Photo by Jeffery Erhunse on Unsplash


We get so caught up in the idea that for some reason that these major milestones in life are supposed to happen sequentially, and within every 3-5 business days.


If you’ve been hiding under a rock or if you’re a billionaire, then time has basically stood still since March. I feel like these next few (or several) blog posts that I write will have some level of me grappling with the idea of time. So, brace yourselves beloved. We’re in this together. With that being said, I was thinking to myself yesternight, as I was washing dishes and preparing for the week ahead, that I’ve basically been, “last off the bench” most of life, or so I thought. Meaning, that in almost every area of my life at some point, I have felt as though things do not either work as quickly or go as smoothly as I would’ve hoped for and I was the “last” to experience certain societal “milestones”. In my younger mind (literally 5 months ago), I used to think I was the “last” to get a boyfriend, have my first kiss, get my own place, get married, start my career and get a job, get a car, get funding for school and so forth. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Loy how can you possibly say that, when you got a whole PhD?” Sounds like “First World” problems, right?

For one thing, my value is not based on my PhD, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t think that it did in the past. I’ve compared myself to myself most of my life, but every now and again, I would scroll through social media or even look through LinkedIn to see where my peers and colleagues were in their careers (judge yo mama, don’t judge me). A good number of us have all looked to our peers and other people to see how they have progressed in life, in relation to our own progression. I don’t do it often, but I’ve done it enough times, whereby I start questioning my own accomplishments and achievements. Let me also say, I was more prone to do this when I was more mentally and emotionally vulnerable and sensitive.

In some respects, there was a slight stall and delay in my professional and personal life. Whether that’s on my part on the professional side of things, for not “properly” and efficiently navigating the workspace, or more of the issues surrounding structural and institutional racism—most likely both. Like I’ve said before, having a PhD doesn’t guarantee you professional success, whatsoever.  However, a lot of my “last off the bench” reflections revolve around the most relatable human needs—love and partnering and then money and jobs. As human people, we want to feel loved, be loved, and if you are not a selfish mofo, you want to give love, but in the same breadth we also want and need income that allows us to meet our basic human necessities and also plan for the future.

What I’ve now come to realize is that I was never actually the last off the bench. Matter of a fact, there is no actual bench. My time to experience certain things in life, just did not happen yet. We get so caught up in the idea that for some reason that these major milestones in life are supposed to happen sequentially and within every 3-5 business days. A lot of it has to do with how the internet and social media has added to the pressure and the idea that struggle and challenge should be minimal as you journey through life, when in all actuality, it simply ebbs and flows. Good and great things will happen to you, and not-so-good and bad things will happen as well. Your goal is to ride the wave as best you can and enjoy the scenery during the journey.

Here are 4 things that you should keep in my mind if ever you feel like you were once like me in thinking that you were the “last off the bench”:


What’s yours is yours

In my time on this Earth, I’ve come to the conclusion that everything that was ever for me, was and is for me. Nothing of mine belongs to anyone else and whatever someone else has, is not for me. You want to have your own things and your own stuff, that way you will treat it well and appreciate it more.

Time is irrelevant

Wheew! This right here is a sermon. Time is generally a social construct that capitalistic ideals and entities have manipulated for us to believe that we are bound to it. When you let go of the idea of timelines and that everything needs to work a certain way, during a particular time, you really begin to live. That does not mean to not be conscious of time, but rather to be mindful of it and don’t let it control you.

Preparation is KEY

If you don’t prepare yourself for what you want in life, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. If this simply means being more disciplined in reading up on your interests, passions and career, then do it. At minimum it can only enhance your knowledge on the subject. You won’t know everything and you will never be 100% prepared, but you will have more confidence in what you bring to the table and in yourself. You will also be more ready for your time to shine, than you would’ve been if you didn’t prepare yourself for those opportunities. 

You hold the Power

I can’t stress this enough. We are living in a time where so many of us feel powerless and hopeless, but one thing that remains, is that we each hold our own individual power and agency, and at any given time,  we can do better for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Power does not lie solely in the material. The most impactful type of power is your inner peace, resilience and ability to commit to wanting to be a better version of yourself in all aspects of life. That’s real power.





Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash


Being present can be challenging and you are not required to do it 24/7 and it’s unrealistic and humanly impossible to be present all the time and to require someone to do so. Giving to your people should be a bilateral relationship, that can be mutually beneficial to whoever is involved, but giving of yourself requires you to be okay with doing it, but also be okay with the fact that you may not get the same back in return.

