Motivation Monday: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Happy Labor Day! Since today is a holiday, I know a lot of people are off from work/school but tomorrow is the start of a brand new work week and the start of school for a lot of individuals so I wanted to start the week off with an inspirational post. I want everyone to aspire to be the best versions of themselves and one way to do that is to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone to attain the things that you desire. Many times, we become so complacent in life and are used to our everyday routine that we are afraid to step out on faith and believe that we deserve so much more than we are currently receiving that we settle and mistake being content for being happy. It can take a life changing experience for us to see things the way they really are and at that point, it is clear that a major change needs to be made in order to see different results.

My bff Felesha recently lost her job of 5+ years unexpectedly. Even though it wasn’t her dream job, she made decent money and was content in the role and place she was in at this point in her life. It took being fired to reignite the fire and passion inside of her to push her to challenge herself. She was so used to settling for what she thought was okay when in reality, she knew that the knowledge, skills and experience she has meant that she could ask for more not only from a career standpoint but in all aspects of her life. She was upset for a day or two but brushed herself off and went on the job hunt. Within a week after losing her job, she interviewed for another position and was offered the job. This position paid almost double compared to what she was earning before which will help her in accomplishing other goals she has. Her being fired was definitely a blessing in disguise and it took Felesha being outside of her comfort zone of having job security and unsure of what her future held for her to go after what she really wanted. Even though being fired is one way for you to end up outside of your comfort zone, that extra push may not come unexpectedly from things outside of your control. Sometimes, not being satisfied with your current circumstances and life choices is enough to inspire big changes that will shake things up!

I was stuck in a position where I was unhappy with my life and I took steps to get to the point where I am now. Settling for “just okay” was the worst thing I could do and being okay in fact was miserable. I wasn’t able to be the best version of myself because I wasn’t living to my fullest potential. I had to leave a toxic job, a toxic situationship and go to therapy in order to find clarity and purpose. I am well on my way to achieving everything that I dreamed of but I have experienced many uncomfortable moments along the way including loneliness, uncertainty and the absence of funds (being broke is a mentality so I don’t want to use that phrase anymore lol) but I know that being uncomfortable means that I am on the right path because nothing worth having comes easy!

I want all of you to step outside your comfort zone (if you haven’t already) to find happiness/love/success or whatever it is that you desire! I have discussed some of the things I’ve done to get on track to achieving my goals (check out my previous posts on going to therapy and being my own biggest fan for more details) but I plan on talking about more of those steps in future posts so be on the lookout for that. My next post on Wednesday will be based on a question that I posted on my social media so check me out on IG (@amoreluxe_) or on Facebook (Angela Cherai) if you want to share your thoughts on the particular topic;) I hope you have a great week and always make sure to love and live luxuriously!

Motivation Monday: Learning How To Be My Biggest Fan

Good Morning! I was inspired to write this post after the amazing night I had last night at a taping of the 2019 Black Girls Rock Awards. I was surrounded by beautiful black women of all shapes and sizes and was in the presence of Hollywood Royalty such as Regina King, Brandy, Monica, Issa Rae and THE Angela Bassett! I am so inspired by them and their stories and I started thinking to myself, as much as I am a fan of all of these women, in order for me to get to where I want to be in life, I have to see power and strength within myself before anyone else can believe in me and my dreams. In other words, I have to learn how to be my biggest fan.

