Posts in Motivation

4 things I wish I’d known before moving out


moving out boxes

moving out and packing

moving out

It’s been a good few months since moving into my apartment. Can we just celebrate what a big step that is? Thank you. Being responsible for your own finances, food, and always knowing where the toilet roll is, is quite liberating.

I’d moved a lot as a child so adapting to new environments is natural to me. What scared me about moving away from home was worrying whether I might starve, not knowing enough about household maintenance, and managing the bills that every colleague I’ve ever known has complained about.

I’m sitting at a different spot in my lounge on any given day because no one claims it. I don’t have a TV – because who still watches TV when you can live stream, oh man, this is a fond feeling. Four things that I’ve picked up, and that are quite important to note if you’re a young woman moving out for the first time is:

Grocery shopping is a mission

If you think cooking supper will be a mission, wait until you have to shop for all the ingredients first. It’s nothing like the times you and friends went on self-catering weekends-away. Deciding what to eat, buy and prepare for yourself can be tiring. I usually cook for two nights to avoid slipping into bad eating habits; otherwise, I’d be eating a pack of lightly salted Jumpin Jack popcorn for supper as a staple.

Maintenance when you’ve never changed a lightbulb

The last thing you want on a late, cold winter’s evening is to be casually strolling out of the bath and into your room to switch on lights that have fused – that was my cue to get straight into bed but what a schlep to find yourself without a light on a winter’s night. Stock up on light bulbs! And in Cape Town, you’ll also need candles. Thanks a lot, Eskom. You can’t stay ahead of everything but get advice from the people you know have been successfully managing a household for years if you have a concern. Alternatively, If you enjoy DIY experiments, search for money-saving household hacks on Youtube.

The Tupperware craze finally makes sense

Only once you begin shopping for your own Tupperware will you understand how essential these containers are to living. Good Tupperware is really expensive. It’s a bit ridiculous. It’s something you never want to spend your money on but actually, need. I make a mental note of everyone who uses my Tupperware now to ensure that whoever returns it.

It’s harder to keep in touch after moving

Living with family or friends offers the obvious perk or being able to see and talk to each other every day. Even though my relationship with my family is pretty great since moving out, it’s a lot harder with our schedules, to keep in touch.

Would you like to see photos of my apartment or share something you learned about moving away from home? Leave me a comment in the space below or connect with me on Instagram to view photos that may follow.

5 steps I took to achieve body confidence

I recently received a message from a woman who wanted tips on how to lose weight and feel whole again.

First, I thought, how sweet that she would want to take advice from me. I’m not a personal trainer or a nutritionist – I simply enjoy an active lifestyle and eat well. If anything, I’m an enthusiast.

What I do know, though, is that if an opportunity to take a dip in the ocean on a sunny day arises, the last thing on my mind would be, “what does my body look like?” I own every dark spot, bump, line, bruise, and kink like jewelry and that has very little to do with the way I look, it’s my mindset.

There was a time that I felt extremely self-conscious about my appearance. I was surrounded by people who were distinctly different to me and not knowing any better, I felt that there was a lot wrong my appearance. Not anymore – because of the 5 habits below that I’ve adopted.

I am at my heaviest weight, and I feel wonderful about it. None of us are built the same way; our bodies don’t digest food in the same way, and for goodness sake, our bodies are vessels that take us places – we aren’t bodies, we have bodies. Can I get an Amen?

I was at Woolworths’ pay point when a cashier (I forget her name) looked up at me and complimented my hair. She said, “It’s so long, are you mixed?” I said, “I know, thank you. I guess so. Does it matter?” “No,”she murmured. I didn’t feel offended that someone was trying to validate my race to explain the length of my hair – I thought, “Wow, people must wonder about me.” And that was it.

