Christian Sismone

3 ways the art of storytelling helps you craft a life you want!

3 ways the art of storytelling helps you craft a life you want!

The narrative you tell yourself, and the world can make or break your growth. Often the story we hold dear about what we can do and what is possible is held so tightly as it’s a protective mechanism. If you have ever failed at anything, especially your goals, sometimes it’s easier and socially acceptable to replay those old missteps as a reason not to try again. For some people, holding on to old stories helps us feel safe from the rawness of our world.

If you have ever watched a toddler start walking, they fall countless times, but they haven’t learned the mental blockers of giving up because of appearances or embarrassment. Toddlers will fall, cry, and sometimes just be a hot mess, but they shake it off and pull themselves up again, and before you know it, they are terrorizing folks at your local Target. In this post, I want to share 3 ways the art of storytelling helps you craft a life you want that is rich, sweet, and uniquely fitting for you!

For many years I held on to the stories my family constantly drilled into me. You have 3 strikes against you; you’re a woman, Black and poor. This narrative was always told to me as I had to be the pioneer in a family riddled with substance abuse and mental illness. Being the first generation, there were many barriers to getting into a place of opportunity. I worked triple hard to combat the story that because I was a Black woman who came from nothing, I needed to justify my existence by being extraordinary at all times, almost machine-like.

After several decades I finally spiraled and burned out hard during the pandemic that’s still going. Being at home alone for 2 1/2 years, I had the time to acknowledge and face the stories that still ran like out-of-date code in my life, coloring everything I did and robbing me of the opportunity to see where I was and how far I had come. Operating under the guise of out-of-date ideals inhibits you from tasting the sweetness of your life. Looking back, I know my family probably passed down the same message their family told them as a way to prepare me for the rigors of a world with many isms, which I did face and still deal with daily. However, once I overhauled the stories, I gave myself grace for clinging to old narratives as they protected me from disappointment or the rawness of the state of the world; it allowed me to re-write my narrative into one that allowed me the expand into my full expression.

Pivoting your narrative isn’t easy because it goes against the ego, which often does everything it can to be correct. So often, we swaddle and protect the ideals and beliefs we need to allow to fall away so we can experience life the way we should. In working with past clients in and outside of my consulting services, I often observe what is like a mild psychosis when one is pivoting their narrative. You go from saying that goal or dream is out of reach because some deficiency, real or imagined, is blocking us, which often directly opposes the identity we fight hard to uphold. I believe that sometimes not trying protects our ego, thus insulating us deeper into being out of reach of our dreams.

One thing I want to call out, I don’t live in the delusion that there aren’t isms out there that hinder our progress. Those discriminations of racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, xenophobia, fatphobia, and colorism are very real. They can directly impact your ability to flourish, yet I have always coached clients in acknowledging them yet moving forward regardless. I don’t like upholding the tokenism that well look at Oprah as motivation. Changing our narrative allows us to cast ourselves in a happily ever after story.

Understanding how holding a narrative that no longer works for you is exhilarating. I hope you can take these tips and implement them immediately. It will not be fun as we have to acknowledge things about ourselves we would rather not but as the old saying the truth will set you free, but like Pharell’s version, but first, it will piss you off.

1. Storytelling is an art form that you can develop by using it daily.

Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in a daydream when you should be working? When you use the art of storytelling in your life, you are expanding your imagination allowing for the rich textures and splendor to be felt. Sometimes you can almost taste what’s going on in your mind. Shifting your narrative will enable you to visualize your better tomorrow now, giving you enough fuel to get moving.

2. Storytelling allows others to connect and support

Pivoting your narrative when you have goals that require support from others allows people to become vested in your success. Think about all the philanthropy commercials out there, which provide a story that hooks people into wanting to support their cause by eliciting a connection. Of course, everyone won’t feel drawn, but for everyone who wants to save the animals, there will be someone who wants to protect children with cancer. When you craft your story compellingly, it makes people feel compelled to support you and excites them to want to help you reach your goals. You can only do so much alone as most goals will require the world.

