There’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!
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.
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.
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…
And a couple more quotes for all you fellow quote junkies…