Growing up, I had verrrrryyyyy low self-esteem. I never thought I was beautiful. I never thought I was intelligent. I longed for someone to affirm me.. to tell me I was beautiful, capable, intelligent, enough..
As I grew older and matured, I realized that I did not want to continue living my life with low self-esteem. I wanted for once in my life to feel bold, strong, confident, intelligent, beautiful, fearless, and unapologetically me. So, I decided to do something about it.
I am still on this journey of unearthing the bold, confident, strong, beautiful, fearless and unapologetic woman that I am. However, I have learned some things along the way that I would like to share with you.
On today’s episode of “Take A Shot with Emem Joy Emah”, I share with you 5 ways I learned to build my self-esteem.
Be honest with me here, have you at any point in your life heard these words: “love the hustle,” or “fall in love with the process”? Better yet, have you heard “the hustle is sexy”? Yes, you heard that right, the hustle is something to be sexually attracted to. Where do people come up with this stuff?!
OK remember, we are being totally honest here. When you heard these statements, what was your response? Did you snarl with a loud “shut up!” or did you quietly roll your eyes? If you did either of the two, or both, I am not judging you. In fact, I think we might secretly be best friends.
Hustle. I hated that word.
I heard it everywhere! Rapper Ace Hood repeatedly told me to “hustle hard”, Rick Ross proudly declared “every day he was hustling” and don’t get me started on when Beyonce defined diva as a “female version of a hustler.” It was glorified and romanticized and I fell for it. I interpreted praise of the word as something to intentionally pursue and find pleasure in.
I’m sure you are not surprised to find that as I began stepping out in faith to pursue my purpose, I discovered the word to be the opposite of glamour and glory. To my utter shock and dismay, I found hustling to be difficult, painful, grimy and messy.
I found the following to be true about the hustle:
The hustle is rolling up your sleeves, getting on your hands and knees and getting the dirt under your nails.
The hustle is painful waiting. It is endurance. It is planting your seed and waiting for days, months, and even years before you actually see any fruit.
The hustle is constantly engaging in a battle to give up, as temptation itself breathes heavily down your neck providing you with every possible logical excuse.
The hustle is filled with many moments of doubt, uncertainty, and skepticism.
The hustle is filled with moments of loneliness and isolation.
The hustle is filled with cycles of anxiety and depression.
The hustle is filled with opposition even from the ones you love the most
I could keep going but I trust you get the point…
After discovering what REAL hustling entailed, I began to hate the word and defiantly opposed every person that dared to even mention the word. Yup! I took it there. I was childish.
But as I continued in my hustle, I realized there was a reason it was and still is so glorified. I came to learn that the hustle had a purpose — that it was actually my servant and my teacher if I allowed it. I found that if I embraced the hustle and stopped complaining about it; if I stayed the course and refused to give up, I would find something remarkable — a better me.
So I did and continue to do just that. I made up my mind that there was no turning back. That come what may, I will see this through to the end because the difficulties I face in this hustle is not about me. Rather, it is about the lives I get the honor of impacting.
So, if you’d have me, I would like to share three ways the hustle is radically changing my life.
3 ways the hustle is radically changing my life:
1.) The hustle is teaching me.
The hustle is teaching me to stabilize my faith in something much greater than myself, God. It is teaching me to reject doubt and fear and believe that with God on my side, anything, absolutely anything, is possible.
The hustle is teaching me discipline. Truthfully, I was the queen of staying in bed, snuggled up in my big golden comforter, watching netflix or scrolling through my social media timelines. Comfort was my home. The hustle is teaching me that the dreams I long to be fulfilled is on the other side of my comfort.
The hustle is teaching me how to be unapologetic. I am learning that in my quest to see and live in my promised land, people will rise with their unsolicited opinions. This has been a major problem for me because I grew up learning to value the opinion of others even to my detriment. The hustle is shedding me of that. It is teaching me to walk boldly in my truth and letting those who are offended by my confidence stay mad. Their offense has more to do with them than me anyway.
2.) The hustle is helping me.
The hustle has revealed that there are certain things I must overcome in order to see my dreams fulfilled. These things are mental barriers that hinder my personal growth and development. Lack of overcoming these obstacles comes at a high cost. The cost? Seeing my dreams left unfulfilled — a cost too high for me to pay. Thus, the hustle places me in situations where I am forced to deal with these mental challenges head on. Here are just some of the challenges the hustle is helping me overcome:
The hustle is helping me overcome my fear of rejection.
The hustle is helping me overcome my fear of success.
The hustle is helping me overcome my low self-esteem.
The hustle is helping me overcome my fear of failure.
The hustle is helping me overcome my anxiety.
The hustle is helping me overcome being easily intimidated.
3.) The hustle is transforming me.
As I am on this journey, I am being transformed. The hustle is transforming me into the woman I always longed to be; A kind, loyal, caring, tender, compassionate, thoughtful, patient, strong, loving, powerful, disciplined, and unapologetic woman.
This is why I no longer hate the word but rather, I am thankful for it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t quite love it yet, but I don’t hate it anymore either.
Now it’s your turn…
How the hustle can change your life.
This is available for you too. The hustle is designed to break you and then to make you.
It is designed to show you what you are capable of. It is designed to show you your strength. But you can only experience this if you don’t quit.
Yes, things are painfully difficult, I understand that. But if you learn the art of diligence — meaning, if you make up your mind not to turn back — no matter what — you too will see yourself begin to change. As YOU begin to change, so will the world around you.