3. Storytelling fuels you

A compelling story can motivate us to push forward even when all the odds are stacked against us. Coming from a childhood where I did from the stats, I shouldn’t be where I am at all. I should be in a very different world. When I tried to connect with others from my past, it was like entering a world that hadn’t progressed very much, yet I understand how overwhelming starting something new when you have no examples or framework to rely on. However, as I shifted my story, it released more access to my skills and gifts, which provided me with a wealth of abilities to move.

As I wrap up, you have more power than you may acknowledge, as there is so much out there wanting to dilute and distract us from our brilliance. Harnessing the power of storytelling can radically change your life if you are up to the challenge. It’s easier to cling to what you know or, for some, the more limiting story as a way to protect ourselves, but if you are reading this blog, I know you are not about that life and are ready to make things shake. If you need a coach to help you stay in the present and move to results, hit the link to book a consultation.

3 ways to regain hope when you have lost your spark!

3 ways to regain hope when you have lost your spark!

I typically only write twice a month, but something snatched my ability to sleep Sunday night. I wrestled with this Sunday insomnia for most of my life, but this night it seemed different. I have been in deep reflection as the state of the world seems to be in chaos. Like many people, I had goals and aspirations for me in life, yet as I sit in a place of isolation beyond the pandemic, I feel exhausted. Being hopeful is exhausting, especially when there are no indicators of a better tomorrow or if you will even see tomorrow.

In a world that prefers one to ignore their internal compass to appear unbothered, I wrestle with the pure exhaustion of continuing to show up like I did when I knew everything would work. In my meditation time, a few ways to help restore hope popped in my silence that I hope may help you if you find yourself tired beyond what a nap or vacation can do. I also hope that if you have a tiny glimmer of optimism, your desires can still come after many detours and that you have someone in your corner who can rekindle your light as you deserve to see your dreams and maybe be daring to dream bigger again!

When you were younger and full of life, you may have been very sure of yourself and had confidence that you could move mountains. However, over time being passed up for various promotions, failed business launches, and even a dream of having a wonderful loving home begin slowly fading away as the compounding weight of survival clutches you. Every new job, you may say, this will be where I get my opportunity to flourish, and you start firing on all cylinders until you look up. It’s been 5 years, and you are still no further than you were when you started, and to make things a little spicy, you’re seeing people you may have started with blowing up. As much as you may be happy for them, bitterness and the jaded overtone begin to color your world.

Maybe you have been trying to launch a business that you know would be a significant blessing to the people you serve. Instead of watching the latest Netflix series, you push on through the night, researching and crafting what you believe will be the most incredible thing. You start creating and posting yourself and see that no one is engaging with it, and the newest social media trend that is making others become a viral sensation just doesn’t fit into your path. Yet, you try anyway because maybe it can help you become more visible. After a while, you lose your zeal, and the business becomes more of a laughable expense.

Finding inspirational or motivational content is just a Google search away; however, most of it is rubbish as it doesn’t take into account those who aren’t just sitting on their hands but those who are still trying to make things shake. Yet, the spark they once had has been gone for a while. Regaining hope isn’t an easy faux positivity ideal; it takes work. But, it takes strength which I assure you you already have as you are someone who has to keep showing up when there is no indication that what you want will come.

3 Ways to regain hope when you have lost your spark

  1. Reassess your reason for your goal

I have mentioned this in a previous post, but being grounded in your why always helps to boost hope when you have run out of gas. If your goal is to have a better career doing what you love so that you can elevate others, knowing that you not reaching your goal isn’t an option as you doing your part is needed for others to do theirs! If your why is rooted in making things better for more than yourself, let that be fuel to keep moving.

Remembering your why also helps you to say no easier to things that can rob you of energy. As hard as it may feel to say no to things, this allows the energy you do have to have a more concentrated effect. When you gain traction, it helps to add more fire to your flame, ultimately making you shine brighter.

