In life, everyone has their strengths and everyone has their weakness. One of my weaknesses is that I am a people pleaser. I am a person who tends to put others needs before my own, I worry about not only others well being but I tend to take on their problems as well. If it is someone I love and care about, their opinion and feeling towards what I do, effects me tremendously. I have been told at a very young age that I take on a lot more than I should. When you combine that with me being sensitive and vulnerable at times, it does effect my mental health and self esteem. I begin to have self doubt or sometimes I would base my decisions on others, even if in my heart or mind disagreed. I would often be conflicted within, because I wanted all parties involved to be happy. I also had this unhealthy motto “If I give others what they wanted, they would give me what I needed”.

Honestly, this has been a issue for me since I was fairly young. My mother would always tell me “I know you want everyone to be your friend and to like you but not everyone will. You have to be your own best friend first and everything will fall into place.” Although I took in what she told me, low self esteem, self doubt, unhealthy relationships and friendships dulled her words.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I had to stop and realize that I cannot do everything for everybody and I for damn sure cannot please everybody. I had to stop and ask myself what is it in me causes me to bite off more than I can chew or what in me allows others thoughts and opinion to dictate what I do or don’t do? I had to do a lot of reflecting and soul searching because ultimately, it started with me. I had to get to the point where I had to:

  • Re-evaluate  who I surrounded myself with- I had to ask myself are those around me having a negative effect on me by being judgmental/negative or was what they were saying or doing coming from a place of love? I also had to be aware of what kind of energy they were taking into their spirit. Being an Empath, whatever energy one surrounds themselves with, I take that energy into my spirit, like mirror neurons.  If their life and way of thinking was a total mess, I had to separate myself from it.

  • Celebrate strengths/accomplishments versus highlighting weaknesses/failures- I try to look at everything that I do and say “Girl, you did that” even for the smallest accomplishments. I reflect on how far I have come and what I am doing in the present and sometimes I have to cry happy tears (with my sensitive self :)).

  • Forgive myself- I speak about this quite frequently because it took me a long time to forgive myself for decisions and things that I have done in my life. Yet, at the end of the day, they were all lessons learned and all things have helped mold me into who I am today. You cannot change what has already happened nor can you predicted the future. You have to forgive, accept, and move forward.

  • Give yourself permission- We all go through things in our lives where we try to be strong and hold our emotions in or show no emotion at all. You must give yourself permission to process emotions, feelings and thoughts. Allow your heart to break if necessary, cry, scream, do what you have to, but don’t stay down for too long. There is still much work to do for self.

  • Accept it- You just have to accept that there will always be doubters, haters, those that try to question who you are and what you stand for. They are entitled to do so but you have to accept people for who they are and accept what they are showing you. At the end of the day, its about what YOU think, YOU set the tone for your life.

  • Know your values, what you stand for and honor them- I had to ask myself what does Essence stand for and follow? Is it Kindness, Love, Integrity? Is it empathy for others? Once you establish your values, it will be easier for you to accept who you are and when others try to be apart of your life, they will have to fall within those values as well.

  • It’s ok to say “NO”- This is always difficult because being a mother hen myself, I want to help everyone. Sometimes, there will be things that you just cannot do. There is no sense of you stressing and you must be honest with yourself and others when there is something you just can’t do, especially with adults. You have to let grown folks be grown folks and allow them to figure things out. As my friend Sanni Brown says “Not my monkey, not my circus.”

  • Pay it forward- There is nothing like the happiness that I feel when I helping others. By doing something nice for others you are setting the tone for your life and you may encourage others to do the same. What you put out there, you will receive back ten fold.

  • Me, myself, and I- If you have nothing or no one, you always have YOU. Treat yourself how you would want others to treat you. Talk to yourself, compliment yourself, take care of yourself, hell, take yourself out.  You can choose to be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. The choice is ultimately yours.


Be Well,



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