Are Your Expectations Working Against You?

woman writing a list

There was a video circulating on Facebook of Boris Kodjoe and his wife doing a sit down interview regarding their new talk show. They’ve been married 10+ years so every time I see these two, they’re being questioned about marriage, which is fair. I sat through the entire thing because just like everyone else, I want to know all there is to know about keeping a marriage intact. But particularly, 12 seconds of this 12 minute video resonated with me and it was when he said –

“write down all the things you want in a woman, and then you have to ask yourself the following question – is that woman on this paper gonna date me?”

Whew, that’s deep. Mainly because it’s interchangeable. Why is it that people so often require things that they can’t themselves give? I’ll be the first to admit, I had that bad when I was younger; an impractical presumption of what he had to be equipped with and a running list of what a man had to have in order to even be considered. What I had yet to realize was that I myself still had a lot of development and experience to grow through before I would even have the leverage to make such demands. Let me tell it, I had it all together when realistically, I was a working college student who hadn’t even stepped foot into the real world. The fact that my expectations were so far fetched in comparison to what I had to offer went to show my immaturity. In fact, as I matured I even opted out of a few relationships that had potential because I knew that I wasn’t an equivalent due to things I lacked or had yet to accomplish.

Now don’t get me wrong, I strongly encourage firm standards but there’s an obvious problem when you possess none of the things that you’re anticipating finding. What you can’t do is be so focused on what someone else brings to the table that you forget to take a look at yourself. What kind of man are you looking for? Is he educated, God-fearing, well dressed, respectful, honest? Well then the more important question is, are you? You attract what you are, what you receive will mirror your character and if you’re not up to par, you having those high expectations likely isn’t working in your favor. If you’re continuously attracting people less than what you desire, the concern might be with you. You’ll stop attracting certain people when you heal the part of you that once needed them. In other words, you might have some self-work to do.

“Just because you look good, doesn’t mean you’re a good look. You have to bring more to the table than a fork.”

This lesson goes beyond material things and career choices. So many of us have deal breakers that are non-negotiable, but don’t treat who we’re dealing with, with the same respect. Are you one of those people who doesn’t think twice about treating whoever you’re involved with however you want, but when they do something that you don’t like you’re ready to wash your hands of them? The older I get, the more I realize how accurate the saying “you get what you give is”. If you are going to require it, make sure that you have it to give because if not, not only are you wasting their time but you’re wasting yours.

We all want what we think we’re worth and I’d never suggest that you settle or reconsider dealing with something you know you don’t deserve, but before you even go looking for anything make sure you’d make a valuable counterpart. What I’m here to encourage, is self-truth and that includes knowing our strengths as well as what we may lack. The better you know yourself, what you’re about and what you have to offer, the less you’ll have to bargain with others to prove your value. Always start with yourself, and make sure when you ask yourself “is the man I’m looking for, looking for a woman like me?” the answer is “hell yeah”.

Now get it girl, xx.

Boss Ladies | Chriss Zoe talks Balance and How she Created Success for Herself

Chris 1 I sat down with the owner of the online store Shop Chriss Zoe to talk balance and how she created success for herself. Christina is a 27 year old entrepreneur and let’s not forget to mention… an Instagram phenomenon. But as perfect as her life looks in photos, she had a winding road of trial and error before her business started booming. Originally picking up and moving to LA to pursue music, she tried her hand at a dozen different business ideas before she finally found one that stuck.

Do you recall a certain instance where a light bulb went off and you knew you’d be working for yourself? What inspired you and made you set out on that journey?

Yes! I remember working as a server at a bar making about $10-$30 a day off tips and the moment I got there I told myself I would only allow myself to be there for 2 weeks tops! I took a chance and started my own boutique. I invested $200 of the money that I really didn’t have to start Shop Chriss Zoe and the first week was excellent for me. I had support from all over and I was able to quit my job in 2 weeks. I kid you not. I didn’t want to work for anyone else. Everyone at the job thought I was crazy, but I was determined.

You had moved to Los Angeles once before and ended up moving back to your hometown Houston. When you went back to LA the second time, what made you tough it out regardless of the circumstances?

The second time around I had more strength in my system. I did a lot of mental preparation. I moved back only when I got a contract as a songwriter and was able to afford a few bills. When I left LA the first time and moved back to Houston, I felt that I sold myself short. I needed to really use my talents to achieve what I wanted.

How did you cope with your “Plan A” not going the way you had hoped and what advice do you have for other women going through the up’s and down’s of pursuing their passions?

We have to understand that our plans are not what is destined for us. We can only ride through our journey with positivity and a great connection with the universe. You can throw out requests into the universe and truly believe that it will be for you and this sometimes alters our purpose. I believe that we truly need to understand the power of our own thoughts. Once we understand that, it will be easier to understand the “switch” of our journey.