  1. Be around those who are on fire

When your car is out of gas, what do you do? You don’t just sit around. You go to the gas station to refuel. Similarly, when your spark is low, you need to be around people who are still sparkling and who you may be able to get your spark relit. Being around people who are equally as ambitious and focused always stirs me up. What types of content are you following if you don’t have people around you? Is it by people with an authentic zest to achieve or just posing? Community is essential, but sometimes you may not have people close, but you can always engage in online groups and consume content that educates and enlightens.

Another thing that can occur when you become exhausted is you begin to forget who you are and how talented you are. I had a mentee feeling the pinch, yet she started participating in various groups on the subject matter, which in turn helped her to be more laser-focused and reminded her who she is and has always been. You can’t see clearly when the room is too dim.

  1. Hire a life strategist/coach

A life strategist or coach’s focus is to ensure you are engaged with your goals, hold you accountable, and be a source of fuel. All major players have coaches they can attribute to their success. The coach doesn’t do the work for them but provides the container for them to be set up for success, helps keep their head in the game, and includes strategy, especially when one is losing their spark. They know how to dial into you so that you can bloom in your highest expression. A life strategist understands the power of words and motivation. It’s not just a feel-good engagement but one where you are reminded of who you are, what you have done, and how this too will come to pass.

There is a special type of joy and spark one gets when they are flowing in their talents and helping others do the same. As the old saying as one heals others, you heal yourself.

As I wrap up, I hope these tips helped relight your flame as your gifts and dreams deserve to be a reality. As hard as it may seem, speaking life over your dreams is a must. Showing up as though you are already that executive or business owner is the only way you will align. Do not lose heart in pursuing your passion, and don’t feel bad if you have become exhausted. My reminder to you is to rest and know all the things you have done before are a testament to what you can do. Ready to take your goals to the next level? Go book a consultation now, and let’s make the rest of 2022 and beyond your time shine.

3 ways hustle culture robs you of joy and how to move forward

3 ways hustle culture robs you of joy and how to move forward

Beyonce’s 6 in heels was one of my fav songs for a long time because the hook epitomized my life. She grinds day and night, she grinds Monday to Friday, works Friday to Sunday. For years my focus was trying to make the best of today but create a tomorrow that was worth something. Growing up poor and without a supportive family, I have known some form of working outside the home since the tender age of 8 years old to survive and pay my way to better. Working isn’t inherently flawed as it can teach a person to use their power for the benefit of self-preservation. However, in our hustle culture of today, if you aren’t working a 6 fig 9-5 and juggling multiple side gigs, you are nothing. Back then, I traveled for work on average 40-45 weeks a year and would sacrifice my weekends and any down time as you would find me in a corner in the airport working while waiting on the plane and on the plane ride to trying to make myself relevant for social media as an influencer.

Fast forward to 2020 and the start of the pandemic. I had just moved across the country and was adjusting to my first Mid-West winter, which is no easy feat. Along the way, what we know as Covid hit and made the world shutter at home. After the initial shock wore off, I, like many others, felt it was best to max the time at home to make ourselves better than we were. Every waking moment was supposed to be used to lose weight, plan and launch a business or write the most extraordinary novel. I felt this was a great time to focus everything on all the projects I had that I couldn’t do because I worked outside the home and needed daily respite. Then May 2020 hit, and everything was flipped upside down in the heart of Minneapolis. I struggled before with the onslaught of news coverage, but my depression intensified beyond my ability to distract. I could no longer push myself until 2 am and wake by 8 am for work and try to capture just the right image that may garner attention on IG.

Eventually, after 4 years, I had to let my influencer dreams go as enough time and resources had been invested without proper ROI. For the first time in years, I was like an ordinary person who just worked a job and nothing more. I felt numb for a while as I was exhausted but eventually, the hustle culture that had been engrained for 3 decades would pull at my identity. Taking a break meant only doing what I had to, which meant working. I noticed that I slowly went against my company’s culture of not working past 5 pm and definitely not on weekends or days off. I was recently given feedback that my passion focus equated to “doing too much.” It was a hard pill to swallow but forced me to evaluate why I felt I needed to overwork.

