Posts Tagged ‘self esteem’

Nomalanga: Why he doesn’t respect you

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

A lot of times when we hear people describing the differences between men and women, we hear “men need to be respected” and “women need security”. While I can’t argue with the descriptions, I think what tends to happen is that we talk about men needing to be respected so much that we forget that women need t be respected as well and they also need to respect themselves.

In the area of respect, women fall into three basic categories:
1. She is respected and commands respect
A woman who is respected is a woman who has a healthy level of confidence and self respect. This woman earns respect and therefore commands it. She is a woman of substance and she demonstrates this through her words and deeds.

2. She is not respected but demands respect
This is a woman who secretly loathes herself and does not respect herself. This woman hopes that no one will figure out her dirty little secret and she usually complains about not being respected and constantly has to demand respect.

3. She is not respected and she does not expect to be
This woman is a woman who has such a low level of confidence and self esteem that she has no expectation that anyone will respect her. She allows people to talk to her and treat her badly and sadly, she believes that she deserves that bad treatment.

Of course there are instances when a self respecting and respectable woman will be disrespected by a person who has no regard for the appropriate way to treat another human being. Also, as women, we deal with issues such as sexism, where no matter how respectable you are, some man is going to think that his male “parts” somehow qualify him for some superior status in life. Another common issue is racism, where some non-black or non-minority person will not respect a woman of color because he or she believes that the color or tone of their skin entitles them to some “special” status that no black or minority person can ever attain.

With all the exceptions aside, any woman who complains that her man or anyone does not respect her has to do a self analysis and see which of the three types of women she is. In the two cases of the women who do not respect themselves, usually because of their low level of self esteem and lack of confidence, there is a simple answer: Invest in your personal development and become a woman of substance.

In the next post of the Personal Development Series, I will share tips on how to become a woman of substance.

Nomalanga: What society thinks about Overweight Women

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

I just read an article by a, self proclaimed, overweight feminist who is considering losing weight to expand her dating options. Of course, this is a rather delicate topic and she even admits that, being a feminist, it may even seem hypocritical, on her part. After all, isn’t one of the basic “rules” of feminism that women should not be judged on the basis of their physical appearance? I don’t know; I’m not a feminist…

Reading her article got me thinking…Not too long ago, I posted a somewhat humorous Facebook post talking about how I noticed that after shedding over 40 pounds from my heaviest weight, I started to notice more “heads turning”. What was funny was that I actually thought that the reason I had stopped “turning heads”, was that I was no longer a twenty something college girl. I thought that now that I was a wife, mother and most importantly, a married woman, well into my thirties, I had just moved into a different stage in my life where I no longer “turned heads”. I honestly thought that only “young girls” drew attention when they walked by and since I had stopped considering myself as such, it seemed normal that nobody was taking a second look.

Imagine my surprise when I started to notice that after losing a significant amount of weight, I was “turning heads” again, much like in my younger years. So, it turns out that our society is more forgiving of women aging than it is of them gaining weight- at least that is what my experience has taught me.

So I decided to put on my survey hat and began asking random men, in my circle of friends and relatives, what their preference was-cute and chubby or cute and “older”? Yes, you guessed it; they ALL said they preferred cute and “older”.

The one consolation that I find in this issue is that I feel I can control my weight. Aging, even though it will probably be graceful, is not something that I or anyone can control. Being “old” is not a choice but being “chubby” is. I know some might argue that being overweight is a “condition” and while I’m sympathetic to that, I still maintain that for the majority of us, it is not a “condition”, but instead a matter of discipline and self control.

So there you have it, ladies, before you write yourself off as “unattractive”, you may want to consider that it might just be that you need to say good-bye to some of those extra pounds that you have gained over the years. Speaking as someone who has shed a significant amount of weight, I can say that not only will you look better, more importantly, you’ll FEEL better!

Mindful Mornings: Self Esteem

Monday, February 27th, 2012

If the price of being “liked” or, so called, loved is compromising your values and sense of self-respect, then it is better NOT to be liked.

Your opinion of yourself is way more important than the opinion(s) that other people have of you. If you understand this, you’re SOLID.

Mindful Mornings: Other People’s Opinions

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I’ve learned that as you become more and more of a “public figure”, you must be skilled in focusing and also eliminating distractions. You must be able to define yourself for yourself. If you do not do these two things, you’ll be pulled in so many directions that you won’t even know who you are anymore.

People will always have opinions and most of them are irrelevant but the most important opinion is the one that you have of yourself. What is your truth? And are you living it?

Why you should love a “hoe”, b*tch or “chicken head”

Monday, February 6th, 2012

When a woman has been raised in a home and, maybe, also a society that has minimized her, marginalized her and also disrespected and disregarded her, she may not realize that it has been repeatedly suggested to her that she is somehow inferior and the expectations that have been set for her life fall far below the potential that exists in her. She may not realize that she has bought into a lie.