I titled this blog post “Giving to Your People” because I realized a lot of us don’t understand what that actually means. The act of giving in my opinion is a fundamental part of human interaction and engagement. In some ways it’s almost part of our payment to live life on Earth. Last week I wrote about needing, finding and choosing your people, but this week I want to focus on giving to your people, which to me is not only being present with your peeps, but also to be able to fulfill those friendship needs.

Different people need and require different things from you and vice versa. Most of us don’t communicate exactly what we need well enough, which in actuality is really because we don’t even know what it is, we need from people. Being present can be challenging and you are not required to do it 24/7 and it’s unrealistic and humanly impossible to be present all the time and to require someone to do so. Giving to your people should be a bilateral relationship, that can be mutually beneficial to whoever is involved, but giving of yourself requires you to be okay with doing it, but also be okay with the fact that you may not get the same back in return. Yeah, that part definitely sounds janky, but it’s the truth. You have to look at it as personally pouring into someone’s overall wellness, and positive energy you’re giving out and at some point you will get back.

There are several ways that we all give to one another. It’s a little reminiscent of the very popular book by Gary Chapman, “5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. In the book Chapman describes the 5 love languages as, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Just like romantic partnerships, friendships and relationships in your social groups can fall into these categories. Personally, I believe that most of us like a little bit of everything and it is not a black and white thing. For example, some people in your social group might just like a simple text message, a phone call, getting dinner together, while someone else may like small gifts or sitting with them on the couch watching tv (couch-lounging is definitely showing up a lot in this series, huh?). It all depends on the person.

In all of this, it is vital to be present, but not to your detriment. I often do mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical check-ins with myself because what I realized is that if one of those four things are out-of-balance, I tend to suffer the consequences. I typically do check-ins daily and weekly, to make sure your girl is good. I am the queen of texting, “Hey guys, I’ll be offline for a couple days, to get balanced,” and I do this to be transparent but also to let my friends know that I’m okay but need to step back a little bit. You have to make sure you draw your boundaries and monitor your wellness.

As humans we desire and to some degree need validation from our loved ones in our social and familial circles. Giving to your people is a great way to show you care and also show support to your loved ones. Below are some elements of giving to your people that I believe can be helpful to the think about in order for you to be more present in your friend and social groups.


Giving to your people should not feel like a chore

When you give to your people and it feels like it’s a struggle, invokes some level of negative emotions, or you just simply don’t want to, then don’t. If it’s like pulling teeth for you to be present and give of yourself to your people, then please my friend, abort mission. The flipside to this, however, is that the more you give the more you get used to it, but also it makes you feel good.


Giving to your people should come from your heart

The act of giving should come from a place of honest and earnest human compassion, thoughtfulness and care for someone else. It makes it easier for you, when giving comes from your heart but also it connects you differently to the human experience.


Giving to your people means you give when or if you can

Sometimes you may not have anything to give, both literally and figuratively, hence why it is so important to check-in on yourself regularly. Don’t feel pressured to give and be present. I’ve had moments when I had to completely step away from my loved ones for weeks at time because I was emotionally and mentally drained from other things.  Other times I wanted so desperately to do more for them by sending a small gift of something I know they would need and like, but I didn’t have the money and had to prioritize other financial obligations.


Giving to your people is an act of selflessness

We all have had selfish moments and if you say you haven’t then you’re probably lying to yourself. Giving of yourself at any capacity should 9 out of 10 times be an act of selflessness, meaning your more concerned with the needs of other people, than your own. Selflessness increases your ability to love and show love to yourself and to people. I do believe it takes a particularly self-aware, strong, and kind person to be completely selfless, but certainly something we should all strive towards.


Giving to your people means you pay attention to their needs

Life requires and demands a lot from us on a continuous basis and sometimes you find yourself running on fumes, forgetting to take a break. That is where paying attention to the needs of your people is essential to be able to be there for them. This also means that a conversation needs to happen, asking what they need from you and what you need from them as a friend, as well.


Giving to your people should not be one sided

This is probably the one point that you were waiting to read. Yes, giving to your people should not be one sided, but sometimes it will be. There are times that someone might need you more than you need them because life has hit them so hard, that they can’t even be there for themselves properly. If your relationship is built on a solid and honest foundation, then in most cases that same friend will return the love and support to you eventually.