Hustle culture emphasizes productivity and achievement at the cost of one’s basic needs. When the world has told you that unless you are a 30 under 30 millionaire, especially if you happen to be Black or POC, you aren’t working hard enough, it fosters a mentality of self-sacrifice and not being able to pivot when it’s no longer feasible. One creates unsustainable timetables as they act like a protective cloak to reach those goals. However, often being so rigid can be like an invisible chain not allowing you to develop fully nor being able to get help when needed. As a Black woman who doesn’t fit into the ideal bucket of Black women, the need to achieve provides a buffer of protection or an illusion of security navigating the world. The token Black woman who has performed well beyond ordinary understanding. Growing up very poor and in a toxic home, I longed to escape any connection with my upbringing and to be the type of Black woman who was often desired and idolized.

The hustle robbed me of being able to celebrate my small wins that are needed fuel to continue the journey. All I could see was how I wasn’t on the way to C-suite while having a million-dollar launch, looking snatched, and being wine and dined. After ending my influencer focus, I have tried my hand at launching my consulting business, which focuses on helping women create their happily ever after life. However, with all going on in the world, the need for a coach has been a slow process.

Over the past year, I have self-reflected on why and how not achieving certain milestones has caused me to lose my zest for life. The need to understand and balance being ambitious vs. hustle mindset is very different. Sometimes we will tell ourselves that we are just high achievers, but actually, we are trying to distract ourselves from areas in life that may not be well developed, or we are trying to soothe our ego by the dopamine hit we get from always being on. The badge of honor we sometimes get for being always available and going over and beyond is real, especially if you don’t have anything else in your life. Who are you if you didn’t do all the extra? Do you feel worthy of greatness if you aren’t being shiny and grand for others to appraise you? These are just a few questions I had to ask myself that provided me with a wealth of self-reflection

In my self-reflection, I have pulled 3 ways to help move forward from the hustle culture and start to enjoy life. These may seem simple, but often, the madness of our doing needs something counterintuitive to help resolve the pain points.

  1. Take a hard look at your motivation.

Are you glued to your phone looking at everyone’s highlights from IG and Linkedin? If what is keeping you driving harder than needed is to be able to get your shiny moment, you have been hit by the hustle culture, and the only way to move forward is to release the object. If the goal truly makes your heartbeat, removing yourself from social media for a month is the next best thing. If you are someone that needs to have a digital presence, batch create your content and schedule it out. You may even want to outsource this item if you need to check messages for possible opportunities so that you can completely disconnect. This isn’t easy as we often go on social media mindlessly, yet seeing someone get that shiny promotion and get all the likes, and praise can push us further into the hustle.

  1. Take inventory of your life holistically.

I mentioned earlier that if your life isn’t fully developed, you tend to overcompensate in other areas. So let’s say you’re a single girl who doesn’t have a robust family and friends sector. It’s easy to fall into the hustle culture of overdoing to give yourself something to do. Or maybe you are a mom and wife, yet you never have time for yourself because you’re devoting all your waking moments to someone else. As much as it may look honorable as it may appear, take a page from the airlines, and put your mask on before helping others. This was a hard lesson that I’m still working on, but I have learned to sit with the discomfort of not jumping into things when not invited in and be ok with the boredom of not overworking. It’s also not lost on me how our society conditions what being a real woman is by doing all the things while needing to look fabulous at the same time, and this is even more compounded when you add the intersectionality of being a Black or POC woman.

  1. Accept being ordinary

Our society often rewards those who go over and beyond at the cost of balanced care. In my life, the single motivator was to put as much distance between me and my impoverished upbringing. It made my thirst more than what I am, the all-encompassing focus for all I do. I believed for many years I had no reason to sleep or rest as I wasn’t successful yet. This ultimately cost me in various areas of my life. In my quest to be an ideal Black woman, I lost my ability to appreciate how I was uniquely crafted and my gifts. I noticed a trend many years ago that those celebrated and often idealized were the world’s unicorns.