How much do you love your body right now? I slip in and out of love with my body – it happens to all of us. One way to truly love your body no matter what is adopting habits that promote your wellness. Take a look at these five things I’ve been doing that works for my body confidence:

Sleep early

Sleeping early has been a game-changer for me. When I get 8 hours of sleep, I perform at my best. Not only will you feel recharged and perform better, you will feel and look better. A lack of sleep slows the metabolism, increases emotional distress, and can literally cause you to become a negative person.

You may want to read: Sleep your way to the top says, Arianna Huffington

emotional distress from low body confidence

Write out your body confidence goals

Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to firm and tone, grow your hair or have clear skin? Write it down and be specific about why you want it, how you will try to achieve it, and also give yourself a deadline. When you monitor a goal consistently, you are bound to make progress.

Have daily motivation

Instagram is my go-to for motivation. I follow a bunch of healthy eaters, fitness models, and motivational pages, to continuously keep my mind focused on my ambitions. Find influencers that inspire you or talk to people who have achieved the goal that you’ve set out to accomplish. Motivation doesn’t work without action so keep that in mind as well.

motivation for body confidence


Find a workout method that doesn’t feel like work

I have so much fun at my kickboxing and boxing training classes that I wish I could go every day. I train four days a week and because I enjoy it so much, it doesn’t feel like a chore. Find out which form of exercise turns you on. It could be dancing, running, cycling or swimming; try a lot of different things until you find the one that you thoroughly enjoy and suits your lifestyle.

Change your environment

One of the biggest mistakes we make when we want to change our habits is that we try to fit new things into an old lifestyle. If you’re trying to quit smoking but all your friends smoke, how likely do you think your chances of quitting for good are? A strong will can only move you as far as the influences around you. Once you get into the swing of adopting habits that promote your body confidence, people with similar interests will be drawn to you.

Can you think of any other tips that are particularly helpful for body confidence? I’d love to hear from you. Post your comment in the space below, or connect with me on Instagram.

Images: Pixabay CCO

It’s okay to not feel happy all the time

Can I get an Amen?

Seriously – no one is happy during every single moment of their life. If you’re reading this at a time when you’re feeling a little forlorn, cut yourself some slack. You’re not the only one, and you certainly won’t be the last.

If you’re in a genuinely joyful mood right now, spread it like wildfire, girl – stop what you’re doing after reading this post and go do something good for someone – like giving a compliment.

I’m a happy girl. Can you tell? I love laughing, getting to know new people, and working towards developing myself. My life is not perfect – as I progress towards reaching my goals, I’m continuously confronted with difficult decisions, some hurtful situations, and distractions. No one’s life is perfect.

Social media has us admiring other people’s filtered happy moments

There are 123 hashtag-unhappy-right-now posts on Instagram, as opposed to the 39 863 hashtag-happy posts on Instagram. People don’t want you to know when they’re unhappy because unhappy people are unpopular. I do it too. Naturally, I don’t post selfies of me crying (because that would be weird); and my first instinct, when something goes wrong is not, “let me quickly post a status about how badly this is going”… what good would that do? The benefits of social media are immense. It’s never been easier to connect to people from all over the world, but in the same breath, it’s quite overwhelming when you consider how much information you are consuming about other people when you are constantly online. How much time do you take to focus on yourself?

Connect with me on Instagram: @robynthoma

Unhappy feelings are all learning curves

It’s healthy to feel sad sometimes – unhappy feelings help you realize what’s not working in your life and what you require to be happy.  Robin Sharma, a renowned personal development guru blew me away with this quote on the habits of leaders:

“The only people who don’t have problems are dead…I am who I am today because of my most difficult experiences; I wouldn’t give them up for anything. The things that have brought me the gravest pain, are actually the things that have taught me understanding, passion, wisdom, kindness, and forgiveness…I believe problems are gifts and they come to us to help us grow…  I don’t believe that the goal in life should be to avoid problems…  I believe that the goal of a leader, an elite performer, the goal of a highly evolved human being is to manage their problems, and to realize that it’s just a part of life – to resist them is to resist life.”

