Ever been thrown under the bus by someone you thought was your friend? If you've ever had an envious friend then of course you have. The laughing stock of a low blow joke? If that envious friend was up to her venomous ways again then we can all say yes in unison. No shocker here. The subject of a nasty rumor? While I really hope you were never victim to this, again, envious women are vicious and like to turn as many people against you as possible, so unfortunately, you probably have been. Perhaps you were even forced into shoes of someone who everyone gained up on and belittled to the point of tears. It’s not a fun way to wake up to the true colors of those you surround yourself with and to learn of how low they’re willing to treat you before you walk away. It still puzzles me why women don't do this sooner and how easily they accept mistreatment as part of every "friendship". To gain a healthy sense of the type of people you should surround yourself with, read my article WHO YOU CHOOSE TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH, YOU BECOME.

I’d also like to stir your thoughts on the value you can bring to an unhealthy situation. This does not mean if you have the ability to get out of an unhealthy situation you don't utilize it. Yes, distancing yourself from negative people is absolutely healthy. Yes, cutting ties with someone who pours toxicity into you is absolutely healthy. Yes, placing conditions on your friendship is absolutely healthy. Yes, walking away from those who cut you down, abuse you, starve your spirit, and demean you is absolutely necessary. It is essential to enforce healthy boundaries for the sake of your well being. It is also key, however, to embrace the power of your own value in unhealthy situations, especially if it’s in a situation that you can’t quite get away from altogether (i.e. a narcissistic family member, a toxic coworker, or someone you run into on a regular basis). Sometimes it’s just not possible to remove yourself permanently from all the negativity in your life. So what do you do when you can’t rid yourself from negative energy altogether? The good news is that there are LOTS of great solutions to these problems that everybody has in their lives so that we can enhance our quality of living and lead our healthiest life. Embracing the value in your own voice is one of them.

Sadly, a lot of people lose sense of their voice when they’re in the presence of negativity, an overbearing person, or in a situation where they’re the target of bullying, or were ‘thrown to the wolves’. A lot of times, to escape the pain this situation brings them, they will lose touch of themselves through psychological conformity. They will begin conforming to others’ beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors at the cost of their own authenticity to be liked, accepted, and validated by those around them. It is through this social influencing one silences their true self, their voice, their individuality, their differences, and being exceptional, to not risk rejection, conflict, or experiencing more pain. They lose sense of their identity through conforming to others.

When you root yourself in your authenticity and are grounded in who you are, what you believe, what you value, what you feel, where you stand, and where you end and others begin, you strengthen the power of your voice. Your identity becomes shielded and you find the freedom to be yourself. This gives you peace and fulfillment. This allows you to shamelessly speak your truth and to be strong enough to stand behind it when all hell breaks loose because it did not align with someone else’s opinion. Let me make one thing clear. You were YOU before anyone had an opinion. Don’t let the opinions of others take away your voice or your authenticity. Don’t let anyone silence you because they don’t see eye to eye with you. Don’t let anyone bully you out of being in tune to your power. They do not have any power over you unless you hand it to them.

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting."

- E. E. Cummings

Be strong in who you are, your values, your beliefs, what sets you amazingly apart, and you will begin to attract those who believe in you, look up to you, and want to be like you. Your strength, courage, and authenticity is magnetic. Don’t second guess your ability to be a fierce influential leader who radiates strength, dignity, peace, joy, love, and empowerment. Don't hide your talents and gifts behind fear, but burst at the seams from embracing them so fully. Be proud of the person you are. Be bold in who you are. Draw lines. Kill with kindness. Put your foot down. Fight vice with virtue for a change. Smother the flames with your confidence. Don't lower yourself to their level, but soar high! Have the madness to shout your realness from rooftops, to crush stones others throw at you, to dance in the rain, to laugh in the face of fear, and to stand alone on something you believe in. Your stance is contagious. Don’t be afraid to show the world the real you, to share your truth, and to speak your mind in the face of adversity. You are an incredibly powerful person and when you can awaken the giant within you, your energy will penetrate everyone around you. They’re not invulnerable to you. They are affected by you whether they like it or not. In fact, your influence may even change their minds on a thing or two.

Be daring in your differences, your thoughts, your attitude, your actions, and the beat of your own drum. Be fearlessly, authentically, and delightfully YOU because you have a big say in this life and what you breathe into it. Open minded, respectful, humble? Absolutely. Forgetting your identity and the value of your authenticity? Not negotiable. This week, I want you to make sure you walk your walk, talk your talk, do your thang, and make the world not need to guess who just showed up. Be so powerful that when someone has the audacity to throw you to the wolves you have the audacity to return leading the pack.