In reflecting on the Declaration of Independence and current events for our fight for equality, I thought about what holds us back on an individual level from achieving freedom in our lives.
Given the way my life started, no one would ever think I would be where I am today. My mother had a severe drug problem. She had her first child when she was fifteen years old. I have four older brothers and we have four different fathers among the five of us. My brothers were raised by my grandmother and I was too until I was five years old. Then, my mother came to get me.
We lived in one of the worst housing projects of the South Bronx. I grew up in a twenty-one-story building. On my daily descent from our fourth floor apartment, the stench of urine greeted me. On a few occasions while heading out to school, I maneuvered around fresh blood pools covering the building’s lobby. This was not the life I desired for myself.
When one is in circumstances that are not ideal, safe, or limiting, it can crush hope. Some of you may be looking around your life and thinking- “I don’t want this for myself any longer” or “I’m meant for so much more than this.” The job may no longer fit you. The relationship doesn’t honor your worth. Yes, it’s alright to feel that way.
When I decided I didn’t want my mother’s life, it was a sunny spring day and I was sitting in my bedroom gazing at my favorite tree when I suddenly heard a voice say, “Go to Harvard and become a doctor.” Until this day, I have no idea how my eight year old self, a poor Black girl from the South Bronx, could formulate such a thought. I concluded God spoke to me that afternoon.
My own question followed this directive. “How will I do that?” Within seconds, my mind answered, “Keep doing well in school.” This brief inner-dialogue motivated all of my decisions until twelfth grade.
I share this story because it highlights the first strategy you must employ to break through obstacles holding you back. Before I detail the strategy, let me ask you this: What’s preventing you from living your desired life?
Are you still living the life your parents, or others, expected of you?
Are these expectations in opposition to what you really want to do?
Do you sometimes feel sad or depressed about your life?
Do you have a certain dream, but are scared to pursue it? Perhaps it will require you have to leave the comfort of the “known”- your job, family or the friends you’ve known since childhood.
Or do you just not know how to get to where you desire?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have an obstacle preventing you from your desired life:
- Other people’s expectations
- Unsupportive environments
- Apathy or feelings of hopelessness
These are obstacles that get in our way of living life on our terms.
I learned Declaring a Vision is #1 strategy to overcome these obstacles. Why? Visions propel.
Have you heard this before? You can be anything you want to be. You can do anything you set your mind to. These statements are partially true or they are true, but what people don’t tell you is the HOW part. When I figured out the how, many things became easy.
In creating a vision, I suggest you create a vision not of what you want to do, but who you want to be.
Being is a way of existing in the world. When you think of your desired life, when you start to envision it, think about the type of person you want to be known as.
- Will you be a woman who values excellence?
- A person who is great with problem solving?
- An adventurer?
- An overcomer?
- A person dedicated to making a difference?
My initial vision included a profession and a specific school. But really, my vision was about me being a person who had opportunities. I realized to achieve that vision, I had to take advantage of what I already valued. This was being a person who cherished doing well in school.
As I matured, I understood I wanted to be a person who lived life satisfying her curiosity and helping people. A doctor fit into that vision and what I liked even at the age of eight years old. One of the reasons I didn’t go to Harvard or become a Doctor was because I became the person I desired to be. The way I wanted to live that out in terms of career changed over time so the HOW revealed itself in different ways. Most importantly, my vision fueled my resilience during those times I hit bottom.
When we discuss vision, we now have to do it in a radically different way than we’ve been taught. It’s not solely what we want to do when we grow up, but who we want to be & become. As you journey, you can explore what career avenues and types of relationships may help you to express and utilize all or some of your “beingness.”
Let’s Declare Your Vision for Your Life. This can be your whole life or a specific component of it (i.e. who do you want to be in your relationship or as you navigate this phase in your life). Take time this weekend to speak a NEW reality into existence.
Please feel free to share this post with a friend who is battling with fear, uncertainty or hopelessness.
P.S. Once we have a vision or we’re figuring out how to craft it, the next step is to build support. If you want support in activating your vision and getting the help you need to take your life to the next level, apply for a complimentary “Who You Be” Discovery Session today.
Leave a Comment: Who do you want to be or feel you are meant to be in this life? Share it & get it out of you…Declare it into existence!