Overcoming failure can either break you, or make you unbreakable. What lessons have you learned about things not going your way?

Most things don’t go our way simply because we need to believe in something. Imagine getting everything you desired without working for it. We wouldn’t develop a need and a desire for anything. Keeping ourselves humble has to be the most important part of our journey. You can boast and brag and still lose it all eventually.

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People are motivated by different things – family, money, dreams of a big house or a fancy car. What keeps you going?

I want nice things and yes I’ll work hard for them but my motivation comes from conquering my goals and inspiring others to do so as well. It comes from showing those who have dreams a way to do it without selling their souls to things that don’t matter.

They say “more money, more problems” – has this been true for you? How have you handled changing circumstances and friendships as you’ve become more successful?

I’m so grateful to have friends that truly understand me and my goals and dreams. They’ve allowed me to be who I am and that was so important in my growth. All money does is allow you to live comfortably, but you still have bills, you still have hardships & you still have to live with the fact that it could all be gone tomorrow.

How do you gain focus to stay on top of your business and what’s the hardest thing about staying grounded and true to yourself?

I always say, if I don’t work, I don’t eat. That’s motivation enough to get up early and push through wanting to be lazy. It’s not so hard to stay grounded because my circle is grounded. You really have to be careful who you keep in your circle. The people around you play a huge role in your development.

How important is it to be surrounded by like-minded Boss Babes and what does your group of girlfriends provide you with?

Boss Babes are so motivational! It’s kind of like friendly competition, though. Like, “Oh! I see you had a photoshoot today! Let me try to catch up!”. There’s never any bad blood with my circle because we’re all about coming up together.

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A lot of people think that women can’t have it all. Is business or love more important to you? Do you put one before the other and if not, how do you balance both?

Love has always been important to me. I’m a psycho about romance and partnership. Being independent is also extremely important to me as well so I had to make sure that the person I chose is someone who is equally as ambitious as me. Someone who understands how to be a boss and someone who doesn’t mind that his other half is passionate about business AND family life. It’s just like the friends you keep but it may be even more important because this is someone who truly has the power to demolish your dreams and goals if you aren’t careful. Finding that balance is not easy, but once it happens, it is magical.

How do you define success and if you haven’t already accomplished it, is it in your foreseeable future?

Success to me is definitely overcoming the demons in my mind. Once I created an “I can” attitude, I created success. There is nothing I can’t do or try to do now and that makes me successful.

Now that your business has taken off, where do you see yourself in 5 years? You can name the things you want for yourself, or things you want for your business. 

In 5 years I will definitely be a mother, wife and my business will reach the next level. I want to expand my business by selling men’s and kids clothing and create my own line of makeup as well. I really want to extend my brand beyond a store as well. I’d like to eventually get back into music and write for huge artists.

What is your B Werd?

My B Werd is balance. It’s so important to balance myself in every aspect of my life. I want to do so many things in my life and if I can’t balance it all, I will surely stress myself out. Here’s to balance! Cheers.

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You can follow Chriss on Instagram @ChrissZoe and also check out her last mixtape #DiaryofXtina on Soundcloud

Monday Motivation

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“The best way to predict the future, is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

It’s been a whole seven days since the launch of The B Werd and I want to take a moment to say: wow, thank you! The support and excitement that you all have shared with me has been unimaginable and I’m even more inspired than I was before. It’s incredibly bittersweet to know that many of you have been looking forward to me bringing this to fruition since I mentioned it years ago. I’m excited about exchanging some great ideas and anything else a bomb young lady might need in order to tackle her 20’s.

I’ve never been a woman who dreaded Mondays, but I do understand why their redundancy can become lackluster. I’ll assume that if you’re reading The B Werd, you woke up early this Monday morning to get to work; whether for yourself or for a corporation. Or maybe you’re headed to campus to handle some schoolwork. I’ll also assume that you have aspirations you’ve yet to pursue and many ideas in your head that have yet to come full circle. The last thing that I want for you as a fearless, ambitious, talented woman is for every day of your life to feel like a dreadful Monday morning. And if you don’t pin down what it is that’s going to fulfill you and take a single step towards it, that could be a strong possibility.

We get stuck in routines and hold ourselves up. We don’t want to go the extra mile or wake up an hour earlier. One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself. “Know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” I consider Monday’s fresh starts. The beginning of a new week that’s full of possibilities. Seven days to shift your attitude, to make a to-do list and run through it. Seven days to plant something and watch it grow – just like this blog. If you haven’t done anything else tonight when you lay down to go to bed, dwell on these three things – 1) who are you? 2) what do you believe in? 3) where do you want to go? Write it down and then create it. Just like so many of you believe in me, people believe in you. Just like many of you were waiting on me to get going, people are waiting on you. When it’s all said and done, make sure you keep the promises you made to yourself and find a reason to fall in love with Monday’s again.