Giving to your people means you don’t keep track of how much you’ve given

One thing that many of us do, is we keep tabs of how much we have been there for someone else verses how much they have been there for us. This is a very human thing, but also can lead to an unhealthy level of comparison. If you get to a point that you feel you are there for someone more than they have been there for you, then most likely you might need to have a serious conversation with that person. However, when you give to others, you generally should not expect something in return because you are giving from the heart and showing that you honestly care for that person.


Giving to your people can help you with your own personal growth

Being there for people is an essential part of your personal growth because it stretches your capacity to care and love others. I believe one of the goals of this life is to be able to expand the level in which we connect with one another. This in turn can positively impact other areas of our lives, such as at work, school, and in our other relationships, making you more efficient and in-tune with those around you.


Giving to your people is a way to show that you care

A lot of people walk this planet, not knowing that someone out there actually cares about them, so for someone to show you that you matter and are loved in all your imperfect glory, is truly something beautiful.



Photo by Mohau Mannathoko on Unsplash


*Trigger Warning*: This blog post may contain triggering or sensitive material, especially during these times. Please be mindful when reading this post.


Have you ever thought about the people in your life and just felt so happy and lucky to have them around, or maybe the opposite? I definitely have, but it’s usually the former for me. The people that I’ve chosen to do life with, outside of blood relatives are a specifically curated, unique and loving bunch, that I’m rather blessed to have. Before I go any further, let me define what I mean by people. When I say people, I’m not talking about “Our People”, as in African descendent peoples, I’m talking about, Yoouuurr People. Your friends, plus your family or those who’ve become your family… your framily. Your confidants, your fellow couch loungers, your travel buddies, and whatever else you want to call them.These are not perfect relationships at all, but they are part of the intricate fabric that make up who you are. 

These are the people that you have shared some of your most intimate moments with and you’ve been there for each other in ways that even many family members have not. Although, I personally do not use this word, unless in very specific instances nor do I believe much in its usage (another story, for another day), many people call this, their tribe. If you think about the western definition of tribe, which is basically members of a community and society which can also include familial lineage, that essentially denotes a human social group that share the same culture, economic system, beliefs, language, dialect etc., then you can sort of understand why people refer to their own personal social groups as tribes.

Over the years I’ve come to cherish the community that me and my friends have built and the ones that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. Your people or community are an essential part of your growth and development as a person and finding and choosing your people is equally as important. Now I know it sounds a bit possessive and selfish-ish describing it as “finding” and “choosing” your people, but there is most certainly an element of being intentional about it.

The next few Well-Being blogs will be about Finding and Choosing Your People, Giving to Your People, and Losing Your People. In these very weird times we’re in, there are a few things that you can pay attention to when finding and choosing your people because we need them more than ever.


Your People can be found anywhere and in spaces you most frequent

A lot of times your people are already part of your community and the places you typically visit, but sometimes you can find your people when you randomly attend events, functions or running everyday errands. The people you naturally and organically connect with are often times the ones that you will have longer lasting relationships with.  


Your People enjoy your company and you have a good time with them

Who wants to be around people that act like they don’t even want you around? I know I sure don’t.  Your people give you good vibes, like having you around and like doing things with you, even when you all are just lounging on the couch, doing nothing.  


Your People show up and are present

Identify who has been there for you, showed up for you, and have been present. This is a really important aspect in finding your people. It is not easy to always be there for someone, it’s actually really hard to do because we are all so busy and have different daily responsibilities. However, it is always great, when people show up for you in the times you need them most or just because they were thinking about you.  


Your People wish you well and always want to see you win

Life is not easy but having a great and strong support system is vital, no matter the size. Your people want the best for you in all aspects of your life. They don’t wish you harm, but rather they want you to succeed and be the best you can possibly be. 


Your People Affirm you

They always let you know how great you are. Your people see the light in you and just how beautifully you were made, flaws and all. They see your potential  and affirm you.


Your People are concerned about your wellness and encourage and support healthy behaviors

When you’re not your normal self, your people notice. They won’t always get it right, nor is it their sole responsibility but when it comes to your wellness your people want you to live a healthy life, as much as possible. 


Your People don’t judge you and accept you as you are and where you are

They are people who you feel comfortable with sharing intimate things with and allow you to be your authentic-self. When you feel judged it can really impact your self-esteem and it becomes hard for you to share who you really are. Your People don’t want you to hide or play small.


