Comfortably Uncomfortable (Live your purpose)

We have been so accustomed to society’s mainstream formula of success. It is the age old success engine starting from going to school(including tertiary), attaining good grades, graduating and landing a high paying job, meaning you earn good money to provide for your family and what we do not realise is that the goal of this world renowned formula to obtain success is survival, i.e.. making just enough to get by.

Nowhere in this practiced “success” formula does it encourage anyone to pursue a career that we love and has great meaning to us as people of purpose. A career that sets your soul on fire and allows that passion and love to burn inside your being.

People with purpose need the opportunity to make such a profound impact on other’s lives and feel that warmth of complete fulfilment, creating a legacy that will give you satisfaction and sense of belonging. Always having something different and out of the ordinary to achieve the extra-ordinary.

I hate repetition of a task. I love new things. I try and expose myself to the uncomfortable situations or tasks… this sometimes means that you need to swallow your pride, find your passion, do what you love. You don’t need to be vocal or a great author to express your love for something. People that are like minded will notice your silence through all of the noise.

Do you ever feel like your dreams are crazy? Are you afraid of judgement, or your loved ones are not supporting what you want to do and who you want to be in the world?

Many of us struggle with finding and living our purpose. I did for years and still am, it was and is one of the most frustrating and painful times of my life.

As far back as I can remember I dreamed of helping others. I wanted to be a role model to troubled teenagers, a guidance counsellor to help them comprehend and maximise their potential. I was often the person my friends sought advice from when they needed help in their own lives. It felt natural to give advice and help others feel good, even though I was struggling to find my purpose.

Then life happened. I did what I thought I had to do to get by. I decided to start working, I would like to think that I have had a very successful career, working my way up the corporate ladder. I loved training, developing, and mentoring others in the aspects other than work and I was really good at it. But helping others was only part of my job. There were many other aspects of my career I learned to be good at, that I didn’t feel good about doing. I mastered those other things because that’s what I thought I had to do to have a successful career. For lack of a better way to put it, it felt yucky.

I was only living part of my purpose. I settled because that’s what I thought I had to do to survive.

I am hoping that someday soon when I leave the current career that I am in to focus on life coaching and mentoring full time which I know is exactly where I am meant to be.

I know I would then fully step into my purpose, what I was born to do.

You are born with a unique blueprint. You have natural talent and abilities that only YOU can offer. These are the things you’re passionate about that light you up inside. Whatever this is for you…this is your purpose.

Think about it. Do you have a career that you’re good at because you learned to be and you thought that’s what you had to do?

Have you fully stepped into your purpose?

My answer to question one is “Yes” and “No” to the second question.

It took me a long time to figure this out, and for a long time I felt alone. I didn’t know where to go for support and guidance.

I have however taken steps to slowly but surely fulfil my purpose.

I’ve shared my story to let you know that you’re meant to enjoy what you do in every area of your life.

Your career can and should reflect who you are in work and in life. That’s when you know you are where you are meant to be.

“People with Potential have Purpose”

– Monique Williams

Pace your Race

So, how many of us have looked at friends, family members and even strangers who are our age and compared our lives to theirs? According to your thought process, you felt these people were doing much better than you because of what they own e.g car, size of their house and the money that they earn based on what you perceive as true.

How often do we actually really know what is happening in these people’s lives other than what they post on social media or even tell people? Secondly, how is this any of your business?

Automatically, some of us adjust our plan in our heads to force fate to go the way we want it to go. When I look back to a few years ago, I know I am guilty of it, many times, where envy was more of my drive other than my passion.

My first mistake was to allow society to determine to me what I should have, when I should have it and how much I should be earning to trump my perceived competition. Not knowing, that I was my own competition, I created someone I did not recognize as jealousy and envy blinded me.

I lost a lot of money in a business I was very optimistic about, but did not thoroughly think through. I did not have a sound business plan and I was throwing money away by living off hunches and most of all trusting people I did not know from a bar of soap.

I have thus far learnt, as much of an impatient person as I am, that me setting my REALISTIC goals to achieve MY ambitions, vision and purpose was a more fruitful and lucrative exercise.

Not all of us achieve things in the time society predicts to us when we should. We are too brainwashed by the misconception of what success is. Success is not just making and having a lot of money, owning a house that the bank still owns or even driving a car that cost us just as much as the house we live in.

Success is being obedient, disciplined and realistic about future plans. Yes, future plans, as that is the detail your business/life plan should contain. It is also being happy and passionate about what you want to achieve, how and when. It is being dedicated and stern when you need to be, as your life/business is exactly that, your business. If there are hindrances holding you back from achieving these set goals, you need to break that chain. It is unnecessary baggage for someone who has put their heart and soul into pushing and persevering to accomplish their dreams.

There are sometimes natural hindrances that will hold us back, for good reason. Refer to my blog post Love the Voice within. Intuition is key, do not allow the unnatural or self inflicted hindrances be the cause of your own demise.

