Staying In Line 

by Brigette Mashile 

Apparently the first step to a solution is to realize you have a problem; then recognize the problem and finally make a plan to change it.  Some of these issues take us a long time to realize, or to accept. I realize my issues fast, but I need to see the pattern it is creating before I do anything about it. It is that stubborn scientist part of me that needs proof first! Definitely a time waster, but this is how I have been. And that too needs to change. 

In the past few years, I have noticed one thing I do really well.  I get distracted.  Easily. And constantly. Something big happens in January and the next thing it is December and I have had the same problem all year. This is self-sabotage, right? And it doesn’t match my personality because I love change. I need change for my brain to know I am ALIVE! I have now realized how huge my weakness for distractions is and it is prolonging a lot of my goals; leaving me frustrated. Let’s see how I do this:

Daily life:

Life sucks. Then it’s great again. All in one day. This is where that high EQ is needed, the ability to float with it all and not get too engulfed by something that happened at 8am all day. But this is me. I can have my mind dissecting a bad conversation with a friend the entire day. The conversation could have hurt me or shocked me; it will remain on my mind the whole day. This means many of the things I had planned to do that day, will be done will less motivation. I will maybe question my ability to complete the tasks; or I will simply just want to nap. 

But life is like this every day, every week, and every month. In total you just end up having a distracting year if you are not careful. We meet new people each day, each I believe to teach us something new, and some of the lessons are challenging, therefore will have situations that make us upset, hurt, shocked or happy even. In business every day brings newness; you grow by learning every day. A lot of these learnings are hard on us, and we must learn to let go sooner than later. 


I do not like failure. Yes, yes yes, I know, it is part of growth.  Every success story has at least 7 failures and 1 WIN. I understand, and still hate failure.  This is due to the fact that I was raised in its 100% or nothing era.  We were raised to do well in everything we touch; we were told 99% is ok but it’s not a 100!  Failure cripples me.  I will admit I am better at it now, because I have failed a number of clients before. I have also learned to accept that I cannot win with everyone. And in business one must own the failure and find the lesson therein.  

One disappointed client in one day distracts me for at least an hour. I said I have improved! It used to be for a whole weekend. Once I made clothes for an entire family, they were attending a wedding. Out of 15 different outfits, one person was unhappy with my production. They hated the outfit and told me how bad I was at my job. I was numb for that entire weekend. I stayed in bed the entire weekend, heartbroken! Doubting my work and counting steps to see where I had gone wrong.  Whatever plans I had for that weekend I cancelled, forgot that I had just completed 14 outfits so well! The result of this experience was that going forward I started doubting a bit more, this experience has stayed on my shoulder as the evil grinch…it distracts me every time I attempt to do something new.


The BIGGEST one.  This one comes from people’s comments, past experiences and seeing other people’s work on social media. The BIGGEST DISTRACTION is seeing other work and wondering if your’s is as good and if it will work out.  Especially if you are a creative, because your idea will always be different from what is normal. So, you ask yourself if this risk is worth it.  It takes me weeks to come to a strong commitment to MY OWN IDEAS! NO joke. I can sit with an idea for months, or a new dress we have made for weeks before posting it on social media.  Something always comes up in my day to make me ‘doubt’ again! A small distraction like another designer posting a similar dress I was thinking of….and boom I STOP. 

This is why you need to monitor your social media time, and also decide who are the right people to follow.  Best of all IGNORE 90% of what you see on your timeline, pick and choose what works for you. This is hard in the fashion industry; social media is our medium. We HAVE to be on it. Remember that EQ conversation, yes, we now need Social Media EQ training.

In 2022 I want to try to not be distracted. I want to remember during challenging times that I must stay focused on the goals I want to achieve. I need to concentrate; stay online with my plans. I must deal with each struggle and let it go. In 2023 I would like to speak about a new person, who achieved at least 1 new thing in 2022. 

Brigette Mashile is the founder and creative force behind Roka Roko, a custom fashion design business based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company passionately delivers quality tailored and trendy fashion to make their customers happy, and specializes in styling women by creating unusual combinations with fabric, culture and style. Brigette has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand and a Fashion Diploma from Studio5 School of Fashion. She’s a former fashion buyer for a major retailer in South Africa, and an international direct selling company. She’s been passionate about fashion since the age of 10 and gained invaluable experience in the fashion world running informal fashion creation businesses until the day her own Roka Roko brand was born. Find out more by visiting the Roka Roko website


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