Your People tell you the truth

They are honest, yet gentle in their truth-telling while giving you advice, their opinion and the support they give to you and your endeavors. One thing that people sometimes get wrong is that, when you tell the truth to someone it has to be told hostilely, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can communicate your thoughts and feelings without having to yell or belittle the other person. Your people will always keep it a buck with you and love on you in the process.


Your People challenge you

They are the ones that challenge you emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and also dare you to try new things. That does not mean that it’s always a mental exercise, but rather your people encourage you to see things from different perspectives and point-of-views that help you grow.




Photo by  Kaylee Brayneon Unsplash


 …if we don’t find the sweetness in life, then we run the risk of living a very unfulfilled and unhappy existence. The thing about affirmations is that you have to believe what you are saying or rather, you repeat it enough times until you believe it.

It has been such a tough several weeks for all of us. I’m not sure if I have ever felt this uncertain about the future for me and my loved ones, and also the future of world. Everything is so up in the air because of COVID-19. Last week was up and down for me. I struggled to stay motivated and productive as news of the Coronavirus hit closer to home. I spent much of my time watching, reading and listening to news about the disease, while also trying to figure out how to get my family members who are abroad back to the States or making sure they’re taking the necessary precautions to keep them safe, all while fighting to keep my own sanity. Trust, this week I will not be doing that. It was a lot. Luckily, I had several virtual happy hours with my friends that really cheered me up.

When I am down in the dumps there are a few things I commit to doing despite how I may be feeling inside. Two of them being meditation and repeating my daily affirmations. I can’t tell you how much incorporating meditation and daily affirmations changed my life. For today’s blog post, I’m going to talk about affirmations; what they are, how I use them and why you should consider adding them to your arsenal of personal wellness tools.

Affirmations are not something new that sprouted out of nowhere. In various cultures there are oral traditions, sayings, scriptures, writings, stories, songs etc. that are used to encourage and guide people through life. Affirmations are a specific set of phrases and statements that are supposed to help you combat self-deprecating and negative self-talk and thoughts, that we are all guilty of. It is absolutely too easy to say and think negative things about yourself, especially with the way the world is set-up. The messages that we absorb from mainstream culture, as well as the historical periods that reinforced race, class, gender and other social forms of discrimination, have ultimately left us with obscured images of ourselves. Affirmations are meant to challenge all that mess, because it surely is a mess.

Before I even knew that there was an American term for what I called positive thinking and speaking life into myself and the situations I found myself in, I was exposed to my Luo cultural fables, stories and proverbs though my mother.  Just like any African or Black parent, she would use these proverbial expressions when I didn’t complete a chore, got bad grades, but specifically when I was sad or disappointed about something. In high school I started writing in my journals about how intelligent, beautiful and capable I was. I would either printout the words and phrases in big font or write them out on manilla paper and tape them on my closet door. Growing up as a taller, bigger, dark brown girl in an area where it wasn’t appreciated, you had to make sure to protect yourself the best you could.

The power of affirmations and why so many people stand by using them, is in the ability to change your perspective.

When I got my first job after college working at a call center on the non-profit side at a clinical research organization, processing applications for patients who could not afford medication for aggressive illnesses, I would take Post-It notes and tape them all over my computer with affirmations. The job was stressful because I had to reach daily metrics for processing applications and if we did not meet them, we would get reprimanded. I remember my favorite Post-It being, “Positive thinking, gets positive results”.


Photo by joah brown on Unsplash


The power of affirmations and why so many people stand by using them, is in the ability to change your perspective. A lot of things in life are out of our control, but the few things we actually do have control over are how we treat, think and feel about ourselves. Changing your perspective from a lack and deficit mindset, to a positive and abundance mindset will literally shift the way you see the world. We’ve all heard the adage, “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” and it is the same exact concept. People’s perceptions shape how they see and view the world. This doesn’t mean that you live in la-la land and avoid reality, but it does mean that regardless of the outcome of whatever situation, you are committing to see the lesson and the positive aspects in everything you encounter. 

Life can absolutely suck sometimes, and we might be currently living in one of those very sucky moments, and finding sweetness when everything tastes sour is hard. However, if we don’t find the sweetness in life, then we run the risk of living a very unfulfilled and unhappy existence. The thing about affirmations is that you have to believe what you are saying or rather, you repeat it enough times until you believe it. It will take some time for you to get to a point whereby you actually believe what you are saying, but it feels so good when the words you repeat actually become powerful to you.

