Are you worthy?
Is it possible to grow without change? Most of us would probably say no. So, I wonder to myself, if I want to develop into my better-self, and change is necessary to get there...then I may as well embrace it.
My growth begins when I accept and influence change.
If you are like me, there may have been a time in your life when you looked around and realized you are just not happy. I hear this all time. For me, I wasn't happy because I wasn't fulfilled. I yearned to be content.
It is entirely possible to be successful and sad. As well as earn great achievement and feel unfulfilled. Four things can be true at the same time. ~Andrea A. Callahan
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Each of us have the potential for joy. We all deserve to feel good. We each must have roads that lead to our best lives. Maybe we do? Is it possible that we have opportunities for joy but we are missing them? Is fulfillment being offered but we are allowing them to slip through, and fall out of grasp? I often thin about all the ways I missing out on joy. What am I doing that prevents me from experiencing long-term gratification. I have always experienced moments of happiness, but for a long time, not the long-term feelings of, "Yup, all is good over here." 💃🏽
So, what do we know so far...if we are not happy with our lives, we must make a change. We must changes some things in order to open more opportunities to experience joy. I know me, so I must get my mind right before embarking on anything new! 😏 I must prepare my psyche, check my emotions and strengthen my courage muscle. Change can be scary because we don't know what's on the other side. The fear of failure is real and it's lurking in the shadows of our mind to remind of us the possibilities for negative impact - notice how fear only sheds light on everything bad. That is exactly why it is essential to counter that narrative with affirming thoughts.
A critical step for preparing for self-imposed changes is to prepare your mind for saying yes to things that are aligned with your vision and dismissing those things that dishonor it. It is also important to observe your emotions, including both your emotional attachment to staying put and the emotions that surface as your prepare for change.
On my journey to joy, I learned that negative self-talk and the recall of negative experiences are habits. It is so easy to stay in a negative space if you are accustomed to being there. It's familiar, it feels safe, and sometimes it's actually comfortable. Yes I said it. Comfort zones can be negative spaces.
Now that your mind is ready and your emotions have been observed, the journey is almost ready to begin. But not so fast... so many of us get to this point and back out. We reject opportunities to do better and to be better because we lack courage to stand up for our joy. It takes courage to fight for a better life. It takes courage to push through the recurring negative state of mind and the negative emotions that follow in tow. You must be brave to do things that are hard and will challenge you. Courage is pushing through the fear.
As you know, we can do the work to get our mind right today, and wake up tomorrow only to find ourselves wallowing in self-doubt. This is why that courage muscle must be strong so we can start over and keep going! 💪🏽 We may need it today, tomorrow, everyday, or every few minutes!
If you listen to that voice of doubt, and insecurity, it becomes almost impossible to move forward. It thwarts your drive to step out of your comfort zone. Doubt forces you to spend time questioning your readiness, or worse, procrastinating because now "isn't the right." Don't allow these negative thoughts to slow your movement upward. Use your courage muscle to help you pull yourself up from being stuck in a rut. Get out of the routine of complacency and take on the responsibility to do what's necessary in order to be happy.
Yes, it is your responsibility to make the space for yourself to be happy. Happiness derives from within. Joys comes when you invite it, allow it to come in, make space for it and make it comfortable to stay around for the long haul.
In order for this to happen, you must know that you deserve joy. You deserve peace. You deserve success. You deserve to live your best life. You are worthy. Now, let's talk about worthiness.
When I was in college I had an amazing academic advisor (CP) who helped prepared me for an amazing career in social work. She nominated me for awards, she set me up for learning opportunities and she steered me to advanced field placements that helped shape both my personal achievement and professional success. It was because of this advisor that I earned a minor in Gender Studies.
CP was actually the person who recognized my writings on the black woman's plight at the intersectionality of black + woman. She often publicly praised me and encouraged me to get published in professional journals. In fact, when I was considering a concentration for my MSW (Masters in Social Work) I spoke with CP about my intense attraction to the systems, policies and laws that disenfranchise the marginalized. Staying true to her position in my life, she encouraged me to do a dual masters - in social work and law.
As I researched my options, I learned that Columbia and Fordham Universities both had duo enrollment programs for MSW/JD - and the amazing part was it only required one additional year of study. Armed with an influential letter of recommendation from CP, who was affiliated with both Universities, I was ready. Oh boy was I excited! I will skip to the tragic end by saying I didn't pursue a law degree because my then partner responded to the great news by saying "What! Are you going to be a student forever? How long is the family supposed to sacrifice for your education?"
For some reason, CP thought I was smart and talented. She believed that I should be out-front and in-the-lead. She supported both my higher learning, awareness and aspirations. Unfortunately, the person I loved most, did not. He shattered that goal. The investment in my time, money, and energy was too high - not for me, but for him. My mind was changed in an instant because I felt guilty about the sacrifice he and my children were making for me to go to school. Missed games, fewer home-cooked meals, the favorite shirt not laundered etc...
My dreams shattered because I didn't have the strength to fight for them. I didn't feel worthy. I asked myself, why do I dream so big? Why couldn't I just be happy where I was in my life? I finished my social work degree without the law degree. I went on to have a productive career. Over the years, I earned promotions that came with higher salaries. We went on vacation. Our kids had enjoyed extracurricular activities and generally, life was good. I should have been joyful, right?
All I had to do was balance my career ambitions and social advocacy with the responsibility to my family. Admittedly, I struggled to manage it all. If there was a reason for things in my life not to accelerate, I found it. I share this story with you because CP once exclaimed how disappointed she was that I found every reason not to reach my potential. In her frustration, she told me that she had never met anyone who self-sabotaged their success as much as me. At the time, I could not receive these words, but over time, I came to realize she was right. It appeared subtle and deliberate, but it was true.
All of my struggles, failures, and shortcomings stem from my feelings of unworthiness. Who do I think that I am to want to study law, I missed that boat years ago. Why would I think that I could make a difference in the fights against poverty, inequalities, and injustice? Who am to think that I could save women from discrimination when I couldn't even save myself. Who did I think I am? Why did I deserve to get what I want?
How do you and I get up in the morning and go to sleep at night knowing that we are worthy? How do we believe that we are worthwhile no matter what we do, think, feel or say?
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” — Brené Brown
Worthiness is the root of allowing joy, peace and fulfillment into your life. It comes from a deep sense of knowing that you are valuable. You are whole and complete. You are a human being, and that you're enough just way you are.
“We often block our own blessings because we don’t feel inherently good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or worthy enough… You’re worthy because you are born and because you are here. Your being here, your being alive makes worthiness your birthright. You alone are enough.” — Oprah Winfrey
Is it possible to change? YES.
Is it possible to be happy? YES.
Is it possible to live a fulfilled life? YES.
Are you worthy? YES.
Give yourself permission to say YES to believing with every fiber of your soul that you worthy, because you are - no matter what you anyone else says or what you say to yourself in those moments of doubt and insecurity.
You can choose to show up as your best self with honor and self-love. Walk in your strengths, grow in your areas of need and be the best you every single day.
Worthiness is your heart and soul on display. It's how your intrinsic self presents at work, school, home, in the community and to the world.
Say YES to make the changes that you need in order to live your optimum life, with joy, love and fulfillment.
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I would love to hear your thoughts...what about you confirms that you are worthy? Go all out. Share you splendor! Go on and brag! 🙌🏾 I'm here for all of it.