Comparison is your worst enemy. It only causes you to lose focus of what is in actual fact of utmost importance to your future. Taking your eye off your race gives opportunity for you to fall/trip over a pothole, losing your balance/breaking your leg and will now become a hindrance because you have lost time and will not achieve what YOU want to in the intended time that you planned.

Listen outside the noise, you might just enjoy the peace

– Monique Williams

If it is not your story to share, then don’t give it your voice

I do not share in the “enjoyable pass time” activity known as gossip/rumours and he said, she said stories, especially if it is not my story to share.

Gossip or rumours does not necessarily have to be something negative, it can be about someone else’s “yet to be” accomplishments too. Why share it? Why give someone else’s story your voice? Do you not feel that if that person wanted the entire world to know, they would have broadcasted it on the media platforms?

I have always maintained that “If the story is not yours to share, then don’t give it your voice.”

My daughter came home one afternoon, telling me about the misconduct of a student that was caught and this and that person said 1 2 3 4………..I immediately stopped her and said, “please do not pass on the story or talk about it to anyone” and continued by saying, “if it is not your story to share then don’t share it.”

The reason for me sticking to this motto for the last 10 years of my life was because I have witnessed the repercussions that have lead to someone getting seriously hurt, which could have been prevented had we kept to ourselves and minded our own business.

The sharing in “almost” positive news can also be detriment to someone’s success as not everyone is happy when someone is almost making it, even if the person is you. You are preventing the blessings from flowing through. If a person who shared the “almost” good news with you, entrusted you with the information and confided in you to share in their happiness and prosperity and even though you are happy for that person, does not mean the next person will feel the same. This good news of someone else’s success is NOT YOUR STORY TO SHARE……..don’t share it.

Most people pretend to be happy for you, that pretentious demeanour is harmful to our successes. Read James 3, it speaks about Controlling the tongue and how poisonous our words are that we sometimes so innocently utter or speak to cause intentional harm.

The bitterness and jealousy is draining and the gossiping can corrupt even your own potential as that jealousy and evil becomes your focus point, you tend to lose sight of yourself, what your hopes and dreams are because you are so dead set on destroying someone else’s.

The ripple effect of passing on a story, good or bad has it’s ebb and flow. Decide who you want to be and not be that of what someone else perceives you to be.

The first and only question you should ask yourself when that “misery likes company” engaging discussion comes about, is, “why do they feel so comfortable talking to me about it?” So either the person sharing the news with you trusts you or the person who is gossiping with you knows that you enjoy rumours and gossip.

Which one are you?

If it is not your story to share, then don’t give it your voice

Monique Williams

Love The Voice Within

Have you ever had that feeling deep down in your gut when you realise that “you are right.” That intuition side of you as if someone is speaking to your heart.

Most people ignore that voice and some of us always listen, specifically because it never disappointed us or proved us wrong.

That unfamiliar voice is “yours”, trying to find that deep sense of knowing where it belongs. We often second guess, become afraid of that voice we hear within our soul, doubting our capabilities and the enormous futuristic visions we consistently have.

Young girls create complexes about themselves based on what other’s have to say. Let me teach you something that I had to learn the hard way, you allow those people to have power over “you”, controlling your actions, reactions, how you dress, what you say, who you speak to, who you are friends with, they practically control your entire being.

Let me re-iterate what you already know. No one’s voice matters more than your own and the more you listen to your inner whispers, blocking out the outer screams, the more you will learn to respect and love yourself. You are differently “you” for a reason, uniquely so, to give the world a magnitude of diverse versatility, adding a splash of “you”(hue).

Your hopes, dreams and desires within your heart is exactly that, “YOURS.” For you to accomplish, what other’s see as impossible, is your journey and it is yours to achieve, no one else’s. Never neglect or reject the thoughts and goals of the dynamic “you.”

Let your voice lead you to a point of victory so you can teach and help others reach that victory too, a ripple effect, creating generations of leading victorious women.

Be yourself and stay unique. Your perfect imperfections make you beautiful, lovable and valuable. It shows your personality.

Love who “you” are, Love The Voice Within.

Love the voice within and it will lead you to a journey amongst the stars

  Monique Williams

 

 

Turning the tide

Being a mother of two sons has made me very overprotective, kind of like a father to his daughter. I know this, because I listen to how my husband starts ranting and raving when he looks at our daughter, Shay-Leigh, who is now a teenager.

I visited Ballito, Durban this past weekend to attend a wedding of very close friends of ours. The one thing I fall in love with over and over again, is the smell of the sea, waking up and going to bed to the crashing of the waves and that unforgettable feeling of the beach sand between my toes. This descriptive explanation, explains most relationships, and my immediate focus is mother-son relationships and father-daughter relationships and the profound role it plays in your life, eventually. Whatever event, acquaintance, emotion or thought I encounter, I try and take away at least one positive from each of them, like I did this weekend.

I looked at the groom and the brides family and how important family support and dynamics should be.

The day we attended the wedding, the groom made a speech and said something that stuck with me the entire weekend. The story resonated with me; it played in my head so many times. Achmat let us in on a small piece of what kind of mother raised him. He said: “I invited Crystal and Samantha for lunch one afternoon and I was about to let them dish from a pot, until my mom came and said to me that I cannot let them dish from a pot and that I should set the table etc.”  She said: “That is how you treat a lady.”