Here are some ways to start practicing and incorporating affirmations in your wellness routine and also some examples of affirmations I have used.

How to start using Affirmations:

  • Take some self-inventory about how much negative talk you say to yourself throughout the day. Jot it down each time you catch yourself talking down on yourself. Do this for one day or a few days. At the end of each day, count up the number of times and begin to reflect on why you say those things to yourself.
  • Write out and reflect on all the positive things that make you feel good about yourself and what you accomplished at the end of each day. This can be that you folded your laundry right away and didn’t wait to do it a week later, or you consistently drank more water throughout the week. Starting with these small things will help you see just how amazing you are. Not every accomplishment has to be big, but those smaller ones are some of the most important. 
  • Start formulating your affirmations with “I am…” and “I will…” statements, in areas of your life that you want to change for the better. This can be wanting to be a kinder person to yourself and others, or wanting to perform better at work or school.
  • Place your affirmations where you have easy access to them and you can see them daily and you can pull them out whenever you want.
  • Repeat them in the morning, during lunch, heading to work, before a meeting, during your workout, while washing dishes, before a date etc. Say them throughout the day, especially when you find yourself feeling low and thinking negatively.
  • Be patient and be kind to yourself. Commit to saying and repeating your affirmations daily, weekly, and monthly.



Examples of Affirmations:

“I am where I am supposed to be and I am learning valuable lessons and skills.”

“My body is beautiful as it is and everyday I do little things that contribute to my total wellness.”

“I am enough and I deserve to be here.”

“Everything that is meant for me is mine and is coming towards me and everything that is not, was not meant to be.

“I am not the things of my past because I am ever-evolving and growing.”

“Challenges are temporary and are designed to make me stronger and wiser.”

“I am prepared to give the best of myself in everything I do.”

“I let go of all the thoughts, things, and people that cause me pain and I am whole as I am.





I wanted to wait a bit to write this blog but I think it is beyond timely because of everything that is going on concerning the spread of the Coronavirus, which has a lot of us who are able to, practicing Social Distancing. Fear, panic and anxiety are extremely high on a global scale. This also means you have a lot more time to think and be in your head more. So in an effort to help where I can, I wanted to share and add to the conversations that are happening in our personal relationships, communities and through the interwebs about self-kindness and gentleness. It is a very interesting time we are in, and possibly a good time to remember to love on ourselves.  

Now that I’m comfortably in my 30s, I’ve worked [expletive] hard to get to a place that I don’t talk down on myself, my body, or my talents as much or at all for that matter, not that I get it right every time. Getting to a point of true self-love and self-acceptance is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that a person will have to go through.  My hope is that if there are any younger women and men in their 20s, in particular reading this, that you begin to recognize the areas of your life that you can ease up putting pressure on yourself. Remember, It. Is. A. Process.

Forgive yourself

I used to define forgiveness differently than what I now understand it to be. Just like many of us, my idea of forgiveness, whereby you essentially forgive wrongdoings that were done against you by others to allow yourself a chance to successfully move on with your life. This is still basically true, but what I did not fully grasp is the idea that you can and need to forgive yourself for experiences and things you participated in, that may have caused harm to you.

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is actually the true definition of being kind and gentle with yourself in my opinion, to be honest. Forgiving yourself means to let go of the feelings of anger, guilt, shame, resentment and any other emotion that negatively emotionally suspends you from developing healthier emotional habits.  This can include what you deem to be failures, mistakes, or the “shoulda-woulda-coulda’s”. A lot of times we carry things that are not our own, but rather projections of peoples and societies expectations of us. You’re obligation is to your wellness first and forever. 

Love your Body

Our bodies hold a lot of joy and a lot of pain. Our bodies are sometimes the physical manifestations of childhood and adult traumas, but also our bodies are vessels of inspiration, triumphs, and life creations. Regardless of what it is, our bodies hold all of that. I have a gazillion stretch marks that I think look awesome. I’ve had them since I was a pre-teen, so we basically grew up together. I can rundown the list of the body parts that used to cause me emotional, mental and physical strife. I forced myself to stand in the mirror daily last year and speak positive things about my body. It worked wonders.