Profound, isn’t it? We’re all leaders if you think about it. Even extreme introverts and those prone to social anxiety are leaders – managing their own lives. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that flow through you, you don’t need to react to them but be aware of them, and allow your emotions to guide you to your true state of happiness.

Do you agree that it’s healthy to not feel happy sometimes? Share this post via your favourite social page, using the icons attached below:

Feature quote via @TrevorJamal

5 ways to achieve any goal

You’re not lazy. This is really what’s happening to you…
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You’re not making your goal a priority.

Last year, I was really devoted to my goals. I was going to do so many things. One of my friends continually commends me for being ‘the’ girl who always does what she says. And I am. But I also get easily distracted. Somehow between starting a new job, falling in love, going natural, and taking on a new fitness regimen, my biggest goal – developing my career as a writer and consistently publishing blog posts here, have been on the back burner.

I write (for work) every day but one big blogging goal in particular that I’ve wanted to achieve has been to complete Sarah Arrow’s 30-day blog challenge. I’d published several posts dedicated to the challenge but never actually completed the challenge. Then I would try to rid myself of guilt with reasoning like having to narrow down my niche first or not wanting to spam my subscribers with too many posts. What the hell? I love blogging, and it comes easily. Why is it so difficult for me to complete this damn challenge? Everything else, and I really mean everything, took precedence over this goal. I began blogging as a pastime – there was never a rush or urgency for me to get a post out, and because I am the sole person in control here, every day I figured, I can just publish my next post tomorrow.

It took one huge tiff and a headache from crying to realize that I can do every single thing that I want to do as long as I know what it is and when I want to do it. I always knew this. But sometimes we forget. Sometimes we need something bad to happen to wake us up, to challenge us – to remind us not to take our eyes off our prize. We are our only hope for a fulfilling life, what we do with our time determines everything.

I’m not the only writer who doesn’t make my own writing a priority. Read more about writers who fail to commit in Kristen Lamb’s latest post: Going Pro—Learning from a Master & Win a Chance to Be James Patterson’s Next Co-Author (it’s such an eye-opener – Thanks, Kristen).


And here’s another thing, there’s no such thing as a lazy person. According to Laura D. Miller, a graduate of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program at the William Alanson White Institute, laziness is a myth. Miller describes laziness as an ‘overused criticism’ in an article published by Psychology Today. She writes that laziness is simply a character judgment that does nothing to help us understand why someone doesn’t exert the effort to do what they want to do, or are expected to do.

You’ll always be interested in what’s important to you, and the things that are less important, not so much. You’re not lazy, you just have other priorities.

I’m starting the blog challenge again and I’ve already compiled a list of posts that I want to write for the next 31 days. This is something I really want to do now. What do you want to do?

I’ve been listening to several motivational speakers who all say the same things when it comes to reaching a goal. I guess they must be true; take a look at the 5 tips to achieving any goal, below:

1. Decide what it is you want to do and go for it

In Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon offers essential tips on how to become wealthy – not only material riches but wealth in health, happiness, and relationships. He stresses a definiteness of purpose, which is having a clear indication of what you want to achieve. It’s not enough to say that you want to be happy for example – you need to consider what makes you happy and gravitate towards a clear vision of the exact thing.

2. Find a goal big enough that will satisfy you

The other day while listening to Shoot for the Moon by Les Brown, he said, the reason why some people aren’t successful is not that they aim too high, it’s because they aim too low and miss. Your goal must be big enough to satisfy you or challenge you otherwise you will get bored and lose motivation.

3. Keep yourself motivated

Read all there is to know about your goal. Become a master at each task by doing your research, practice or whatever it takes to ensure that you are constantly moving a step closer to your goal. I listen to a motivational clip every morning (even on weekends – your mind doesn’t have off days). While I hadn’t prioritized completing the blogging challenge, constantly motivating myself through words that I read, hear and write, I have achieved other things.

