Even if you’re not making official resolutions for 2016, you most likely want to start off the new year, the new month, or even just this new day on the right foot. Leaving these things behind in 2015 is a great place to start in order to bring more positivity into your life and set the next twelve months on a positive course.
1. Self-doubt. Have you seen that meme that says “I’m so done with insecurities and doubts. I’m amazing and that’s just what it is”? Let this be the year that you truly believe and really live mantra — say it to yourself every morning if you have to. The biggest obstacle keeping you from achieving what you wish is you and most likely it’s your fear of the unknown, of failure, or maybe even success. Realize you have the desire to obtain whatever goal you have for a reason and the regret you’ll feel later in life from never going after it will far outweigh the fear of trying you feel right now.
2. Excessive social media trolling. There’s more than one way to be an internet troll. While you might not be leaving nasty comments on people’s statuses, you may be trolling others by constantly posting things to purport an image of having a perfect life, career, or relationship. Or worse, you might be trolling yourself by scrolling on Instagram so much you begin to feel down because you think your life doesn’t measure up to others. Remind yourself that social media is just one (carefully crafted) aspect of people’s lives and if you end up feeling worse about yourself after engaging, shut it down, feel free to block anyone who posts disrespectful commentary on pop culture and news, and limit your browsing to only hashtags with uplifting messages.
3. Money mismanagement. Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America, but our median net worth is still just $100. While this is an improvement from the shocking figure of $5 that was reported in 2011, most of us can agree we need to tighten the purse straps in some areas like personal grooming and open the wallet more when it comes to investing in our savings account, retirement fund, or paying off debt.
4. Not supporting black businesses. Most of us don’t go out of our way to not support black business, but it’s high time we started going out of our way to do so. Make a commitment to choose consciousness over convenience this year and drive the extra 10 minutes to grab a drink at the bar owned by a young black couple or spend the extra money on those natural hair and skin care products personally crafted by a 20-something black girl who didn’t get start-up capital for her budding business and has to make a profit to sustain her dream. If she wins, we all win.
5. Victim blaming. Yes there are women (and men) who make false allegations of rape and abuse but the general attitude of victims being considered liars until their truth is proven needs to stop. Re-victimizing individuals when they seek justice against their attackers is part of what keeps rape culture alive and well and makes it that much harder for women who already feel shamed to come forward. Let’s do our part to offer support and a listening ear when women share their stories and reserve the judgement for the legal system.
6. Social justice apathy. If the past few years have taught us one thing, it’s that black people can no longer sit back and be idle about our place in society. It’s time for us to switch from operating in reactionary mode to being proactive about our needs and our rights. You may not be the type to march in the street, but you should be the type to vote, to accept the responsibility of jury duty, to donate to an organization that is fighting on the front lines. However you choose to be a part of the fight is your choice, the only wrong thing to do is nothing.