You Glow Girl! The Era of the “Girl Boss”

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The term “girl boss” has been around for quite some time but has gained more popularity recently. It simply means an empowered woman who knows what she wants and has the determination to succeed. She is busy building her empire in a world that was not made for her, but she works hard to achieve her goals.

I have seen many women start their own businesses in the last few years, but more so within the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people staying home and having extra time to be creative, there has been a surge in small businesses that are run by women.

Let me clarify though that it hasn’t only been small businesses, it is a load of creativity being unleashed from women who are usually working full-time jobs, managing families, school or other responsibilities.

Women like Kamala Harris and Oprah Winfrey are inspiring to just name a few. They strive for excellence, to inspire others and to create change. Now you don’t have to go and be the next Oprah Winfrey… But I think it’s a great time to get started on that side hustle you’ve always wanted to. Whether that may be something you want to do for yourself or do to inspire others, the time has come to get serious about it!

woman wearing a coat sitting inside a car
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It’s your time to shine!

It’s your time girl! I always wonder why I wasn’t writing for my blog sooner but then I realized I lacked confidence to get started and kept pushing it off for “later”. In hindsight I am glad I waited because my passion grew stronger over the years to pursue my blog.

In the age of social media I think the best time to start something is NOW! Social media platforms make it easier to reach more users and achieve higher engagement. You can feel confident having a community of people who love your passion just as much as you do!

Nothing is better than creating something yourself and truly loving it. This could be anything really – baking/cooking, blogging, art, physical products, photography, gardening etc. It feels empowering to have created something and to call it your own. No one else can tell you how to manage it or how much time and effort you should put in to it. That’s the special part about having your own hustle ladies, you can work on it at your own leisure and the more you love it, the harder you will work on it.

If you can turn your passion in to an income then that’s great too, but my honest advice is to never start pursuing something with only the desire to make an income. The most passionate and consistent people turn out to be the most successful! Take Oprah Winfrey (again) as an example – she grew up in poverty but worked hard to pursue her education and career in performing arts and speech communications. Today she has her own television network and has proved herself to be one of the most powerful women, influencing the lives of many – especially women and people of colour.

I’m so excited to be writing about this topic because I feel like I have recently entered this space of the girl boss. Over the years I have had the pleasure of being surrounded by women who inspired me to start my own hustle and be my own girl boss. For those women, I am so grateful, and I hope that this post inspires you to do the same for yourself.

No more holding back ladies! Feel confident and just do it, it’s time to take control and be your own girl boss!

The Fear of Trying Something New

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Are you a little too comfortable with your current life? Maybe you’ve lost motivation. It’s probably time for you to try something new, maybe something a little different that you usually wouldn’t.

It’s easy to lose motivation and feel comfortable amidst the monotony of daily life. I don’t imagine that waking up every day and doing the same thing over and over is good for anyone. A daily routine puts us in a sort of automation and causes us to lack stimulation.

Feeling extreme comfort within one’s daily life can lead to a loss of interest and happiness. Much like when people get too comfortable in relationships. The initial excitement disappears and more effort is needed to keep the spark alive… This happens in your personal life too!

It can be scary to try something new but it can empower you to experience further growth for yourself. I say this from honest and personal experience. Starting this blog has allowed me to experience greater personal happiness and sense of achievement. I feel excited for every post and no matter the number of readers, I am motivated to continue writing!

How can trying something new change my life?

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Trying new things allows us to create further purpose for ourselves which adds to the meaning of who we are. When we try something that we are usually afraid to, it allows us to step outside of our comfort zone. This will lead to learning new skills and finally breaking the daily monotony. As a result, we will feel emotionally and intellectually more stimulated.

Maintaining a habit of trying new things allows us to be open to different experiences. Pursuing a new hobby or skill will allow you to feel inspired. So don’t be scared! This journey will result in a healthier, happier, empowered and more creative version of you.

The next time someone asks you “What’s new?” be prepared to have an exciting response as hopefully by then you would’ve tried something outside of your comfort zone!

Living for Yourself

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When was the last time you made a decision by yourself and for yourself? I can answer that honestly and say that I really can’t remember the last time I was able to fully do that. It’s been extremely difficult for me to live just for myself as I am constantly haunted by the thoughts of my decisions impacting others. Some would say that is selfless and it is empathetic to consider others when living out one’s own life.

But I say by doing that I am no longer living for myself. Instead, I am cautiously making decisions to please others and am sacrificing my own being.

A common example is of the student who graduates from high-school and is then pressured by their parents to obtain further education in a degree that they have no interest in. How can this student be successful in completing a degree in something they didn’t choose?

The reality is that we cannot please everyone and if we are going to spend time trying to please someone it should be ourselves. It’s easy to get lost in the shadows of others and seek acceptance when making decisions. This is an essential psychological need as outlined by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (belongingness and love needs).