4. Surround yourself with people who share the same interests

As a point of reference in terms of philosophy rather than religion, the Bible, centuries old best seller, reads in Proverbs 13:20: “he that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed”. Basically, you become the company you keep.

5. Abandon all excuses for backing out

When you have the option to quit, it’s always easier to quit. You must clear all paths for turning back. It’s amazing how resourceful people can be when they don’t have a choice but to keep going. I’m reminded of a story I’d heard about a captain who ventured to the New World (America) by ship in 1915, intending to conquer an empire with just over 600 men. When they arrived, the captain instructed his men to burn their ships – they were either going to die while trying to conquer the empire or succeed, but there would be no turning back. Can you guess what happened? Exactly, they succeeded.

What’s serving as your safety net? Is it helping you or hindering growth?Burn your ships now. Chat to me in the comment section below or connect with me on Instagram,Twitter, or Facebook. I’d love to hear from you.

The really simple way to avoid being a pushover

Two things that I’m very protective of are my friends and my books. Friends? Because I love and value them just as much as my books.  Most of my books are expensive, insightful, and often gifts. I almost always read a book twice and love telling people about my favourite reads when I get the chance.

Recently, I told a colleague about a book that I thought she would absolutely love. I’d mentioned that I own this book and that I could just lend it to her. But after searching around my house for about two hours, I remembered that I’d lent the book to a friend whom I’d also convinced should read it. By now, my friend had had the book for over six months and I hadn’t seen him since so I sent him a message to return it.

Take a look at his response to me via Whatsapp, below:


Tell me if you think I’m being a pushover or just nice:

Without focusing on the typos as I know you can’t help but do, take a closer look at the overall apology. He’s had this book for a long time and now, after I’ve had to ask him to return it, he wants to loan it for longer. What the hell? I should tell him that he’s had enough time to read the book and consider that my colleague, who is eager to read the book as well, hasn’t had a chance. But instead,  I respond with:

 You are more than welcome to keep the book until you have finished it. I’m glad to know that you will take care of the book and most importantly that you are not giving it back without having read it.

I’m just being nice right?

I thought that I was doing a really good deed by offering him another opportunity to read the book, but then I realised that I had now created a platform for my colleague to assume that I am unreliable or can’t deliver on promises. What if this was money? What would you do?

If you’re the kind of person who finds it difficult to avoid being a pushover or is just too nice to some people, consider the following points:

Related: Rituals of successful women

Stop worrying about what people think of you

You’re never going to be able to please everyone in your life at the same time so you may as well stop feeling anxious about who approves of you or not. There’s a famous quote by Dita Von Teese which reads: you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be people who hate peaches.You can be the juiciest peach in the world and there will still be people who hate peaches - Dita von Teese (1)

Consider how you’re benefiting from the situation

There’s no need to track all the good deeds that you’ve ever done for people – that would defeat the purpose. What’s important is that you ensure that you’re genuinely happy to do whatever you’re doing for whomever.

The minute you begin to feel uncomfortable about doing something for someone else, you shouldn’t be doing it. I’m not referring to the kind of uncomforting feeling that comes from exceeding your own limits or taking risks; those funny feelings you experience when you don’t really want to do something for someone or you can sense that this person is taking advantage of your kindness… Listen to that feeling. Any kind of alert that your body is sending you is never a fluke, it’s a warning.

Related: 10 Amazing things that happen when you get a Life Coach

Don’t get defensive

They say that the one who cares less, wins, and I think that ‘they’ might be right. People who handle criticism well have a greater level of success in life and are certainly not considered pushovers. The trick is to assume that all information being fed to you, especially about you, is useful. Evaluate the information to see how you can improve your life and if it’s not useful to you, ignore it. It’s really that simple.

just dont give a damn

Stop apologising if you didn’t do anything wrong 

Women do this a lot. The other day I was in a public bathroom, next in line to use the toilet when a woman came out of the cubicle apologising to me. I think that she was apologising for using the toilet longer, or maybe she was sorry that she got to the toilet before me; I can’t be too sure. I smiled at her and she smiled back, then she courteously rushed out of the bathroom, nearly knocking her hip against the door on the way out. Try not to do that. These overly kind gestures are harmful to you. You don’t need permission or approval to manage your own life, founder and CEO.

