I remember the moment I received my acceptance letter into my doctoral program. I cried right in the middle of Harris Teeter. I screamed out, “Oh my God, they accepted me”. People started clapping… and staring haha. I had so much support and I really thought I was prepared for this journey. As I begin to matriculate academically, I changed mentally. My conversation changed. My availability changed. What I wanted changed. To keep this short… I changed.
It seemed like the only people that understood this cataclysmic change fell into two categories: 1) individuals who had survived this exact journey or 2) individuals that genuinely loved me. My closest friends were cohort members… which was so strange because I thought I had a strong circle of friends.
In one of my doctoral residencies, someone brought up how isolating the process of completing this doctorate has been. I was so relieved because I was beginning to think that I was crazy! That conversation stuck with me throughout the duration of my academic journey because I realized I wasn’t alone.
Maybe you’re reading this, and you can’t specifically relate to my academic journey, but you can relate to evolving. As much as we should desire to mature & evolve, it’s difficult for us to conceptualize the cost of evolution. I’m not suggesting that evolution requires an individual to be superior or unapproachable. However, I am concluding that evolution requires you to be resilient, vulnerable, pliable, stable, spontaneous, and receptive.
For those of you who are intentional about your healing and your success (whatever success looks like to you), evolution is exciting! Quite naturally, you want others to have that same success and enthusiasm towards your evolution… and you will!
I was just to confirm in your spirit that even though you are right where you are suppose to be, you need to K E E P G O I N G. Below are a few helpful reminders for those of you that are in a season of promotion:
1. You’ve developed an acquired taste.
Everyone won’t understand your palette. The process that has produced this season of promotion has refined your palette. Remember, YOU went through the process, not everyone else around you. Don’t expect them to rise to your level of expectation and don’t stunt your growth by pretending you aren’t as refined as you are.
Successful people often have higher standards. It’s ok. You’re ok. Keep going.
2. Refrain from explaining yourself.
No one will truly understand the lifestyle of a disciplined person. The sacrifices you made, your drive and ambition to accomplish your goals, the lack of time to socialize, and the relentless need and commitment to live up to your potential can be foreign to many people. Having to constantly explain yourself in an attempt to be understood can become quite exhausting. Don’t waste the strength you need to produce.
Honestly, I use to withdraw because it was the more favorable alternative, but I’ve found much needed strength among people that love me. Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to explain your evolution. Just evolve. Just keep going.
3. Friend up
The need to be sharpened and grow is a high priority for successful people. The intentional lifestyle of self-improvement will require you to form relationships with others that challenge you, not exhaust you. Your success will be intimidating to individuals who are insecure. Allow God to surround you with people that are secure about themselves and their placement in your life.
I’ve seen the same women that admired me and called me “sis” enter into a secret competition with me. At this point in my life, it’s disturbing. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen this play out in the lives of those closest to me. Without wisdom and guidance, you’ll forfeit your distinction for reliability.
- People will blame you for their insecurities.
- People will blame you for their lack of knowledge.
- People will not have a legitimate reason to dislike you
But, that’s not your problem. You are God’s distinct workmanship. Keep going.
5. *Ladies only* Be strong… and soft… at the same time.
I’m prob the textbook definition of Lil Boosie’s I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T woman. I work hard for everything I have. I work hard AND I have to make myself rest. Despite all of my little accomplishments, I’ve had to learn to be soft. I’ve had to learn to be dependent on someone else other than God.
It’s difficult because I know my own faults and failures. I know what I’m good at and where I fail. Inviting someone else into my personal space means that I invite all of them. All of the stuff they love about themselves and all of the stuff that they supposedly hide from you. Guess what? That’s that’s the whole point of a relationship. You don’t become more like Christ through isolation. You’re human and you weren’t created to live life alone...and that’s purposeful. Additionally, this is why love can never be about performance. Why? Because there is no security in a love that is earned.
We’re all going to fail ourselves, someone else or God at some point in our life. However, that does not mean that we are less deserving of God’s grace. He loves us just because. Relationships helps us to mimic God’s unconditional love for us.
God is communal, hence the whole “God in three persons” aka the trinitarian perspective. Now, I’m not justifying multiple personalities, but I am suggesting that the company of other person will lead to holiness. A relationship with the right individual will sanctify you. A relationship with the right individual will transform your entire life. A relationship with the right individual will cause your theology concerning God’s will for your life to evolve and blossom. So sis, let it happen.