The reality is we only have one body and it is our responsibility to take care of it, the best we can. This may be hard for a lot of people because of resource constraints, but it does not negate the fact that we should be more conscious of our physical health.  Feeling good about your body is hard, especially when messaging around beauty and body politics historically have favored and praised Eurocentric beauty and body types, virtually leaving 90% of the world’s population out of the discussion. Your body is yours. Uniquely made. It is perfectly, imperfect. The sooner you love on it and affirm it, the sooner life will begin to look different, as well.

Slow down your mind and block the noise

One of my personal challenges and struggles has been slowing down my mind and thoughts. I have struggled with this since I was a kid. I believe it has a lot to do with the uncertainty  and instability that my family experienced early on. I also have a tendency to want to fix or mitigate problems or potential challenges quickly, not to mention I was an infamously shy, nervous, and fearful child, going well into my 20s. I didn’t like causing problems or being a problem.

This caused me to have intense bouts of anxiety, insomnia, and my mind constantly racing. I learned to slow down my mind by taking one day at a time, meditating daily, and immediately stopping certain negative and harmful thoughts. I would literally say, “No, Loy. Do not go there. You have grown and you are amazing.” I worked hard on not replaying “bad things” or experiences from the past because those were the ones that had me up at night. There are things you can control and  things you cannot control. Everything is temporary. Slow down and breathe.

Be honest and vulnerable about your life as it is

Honesty is vulnerability and vulnerability is honesty. Do not forget that. It is easy to want to believe and live in alternate realities, that are different from your present day to day. A lot of us do it actually as a defense mechanism because if we come out of that mental space, we might unravel. It can be a survival tactic. Most things in this life are absolutely and positively temporary. It is important that you accept your reality and life as it is, now and continue to build and affirm your future and things you want to accomplish in life.

When you become more vulnerable and honest about your life, you also take back your power and you own your ish. Owning your ish is absolutely empowering, especially when you know you are striving to be a better person for yourself and the others around you. There is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed about. Everyone’s journey is different and yours is uniquely your own. Own it.

Allow moments and experiences to be just that

Life is also a series of moments and experiences or how we experience and understand moments and events that happen in our lives. You have to enjoy the good ones for what they are, as they happen. Experience them fully.

Commit to feeling the good ones again and making sure that you can be your happy and authentic self as often as you can. The bad, harmful or not-so-good moments and experiences, will also happen, but your task is to not stay in those moments. Those moments can easily bring you down and impact your day. Just like I said before, everything is temporary. Nothing will ever remain the same forever. Life constantly ebbs and flows and you will have to find your rhythm. Embrace the moments that make you feel good, give you inspiration and feed your spirit.


What types of things do you do to be more kind and gentle with yourself?




I am a doctor but not the medical kind of doctor, so information and content presented on Akullu (“we,” “us” or “our”) on (the “Site”) blog is purely to share my personal experience and for educational and entertainment purposes only. As always, check with a medical doctor or specialist before making any fitness or nutrition changes or a trained professional if you are seeking to achieve personal and professional goals. Read Full Disclaimers




The reality is that “People, need people”, and there isn’t a truer statement. However, a lot of this life we live calls and demands of us to walk bravely and boldly by ourselves, as we often are walking into the wilderness of life. These are some of the most important times of your life that may have significant impact on the level of your success. Self-discipline and personal resolve can get you farther than what you know


I know you read the title and you were like, “Girl, what are you saying?!” Don’t get it twisted; I am all about community building, collective growth, and collaboration. At my core those are fundamental pillars that I live by, but there also comes a time where those things have to be put aside and you get focused, get your work done and demolish your goals, by yourself.

The idea of having an accountability partner is a great task management slash social mechanism tool that can exponentially increase your productivity while also boosting your confidence. I believe strongly in the concept of accountability partnering, but for the right reasons and the right times. If you are someone like me, who needs space and periods of self-imposed isolation for mental clarity to really get your work done and think through ideas, then having an accountability partner may hinder that. If you’re thinking that this sounds totally antithetical to what we’ve been taught or even what has been pushed through the modern self-care movement. You are absolutely correct, but it beez like that sometimes.

Before I get into why you might not necessarily need an accountability partner, let’s breakdown why in fact you actually may need one and you can likely benefit from having such a loyal comrade in the struggle to achieve your wildest dreams.By no means am I encouraging your introversion, but what I am encouraging is your ability to strengthen the belief in yourself.  Also, to be clear, I’m specifically talking about work-related and creative project development accountability partner scenarios. Here are a few of the vital reasons I believe accountability partners can be crucial to your personal journey.

