I had the pleasure of attending an event Sunday evening hosted by Tiphani Montgomery, one of my biggest sources of inspiration at the moment. Tiphani was a teenage single mother who took her life into her own hands, wrote and published her first book on her own, and turned her name into a brand that has become and inspiration to so many women around the world. It’s always uplifting to see someone with a story similar to your own move on to become highly successful in life. Add Karen Civil in the mix who in my opinion could be donned the Hip Hop Oprah. Karen has made a huge name and following for herself and has worked with many of the top rappers in the game. I knew I had to be in attendance at this seminar and did not hesitate to get two tickets; I didn’t even know who was going to go with me at the time!
I decided to take my boyfriend’s niece Regine because she’s not just his niece to me, but she’s become one of my best friends over the course of our relationship. I’m all about women empowerment and trying to play an active role in helping another young woman find her way in life while on my own journey to finding mine. Not only did we indulge in some amazing soul food Sunday night, surrounded by beautiful black women with goals and dreams in a low lit, calming environment but we also gained a new perspective and outlook on life when it comes to chasing your dreams. Listening to both women share the obstacles they endured in order to get where they are today really made me change the way I look at my journey in chasing my dreams. There’s no way that I could write out everything I learned on Sunday, but three things really seemed to stick with me and I’ve made a vow to carry these with me everyday.
- Tell your story even when it makes you uncomfortable. I realize that everyone has a story and selling your story is what makes people relate to you. Not everyone is going to like what you have to offer or hire you, but there will always be people who can relate to you and will support your brand. You never know who your story may help! I found a quote today that said “The writer must be in it; he can’t be to one side of it, ever. He has to be endangered by it. His own attitudes have to be tested in it. The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always”. In other words, being open with your truths allows you to reach people in ways you could never imagine. Don’t hold back!
- Have tunnel vision. One of my biggest problems in following my dreams is that I have SO much I want to accomplish. My ideas don’t really tie in to one another so I have a difficult time gaining a start in the right direction. Instead of trying to focus on everything I want to do all at once, these ladies brought to my attention the importance of following one goal at a time. It is very possible for me to meet all of my goals and watch all of my dreams come into fruition, but there is no way I can do it all at once. By mapping out my plans, setting my goals up as stepping stones, and seeing through each one individually I will be able to do all the things I want ONLY when the right opportunity presents itself.
- Get out of your own way. I am my own worst enemy and this is deemed true for mostly everyone. Yes other people can discourage us with their unwarranted doubts and opinions and our circumstances can make it more difficult for us to press forward with our goals, but the only person responsible for how WE react to situations is US. It’s easy to blame other people and events that transpire in our lives as the reasons we stop pursuing our dreams, but in reality it is no one but us. We allow those people to get in our heads and we allow those circumstances to make us doubt ourselves; but when we truly have faith in God and become familiar with his Word, we know that He is always with us and anything is possible.
How do you stay on track in chasing your dreams? I don’t even really discuss my dreams with people anymore because they truly are our special babies; giving someone else the power over your dream has the potential to deter you from it forever. Like Meek said “my dreams are worth more than money”, and I’m not giving up on them for ANYONE.