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10 Tips on How to Step Up, Step Out, and Shine With Africa Miranda
By Guest Contributor: @africamiranda
To say my plate is full these days is an understatement, Seeds that have been long planted are starting to bear fruit. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little overwhelmed (which is totally normal). Deep down, I know that I’m prepared and this is what I’ve worked for, but what is different at this stage in my life and career is that I finally have the tools personally and professionally to excel. How many of us have had opportunities come that we weren’t fully prepared for and dropped the ball? Raises hand.
Here are 10 of my tips to preserve your sanity, maintain your business and rise to the occasion when your next big opportunities comes:
- Make Peace With “Almost” Perfect
Perfection is impossible. Strive for excellence, but don’t let a quest for perfection paralyze you. At some point with projects and life you have to consider something “finished” and walk away. Trust that your hard work and intentions will shine through.
- Set Your Priorities and Stick To Them
Clearly I juggle a LOT. Even with a beauty company, new talk show, and new book I’m still tempted at times to add to the pot. I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t take on any other large projects because these 3 were worth all of my energy and focus. Do I have some other great ideas? Absolutely. But these 3 are priority and nothing else happens until they get the time they deserve. Make an agreement with yourself and honor it.
When time is paramount you can’t waste it on frivolous things. Ask yourself before making any decision: “Do I love it? Will doing this make me very happy?” Adding things to your already full schedules out of obligation will only overwhelm you. Any adjustments I make in my life or schedule that are based on love are always fulfilling.
- Schedule Fun
It doesn’t sound particularly fun to schedule entertainment, but if you don’t then you will probably won’t have it. There is no work you’re doing that is so important that you can’t schedule in time to meet with friends, catch a movie or just breathe for a second. Put it on your calendar as a recurring event. If you can’t swing weekly then do it twice a month.
- Talk It Out
Investing in therapy this year is some of the best money I’ve ever spent. We can’t always see our patterns and triggers because we’re too close. Having someone who can offer insight and give you tools to manage stress is invaluable.
- Work It Out
Our bodies are all we have. We can’t take over the world if our vessels can’t sustain us. Working out on a regular basis has made me stronger physically and mentally. Pushing my body to new levels lets me see how far I can go outside of the gym. It also is a time that I am disconnected from the noise of life and can focus on connecting with my body.
- Lean On Your Tribe
There is no shame is saying you need help. No shame in saying you’re lonely. No shame in saying you need a friend. We work hard. Much of it is thankless and it can take years to see the smallest of results. I survive because I have a tribe that lifts me up and reminds me of my value and why I’ve made the sacrifices I have on this journey.
- Go To Bed
I don’t believe in “sleep when you’re dead.” You may be able to function for a while on low steam, but ultimately, for your body and mind to operate at its highest level, you have to get regular sleep. Even with all of my projects I make sure to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep. I’m less anxious and much more productive. Get your beauty rest!
I haven’t had cable since 2011. Thanks to the internet (and a few friends’ passwords!) I can stay up to date on my favorite shows. But my days of regular television watching are a thing of the past. Do you turn on the tv first thing in the morning or fall asleep to it at night? It is hard to find true clarity if we are constantly bombarded with programmed information. Cutting the cord unleashed my creativity and I’ve learned to appreciate the quiet.
- Be Real.
Give yourself a break. I had to learn to let myself off the hook for not finishing to do lists that were longer than CVS receipts. It was impossible, yet I would beat myself up every time. Now I’ve learned my limits. I know what I can handle physically without burnout. I don’t try to schedule 3 meetings and 4 conference calls in one day. Be realistic and stop over promising what you can’t deliver. So much of our stress is our own making.
You may get to 5 of these, you may do 2, you may even do all 10! I hope that some of my trial and error can help all of you along the way. Know that you’re not alone. Entrepreneurship is hard but we can definitely miss some of the bumps in the road if we lean on each other.
By the way, if you’re in the NYC metropolitan area (or plan to be the week of 10/8), please join me along with my special guest, Renae Bluitt, as we kick off my book release tour for Step Up, Step Out, and Shine!