In keeping with the Spirit of Purpose for this Blog – LIES that Limit™ – and in honor of Black History Month, I’m spotlighting proactive ways African Americans can break through LIES™ – the self-imposed barriers that still hinder people of color today. This is practical, transformational advice to address issues and challenges that limit personal and professional success for anyone – not just African Americans.
Putting aside systemic racism and individual prejudice, there are defining cultural beliefs that make it harder for African Americans to succeed. On top of that, here are a couple of stats that can reinforce these beliefs.
– In December 2009, the unemployment rate for Blacks (African Americans) was 16.2 percent, while only 9 percent for Whites.
– For young people ages 16 to 19, the unemployment rate for Whites was 23.6% compared to 48.4 for African Americans at the close of 2009.
– Nearly 50% of Black youth are not benefitting from the early lessons that come with having a job as a teenager, while 3 out of 4 white teens are. It’s an important experience when it comes to building and diversifying your network, developing coping skills and a strong work ethic.
There are many factors that contribute to these dismal numbers, but I’d like to focus on what we can actually control. The lies that limit – the lies that we’ve inherited from generations that went before us and that no one has shown us how get beyond – only hurt us.
This series of blogs will point out a few of those “LIES” and reveal the “TRUTHS” and proven ways to release long-held mental and emotional baggage, so we can move closer to a life fulfilled.
The LIE: If I forgive, I am weak. If I forgive, I let “them” win. I give up power and risk being taken advantage of like those who went before me.
The TRUTH: Forgive the Past. Whatever happened in the past – in your personal life, or to members of your family, or to your cultural/racial group – remember it; honor the struggle and the gains; learn from it; and then, let it go. How do you begin to move on?
• Dwell on the future, not the past. Talk about what you want and where you’re going.
• When you talk with others who are stuck on the past and the injustices they experienced, just listen. Don’t add any of your energy to what they’re saying. Let them say it, you listen. When there is an appropriate opportunity, change the subject to a more positive and constructive topic.
• Spend 50% less time with friends and associates who dwell on the negative and see how much better you’ll feel. When you feel good, you do good.
Next in the Lies That Limit Blog Black History Month Blog Series: People who don’t look like me don’t understand or accept me.
Please share your feedback and the lessons you’ve learned that have helped you live and lead with a Spirit of Purpose.