Here’s to the first Monday of the rest of your life, xx.

Double Breasted Trench | Style Guide

When I was younger my Meemaw would buy my sister and me London Fog trench coats every winter so naturally, I have a keen liking for the classic touch they add to any outfit. There’s an element of sophistication that a double breasted trench in any neutral color provides to create a simple statement.

Topshop Olive Green Trench Coat Fall Fashion

I’ve been so anxious to wear this but Houston doesn’t have much of a winter. When the temperature dropped into the 60’s, I took it as the perfect opportunity to throw this on over denim and a long sleeve ribbed crew-neck. To be honest, even if  it wouldn’t have cooled off I would’ve forced myself to thug it out in 80 degree weather. This particular oversized coat has more of a masculine cargo feel to it so I prefer it with a more casual look, as opposed to anything dainty like a dress or skirt. I can even pair it with yoga pants and running shoes if I want to fool people into thinking that I’m any type of athletic. By the way, orange + olive is forever my go-to combo.

Topshop Olive Green Trench Coat Fall FashionTopshop Olive Green Trench Coat Fall FashionTopshop Olive Green Trench Coat Fall Fashion

Trench | Denim | Booties | Shades (Found on MAJOR sale) | Lip

What 2015 Taught Me

2015 Taught Me

“Take chances, take a lot of them. Because honestly, no matter where you end up and with whom, it will always end up just the way it should be. Your mistakes make you who you are. You learn and grow with each choice you make. Everything is worth it. Say how you feel, always. Be you and be okay with it.”

As each year passes we change as individuals and learn a few things to benefit us in the upcoming year. 2015 was a piece of cake for me because of these lessons learned below –

Don’t force things that don’t fit – I struggled with this off-and-on. I wanted to hold onto people that I thought were for me, and wanted to convince myself that I could make people that I knew weren’t for me become such. I don’t like to admit but here it is… I always want to get my way and want everything to go the way I want it to, when I want it to. And while I’ve done a pretty good job of mapping out my life the way that I saw it fit, I realize there are things that won’t happen at the snap of my fingers. We often psych ourselves out so we can find ways to make sense of things that we know don’t add up. Anything meant to be is not that complicated. Be honest with yourself. Do your part and let things flow because at the end of the day, we can only control so much. Fate doesn’t require much work from us, it just requires us to allow it to happen. Keep it simple, things have an incredible way of working themselves out.

Enjoy the process – I legitimately get anxiety at the thought of turning 26 in a little over a month. Chances are you’re not where you thought you’d be by this time in your life. Guess what? You will live! Everything happens in its own perfect timing, so as long as you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing in order to get where you want to be, sit back and enjoy your daily progression. I truly believe we don’t receive things that we desire until we’re ready for them. The time you’re allowed in between is the perfect phase to prepare for what plan to obtain.

You’ve got it really, really good – I’ve made it a point to stop myself from complaining. Naturally, it’s easy to want to upgrade my BMW since I’ve finished paying on it, or wish I had a million dollars in savings but for what? Realistically, I have so much more than what I need and that in itself is a blessing. I have the freedom and the flexibility to do the things I want, create new memories and live incredibly comfortable. My mantra moving forward is “pray for what you need and work for what you want”.

If you find yourself bored, go and explore – There is no better time than now. When I say explore, I mean something outside of your daily routine. I spent about 5 months this year traveling nonstop with my friends. I visited with family I hadn’t seen in years and went down memory lane. I forced my antisocial self to get out of the house when I didn’t necessarily want to and was enlightened because of it. Do something different, it will always work out in your favor.

Just get started! – If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives. Whatever you’ve been thinking of wanting to do, learn or try, just get started! I’ve had a thousand good ideas that I never got around to executing because I like to see the end in the beginning. For example, this blog.  So, I’m taking my own advice and just getting started. Create a plan and run with it, even if you have to make edits along the way. Commitment and consistency are key to anything you wish to succeed in doing. If it were easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing great things? Trust me when I say, you can’t half ass what you want to see results in. Every day you wait to get going is a day you put yourself behind schedule.

Girl, calm down. – It’s not that serious. It’s not that deep. It will pass just as quickly as it came, so just relax. I’m known to have a very short fuse when it comes to things that make me go off. If something rubs me the wrong way, I try to sleep on it and if I’m still bothered the next day then I’ll address it. This gives me enough time to evaluate whether or not it’s even worth the energy. Chances are it’s probably not and I thank myself for not letting it take up more space than it needed to.

Whatever happened over the past year, be thankful for where it brought you. Where you are is exactly where you’re meant to be. I hope this year you manifest the life you want to live. Here’s to the 2016 of your dreams!