Don’t let you hold you back

Nichole's GraduationWe are fresh into 2019 and many people have been reflecting on their 2018 accomplishments, myself included. If you follow me on any of my social platforms, you already know about one of my biggest 2018 accomplishments — I got my B.A. degree in Organizational Leadership. I have been cautious of the line of when this becomes old news especially since most of my friends and peers received their degrees some time ago. But then I catch myself. THIS IS A BIG FRIGGIN DEAL! I’m not 22 and my sole focus was school. I’m a grown ass woman with other stuff going on. I worked full-time, served in various capacities at my church, and became a organizational and time management wiz to ensure I never received a grade less than a A- in any of my classes. Beginning in Fall 2016 through December 2018, I have taken to 30 classes, one lab and received all A’s except for 2 A-‘s. I made the Provost’s List twice, the President’s list twice and would have made them in the summers if they were available. Yes, I was in school during the summer too. It is a big deal! I was able to do this because I didn’t let “me” get in the way.

I don’t know about you but I have let “me” get in the way of a lot of opportunities. Most often it has been my own negative thinking that has been defeating before I can even start. The “I’m not good enough” or the “there is someone better and you aren’t equipped.” There is also what I am now calling the comparison wall. It is when you compare yourself to someone else and you put up a wall bricking yourself in from your potential. “Comparison is the thief of joy” but it is also the thief of progress.

In 2018 I didn’t let me get in the way of some of my fears, heights being a main one. I zip lined and walked across a couple of hanging bridges. I was also a little less body conscious on a trip in Costa Rica. Being overly concerned about the thoughts of strangers, who by the way don’t know me or anything about me, was also a way I let “me” hold me back.

Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” This scripture is not saying I can go out right now and fly a plane. I don’t know how to fly a plane. I don’t have a license or for that matter, a plane to fly. No one would (nor should they) entrust me with their plane. But there are things in me, in my hands, and heart for which I am capable. If I didn’t believe God was opening the door for me to return to school, I would not have done it. I realized it was bigger than me and therefore, not only about me. I love to encourage people to step out, be courageous, go for their dreams, and provide them with steps and advice in how they can get started. But as I have been doing that, I have been doing it from the sidelines. I wasn’t in the race, practicing what I was preaching. I dislike that in others and hated it in myself.

Many marathon runners are cautious before the first race. After it’s done, you can find many of those same runners signing up for another race to run because they didn’t let the first race hold them back. Sometimes you don’t know what you can do until you do it. At least try.

I started working on a couple of projects that have been stirring in my spirit. Wouldn’t you know the minute I started writing out the concepts of one, I saw that someone else has done it. But guess what? They haven’t done it the way I’m doing it. Before, I would have just stopped because this person is a bigger name with more followers and more clout than me. That would have been enough for me to put up the comparison wall. Now I have a better understanding that what I am doing is for me and the me’s of this world. If I don’t put this project in motion, I’m missing an opportunity to encourage someone who needs it. And for the entourage in me, that’s not acceptable.

Don’t let you hold you back. Someone needs to see you takes steps toward your dreams so they are encouraged to take steps toward theirs.

Happy 2019!

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