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Be You and Be Great

I used to care a lot about what people thought about me, and I’ve been guilty of taking what people say to heart — even when it doesn’t have anything to do with me personally. Being raised Southern, Pentecostal, Black, and the oldest child, guilt was a major part of my identity.

And honestly, it’s an ongoing lesson for me.

As humans, we always seek the approval of other people. But the truth is, when we seek the approval of others, we never achieve our own true potential.

I mean, really — how can you provide the gift you're meant to give to the world if you’re so concerned about doing what you think will make other people happy?

When you’re doing innovative things, being true to you, stepping out of your comfort zone, living a life that most people don’t give themselves spaces to live, or changing the world in some way, there will always be people who ain’t checking for you.

Think about it. Jesus Christ. Harriet Tubman. President Obama.

Is it your responsibility to change people’s minds and make them like you? Nope. Most of the time what people say about you is simply a reflection of who they are.

You just need to make sure you develop a strong sense of self so you’re prepared to deal with the not-so-positive vibes that come your way.

During a group conversation last weekend about next steps in life, a woman left me with this: “You be ready. That’s your concern. What people are thinking about you is not your concern. You be ready, so when the window opens, you can go."

Let this serve as a humble reminder to us all. If you want to make your mark on this world, it won’t be easy — there will always be plenty of people who will try to bring you down. Even your being authentic to self may be challenged.

The naysayers won’t understand what you’re trying to do, and they’ll certainly have a problem with the way you live your life. They’re going to say you’re crazy, dumb, a heathen & foolish.

Keep going anyway.

Remember that their reactions and statements have nothing to do with you.

We’re only given one life to live. If you focus on leaving a legacy instead of being liked, one life is all you’ll ever need.

Are you obeying your purpose, being true, and inspiring the world or are you playing it safe just for people to like you? Take a minute to think about that today.

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