By Ryan Velez

Malcolm “MJ” Harris is an entrepreneur and motivational speaker with plenty to offer and say, having even been mentioned by Oprah Winfrey. With the new year almost here, many people are thinking about what they can do to make things better than a 2017 that was rough for most people. Black Enterprise offers some wisdom from Harris on what you can leave behind to make your 2018 a little better.

One thing to do is let go of your fears, and this takes a two-fold approach. “No is firm, no is final and no is, more importantly, a complete sentence. Period. Dot. End of story. You don’t have to give any explanations as to why you said no. Explanations are a courtesy,” Harris says. In business and life, it’s easy to try and take the conciliatory road. However, you need to be more willing to set boundaries and enforce them.

By the same token, people pleasing can get you in a lot of trouble. “Some of y’all are stuck in jobs that you don’t want to be in, stuck in friendships that are no longer fruitful, living your life below your full potential because you are too focused on people pleasing. You are more scared of the responses some will have to you by disappointing them than you are afraid of living a life of regret by constantly doing things that you don’t want to do. When you live a life that is focused on people pleasing, you are literally living a life that was not designed for you,” says Harris.

With this said, self-confidence is also something that you can focus on for the new year. “It is not conceited, it is not arrogant to know that you are great, to walk within your self-worth. Think about every single thing that you have ever been through. The fact that you can get through that is a reflection of your resilience. You can’t manifest anything if you don’t believe in yourself. There is a direct tie between your level of belief within yourself and the level of accomplishments within your life.”

Finally, you may already know what it is you have to leave behind, but aren’t ready to do it. “Whatever you didn’t like about yourself, the way you were living, about your finances, about your health, none of that has to come into 2018. The only way it will be given access to 2018 is if you allow it in.”



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