You may know these women. They buy into the lie for different reasons. Among those reasons are religious beliefs that have been taken out of context or completely distorted. Some buy into the lie because their limited environment has only shown them one “reality” and in that reality all they see is evidence of their lack of power and their lack of significance. Some others have been brutally beaten (verbally, mentally and/or physically) and they have endured that treatment for so long that it is next to impossible to imagine that they could be valued, loved and respected. For some, what they have endured is more subtle and less recognizable; they are just overlooked or talked over, talked down to or ignored.

What these women do not see is the truth of WHO they are and who they were Created to be. You might ask: Who are they?

They are children of GOD.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

The next time you see one of these women, don’t laugh at her ignorance or “backward thinking” or call her a “hoe”, b*tch or chicken-head. Instead, look beyond WHAT she has become and instead see her for WHO she is. If you see her for WHO she is, how can you not love her?

Mindful Mornings: What are YOU modeling?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

People follow your lead. If you respect yourself, they respect you. If you place a high value on your time, they will value it too. It works in reverse as well.

As with anything, there are exceptions but before you complain about how you were treated, always ask yourself one question: What was I modeling?

What Men Need To Know About the Independent Woman

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

What We Need To Know About the Independent Woman
By Guest Blogger: Walter Cobb

Man fears what he doesn’t understand. Women and children do too, but perhaps more so, men. We now live in an ever evolving time. Women, to the dismay of some, have moved out of their traditional roles in the home and into various roles outside of it. This change in roles has brought about a change in relationships. Women are now asserting their power and dominance in the fields of entertainment, politics, sports and even love and relationships. This scares many of men and have lead some men to cry foul. We like to be in control in the relationship. Well at least think we are.LOL. Women are singing of their independence and sporting the “I don’t need a man to do for me attitude.” I do believe those who run around screaming and singing the mantras don’t fully have a grasp on what it truly means to be independent. But that’s not the purpose of the writing. I am writing to school the men.

Fellas, just because a woman may be independent by her actions does not mean she wants to operate as such. It is just that she is at a point in her life where she is truly capable of providing the trinkets and bobbles for themselves. This does not mean that they do not appreciate a showing of your affection for them with a trinket or two. Regardless of how independent she may say or appear to be a woman feels that she should not have to step our of the car on a cold day to pump gas when you are with her. I know, I know you are saying if she is so independent this would not and should not be an issue. But do not let her independence block the chivalry that they so desire to be shown. Chivalry makes them feel special for even a brief moment. It reminds her that she is the lady and ultimately, that YOU are the man.

Many women now enter relationships owning their own house. This is a great thing. Though she is capable of buying her own house she still WANTS you to be able to come over and deal with that scary mouse she saw scurrying across her kitchen floor. If you are handy with the tools, she still appreciates you getting under that sink to fix that leak. And if you aren’t she still likes for you to get under there and look like you know what you are doing.

A woman who is truly independent and secure in her independence will never stand in the way of a man who understands his role as the man. She DOES NOT WANT to take the lead in deciding on what to do on the date. Even though her bank account says she is able to wine and dine you, she still desires that from a man. An independent woman doesn’t want to have to remind you that she is capable of doing for herself and possibly doing for you if need be. She doesn’t want to HAVE TO TELL YOU that she still needs looking out and protection. She is just independent enough to move on if her desires aren’t met.

So men, I warn you to steer clear of the women who walk around screaming at the top of their lungs that they are independent and can do for themselves. For they are trying to convince themselves of this. But a woman who is secure in her independence has a desire to be with a man. They no longer have the NEED to be with or defined by one.

HOW I WON AT MRS WORLD 2011

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

1. I became a pioneer for my country as the first ever Mrs Botswana
In the history of Botswana, no married woman has ever taken the courageous and bold step to enter the Mrs World pageant and represent the beautiful married women of Botswana. I am proud and honored to have opened this door and it is my hope and desire that we will continue in this new and unique way of recognizing the hard work, accomplishments and beauty of the married women of Botswana.

2. I achieved a lifelong dream of representing my country at an international pageant
In 1997, I entered the Miss Botswana (World) pageant and was honored to attain second place and be crowned the first princess of Miss Botswana 1997. Mpule Kwelagobe won that year and a couple of years later she was the first ever contestant from Botswana to enter the Miss Universe pageant. Mpule went on to make history as the first ever Black African woman to win the Miss Universe pageant. Mpule’s win brought all us Batswana a great deal of joy and pride and I believe she represented us exceptionally but my desire to compete at an international pageant never left. By competing in the Mrs World 2011 pageant, I finally fulfilled one of my big dreams.