Why you DO Need An Accountability Partner

Keeps you on track and accountable

The top reason most people have accountability partners is to have someone or a group of people, hold them accountable and responsible in setting specific goals, creating actionable steps and then following through with completing and reaching those goals. It’s easy to set goals, but the challenge always becomes getting them done and actually checking them off as completed. They also help in keeping the number one enemy of progress, procrastination at bay.

Ideal for Brainstorming and Idea Sharing

Personally, I am a big fan of a good Groupthink session, whereby a total idea and creative data dump is thrown on the table and we are able to breakdown whatever ideas that come to mind about a particular project or activity a person is trying to bring to life. For certain projects this is essential in developing and conceptualizing an efficient framework, and also a strong component of having accountability partners.

A Support System and a Safe Space

The biggest and most amazing aspect of being a part of an accountability partnership is the feeling of knowing you have a support system, personal cheerleader and a safe space to vent and share challenges and successes of your personal journey. Many times when certain work or activities need to be done, we can feel like we are in it alone, but having people who can relate and encourage you to keep going, is definitely the cherry on top. That is why it is crucially important to choose the serious and focused individuals.

So let’s get to it. Now, why don’t you need an accountability partner, you ask?

Why you MIGHT not need an Accountability partner

It can be a Distraction

For me and my personal journey, be it in fitness, academic/research writing, or even pursuing my creative endeavors, I typically have a ton of distractions that always throw me for a loop. For this reason, anything else that adds to that long list of unnecessary and unavoidable distractions I need to stay far far away from. Having an accountability partner or in many cases being in a group, can act as an added distraction to you getting tasks done. This can also add to the stress and anxiety of achieving your goals.

Strengthening Self-Discipline and Personal Resolve

The reality is that “People, need people”, and there isn’t a truer statement. However, a lot of this life we live calls and demands of us to walk bravely and boldly by ourselves, as we often are walking into the wilderness of life. These are some of the most important times of your life that may have significant impact on the level of your success. Self-discipline and personal resolve can get you farther than what you know. Essentially, these acts of self-actualization affirm who you are, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, leading to immense feelings of self-gratification, which you need by the way. In fact, building these aspects of yourself can equip you to be an even better partner to someone else.

Flow of Creativity and Protection of Ideas

This might not be the reality for many people, but there is something to be said about conceptualizing your own idea and seeing it come into fruition. I find that my creativity flows more smoothly and abundantly when I’ve personally committed to seeing it through. I am able to think clearly and go through my long creative process to fully allow my idea to grow and because of this I become very protective over my ideas and creative projects. Ultimately, I bring in people when I feel most comfortable and confident to share and inquire about input and feedback. This is also important for creatives because our creations are like our babies and idea theft is real.

Different Work Styles

Work style is something I just recently started taking more seriously. We all work differently and we all flourish in different settings and environments. That is why figuring out your individual work style is as important as knowing your social security number. Well, maybe not that important, but it definitely comes close. I work best by myself. I train and workout best by myself as well, and this is really because I take these things very seriously and I want to dedicate a specific amount of time to them, so I can go link-up with the homies for mango martinis afterwards. If you are like me, then having an accountability partner can possibly shoot you in the foot, in this regard.

Less talking, More Action

Have you ever talked about something so much that you psyche yourself out of it, or it just ends up not ever happening? Join the club. Life is an adventure to me and I get really excited about almost everything that goes on in my life. I’m the type of person that always wants to share and bring people into what I’m doing. Some of this is because I can get anxiety doing things alone, but more often than not, it’s because I think the more talented people that are involved in a project, the better the final product will be. But there is strength in shutting your mouth and not sharing every single thought that comes to mind about what you’re working on. Not to mention it also shows people you are about your business and you do not need to talk about every little thing your doing or get validation from others. You become self-reliant and your own number one fan.

Now listen, there is a time and place for everything, just like having an accountability partner. Everybody is different and everybody uses different tools to succeed. Whatever your reasoning may be for having or not having an accountability partner, just make sure you are making the best decision for you to achieve and reach your goals. Always take time out to think through your goals, develop a plan, and then put that plan in action. By no means am I encouraging your introversion, but what I am encouraging is your ability to strengthen the belief in yourself. As always, I’m rooting for you.