Identify Your Superpowers
You were born with priceless gifts. You might have a natural knack for singing, teaching, making people laugh, or inspiring a community to take action. Find your superpowers, own them, and leverage them like crazy.
Not sure what your superpowers are? One of the best ways to discover your superpowers is to write down what fills you with joy. Not what fills your parents, friends, spouse, partner, mentor, or teachers with joy, but you.
Leveraging your superpowers might feel scary, because it might mean stepping away from the plan that society has laid out for you. Feel the fear, but don’t let it stop you. Claim your superpowers and start using them. This is the first big, brave step you must take—the first move toward your Next Level Life.
Find Your Next Level Friends
If you want to up-level your life and career, you’ve got to upgrade the quality of people you allow into your world. Surround yourself with grade-A encouragement, and you’ll rise to the top. Surround yourself with complainers, pessimists, naysayer, bullies, losers, users, and abusers, and you’ll sink to the lowest common denominator.
Identify the people who lift you up. Write down the names of everyone in your inner circle of love and trust. Friends. Family. Teachers. Your pastor or spiritual mentor. Take a moment to thank each person for their continued love and encouragement. Send a text. Send a gift. Never take these people for granted.
Identify the people who drag you down. Take a good, hard look at the relationships in your life that pull you down. Relationships that exhaust you, drain you, or leave you feeling weakened instead of strong. These people are NOT your Next Level Friends. Sooner or later, you’ll need to eliminate—or renegotiate—those relationships. Your confidence and success depend on it.
Reach out to one person you’d like to know better. You know that fabulous, shining, charismatic, confident woman that you’ve admired from afar? The woman who’s using her superpowers to the fullest? Reach out. Invite her to an event. Congratulate her on one of her recent victories. Or tell her about your latest project. Invite her into your life and see if she’s open to sparking (or deepening) a friendship with you.
Expand Your Horizons
Most people think that with enough brains, talent, and charisma, success will eventually arrive. Not quite. We have to take action.
- You can be the most beautiful natural-hair woman in the world—but if you don’t enter that modeling competition, how are you going to win?
- You can be the most brilliant woman in the room—but if you don’t apply for that college scholarship or grant, how are you going to get it?
- You can be funnier than Tiffany Haddish and Nicole Byer combined—but if you don’t sign up for that acting class or register for an open-mic night at a comedy club, how is a talent agent ever going to discover you?
If you’ve been waiting for a waving sign, this is it.
Earning more money is all about expanding your horizons, taking new risks, and putting yourself in new situations.
You don’t always need a day job or a side hustle. Think even more expansively. Take advantage of the resources you’ll find online. It’s incredible what you can do with a computer, Wi-Fi, and a few hours of your time. You can launch a website. Set up an online shop. Apply for a life-changing grant. Email a potential investor. It’s all out there and somebody’s going to get that money—why shouldn’t it be you?
Present Yourself like a Star
You are a queen. Dress, speak, act, and present yourself accordingly. Even if you’re currently making minimum wage or struggling to land your first client or desperately trying to find a scholarship, present yourself like a star. Take pride in your appearance. Take those extra five minutes in the morning to make sure your eyeliner is popping. Put on those fabulous earrings that your grandma gave to you. Little touches can make a big difference in how you feel and how you interact with others. Even if you’re working in an entry-level position right now, when you walk into the office, you want everyone to assume, Oh, she must be the boss.
When you carry yourself like a boss, pretty soon, you become the boss. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus says, “Day by day, what you do is who you become.” Do whatever you need to do to feel like a star. And that’s exactly who you will become.
Walk The Talk
Of course, it’s easy to talk about big dreams. But, it’s harder to walk the talk and put your dreams into action and move toward your goals. Now, don’t get me wrong. Talking big and dreaming a big life are the beginnings to every earth-shaking action that ever took place throughout history and always will be. Talking things out is the first step toward building Your Next Level Life.
Unfortunately, most people are unable to move beyond the big talk and launch into action. That’s because they probably think of their dreams and goals as these huge undertakings and put unnecessary pressure on themselves to get from A to Oprah instantly.
But Oprah wasn’t built in a day. Here are top seven recommendations on how to close the gap between what you’re saying and what you’re actually doing:
- Create a ninety-day road map
- Focus on what you can do today
- Start scheduling action steps on your calendar
- Celebrate the small victories
- Make it fun!
- Make forgiveness a daily ritual
- Stay open-minded
Give Back from Day One
Don’t wait until “some day later” to serve the world. Begin on day one. Become a mentor and share what you’ve learned. Become a philanthropist or champion a cause. Help other women to rise.
Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only people like Oprah, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Bill Gates, and the like are capable of making a difference.
The truth is, every one of us is put on this world to contribute and make a difference in our own unique way. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something enormous. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of “doing good.”
Don’t have the extra cash to max out your karmic potential? Give your time.
Ever looked at a picture of a young girl or boy in Africa and, short of filling out adoption papers, you wanted to save the child? All you need is a computer and a webcam to mentor a young child. Infinite Family (infinitefamily.org) is a video mentoring site that connects volunteers with African preteens and teens. To join, simply fill out an application, complete the online training, and get access to a secure intranet for weekly video dates. Conversations occur between eight o’clock in the morning and noon US time. You can make a life-changing difference in a child’s life simply by showing up to say, “Hi sweetheart. How are you?”
Visit VisoGive (youtube.com/user/give), YouTube’s nonprofit channel. Charities upload fun videos and earn 60 percent of the ad revenue when you watch. It’s much more meaningful than watching clips of cats riding skateboards!
Got just a couple of minutes? Make them count. Visit Sparked (skillsforchange.com), a volunteering site for professionals, while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting for a barista to make your coffee. This website offers lots of volunteering options based on how much time you have available—five minutes, thirty minutes, two hours, whatever you can spare. You can offer ideas for a nonprofit’s fundraiser, write a letter to an underprivileged child, create a new logo for an organization that can’t afford a graphic designer, and more. You’ll get a weekly email with options based on your interests. Or search the site by cause or location to choose an activity.
Don’t wait until “someday later” to serve the world. Don’t wait until you’re richer than Oprah or Bill Gates. Don’t wait until you have more connections or more time or more of whatever you think you need. Begin now. No matter your age or economic status, you have something that you can share. Become a mentor and teach what you’ve learned. Help other women to rise. Become a philanthropist or champion a cause.
When you commit to a lifetime of service, the world sends unimaginable rewards in your direction. Begin now. Give back from day one. Help other people to build their own Next Level Life…as you build yours.