3. I raised awareness and brought attention to issues that I’m passionate about.
Those that know me know that I recently designed, piloted and taught a college level course designed for young black women and other women of color. I believe that personal development is the bridge that takes us from where we are to where we were born to be and my passion and purpose is to instill this one principle in as many young women as I can. Mentorship and good roles models affect us in such positive ways and the more women of substance that stand up and lead by example, the more of a positive impact we can make in our families, our communities and society as a whole.

4. I reclaimed my health, beauty and vigor.
When I decided to enter the Mrs World pageant, I decided to be the best that I can be. I walked in looking my best and feeling my best. It was about being the most beautiful, healthy, fit and positive ME that I could be and going after this goal injected some passion back into my life and I channeled it into doing better with my eating and exercise habits!

5. I made lifetime friends.
I was loved, affirmed, validated, encouraged and understood and it did not just stop there, I met women who I instantly loved and appreciated and I poured into them in the same way that they poured into me. I laughed and cried and connected with such phenomenal women and my life is forever changed by that beautiful experience.

6. I brought “Noma” to the Mrs World pageant
One of the things that I heard most consistently before and during the pageant was “just be yourself” and that is exactly what I did. Some people loved it, some liked it and some…not so much :-). The victory here is that I accept myself as I am and that opens the door for others to do the same and that is one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned in my adult life.

7. I took my very first “solo” and much needed vacation ever since I got married and subsequently had children.
Since I got married and had children, I have never been away from all of them and my job all at the same time. What this experience has done for me is that it gave me time and space to reflect on my life and my life choices. It gave me a new sense of appreciation for my wonderful husband and my beautiful children.

8. I carried myself with grace and dignity.
The low moment in this pageant experience was the announcement of the top 14 the judges selected and sadly, there was not a single African woman or black woman or a woman of African heritage or descent amongst them-not a single one. At a point during the final night, there was talk of the all black women boycotting the pageant and just walking off. I was instrumental in negotiating with those that felt strongly enough to do it and asked them to maintain their grace and dignity even in the moment of such blatant disrespect and disregard. We all walked back on the stage and supported the winner, Mrs America; a beautiful woman with such a big heart that I felt the crown was in its rightful place.

9. I realized just how much my friends and family love, admire and support me.
During the week leading up to the pageant, I got so many messages of love, encouragement and motivation from friends and family from all around the world and I am forever grateful for that. I am so humbled by the amount of faith that “my people” had in [God] and what he could do through me.

10. I failed to get the crown but every failure takes me one step closer to my ultimate success.
At the end of the day, I did not walk home with the crown and that is okay because as I said, every failure (even though this was ultimately not a failure) leads to my ultimate success and my success is that of my husband, Ezra Moses, my children, my parents and family, my community and my country, the diamond of Africa-Botswana.

Ke a leboga bagaetsho. (translation: Thank you my brethren /my countrymen)

Mindful Mornings: Happy and Grateful

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

If you find yourself feeling down, sad and sorry for yourself, you have probably shifted your focus from what you DO have to what you DON’T have. Sometimes “happiness” is just about shifting your focus. Just be mindful of what you’re focused on and you’ll be amazed at how often you have to SHIFT. If you get in the habit of shifting your focus from what you DON’T have to what you DO have, you’ll be amazed at the results! This is how you begin to live a life of GRATITUDE.

Grateful people are “happy” people and ungrateful people are unhappy people. It really is that simple. What do you choose-gratitude and happiness or complaining and unhappiness?

I choose Gratitude.

A lesson in Courage from a five year old.

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

This morning I went to pick my five year old daughter up from her swimming lesson and as soon as I got to the pool, I noticed she had been crying. Her swimming instructor assured me that she was okay and let me know that she had gotten some water in her nose while she was swimming.

As we walked towards the changing rooms, I asked my daughter what had happened and she basically told me the same thing; that she had gotten water in her nose. I then asked her if she wanted to continue with the swimming lessons and she nodded her head, meaning “yes”.

As we got into the car and drove home, I started thinking that my daughter had just showed a great act of courage. I imagine that at the time when water was rushing into her mouth and nose, she was feeling a lot of fear and panic and yet, not long after that traumatic experience, she was still willing to continue with her swimming lessons.

How many of us, as adults, experience something unpleasant, (not even traumatic), and from then on decide never to try it again? The answer, of course, is that most of us, at some point in our lives, have quit because something was just too hard, uncomfortable or too scary.

When you set out to do something to improve your life, don’t let a little (or a lot of) fear get in your way. Sometimes it’s not fear; it could be discomfort or it could be that whatever it is feels too hard or it could be that some people are laughing at it or discouraging it. Take a lesson from my five year old daughter and just keep at it!

One day, you’ll look at your life and it will be so much better! Positive change takes time, but it begins with overcoming one little (or big) thing at a time.

Peace