Do you think that you’re too nice sometimes? Or just not firm enough with certain people ? I’d love to know how you handle those situations. Post a comment in the section below and connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.



Sleep your way to the top: Arianna Huffington

If you can’t remember the last time you had a good sleep, you wouldn’t be the only one. Our generation is packed with highly ambitious minds, determined to see their dreams realized with every opportunity. We work long hours to make advancements at work, attend time-consuming events, maintain side projects, and then squeeze in fitness training because we are also health conscious. Some would call us super human multitaskers, others – near burn out, because we don’t get enough sleep.


In her latest book entitled, Thrive, Arianna Huffington introduces a third metric to the meaning of success and argues that instead of only valuing money and power as currencies of success, we should value a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder, as true components of success. Arianna dedicates a chapter to stressing the importance of sleep and how a lack of sleep can be detrimental to your life. She offers stats and personal accounts by the world’s most influential people, who agree that sleep should be an integral part of your life. Sure, there are times when you will need to burn the midnight oil to meet a deadline, and times when you will have to ‘lose sleep’ to attend to an urgent matter, but this no-sleep lifestyle that is becoming the norm in our society, and often boasted about on social media, is really unhealthy.

Thrive also delves into the importance of meditation, and how clearing your mind can largely improve your well-being. You can download the book now on

Sleep and Weight loss

Have you ever noticed how really slim people are always early sleepers while most insomniacs also happen to be overweight? It’s not a coincidence. The Daily Mail reports that sleep deprivation slows the metabolism, causing the body to use less energy. The article also uses scientific evidence to highlight that people who sleep less are prone to snack more.  Read the full article, here.

Sleep and Productivity

There’s a serious misconception that working longer hours without breaks means that you’re working harder. The average attention span for human beings – without distraction is 8.25 seconds. This means that when you’re doing one thing for longer than 8.25 seconds, you will lose focus and your thoughts will drift to another topic. Refocusing on the same topic for a long time can become tiring, and boring. This is why it’s better to take breaks; clear your focus or steer your focus, and then revisit the main topic that you were concentrating on.

A study conducted by the Center for Advancing Health showed that teens with late bedtimes have lower grades. The study, which examined 2700 teens aged 13 -18, revealed that teens who went to sleep at 11:15 pm or later, showed signs of emotional distress and performed worse than early sleepers on cognitive tasks. If this is not an ironic wake-up call, continue reading.

Sleep and Relationships

Dr Theresa E DiDonato writes on Psychology Today, that sleep deprivation can not only make you less attractive (as well-rested individuals are seen as more attractive), but that a lack of sleep hurts your humour and happiness as humour requires high-level thinking.  DiDonato also suggests that low sleepers are prone to more negative emotions and making bad decisions, which causes conflict in relationships. Read the full article, here.

While reading Thrive, and conducting my own research on sleep deprivation, I’ve decided to begin a 30 Day sleep Challenge to get at most seven to nine hours of sleep per day. This will cause my social media interactions to take a dive but I am willing to risk losing followers if it means that I can live a healthier and more productive life.

I will be documenting my sleep challenge, and would love if you could join me. Connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or email me directly to

Feature photo: Pixabay

The tao of reaching a dream

Tao – “way, path, right way (of life), reason.”

I grew up wishing to be a cut-throat investigative journalist like Debora Patta was on 3rd Degree, but a lot has changed and I am not even close to pursuing that dream. Other interests have pursued me, and Debora has left the country.