Being ordinary in our society is unacceptable! We shun anyone who isn’t trying to be up on this. As I look over my life, I’m not a millionaire model who is highly visible or well known. To accept that I may never be what I may uphold as the standard is challenging. However, we have all done hard things. It’s freeing to be able to choose our hard. By focusing on what I’m good at, even if it’s not going to lead to being a NY Best-Seller book or allow me to speak in front of millions, it would be a better quality of life to invest in my abilities and flourish within reason on the scale I can.

I hope this post helps someone who may be stuck on the hustle culture loop as it robs you of joy in life. Your identity isn’t wrapped in what you do but in how you can show up in the world. So often, the things we hold dearly or idolize will be broken, especially if they inhibit us from flourishing. I would love to hear your thoughts be it good or bad. And always, if you need help in strategizing your life, always hit the contact page, and let’s connect!

Summer 2022 Fashion Tips

Summer 2022 Fashion Tips

The girls are outside, and fashion needs to be had. I haven’t created a fashion post in a while as I felt what’s the need when we should be inside. However, as the world always evolves, so should your looks. I feel Summer 2022 should be for the hidden hotties who never got to live out their hot girl lives. In this post, I will share some summer 2022 fashion ideas to help make this one a hot one.

Tip 1: Braless is for all

So last year, I was mentioned in Instyle for 10 ways to go braless, which as someone who is bountifully blessed up top it, was so countercultural. I have always felt I must wear a bra, but as I got into wanting to feel more sensual, I decided to start going braless. I began doing so in my non-high impact workout days and then finally branched outside. After getting over getting a few stares eventually, I stopped worrying and it was an amazing experience. Being from the equator near heck, aka Texas, being able to wear dresses and tops without a bra has felt refreshing.

Now some outfits require some support unless you have smaller boobs or surgically enhanced boobs. The next best thing is Boob Tape. I bought some from Good Lines, which I like as they come in nude colors for darker skin and will allow me to be dangerous yet supported for some of my more risque attire this year. It takes a little experimenting, depending on the size and heaviness of your girls, but it’s well worth it.

Tip 2: Closet Health Check

I always tell clients that before you go buying up the world for summer, check-in your closet first! Check to see if there are things that don’t fit well, need mending, or are just not your style anymore. While you are in there, you will find pieces you haven’t thought of that are in good shape and even possibly be remixed to be a spicy number. Once you have your closet inventory, then you can shop. I will always be of the mind that having staples will make your life easier, and it allows you to have structure for your outfits, especially if you’re going to experiment with trendy colors and patterns.

Word of advice, no matter what’s in season or hottest trend, if you aren’t 100% yes when you get it leave it on the site or rack. Some trends are cute to look at but aren’t for your body shape or lifestyle. I recently saw a cute denim jumpsuit but looking at it in more detail; it required a lot to just get into it. Fashion is meant to be fun and a form of expression, yet I see women wearing trendy pieces that swallow them up or mask their true selves. You don’t have to make a huge investment in trendy pieces unless it speaks to your heart.

Tip 3: Beauty Check

Summer beauty often gets overlooked as we go out more and wear less. Wearing complexion products like foundation can be tricky if you’re poolside. I recently picked up the Rare Beauty Tinted Moisturizer, which gives you just enough coverage to look together without the heaviness of a full foundation. I reserve my foundations for nights out or something where I will be inside.

A hot product that I reach for a lot in the summer is the Fenty Cream Blushes, as they give you that nice flush of color that wears well as the day goes on. My go-to summer beauty is brows, lips, and lashes with a little skin correction. Oh, and this is an obvious thing we wear sunscreen in this house. Make sure you have a sunscreen that supports your skin and touch it up often. Sunscreen is not something just for summer, but I know the girls can be a bit lax in the winter months.

Summer fashion is a collection of your self-expression fun, light, and vibrant. Make sure your keeping it safe and give looks this summer. If you follow me on Twitter, make sure you tag me in your fashion looks.

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