9,584 Ways Beyoncé’s “Formation” Inspired Me To Be An Unapologetic, Raw Woman in the Workplace

photocred: http://giphy.com/gifs/beyonce-mv-formation-l4KhM9EDArm6dwSxq

The day before Superbowl 50 was a very busy, but lazy day for me. I had been under the weather, and was extremely busy [and stressed] preparing for a SuperBowl Beyoncé party. After spending over 6 hours running from store to store, I came home, pulled out my leftover breakfast from my favorite Mexican restaurant, devoured it within a minute, and went straight to sleep. Itis level was on a 1,000. 

Before that day even started, I told myself I would run a few errands, pull out my computer, and put in some much needed work on my blog and anticipated personal website. Instead, I ate and took my lazy ass to sleep. Motivation? Bish where?

It didn’t take long for my heavenly nap to be interrupted by calls and texts from friends asking if I had heard the new Beyonce record.  Words like “black power,” “Hurricane Katrina,” and even “anti-police” were included in the headlines as I searched for a place I could feast my eyes on the video.  I had to brace myself before pushing play, but was pleasantly surprised.

Beyoncé’s song “Formation,” oozes Black culture, greatness, oppression, and female empowerment all within four minutes and fifty-three seconds.  Besides the fact that it is very fitting with today’s current events, and has caused a ton of controversy, protests, and plenty of debates, “Formation” is serving up a platter of inspiration for the modern girl boss.

After watching the video, I was motivated to get off my behind and put in work forme more often- even when I work over 50 hours a week for one job and 10 hours for another. As I always preach to my friends and family, “Don’t work all day for someone else and none for yourself.” It’s amazing how easy it is to preach to other people when you’re struggling with the same thing.

While there are over 9,584 ways that this new song gave me life, I only have so much time and you only care to read so much so I will give you just 5.

1. NEVER BE AFRAID TO EVOLVE, BUT DON’T FORGET WHAT MAKES YOU YOU

Earned all [the] money but they never take the country out me. I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.

Learn, grow, and evolve, but never forget what makes you YOU. With change comes growth, but never change so much that you forget who you are and what makes you unique. As a proud Southern woman from Texas, I love how real Beyoncé is in her video. In our work, whether it is in our own business or through a company that we work for, it is so easy to let money and other people change who we are. That in return diminishes our individuality, and alters our personality, and passion for our work and who we are in it.

2. BE UNAPOLOGETIC AND PROUD OF OUR NATURAL BEAUTY –ESPECIALLY IN THE WORKPLACE

I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.

As a young, Black, professional woman, I used to struggle with deciding on a hair style that will be fitting of the “professional workplace.” If I wear my hair in extensions, I look normal. If I wear a puff, I get asked if I am sick or feeling okay. If I wear braids, I get compliments, but I am annoyed at the millions of questions of ‘how did you get your hair like that?’ or ‘wow, your hair grew so fast!’

In a study by ESSENCE magazine, it was found that 57% of Black women change their physical appearance to fit in at work (i.e. straighten their hair or change their personal style of dress). Some Black women do this to fit in and to conform with the stereotype of what a professional image looks like. In her song, Beyoncé reminds us to be unapologetic and proud of our natural beauty.

3. NEVER DOWNPLAY YOUR GREATNESS. USE YOUR SUCCESS TO INSPIRE OTHERS

Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh. I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’).

I don’t know how many times I have logged onto any social network and seen a positive post associated with a little downplaying. For some reason, people don’t want to be seen as cocky or don’t want to make other people feel inferior. So instead of celebrating ourselves and our own successes, we either don’t talk about it, or we downplay it.

We should never have to downplay our accomplishments to avoid making others feel inferior. Personally, there is nothing I love more than hearing other people talk about their passions, their goals, and their accomplishments – especially in a society where it is is strangely normal to feel like you are boasting when you are honorably speaking about yourself. When you accomplish a goal, you deserve to be proud of yourself and furthermore, you deserve to tell the world. Your success is yours. You earned it girl! Use your success to radiate inspiration in others – you never know how your story can help others.

4. NEVER STAY STUCK IN ANY SITUATION THAT DOESN’T SERVE YOU

Get what’s mine, take what’s mine. Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.

In your life, you may be in a situation that you would rather not be in. For most, that situation may be your job or career. While you are counting the minutes down at work each day, remember that you are never stuck in any situation. Be gracious for the opportunity that you are receiving and try to make as many positive connections and soak in as much knowledge as you can. Build upon your skills and increase your network. Also remember these 4 key items for success:

1.) Always perform your job with excellence & actually want to do a good job (even if you hate your job).

2.) Over prepare and over deliver at whatever task there is to complete.

3.) Present yourself professionally and be personable at all times.

4.) Plan your exit strategically until you are able to venture off into what you really want.

5. VISUALIZE IT, THEN WORK HARD TO GET IT

I see it, I want it. I dream it, I work hard, I grind ‘til I own it.

Drink your water. Do your squats. Read more books. Meditate. Mind Yours. Be Unapologetic. Be You. Work hard. Repeat. #GetInFormation

In her song while looking like a Creole Queen, Beyoncé reminds us to not only slay, but to work hard and always grind for what you want. Yes you have dreams and you have goals. But what actions are you taking to accomplish them? What new habits have you formed and what old habits are you working on destroying? What conferences have you signed up for, and what new courses are you planning to take to further educate yourself? Who have you recently networked with, and who is on your list to connect with soon?

There are a million and one questions that I could pose, but simply I just want you all to be seriously thinking of what you want out of life and what it takes to get there. Try to create mini goals for your dreams and set a realistic schedule of when you can complete them. Sometimes I feel that we set goals that are huge and the minute we start working on them and realize how big they really are, we get intimidated and let life pass us on.

On the same note, strive to be more specific when goal-setting. I was recently listening to a podcast by Myleik Teele and she spoke of the importance of really honing in on your goals and being detailed when you dream. If you aspire on starting a blog this year, ask yourself questions like: what kind of blog will it be, who will be your target market, how will you host it, how will you build it, how often will you post. When you are specific in your goals, it helps you paint a clear picture of what you want and what it takes to get there.

When you have goals that you want to reach, times will get hard, patience will get low, and your motivation will try to sneak away. When it happens, throw on your Beyoncé mix, remember why you started, and keep the grind alive.

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