As a teen, my father tried to warn me against studying media, especially political journalism. He said, “It will be too dangerous; you won’t be able to have a stable life and a family. You’re going to have to travel a lot.” And that intrigued me. Watching the 7 o’ clock news together, in the evening, was our ‘thing’. My father was always busy – doing something. The only time that he seemed really relaxed, was when he was intently watching the news. And I suppose that watching him, watch the news was always motivation for me to pursue media.

When I was accepted to university, one of my older cousins begged me to reconsider studying Media. He suggested health sciences or business and said that with media my life would amount to nothing. And that motivated me even more.

Related: 10 Amazing things that happen when you get a Life Coach

Tao – noun, (in philosophical Taoism) that in virtue of which all things happen or exist. Literal meaning of Chinese origin: path, way. (Photo/

When I didn’t get the first job that I really wanted at a renowned fashion magazine, I cried for three days. I’d worked hard to compile a portfolio, I had aced the first interview, the second one went well too, and they were just going to let me know… It rained that day. I didn’t have a car at the time and I had to take two taxis to get to the main road near the interview building. I remember that my fringe had frizzed (this was way back when I flat-ironed my fringe every morning). I remember having to wipe my hands on the inside of my coat to shake the Deputy Editor’s hand.  My hands were clammy from shielding rain droplets from my face. I was actually more concerned with the way that I looked because appearance is everything – to the market that I was going to potentially appeal to. I understood the emotional strain that would go into maintaining a superficial title, but it would have been amazing on my CV. I’d walked several metres, spoiling my heels on poorly tarred roads, just to get to the building (never mind the rain), so you can tell that I’d wanted this really badly. And then I didn’t get the job. Someone else topped me. And the worst part of it all was that I had rejected two other job offers, in the hope that this one would pull through. I was heartbroken. But I had almost made it, and that bit of hope saved me.


Related: 6 Things we do to ourselves that’s just not worth it


There is so much for me to learn about writing, life, and determination, but there is one thing that I strongly believe in, best described by Les Brown: “There is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind”. You can have the world against you and if you are dead-set on pursuing something that drives you, nothing will stop you from having it.

I write for a living. This has been my biggest dream, and every time I feel discouraged, I remember that someone is paying me to do something that I really enjoy and would have been doing anyway. No amount of money can match up to the pain of having to endure a job that you don’t enjoy. I value all the challenges that have brought me to this point in my career and life, and I welcome every learning curve that would inevitably contribute to my growth as a writer.

What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced to get where you are in your life? I’d love to share your experiences.

Connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or email me directly to

10 amazing things that happen when you get a Life Coach

As if modern technology hasn’t simplified life enough, you can now also hire a Life Coach.

Let me be the first to admit that I could use a life coach. I don’t hoard regrets but there are some things that I would definitely have done differently in life, had I had the guidance, and future endeavours that I will most certainly address differently, now that I have the experience.

Having a Life Coach is exactly like hiring a mentor. They usually examine your aspirations and help you achieve your goals without spoon- feeding you through life; see it as a jump-start to your personal growth.

In a previous post where I’d mentioned that I’ve recently taken up mixed martial arts training for fitness, I neglected to mention that the added bonus of training comes with personal life coaching services, which is all new to me, and seemingly the perfect package. So far, mind blowing. If you’re in Cape Town and you’re interested in training both your body and brain into top shape, leave me a comment in the section below for more details, or send me an email to

With a Honours degree in Psychology, registered counsellor Fidaah Edries has been a practising Life Coach for over five years. Mainly assisting his clients in “finding their purpose, finding balance, managing stress, and increasing motivation”, Fidaah is also a Performance Coach to diverse clients such as students, actors, athletes, artists, and corporate professionals, to name a few.

In all the years of experience Fidaah has observed transformations which can only be described as miraculous. Many of his clients have developed attributes which is mostly commonly seen in the world’s most successful men and women. Read these 10 qualities below:

  1. You become more self-aware.

A common thread in all highly successful people is that each one knows exactly what he/she wants out of life. With life-coaching, you are offered tools that will allow you to uncover your true sense of self and definite purpose. This will be your most valuable tool for living your best life.

