Sweep ‘Round Your Door FIRST Sis

Sis; (n) A person that needs to hear some real shit.

There’s an old country saying that lies deep within the black community.

“Sweep ’round yo door first, before you try to sweep ’round mine.”



I can still smell grandma’s fire engine red nail polish as this statement rolled off her tongue like lightning. It took some growing for me to understand what she meant as I eased dropped on “grown folk bidness.”

She was simply saying this, fix your shit first before you try and fix others around you.

Gangsta shit granny. I knew I got it from somewhere.

It is easy to point out the flaws of other people and the damage that those flaws create but when was the last time you inventoried your own toxic traits?

I don’t mean to snatch edges but…..

Are you checking yourself? Are you truly holding yourself accountable for your actions; taking the steps needed to be emotionally and mentally mature?


Toxic Unaccountability

For months I’ve been stewing in the reality that my professional career, which was much like a family, took little to no notice of all the hardships and tragedies I faced during the past year under their gaze. I mean damn could I get a little compassion maybe. It became increasingly easy for me to call out a lack of leadership, organization and all other toxic traits that feed into a work environment so undesirable everyone’s face looks like this on a typical day…



But once I added up everyone else’s faults, it still didn’t equal our professional downfall. It wasn’t until I could admit that I hadn’t been the best employee that I was able to forgive, move forward and grow.

Admitting that because of how grief and trauma affect the brain, I found it hard to focus on tasks for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Admitting that I had failed those under me in many of the same ways my superiors had failed me. Admitting that though I had understandable reasons for my dull performance, it still added to the very problems I complained too frequently about.

I started to wonder what toxic traits I possessed that feed into my displeasure with life.


Toxic Trait #1 Unrealistic Communication Expectations

Owning up to my flaws opened up a whole new understanding of many of the situations that left me slightly frayed. I began reviewing how I completely end communication once I feel as though I’ve said all that I have to say (that has backfired on me several times). Often, I usually only say what is comfortable for me to talk about and for the other person to hear. I don’t live up to the full honesty that I preach; instead, I leave the conversation with things unsaid. Expecting the very person/people who were bad at communicating in the first place to pick up the slack or suddenly become experts in deep conversation. How Sway?

So now I remind myself that while I’m great in communication in most areas, I need work in others. Allowing room for growth and making sure that I’m fully honest when I speak. In that way, I’m leaving nothing for the other person to pick up so if I chose to leave the conversation, I’m leaving it having done the very things I asked of them. I will no longer be a hypocrite.


Toxic Trait #2 Mistaking my anxiety for a “temper problem”

Me: “My temper is getting worse and I’m not holding back anything, anymore.”

No baby girl, your anxiety has gotten worst  and you need to address that shit before you miss out on life.

For years I’ve struggled with what I can now identify as anxiety. Anxiety is nothing but fear of future events with another name. When I was 11 it was fear of going to school with hand-me-down clothes and dark-skin; knowing I’d be either bullied or overlooked. When I was 14 it was fear of not measuring up to societal ideas of beauty. When I was 23 it was fear of never breaking the wheel of generational poverty due to financial uncertainty and limited career options. Some days I’m 11 again. Some days I’m 14 or 23. Now at 28, I fear to lose those closest to me, I fear not being seen or valued. I fear the worse in people or situations before I give them a chance but I call it being cautious.

Yes, I’m snatching my own edges in this too!

I didn’t allow myself to admit that I was afraid because growing up there was no room for fear, you were either strong enough or you’d be eaten by the wolves in the classroom, in the workplace or in the dating world, even at home.

Becoming a Soldier only solidified my thirst for strength and denial of anything that wouldn’t make me seem brave. But admitting that I am afraid, ALL THE TIME, yet I still persevere  and reach for my dreams, is the bravest thing I can do. Letting go of the celebration of intrigue that surrounds female anger and instead, doing the work to address my anxieties has allowed me to accomplish goals at an alarming rate. I now do this…

ME: Why are you angry

me: Because things are so unorganized

ME: Why does un-organization make you angry

me: Because I’m afraid we won’t succeed

ME: So you’re afraid?…

me: Yes, I guess so

ME: How can we fix that?

Yes, having lengthy conversations with yourself can help you understand your personality in so many different areas including your flaws and strengths.


Are you checking yourself? Are you truly holding yourself accountable for your actions; taking the steps needed to be emotionally and mentally mature?


When you point one finger, you got three…

It’s always going to be easier to place the blame somewhere else because it frees you from the responsibility of having to fix it. It’s scary to throw your own self under the bus. I get it. Still, it is necessary for you to mature as a person. Of course, special cases don’t apply; there will be those who are so oblivious to their faults and reluctant to change even with all the knowledge and resources available.

I chose not to fight that battle so much anymore. I communicate my thoughts completely, honestly and leave them for consumption. I have bigger concerns at the moment because the more I do the work on myself, the more I realize that my hands are too full to even have a finger available to point at others.


Do the work, Fix Yo Shit

Today there are too many avenues that you can take in order to fix your shit. Researching your good and not-so-great traits help to give you a better understanding of them. Going to counseling is also another method I advocate heavily for because there are some things you need to talk about with someone who isn’t biased based on knowing you. Counselors can give professional insights and actively listen to you. Just doing something as simple as writing a mental or physical list of the improvements you should make will ensure that you stay on the path to becoming a well-rounded, mature adult.

Let’s build better personalities, mental health, and personal inventories!

Hey Builders! What are some of your toxic traits and how are you working on them?



Sis; (n) A person that needs to hear some real shit.

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