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I attended Radio One Detroit’s 2nd Annual Women’s Empowerment Expo held at the Cobo Center in Detroit on August 15, 2015. The event drew a great crowd of women looking to empower themselves and receive words of wisdom from event keynote speaker Iyanla Vanzant.

The expo also featured seminars ranging from “How to Successfully Promote Your Business” to “Keeping the Relate in Your Relationship.” Iyanla Vanzant dropped valuable gems on us and lit up the stage with her presence. SLA shares with you what we’ve learned!

1. Beauty is subjective

Iyanla explained that being a dark-skinned woman with kinky hair was not part of accepted societal beauty standards. As a result she compared herself to everyone else.

She had to make a conscious decision to love and accept who she was and to find beauty in that. Had she not found beauty in herself, she would not be the successful speaker she is today.

2. Every stage of life has a purpose

The purpose in life of a 20-year-old is vastly different from that of a 50-year-old. That is OK. Embracing your life in stages allows you to understand your purpose through your experiences.

Allow your wrinkles to set in, love the rolls around your belly and embrace your stretch marks. Forgive. Understand that your life is like constructing a house. Everything starts with a plan —floor plans, lighting plans, plumbing plans— before the first brick is laid on cement.

If you do not plan for your life or your business you will become bitter from failure, and there’s nothing successful about being bitter.

3. You matter

Women matter. Until you comprehend the power in your value, you will never become conscious of the fact that you matter. When you don’t believe that you matter, you tend to do things that prove what you think is accurate [that you do not matter].

You may not realize it in the present, but when you look back at your life and see your behavior and choices, it will show whether you believed that you matter. This can manifest in relationships, business and even finance.

Your choices will not reflect growth or change for the better unless you believe you matter enough to change them.

4. Understand your personal journey

Comparison is the number one killer of achievement. Comparing yourself to other women only allows you to look down on what they have and not to look up at what you want to be.

If you are solely focused on your own achievements you will not lose sight of your vision and the path to realizing it.

5. Pause

Life happens – for better and sometimes for worse. If you go through your 20s to 80s without a pause, you will end up angry and confused about the happenings of your life.

Every stage in your life requires a pause to find clarity and to learn the lessons. You cannot carry the burdens and mistakes from each stage in your life to the next one and expect to achieve anything.


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