Community Over Competition

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

– Oprah Winfrey

It began innocently enough, a simple inquiry into how I maintain balance, cloaked in a compliment. I responded in kind, being as patient and helpful as I could in explaining the process. What started as a plea for guidance quickly escalated into a barrage of insults-fake/edited life, frivolous content, unstable, etc. I continued trying to explain and others came to my defense (initially) but ultimately it was up to me to go high as this person went low. I took the focus off myself and still attempted to provide the advice that was initially requested whether it was really desired or not.

My writing is cathartic for me. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, when things were chaotic around me, I would lose myself in a book or heal myself through filling up page after page of crisp white paper at a frenetically rhythmic pace. The only thing that’s changed is the medium used (though I still love the feel of fresh gel pens in a new journal). I share what I share with you because without fail, I get messages from some of you thanking me for being open because they know they aren’t the only one dealing with whatever the subject matter is. I know how it feels to think you are alone. So when someone questions how I have the audacity to live out loud I am unfazed. If I can help but one person then I am doing it correctly.

Beware those that act like they have an interest in what you are doing when you begin to shift your norms. The ones who are comfortable in your struggle may not be pleased with your come up. You know what you are doing. You know you are using your power to shift your life in the direction you want it to go. Someone who has settled won’t understand that concept and that’s ok. Everyone may not support your endeavor(s), do it anyway.

You will always sound like you’re bragging to people who don’t share your hunger. Keep your power moves and life goals guarded. Just put your head down and do the work. When you do that you can’t focus on what someone else is doing. The naysayers get their energy from having access to you, by knowing they have your ear to point out what they feel are your flaws, by expressing what they think is your lack of success.

This doesn’t mean you don’t need a support system because you most certainly do. I work hard for what I desire but my personal board of directors (only my CLOSEST loved ones) are privy to my business plans and they help to hold me accountable.

This particular exchange that I describe today is a combination of a few interactions I had in the span of a few days. I know that the conversations that sought to question my audacity to live my dreams were born from them having the same desire (because they expressed it to me), yet lacking the courage to do so.

If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation where you are having to explain yourself remember you don’t have to. You can ask yourself if you are in a situation that reflects what you feel you deserve, the only answer to that question is yes. If you aren’t, you know what to do. Never settle.

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