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Photo from Pinterest

Abraham Maslow, a famous American Psychologist said that humans cannot reach self-actualization (achieve one’s potential) unless all their basic needs as outlined above are met. So basically, humans naturally seek acceptance and belongingness in order to advance to feelings of prestige and accomplishment to eventually reach self-actualization.

How Can I Start Living for Myself?

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It’s about time you asked!

Who am I?

  • First, you must figure out who you are and what you want. This tends to be the most difficult step.
  • Do you want to be an artist, a musician, an athlete, an engineer? Do you want to graduate university, write a book, run a marathon?
  • Or, maybe you just want to start taking more time to yourself and not feel guilty for doing so.

Self-Care

  • Taking care of yourself is the absolute best thing you can do!
  • Fulfilling your own needs in order to satisfy your happiness can be the most difficult step to take but I assure you that it’s worth it.

Planning

  • Next, you must brainstorm the steps needed to pursue your goals without worrying how it will impact those around you.
  • Remove and detatch yourself from others.
  • Focus on your own goals that are separate from others and how you can achieve them without seeking their approval.
  • What kind of standards must you set so that you can look back and think that you lived a life with few/no regrets.

Accept Change

  • Accept the change that comes with this new journey you are embarking on.
  • Since you will now be focusing mainly on yourself focus on adapting to a new mindset.

Be You!

  • Be yourself! Choose what it is that you want to do and make sure you are doing it for yourself.
  • If you feel the need to seek acceptance or approval then you’re probably doing it wrong and need to start over.

By following this process your happiness will flourish two-fold and you will begin to live for yourself. Although this post is about living for yourself, you will see that once you do, those who love you will be happy for you and their approval (although not necessary) will come naturally, as your success becomes the success of your family and closest friends too.

Be proud of the life you are living and begin to live for yourself & not others! Happy Friday!

Comment down below any thoughts or feedback! Make sure to share this post with your friends and family.

My Anxiety is Dictating my Life

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Are you living in fear? Do you *flop on plans with your friends because you feel so anxious to go? This one is a classic… you agree to plans that were made days in advance, but hours before, your anxiety feels debilitating, you begin to catastrophize and you cancel. Then instead of trying to enjoy your time alone after cancelling, you think about how lonely and isolated you feel. You then blame yourself, end up wishing you had gone and feel worse having cancelled.

Another common scenario is right before a shift at work. You feel anxious to go to work, anxious to see your managers and coworkers. You begin to ruminate on scenarios that have happened at work in the past. So hours before your shift you decide that it’s best to call in “sick”. Then instead of having a productive day after calling in “sick”, you reflect on your unprofessionalism and end up feeling worse than how you would have felt if you had gone in.

These anxious thoughts are dictating our behaviours to the point where we can’t do simple tasks that we might need to do. Doing groceries gets put off because you’re scared that people are watching what you buy, going to school is daunting because you’re afraid of what others think of you or you’re stuck thinking of a situation that happened in school years ago, you fear taking exams because you believe you will fail. The list of situational examples can go on and on.

Self blame, ruminating and catastrophizing have been shown to be positively associated with symptoms of anxiety.

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3 Reasons My Anxiety is Dictating My Behaviours:

1. Self Blame:

Self blame is when we put the blame of things we have experienced on ourselves. Suddenly we are personally responsible for everything that happens around us.

2. Ruminating:

Ruminating is when we are continuously consumed with the same thought over and over. Ruminating is usually associated with reliving negative and unpleasant moments through a series of thoughts. This can cause people to relive emotions and feelings previously experienced. Additionally, this can cause deep feelings of guilt, shame, regret and can lead to more severe consequences such as chronic depression or anxiety.

3. Catastrophizing:

Catastrophizing is when we believe that all situations have negative outcomes. This results in emphasizing the terror in the outcomes we believe to be possible. We believe that the worst will happen to us no matter what the situation.

How To manage Anxiety IN 3 Steps:

1. Awareness/Acceptance:

Becoming aware of our negative thoughts is really the first step towards finding peace. Being able to pause and realize “my thoughts are really spiralling out of control right now” is a skill that seems so easy but is actually very tough. By accepting negative thoughts that are related to negative events we can reassign ourselves to what has happened instead.

Instead of ruminating about what has happened and catastrophizing about what will happen, we can accept situations that we have dealt with and begin to move on to the next step.

2. Refocus on Planning

A refocus on planning can allow us to take a step back and refocus on the steps we need to take to plan and take action of how we are going to deal with negative events. How am I going to direct my thoughts towards a better direction? How am I going to go grocery shopping comfortably and not catastrophize about what is going to happen? How will I take an exam and not catastrophize over what my results will be?

An example of this can be that you will create a grocery list before you go out so that you can map out your path and know exactly how long you will be there for. This allows you to be actively working towards relieving catastrophic thoughts about spending too much time in the grocery store.