  1. You begin to take full control of your life

Learning to take responsibility for every situation in your life means that you will be able to manage your problems more effectively.

  1. You become more decisive

Brandy sang it best, “almost doesn’t count”.  Learn how to say “yes” when you want to and “no”, when you should. Your life depends on the choices our make, including all the sacrifices you are willing to undertake in order to reach your goals.

  1. You develop a positive outlook

Perception is everything. The way you see a situation will be the result of your reaction to it. Learning to observe the bright side to everything, (seriously everything), is how Richard Branson became who he is today.

  1. You become masterful

Plainly, an expert in your field. No matter what it is that you set out to do, with the right guidance and dedicated performance, you can do anything.

  1. You develop your passion

The one factor separating you from becoming extraordinary, is uncovering the passion(s) you possess within you. Knowing how to develop your passion and maintaining a continuous, unconditional love for what you do, is the difficult part. When you begin to lose sleep, sacrifice weekends, and free time, for something or someone, it’s a sign of passion.

  1. You set goals

You won’t get to your goal fast enough in this life by going with the flow. You need to have a plan and your need to know the when, where, how, and why of your plan. This method’s a catalyst for greatness. And it’s hard – everyone in life is actually just ‘winging it’ if you think about it, each day presents you with new challenges and experiences, but when you have a plan, it’s easier to get to where you want to be.

  1. You become relentless

Try, try, and try again. Fail, cry, hurt, break your legs (God forbid), but try you will, until you reach your goal. That’s usually the mindset of someone with a life coach.

  1. You give more than is expected

Have you ever seen super rich people give any millions, yet they never seem to run out of money? Surprisingly, this has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with having a prosperous mentality, and the knowledge that one must invest in order to gain.

  1. You develop unwavering faith

Your level of success in anything is directly proportional to your belief in yourself. You can have all the talent and guidance, but if you don’t have confidence in your abilities, you’ve already failed your task. This is why having a mentor on your ‘off days’ is vital for encouragement.

Find out more about Fidaah Edries at Victorious Life Solutions via his website and Facebook page, or contact him directly by emailing him at


Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, or email me directly to

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You should lower your expectations of others – here’s why:

“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.” ― Sylvia Plath

One of the first rules when starting this blog was to ensure that it does not become a personal diary. I shut down the idea of writing about my personal experiences only because there is only so much that one can say about themselves, in modesty, in relation to my blog theme. Also, I relish in the idea of telling other people’s stories – I appreciate learning about others’ experiences and rewriting interviews into story form.

June is youth month in South Africa, and in my mind it’s filled with tons of youth inspired stories published from each page of Be Whole. Keep an eye out for more motivational features, travel contributions (yay!), other guest features, and style and beauty tips.

Now here comes the problem: wanting to write stories about other people requires the help of other people, which basically means that the writing process will not be a task that I can carry out on my own. I can’t stress how much I love writing – it’s the simplest form of teaching when you share a story, and can be quite clarifying to the writer. I often find clarity to my own thoughts after writing them down. It’s quite refreshing. And it’s why I do it for work and why I do it in my free time. I’m a little obsessed. I think that I’ve said that somewhere before in a post but nevertheless, sometimes, I get quite excited about an interview for work or this blog for example, but happen to collaborate with someone who doesn’t share my excitement. And when someone isn’t 100% excited about doing something, they procrastinate. It’s common practice. I do it too sometimes and that doesn’t make it okay.  To the person procrastinating, it may not seem like a big deal, but to the one fully focused on getting whatever tasks done, it may seem unprofessional and even disappointing. Why? – Why do you feel disappointed when someone doesn’t do something that’s important to you?  – Because you have a certain expectation of them, right? – Maybe not even consciously, maybe just hopefully…

