I’ve had the really liberating opportunity to journey back into how I have evolved over the past few years, shifting gears from years of working in corporate and the highs and lows of climbing some invisible ladder in that realm, marrying the love of my life, becoming a stay-at-home mom and all the lessons that came in that season, moving back into corporate after 5 years and life in two countries within those 5 years, and now – a further several years down the line, working on building my passions into profitable ventures that warm my heart as much as they help me pay a few bills.
I mean let’s face it, that’s the dream, right? Doing what you love and making a few coins while at it? I had the impromptu opportunity of sitting down with a friend who had swung by the house to get her copy of Reinvented & Victorious (shameless plug – I’ve got Paperbacks in the UAE now so get at me to get yours!) We spoke about how many of us have been impacted by COVID-19 and how what we thought were medium to long-term plans were quickly and unceremoniously washed to shore by this pandemic which has now forced most of us to reevaluate our life’s strategy. Then there was the #BlackLivesMatter thing. Man…That needs its own post when I wrap my mind around the multitude of emotions I have carried over race relations and just life – AS A BLACK WOMAN living in the diaspora.
What is your life plan? Have you at this point figured out what your calling is? Have you thought about what legacy you would like to leave behind after your time on this earth is over with? Maybe these are too complicated a set of questions to find answers to right now, but you are fully aware that the tide is constantly changing. What is that thing you stand on to keep you grounded and focused, especially when things do not go according to plan?
As my friend and I spoke about what we have learned with the whole #stayathome season, #BLM and such, I got to think about how challenging times almost always force us to evolve, and with that evolution, comes the opportunity to discover ourselves or level up across all facets of our lives. I’ve evolved. I know I have, and thankfully, with each day I am learning how to love the woman I am becoming deeply. I am so grateful to finally be at that place where I know what I want and am okay with walking away from the things that no longer serve me without a fight, so I can serve the people I’ve been called to from a point of peace, joy, and sheer desire to see them win.
I pray the same is true for you too. If you are unsure of whether great times, and challenging times, have really transformed you for the better, here are some awesome signs to remind you of your evolution – something you should very well celebrate with every opportunity you get.
1. You are very clear about who you are and what you stand for. You’ve gone through the whole identity formation, or maybe it was a full-on identity crisis that forced you to evaluate what your belief system was, what ideologies you followed, who you say you are versus what your actions and character traits reveal. Let’s not forget how the opinions of others play a role in all this. Now, you are good with who you are and take no prisoners. If that’s you – congratulations! We are all a work in progress and no man is perfect, but let me tell you, knowing who you are is the foundation of how you will navigate this thing called “life”. Take this process seriously. It’s ongoing.
2. You believe in the person you are becoming. Now listen, this isn’t always easy, especially on those days that have you questioning every decision you make, or you get resistance from every corner for just doing you. Maybe your heart’s broken, but you will get through this. Truth is, such moments – you know the ones you feel all sorts of confusion and overwhelm – yeah, those – those moments are designed to test your character. You’ve heard the adage before – “no one will believe you if you don’t believe in yourself”. You have got to believe in everything you are fighting for and that in the process, the person you have always wanted to be is emerging.
3. You know how to activate your emotional intelligence as needed when dealing with life’s situations. Are you aware of your emotions, how to process them and keep from being swallowed whole by them? Do you consider the feelings of those around you and tailor your responses accordingly? Congratulations! You friend are winning, as these are characteristics that many struggle with.
4. You’ve learned to live your life on your terms and have great support structures to help you do just that. There ought to come a point in life when you are comfortable doing you unapologetically. Do you. The world and it people will adjust. Just don’t hurt anybody in the process or get into any illegal activity! #Thatisall
5. Life is mysteriously getting simpler and not harder. Adulting is generally a tricky dance, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m finding it easier to deal with stuff as it comes along than was the case in my early 20s. I take you back to point number 1 as to the reason why this is so. Secondly, worrying and running the risk of developing ulcers never helped anyone. Focus on that which you can control and trust GOD with everything you can’t. Life simply becomes better when you go at it this way.
6. You are winning at goal manifestation. This is because you know where to channel your energies. Many of us fail at our goals because we are easily distracted by all the noise that comes knocking. Focus yields results. Evolving encompasses you simply not having the time to waste on things that no longer serve your growth intent.
7. Your social capital is lit! It’s a great thing to finally get to that place where you have a purpose in the lives of people in your life, and they the same also. You want to enjoy great relationships that challenge you to be the best you can be while impacting others positively. If this is you – again, well done! A lot of our drama originates from people in our lives so choose your relationships carefully.
8. You don’t entertain the possibilities of things falling apart. Simply put, optimism or positive thinking, coupled with the appropriate steps towards reaching your goals – will always get you somewhere. Think good things only. And if at first you don’t succeed…. dust yourself and try again…
9. You award yourself the time to think things through and process. Carving out time to get into your brain and rest it after you’ve done all your thinking is key to wholesome evolution.
10. You guard your space and time jealously. The people in our lives and what we spend our time doing pretty much shows the trajectory of our lives. Say no to time wasting and timewasters.
11. There are people in your life that can no longer be a part of your future. As you transform, there will always be that gang of folks that don’t want to get left behind in their misery, so they will do everything they can to keep you from moving on – and doing so without them. Be vigilant. I refer you to point number 10 above.
12. Your spiritual, physical and mental health is important to you. I pray about everything. Life means very little without my spirituality being intact. Getting older is challenging me to listen to my body more, eat right and occupy my mind with more positive bits of information than anything that drains me. If you value your prayer, meditation and rest time because you know it gives you the arsenal you need to conquer the following day – you have grown.
13. You care about people, but don’t let their opinions of you deter you. I used to get so incensed about stuff that rubbed me the wrong way. Like a child I would throw an internal tantrum or find someone to frustrate with my frustrations. Now I spend my days coaching my kiddos not to be those kids who throw their toys when things don’t go their way. Now I spend my days helping people figure out how to do better with themselves and their grind because I too needed the help to get here. I do both without concerning myself with what “they” say because sometimes the opinions of others become distractions or are downright exhausting. When you are evolving for the better, you focus on building people and working on the things that matter to your growth and that of others.
14. Comparison left the building. Evolving means you are most comfortable staying in your lane. The Jones’ get theirs and so will you!
15. You genuinely want to see others win. When we celebrate the victories of others, we are reminded or just how many blessings are headed our way too. Openness to learning from the greats and cheering others on is right up there with being grateful for your life – and that friends, is an awesome space to be in.
For quirky tips and signs and stories and quotes and snaps of some of incredible humans that have me growing evolving for the better – follow me on Instagram @quintessentially_yvonne
Till the next blog!