Additionally, studying for an exam weeks in advance, feeling prepared and trying your best should diminish catastrophic thoughts, as you are taking action towards obtaining a positive outcome and your thoughts are refocused on studying.

3. Positive Reappraisal

Practicing positive reappraisal allows us to create positive associations and meanings with negative events. This can allow for self-growth and realizations in the darkest of thoughts.

For example, when dealing with a break-up (romantically or with a friend), concentrate on how you can refocus your negative thoughts towards growth that was experienced as a result of that relationship or that you will experience as a result of accepting the end of the relationship. Through acceptance, planning and positive reappraisal, negative or difficult events can always result in positive associations and moments of growth.

So don’t flop on plans with friends because you’re catastrophizing about what might happen if you do go, or because you’re ruminating on a previous negative experience. Don’t let your anxiety dictate your life!

*Flop = A slang word for when someone bails on plans at the last minute.

Have you ever found yourself to be catastrophizing, ruminating or placing blame on yourself? Comment down below if you can relate to these symptoms of anxiety! Also please comment some additional ways that helps you to improve your mental state in times of anxiety.

APA Citation:

Legerstee, J. S., Garnefski, N., Verhulst, F. C., & Utens, E. M. W. J. (2011). Cognitive coping in anxiety-disordered adolescents. Journal of Adolescence34(2), 319–326. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.04.008

“We Become What we Commit to” – Sam Demma

Image of Sam Demma photographed by Francesca Demma

Sam Demma’s life turned upside down after he endured 3 knee injuries and tore the cartilage in his right hip. He had a full-ride scholarship to a top university in the States to pursue his dream to play soccer. However, it had to be given up as playing the sport became strenuous. He quickly realized that he had lost his path and had been attaching his identity to the sport. “Who am I”, thought Sam, as he had just spent his complete high school career believing he would pursue soccer professionally.

“I felt like I was doing the wrong thing at the wrong time”

Sam Demma

“I felt like I was doing the wrong thing at the wrong time”, said Sam after he spent a month at the University of Toronto to pursue an undergraduate degree. He felt he was following social norms and doing what the rest of the students do upon graduating from high school — A psychological phenomenon called “social proof”.

Sam decided to leave university to pursue his passion for public speaking and is now a board director for the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

Image of Sam Demma photographed at DECA Ontario by Brandon Ferg

“The grass is greener where you water it”

Sam Demma

“The grass is greener where you water it”, said Sam, after realizing that the more time he spent public speaking would flourish and create greater opportunities. Sam speaks effortlessly with great confidence and his hard work and small consistent actions have paid off towards his career. Sam’s speeches captivate audiences of all ages and has inspired individuals towards taking steps that will leave an everlasting impact on their lives.

Check out the links down below to listen to my interview with Sam Demma where we discuss habit building, goal setting, perseverance and learn more about his journey to entrepreneurship!

Check out Sam’s website and his 2021 graduation speech linked below!

Website: https://samdemma.com/

Wholesome Habits

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In the past it’s been very difficult for me to form new habits. I have been through many seasons of habit formation which have then been followed by a slow and very unfortunate decline. Very often, I blame this on the fact that “something came up” and I pay less attention to pursuing what I had initially set out to do. Admittedly, sometimes nothing comes up and I just become lazy.

I was recommended in 2020 (by a wonderful person) to read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. I had been going through a tough time personally and I wanted to form new habits to achieve greater awareness of myself within a present moment (mindfulness).

This book really evolved my habit formation process. Clear’s mantra is to accomplish small habits daily. By doing this, your new positive habits will become second nature and lead to personal success. This book was a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a positive change.

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So I started doing exactly that. Every day I made my bed, I wrote in a journal, I said a prayer, and created a daily gratitude list. After doing these tasks for 2 weeks it began to feel like second nature. I started looking forward to it and it no longer felt like a chore.

A very important piece of this process that I learned from the book was to create a list of my current habits and then rank them as positive, negative or neutral. After realizing that a lot of my habits were negative (such as waking up and immediately checking social media), I created a list of habits that were closer to the ideal version of who I want to be.

I want to invite you to try and build 2 wholesome habits that you can achieve daily. This may be a challenge but it can be as small as making your bed each morning or washing your face each night. It might help to also create a list and rank your own habits in order to reduce the negative and make room for more positive ones.

Leave a comment down below mentioning 2 positive habits that you will try to endeavour!

WELCOME!

Hello,

Welcome to The Daily Dash! I’m starting this blog for various reasons. The most important reason being that I’ve been wanting to for many years and have decided that there is no better time to start something than NOW!

I am trying to be more of that “If you want to do something then just do it” type of person. I am 21 years old and have just finished my undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto. I have a deep passion for psychology and am excited to write about and discuss various topics related to wellness in this blog! I will use this space to write about my journey to bettering my mental health and hope to inspire you along the way!

I will be posting twice weekly so stay tuned for more and make sure to join in on the conversation!

~ Riya