5 Things Personal Growth Has Taught Me

by

T

here’s a quote about growth that I really love. It says …

You are under no obligation to be the same person you were a year, month, or even 15 minutes ago. You have the right to grow. No apologies.

 

I love this quote because there have been too many times in my life where I allowed others to place me in a box that they thought I fit in. The problem with that kind of thinking was that I wasn’t in control of my own life. I was letting others determine my destiny, paving the path for me down a road I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue down. Whether that meant limiting me to a makeup artist, or just a blogger, or even just an “influencer”. I know that I am those things combined, but also SO much more. I am a creative, a hustler, a writer, a speaker, a designer, an artist. And the beautiful thing about artists, is that we wear many masks proudly!

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In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.  Here are five things that I’ve learned from my own personal growth so far.

Focusing (on you) Is Crucial

If you watched the 2016 Olympics in Rio, then you must remember the intense captured moments between US swimmer Michael Phelps and South African swimmer Chad le Clos. Le Clos turned his head to focus on Phelps in the lane next to him, and lost the race because he was too concerned with his competition.

Looking back on my journey I would have spent less time comparing myself to “the greats” and the opportunities they had that I THOUGHT I wanted. Once I began to focus on what I was doing, the opportunities that were meant for me came my way. There is space for everyone, and God has a unique plan for each of us. You can’t grow if you’re too tied up in everyone else’s business. Get focused, get into your own zone and if you don’t have one make one, and stay in your lane. Watch the opportunities rush in because of it.

Reach Back

Be who you needed when you were younger. Remember, all of the greats once started as amateurs. We’ve all been there and we should all remember how that felt. Just a week ago, I spoke to students at University of Georgia who were interested in getting into creative fields. As they were sitting there jotting down notes in their notebooks, I could EASILY remember myself once sitting in those same seats. Soaking up knowledge, and needing guidance from those who had been down (or close to) the path I wanted to explore.

Today, I see the importance of reaching back and helping others if you’re able to. Whether that means taking a mentee under your wing or responding to emails from those younger or less experienced than you reaching out for a little boost of direction. Even the smallest reach back makes a difference. Just remember, that girl or guy reaching out, used to be you (or is you now). Keep that in mind for the future.

Solitude Is Necessary

Harder paths means higher callings. I’ve learned that when you are on the path to your purpose, sometimes the road can get lonely. People fall off, including friends you thought would be around forever. You’ve heard the saying that you can’t bring everyone along with you for the ride. It’s true.

You have to make the decision to be serious about your life. If that means sacrificing your weekends to stay in and get work done instead of hanging with friends or partying then so be it. We only have one life and we have to choose how we are going to use our time. If that requires you to fall off the map for a bit then you have to do what you have to do. The parties will be there. Your real friends will understand.

Eliminate your bad habits and distractions and watch your life change for the better.

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The Importance Of A Tribe

One thing I’ll never underestimate is the power of a great support system. Finding your “tribe” doesn’t always happen over night. And your tribe will evolve over time. Embrace it. Your tribe can consist of family members, friends, your partner, mentors, etc. These people keep you uplifted, focused, and hold you accountable for what you’re supposed to be doing. They aren’t “yes men”, they keep it real and at times tell you things you may not want to hear but will ultimately make you a better person because of it.

Over time, you recognize the difference between long and short-term tribe members. Sometimes people are brought into your life for a specific season to help you or they may even serve as a link to connect you to someone else. You have to be able to recognize that and let it flow, then let it go.

The Beauty of Comparison

Every next level of your life will demand a different you. You don’t have to be the same, but you have to be better than who you were yesterday. That’s how I approach every day, and it’s been a lot easier to grow when you’re in constant competition with yourself instead of others.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. As as Aries, I’m competitive by nature lol. It’s when you start focusing too hard, checking in a little too often, and worrying about your competition where everything can go wrong. You’re no longer on your path, your on theirs. And guess what? They are still on theirs. So who’s really winning from that? Certainly not you.

You have to have confidence in yourself and be able to hold your own. You have to OWN who you are and honor that. Because NO ONE can do YOU the way YOU can.

Your potential is endless. Go do what you were created to do!

 

And as a friendly reminder…

WhereYouNeedToBe

And a couple more quotes for all you fellow quote junkies…

 

Quotes

 

(photos by Ashley Champ
25 Responses
  • Samantha Strachan Jamaica
    March 3, 2017

    Beautifully said. Very very helpful and I thank you for sharing. I will keep hour tips in mind while I continue my journey of self betterment. All the best to you.

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 3, 2017

      Thank you Samantha xoxo You’re on your way girl!

  • Stephany
    March 3, 2017

    Thank you for this. I needed it!

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 3, 2017

      Thank you for reading!

  • Jasmine Clark
    March 3, 2017

    This is definitely the season I’m in. Growing, learning myself, understanding myself, finding things I’m interested in, taking risks and creating a life I want to live and experience. Thank you so much for another piece of assurance.

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 3, 2017

      Keep going Jasmine! Xoxo

  • Brandy Bestbleve
    March 3, 2017

    Just what I needed to read! Thank you for sharing. It’s not always easy (not easy at all) to acknowledge the personal growth we need to be better. I often feel guilty and selfish for wanting to sacrifice anything in order to help myself grow. These tips will definitely come in handy!!

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 3, 2017

      So great to hear Brandy. It’s not always easy, but it’s completely necessary xoxo

  • Rashella
    March 3, 2017

    Very great read! As a recent college graduate I definitely enjoyed this read.

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 3, 2017

      Thank you Rashella 🙂

  • Roniqua
    March 3, 2017

    This really hit home for me. Lovely piece.

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 3, 2017

      So happy you enjoyed!

  • Sherri
    March 4, 2017

    Well said…So glad I clicked the link in ur bio… can’t wait to share this with others

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 5, 2017

      Thanks so much for sharing xoxo

  • Brianna
    March 5, 2017

    This was truly inspiring & exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks for sharing & taking time out to encourage others.

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 5, 2017

      xoxo!

  • L'abeille
    March 5, 2017

    Thank you so much for this write up, it means a lot to me as I’m about to step into another phase in life. God bless you 💕

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 6, 2017

      You got this 😉

  • Gina
    March 6, 2017

    Very powerful. I can relate on so many levels. Thanks for your encouragement and reminding us to stay focused on what’s best for us and to embrace it.

    Side note: And the next time I see you at WF, I will get out of my comfort zone and say hi! Hope you have a blessed week! 😊 🙏🏽

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 7, 2017

      Aww no problem, and don’t be shy! 😉

  • Athina
    March 7, 2017

    Thank you for writing this! I truly needed to hear this!

  • Blake Kelly
    March 7, 2017

    Great read .. it helped me realize a few things on my journey to my dreams I can tighten up . What really hit home was “solitude is necessary” .. I’ve noticed on my path how I went from wanting to help everyone when I needed to focus on myself because like the say ” everyone can’t go ” so true .. enough of my ramble great article can’t wait for more !!!

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 7, 2017

      Dope Blake, thanks for sharing!

  • Jasmin- Pgclubhouse
    March 19, 2017

    Beautifully written! I love the growth that you have made and you are so inspiring! I remember when McKenzie Renae was a tumblr account . You’ve grown as a person, a brand, EVERYTHING! Keep shining, xoxo 🖤

    • McKenzieRenae
      March 20, 2017

      Wow Jasmin! Thank you!! You’ve been along the journey for a while, that’s so dope! Thank you for your kind words, made my day 😉

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