How often do mothers play such a profound role in their son’s lives? How often do sons allow their mother’s to criticize the kind of girlfriend/wife they bring home? How often do mothers get jealous of the relationship their sons have now found with their girlfriends/wives? A solid friendship, companionship and intimate relationship that they now no longer need to turn to their mothers for.

Here, Achmat’s mother “empowered” her son’s girlfriend, Crystal, at the time, to accept nothing less but to be treated with the utmost love and respect and in the same breath, she “empowered” her son, Achmat to treat a lady with the same respect she deserves, especially seeing that he was so “into” her.

We should take a lesson away from this and stop challenging the women in our son’s lives; instead we should empower them to raise our future grandchildren by “empowering” them with these tools. The behaviour of any man or woman stems from the way they were treated as a child, teenager, daughter-in-law or son-in-law. We sometimes leave this event too much to fate, yet we can choose how we want to treat and what we would like to teach people, especially our sons and daughters.

I have encountered so many unpleasant events with my husband’s mother and I chose to change my stance, attitude and headstrong ways. I allowed her into my heart, my past life and made the effort to make contact with her on a regular basis. Amongst all this, a lot of work went into our relationship, from my side specifically, but I love my husband enough to make the relationship work. Today, we are best friends. I can go to her and speak about absolutely anything and she welcomes my thoughts and me with open arms.

We should be “turning the tides” and stop conforming to the way of society and take away at least one positive thing from each relationship, emotion or thought we have ever had and build an Empowered generation. Teaching people how to love from a young age and spreading that mutual respect amongst one another, starting with our own children. Once this happens, we are opening doors for our children into other people’s homes, lives and specifically into their hearts.

This story has a profound ending:

“A mother-in-law empowered her daughter-in-law and her son to accept nothing less from one another and to teach her granddaughter that she should accept nothing less too.”

Thank you Aunty Sharon for giving me something to take away and use in raising my children. Sometimes we forget the most valuable but simplest lessons.

Empowered Women, Empower Women!

Awesome ladies I met at my birthday retreat at Mangwanani Spa.                                                                From left to right: Glen, myself, Nobubalo, Vivian, Nos and Alessandra

I have been sitting here for the last 3 weeks with blog posts that are ready to be published, however, I have been so heartbroken and at a loss for words considering what has been happening to our women and girls being kidnapped, raped and murdered.

Driving home Thursday afternoon with my husband, traumatised by the news and details of Courtney Pieters murder, not forgetting all the other girls and women who has suffered the same kind of brutality, I start lashing out hoping my verbal thoughts will ease the frustration and hurt. In reality, this made me more angry, anxious and my heart was literally in pieces.

I began telling him the details of what happened to little Courtney and next these words come out of my mouth: “Courtney told her mother before what this inhumane person made her do.” I will however refrain from what it is as I am sure everyone has been following the story. “I will never disregard what my child says, no matter what. Even if she was lying, I would rather have peace of mind than live with regret.” My conversation with him ended there as I was so hurt by everything Courtney endured.

Later that evening I fell asleep on the sofa, waking up 30 minutes later, as if I was woken with a purpose. I immediately started praying asking God what is it that He wants me to do. I logged onto Facebook, disgusted by all the stories on my news feed of missing, raped and murdered toddlers and women. I immediately place my hand covering my phone and start uttering, “In Jesus Name, In Jesus Name, In Jesus Name.” I find myself grieving and experiencing an aching pain in my heart as if I lost someone. About 10 minutes later, I start praying and I ask God to use me to do his work, in driving collective prayer and collaborative effort, with all I encounter contact with to overcome this evil.”

Before I completed my prayer, God says to me: “Monique, you first need to exonerate yourself from passing judgement on anyone.” Immediately He made me remember what I said about Courtney’s mother, and I immediately asked for forgiveness. He made me realise how wrong I was to do that. I didn’t sleep that night, nor the morning. I cried the entire night and even the morning while getting ready for work. It broke me so much; I even spoke to my daughter while she was brushing her hair.

We already live in a society who pass judgement on us, especially us women, not knowing the situation, they criticize and think less of women and accuse them of being bad mothers. We judge women on how they dress, their weight, family problems, how unmannered their children are, how many men they slept with, how many times they got divorced, their job title, how much they drink, the list is endless. We are supposed to be the nurturers, caretakers, the more emotional creatures, yet we do not support each other, nor do we empower one another because the one cannot be better off than the other, If i do not know their story and neither do they mine, so how dare we judge. Women are so afraid to expose their heart to another woman completely for that specific reason of being judged, criticized and demoralized.

When we vocalize those words “Your child is my child”, it must come from deep down in your heart, you must feel that increased heartbeat as if you are telling your child that you love them.

Muhatma Ghandi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”

Let us be that change, we are raising the women. We, Empowered Women, Empower Women.

Let’s start somewhere…… that somewhere is with ourselves.