Now anyone who knows me knows I know how to be a fan of someone who’s talent and drive I admire. In middle school and high school it was Usher (people still ask me if I am obsessed with Usher to this day!) and in my 20’s, it was Trey Songz (had the nickname Visa cause I was everywhere a Trey fan wanted to be lol) While I am still fans of both of these artists, I realized that I have to go as hard promoting myself and my talents just like I did for them early on in their careers. That means I gotta post consistently on social media about what I’m up to, don’t hesitate to talk about myself and what I do at networking events and in casual conversation and most importantly, carry myself like the shining star that I’m destined to be! Dimming my light in order for someone else to shine is no longer an option for me because I know what it feels like to not live up to your potential and to have people ask, “Where have you been?” or “What happened to the site/hosting/discussions?”  Even though people may not have said anything to me about what I was doing while I was in the midst of it all, they were still watching, observing and talking about the moves I was making to others (in a positive way for the most part!) so my hard work did not go unnoticed. The thing is that in order for me to be consistent and persistent in achieving my goals, I can’t do it for onlookers. As supportive as my family and friends are, I can’t do it for them either. I have to push myself to be the best version of myself in order to bring my vision to life and it starts with knowing who I am and what it is I truly want out of life and not letting anyone or anything get in the way of that.

Angela Bassett had many gems during her acceptance speech last night but one of the things she said that stuck with me was “You aren’t just enough, you are more than enough!” and I realized that being my biggest fan means knowing my worth and not accepting anything less than what I know I deserve. I can’t settle in any aspect of my life from my personal relationships to professional goals and everything in between. I have to let every success be a stepping stone to the next goal and see every misstep as a lesson and a blessing instead of failure. I have to stop allowing my perception of others dictate my reality because I do not always know what it took others to get to where they are in their lives because I am only seeing the final result and not the work, struggle and sacrifice it took to get there. I know that this is a process and that change does not come overnight but in time, I know I will get to a point where I will be 100% confident in everything that I do and anyone who doesn’t believe in me and my vision will be seen as unnecessary background noise that won’t be included in the soundtrack that is my life! I think that’s how Oprah lives her life and Oprah is life goals personified!

Since I plan on staying true to my word about SPAIF, (self- promo at its finest for those of you who don’t know!) make sure you check out the latest episode of the Weekend Friendz podcast that I host with my homie DJ by clicking the link to listen on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify. Let us know what you think in the comments! New post on Wednesday so stay tuned for that as well! Until then always make sure to love and live luxuriously!

Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Your Mind

Good Morning! As I have stated previously, I want this site to be a safe space where we all can share our thoughts and feelings without judgment. I never want anyone to feel like they can’t be their authentic self because I know what it feels like to hold back and not feel as if I was being true to who I was and what I believed in. Having confidence wasn’t enough to lead a life with conviction and purpose. In order to be successful and live my life on my terms, I had to speak my mind and follow through with my actions.

One situation that comes to mind when I regretted not speaking up for myself happened when I was 20. I was very shy and passive and while I was on a trip to LA with a group of girls, we went to an expensive restaurant which had a huge bill that we all had to split. I put the amount that I was supposed to put in but was accused of not paying the right amount but instead of speaking up for myself, I caved in and added an additional amount to my bill. I was mad at myself after because I let peer pressure and the fear of confrontation silence my voice which a person should never do. I was young and naive in many ways but that incident taught me a lesson. If I don’t speak up for what I feel is right, I will be the one who suffers. That was a turning point for me and even though it took time for me to feel comfortable to speak my mind, I never put myself  in a situation where I allowed others to speak for me ever again.

I still try to avoid confrontation but if there is an issue that is weighing heavily on my mind/heart, I don’t hesitate to speak up regardless of what the consequences will be. There is a quote that goes “It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to” and any inaction or deterrence on your part speaks volumes about your character. Now I am not saying to start arguments or be difficult or disagreeable just because but if you really feel strongly about something and want to make it right, do not hesitate to voice your opinion on what you feel is right. This is something I have to remind myself of periodically when I feel wronged and I always try my best to be rational and logical about a situation and not base my actions solely off of emotion. Gotta find that balance!

Has there been a point in your life where you were afraid to speak up for what you wanted or believed in? If so, what did you do to change things around? Let me know in the comments! I’ll be back on Monday but until then, have a great weekend and be sure to love and live luxuriously!

