You have gifts the world needs. The motivation to share them can come with an understanding of this fact, and a vision that is bigger than you can currently imagine.
Sometimes circumstances limit our ability to think beyond what we can see.
Broaden Your Perspective Through Reading
As a young person, my mother encouraged me to read. I found reading increased my perspective, and gave me exposure to things beyond my life experience. As I read, my world expanded past my small hometown and what I could see around me.
My parents and many of my ancestors had limited opportunities. The world presented barriers that made it difficult for them to move forward. Unfortunately, the culture of race in the U.S. is built around an inhibiting structure that can hold one back, both mentally and economically.
The more I read, the more I understood there were possibilities beyond my current reality.
Regardless of where a person is today, so much more is possible.
Open your Mind to Possibility Thinking
The opportunity to attend Mars Hill University exposed me to possibility thinking, and opened my mind to potentialities, despite what I saw in the real world. I started down the right path, and ultimately began to achieve success and accomplish meaningful goals.
Fresh out of college entering the world of business, I saw very few people of color in upper management or supervisory roles. Throughout my career, I have never reported to a leader who looked like me.
Developing a picture of what was possible, despite barriers seen and unseen, was not easy. But it helped me find opportunities to lead people from all walks of life, and to serve as the model I did not have. It gave me and others hope–and a road map.
Open Your Heart to Helping
Most of us know what we need to do, but it is often helpful to have a life coach ask us the difficult questions, which can lead to our vision being enlarged and realized.
When we grow, we have a responsibility to help a variety of others do the same, not only people with whom we feel comfortable. We must become allies to marginalized groups and give them hope that, one day, they too with be in a position to help others.
Although there were no African American leaders on my journey, there were Caucasians who took an interest in me. My performance, character and contributions were recognized, which led to a designation of high-potential leader.
The training and additional exposure I received increased my confidence, and I experienced significant personal and professional growth.
So much is possible if a person is able to see beyond their current circumstances and develop a bigger vision of the future.
Develop Your Vision
But how do you develop a strong vision for your life? Here are some starting steps:
- Pause, reflect and envision your desired future. What do you see?
- Consider your passions and what interests you. What would you do even if there was no paycheck for it? What gives you joy?
- What are your gifts? What are the areas in which you have excelled and received accolades?
- What needs in the world would you like to see solved that you feel equipped to address?
- Looking back from the end of your life, what would you like to see, have done, or become—and why?
This will take time. Give yourself grace. Gaining clarity as you continue on your journey will bring a sense of freedom, and relieve the pressure of striving to achieve something others have in mind for you.
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