I’ve near stopped listening to commercial music except for the songs that play in between Aden Thomas’ morning music quiz on Heart 104.9 or after the news on UCT Radio. Most of the time I’m listening to inspirational Hip Hop – nothing else gets my day going like a good beat with encouragement. Anyway, E.T the Hip Hop Preacher does the best inspirational compilations in my opinion. He says that we should stop living by feelings and start living by principles. “Behind every feeling is nothing, but behind every principle is a promise”. The feeling here for me is expecting that someone will respond to an email promptly, but the principle is realizing that my priorities are not the same as everyone else’s. My schedule is not the same as anyone else and neither are my aspirations. If I want someone to respond to my email for example, I need to send them a follow-up until they do, and not get emotional about it. It seems unfair to say that if I realize the type of character I am dealing with, that I need to simply work faster and harder to see my own goal realized, but that is exactly what I should be doing, otherwise nothing will get done.

How are you supposed to lower your expectations?

Just don’t overthink the situation.

In a nutshell, the more you worry about what’s not happening, the less time you offer yourself to finding a solution. Remember that your expectations only affect you, unless you are upfront about your requirements with someone, you can never guarantee that you will be happy with the results or lack thereof. In any situation, expectations can cause stress and anxiety, and is not productive in any way.

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations
and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
― Bruce Lee

Do you have any other suggestions on how to lower your expectations? I’d love to hear from you. Please post a comment in the section below.

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Rituals of successful women

Motivational speakers always highlight the importance of having a mentor who can guide you on a prosperous path. Many of them stress that it’s important to surround yourself with not only like-minded people, but people who have been successful in things that you are interested in pursuing.

In this day and age – the information age, we’re showered with opportunity. The problem is that sometimes we just don’t know how to harness or make use of the opportunities around us. And this is why it’s important that we take guidance from people ‘who’ve been there’ – ‘the Greats’. I’ve recently taken up kickboxing for fitness purposes and my coach is a professional kickboxing champion. He doesn’t train me to lose weight or tone; he trains me to be a champion. Once I listen intently to his instructions, I can almost perfect a technique the same way he does, and I’m certain that it’s just a matter of time and perseverance that my physique appears just as lean as his does – as long as I follow his guidelines.

Speaking of which, all too often, we see someone whom we think is absolutely amazing and then aspire for a similar lifestyle. But it’s important to understand that as much as you aspire for a lifestyle, no matter how hard you work, you will never have or experience exactly the same things as the person you admire. I saw an Instagram picture message the other day that read, “no one is you, and that is your power”. Truer words have never been spoken. You have a unique flair to bring to anything that you set out to do, and that is having a vision that no one else can comprehend in the same way. If you want to be successful, find a mentor to guide you but know that you have your own path to follow; you can never be or have another person’s life.

With that said, here is a list of 10 things that all successful women have in common, with quotes by prestigious women across the globe on how they have managed to become who they are:

  1. They take full responsibility for their actions
    “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  1. They don’t skimp on ‘me time’
    If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead. Creating the culture of burnout is opposite to creating a culture of sustainable creativity. This is something that needs to be taught in business schools. This mentality needs to be introduced as a leadership and performance-enhancing tool.” — Arianna Huffington
  1. They focus on improving more than just their own lives
    “The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” — Iyanla Vanzant

4. They’re ‘Doers’
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder

  1. They don’t waste time focusing on their flaws
    “We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.” — Queen Victoria, Former Queen of the United Kingdom
  1. They maintain a positive outlook on life
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” — Helen Keller
  1. They learn from their mistakes
    “My best successes came on the heels of failures.” — Barbara Corcoran
  1. They surround themselves with like-minded people
    “Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference.” — Alison Pincus
  1. They live with purpose
    “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” — Whoopi Goldberg
  1. They dress well
    “Many women live like it’s a dress rehearsal. Ladies, the curtain is up and you’re on.” — Mikki Taylor

Do you have any points to add to the list or a quote you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please post a comment in the section below.

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