Lessons I Wish I Knew Before I Entered My 30’s

Good Morning! 2019 has been a year of self-reflection and making moves based on what makes me happy instead of what I feel is expected of me. I realized that in my 30’s, there is no more room for playing around. I have to get on my grind with no more excuses or apologies. Even though I have no regrets on any past decisions I’ve made, there are things I wish I knew before I entered my 30’s. Read on to see what my Top 3 life lessons are!

Your Journey Is Yours And No One Else’s
Ever since I could remember, I wanted to be part of the entertainment industry. I always assumed I was going to be behind the scenes doing A&R because I was shyer in my younger years and just wanted to work on artist development and help the artist reach his/her full potential. Around 2009, I started blogging on the Blogger platform and sharing my personal experiences as well as my poetry and someone suggested that I turn my blog into a website that goes into further detail about love, sex and relationships. I liked the idea and launched my website (then known as The Angielala Experience) in 2010. It was through the site that I realized that I enjoyed being in front of the camera especially when I was part of discussion panels and hosting events at my college. I  found my true calling and decided that I was going to become the Internet Oprah. I felt that I was on my way when I landed interviews with celebs such as Trey Songz, Chilli and Naturi Naughton as well as working for brands like Kodak while in college but by the time I hit 30, it felt like my career was at a standstill. I wasn’t fulfilled in my personal life or my professional life and it seemed like everyone had it together but me. By the time 2017 came around, I was at my lowest point.  I lost my father 3 years prior and my grandmother in October 2017 so that along with the fact that I felt stuck at my job made me feel like there was nothing to look forward to. After much thought along with the encouragement from my friends, I decided to go to therapy which was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Therapy made me realize that I don’t have to have it together right away and that as long as I was making the steps necessary to bring about change. Most importantly, I’ve learned that comparison is the thief of joy and that by focusing on what others are doing, I lose sight of my overall goals and treat the journey as a race when its a marathon. I am not where I want to be but I am much further than where I was when I was at my lowest point and that’s because I have tunnel vision and am only in competition with myself.

The One You Are Meant To Be With Will Come Along When The Time Is Right

I was never the type of woman who liked to date. When I like someone, I tend to get attached and want to settle down and be in a relationship. I am picky so if I fall for someone, its because I see something in them that makes them stand out. Unfortunately, the bad has outweighed the good especially in my last situationship and instead of letting go and moving on, I stuck around and tried to make things work because I didn’t want to be alone. As I stated previously, I don’t have any regrets but staying in that situation held me back from being the best version of myself. How can I promote confidence when I am in a situation that has me doubting myself and what I deserve? When you know better you do better so instead of trying to convince him or change his mind about us, I finally let him go and decided to use that energy to get my life together. It feels so refreshing to not worry about someone who in all honestly didn’t put that much energy and time into worrying about me. I know now that I can only focus on what I can control and that’s the decisions I make and how I see myself and once I realized that, things started to fall into place. I know that the right man will come along when I am ready to see him and receive him but until then, my physical, mental and emotional well-being are my priority and though I am single, I am not lonely because I am using this time to fall in love with myself!

 

You Have To To Make Self-Care A Priority

When I was in my 20’s I was thin and could eat just about anything without worrying about gaining weight but as soon as 30 hit, I noticed the pounds coming on and by the time I was 32 in 2018 , I had gained a good 15-20 pounds and while I love the extra weight in my boobs and thighs, the stomach pudge has got to go! I haven’t been as consistent with diet and exercise as I should have but I will get it together! Most importantly, I had to take time out to pamper myself like giving myself a mani/pedi and meditating to ease any anxiety and stress. Going to the spa helps as well and I’ve been a few times in the past few years and plan on making more trips. I also want to do yoga but I’m not trying to spend money so I’m considering doing it from home for now. Although these activities are nothing major, they make me feel better about myself and when I feel good about myself, I can conquer the world!

 

What are some life lessons you wished you knew before entering your 30’s? Let me know in the comments section below. New post coming on Friday so stay tuned for that! Until then, always remember to love and live luxuriously!