Gloria Ward’s passion for her work comes from her life story. Born and raised by her grandmother in the Bronx, the author of Becoming Truly You always knew she wanted more for herself. Gloria seized that opportunity in college where she opened her first business as an IT specialist for other students at her HBCU, but success didn’t last for long. While Gloria’s business was thriving in college and she even made her first million dollars a few years after graduating, things eventually came to a halt after poor financial decisions and a failed marriage. In the midst of challenging life circumstances, Gloria found herself hanging with the wrong crowd and faced a DUI after crashing her vehicle. Though no one was hurt in the collision, it was this moment that saved Gloria and begged the question “who do you want to become?” From then on, Gloria has dedicated her life to mindfulness, healing herself, and healing others. She has touched the lives of hundreds of women through her organization, The I’m Loving Me Project, and has found a way to turn her pain into her purpose. Here’s ten key takeaways from our conversation:
Just because you’re not seeing results doesn’t mean your dream isn’t valid. Success takes time, especially if you’ve chosen the entrepreneurial path. Be patient with your dreams.
The people you surround yourself with have a bigger impact than you think. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “birds of a feather flock together.” The people in your circle have a huge impact on your reality--they help determine your “social norms”, and really do a lot to shape your realm of possibility.
In order to change your circumstances, you first need to acknowledge where you are, how you feel, and why you feel that way. We don’t always want to acknowledge the ugly parts of reality or even our personalities, but in order to stand in our truth and grow in positivity, we have to first understand our truth. This level of acknowledgement requires vulnerability, which believe it or not is a strength, not a weakness because it allows us to ask and answer the important questions.
The building phase is where the magic happens. Oftentimes we just want to skip to the success story, but it’s the journey that teaches us the life lessons we need to learn. While working towards any goal, be cognizant of all the opportunities that feed your mind, body, and soul. If you’re too focused on the endpoint, you miss out on so much and won’t appreciate what you’ve accomplished.
Success starts with self love. You have to love yourself enough to believe that you can get over the obstacles in your path, heal, and grow. The outside world will be full of statements and circumstances that seem to contradict your destiny, but if you commit to loving yourself you begin to believe in yourself. At that point, anything is possible.
You attract people and situations that match your frequency. In order to attract something or someone into your life, you have to match their vibration. During her time of healing, Gloria observed that when she began to change, everyone around her either began to change as well, or simply fell out of her life. So, if you’re running into the same issues at different jobs or different relationships, it may be time to take a step back and look at where there is an opportunity to improve from within.
Accountability is messy, but it’s worth it. It can be difficult to accept your responsibility or role in negative situations, but when you take the time to reflect and do the internal work to understand why certain cycles repeat themselves, you gain the power to break the cycle. Don’t think of it as blaming yourself for things that happened to you, think of it as the first step of taking control of your own narrative.
Living in a state of peace and joy is a choice. You can’t control the world around you, but you can control how you react to even the hardest of circumstances. Sure, our default reaction to hardship is to complain or feel disempowered, but the thing about a default reaction is that we can change it. Some ways to do this include focusing on why you got started in the first place, thinking about the joy you have working towards your goals, bringing attention to the positive aspects of life, and looking for the opportunity or lessons in the hardships. When you ground yourself in positivity, your reality becomes positive.
Personal isn’t always personal and criticism isn’t always bad. Human beings are selfish by default. Rather than taking criticism and negative feedback personally, take a step back and use empathy to see things from the opposite perspective. In doing this, you’ll not only gain compassion, but you’ll learn more about yourself, your business, and the world around you.
Having more isn’t the answer. In today’s day and age we are flooded with messages about how we need more: more money, more clothes, more followers, more of everything. However, what does more really get us? We have to learn to appreciate where we are and what we have before we can really appreciate the “more” that we are seeking to gain. After all, if we aren’t enjoying the process, what good is the outcome anyway?
Did you enjoy Gloria’s message? Check out the I’m Loving Me Project and join the movement.