, but when it is misplaced, it causes unnecessary suffering. We become barriers to success and happiness by letting pride block our blessings, for we suffer in silence instead of taking the necessary measures or asking for what we want.

Even the Bible implores us to "ask, and you shall be given," "seek, and you shall find," and "knock, and the door shall be opened for you. So, what stops us from asking if we know we need help?

Stepping out of your comfort zone is risky, as is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You do not have to sit on the sidelines, watching, wishing, and wanting something so badly and not bothering to do anything about it. What's the worst that could happen when you dare go after what you desire? A "no" when you ask isn't going to kill you, and as the adage goes, nothing grows in comfort zones. Life is about taking risks.

Besides, you won't know unless you try.

So, as you ponder upon the months that have passed and plan for the new year, think about the lessons life has taught you and carry them with you. Life does not come in segments. It is a culmination of our experiences - an intricate, purposely designed tapestry.

Happy New Year!

Before you leave, check out my Victoria Falls Vlog below:

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