An Open Letter to Myself

The most dangerous gift in the world is natural talent. You’ve seen it before. It’s the college roommate who partied until 3 AM, never went to class but graduated summa cum laude. The teammate who barely practiced, ate trash food, never went to any of the camps or private lessons, but managed an MVP title every year. If you don’t know anyone like that…YOU ARE THAT PERSON (and we can’t stand you!)

In reality, I think we all have that area in which we are naturally talented. There are those of us who acknowledge our gift, work hard to perfect it, continue to educate ourselves in our craft….Beyoncé. Then there are the rest of us mere mortals who fall into a number of traps that hold us back from being great.

I’m not tryna put anybody on blast, so here are some of the obstacles that stop me from realizing my greatness. Some of these obstacles cannot be avoided. Other areas of distractions are nonsense and we NEED to do better! Immediately!

Excuses are tools of the incompetent
which create monuments
of nothingness.
Those who specialize in them
are seldom good in anything…. –

-Author Unknown-

Social Media

Listen!!! Between Instagram and Facebook, I get caught in this never-ending vortex of information, fake lives, filtered photos and vacations I will never take. Typically, I pick up my phone at night to check emails and there it is…..the Instagram icon. 2 HOURS LATER…..I think of all the things I could have done in the two hours I spent on TheShadeRoom, hoping Beyoncé shows us ANYTHING, trying to figure out which McClure Twin is which, hoping that it’s FRIIIDDDAAAYYY so @IamZoie can twerk for the gawdz!!!

In the past, my easy solution was to take at least one day per month and leave my phone at home. All day.

That one-day where I had limited access to everything and everyone was always the best. There is something peaceful in the phrase, “it can wait,” because it can. Whatever it is, it can wait. If it is a family emergency, call me at work. If there is a national tragedy, it will still be tragic when I get home from work. There are very few reasons why a person couldn’t go ONE day per month without their phone. Think about it, our parents did it and they were just fine. Somehow by the grace of God, they still found out about the emergencies and latest trends.

If you can’t fathom leaving your phone at home, just leave it in your car and check it on your lunch break or before you go home.

On the weekend, watch how many things can be accomplished if you chose one Saturday every month to turn your phone off.

Mind. Blown!

Success

This is a tricky one for a lot of naturally talented people. Maybe you can put in half the effort as many of your co-workers or community members, yet still make the good money and get all of the accolades.

In a certain area of your life there are things that just come naturally for you. If you are real with yourself, it probably scares you to think how successful you COULD be if you actually went for it. What if you did sit down and write that book? What if you went back to school for that degree you have always wanted? Why not open up your own restaurant? Why not actually USE the gym membership you have had for years?

The answer to all of those is simple. It is because we are terrified. We are terrified to live up to our potential, because we let the thoughts of failure creep in.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson

In reality, what is worse? Giving your all, trying your hardest, showing your vulnerability….and failing.

Or…….

Staying in the safe zone your whole life. Internally fighting the battle of “what if”, but always losing to your fears. Being the life of the party, reading other peoples books, supporting other peoples dreams, but going to bed at night thinking “what if.” Raising children to be fearless, goal makers, high achievers, leaders, while at the same time knowing you are called to do something MORE.

At that point, the only person you are helping is the person who has been watching you, aware of your potential, but also aware of your fear to ACT on your potential while they succeed in your place.

Family Obligations

Being a new mom and also having two very active stepdaughters, I know what it is to have a lot of obligations that you need to work around. The reality is, many times moms schedule every one and forget to schedule themselves.

The same way you add in tennis practice, swimming lessons and choir practice; you should be able to schedule one hour each day that is dedicated to you. Maybe your time frame is everyday from 6-7AM. During your time you will dedicate yourself to working out, building a business plan, studying for entrance exams or writing a chapter in your book. No matter what you do, it is YOUR time.

Resource: It’s About You Too…Pencil Yourself In by Chaunte Lowe

Laziness/Complacency

I know I am not the only one who starts something, gets down a path and looks around like “WHY?” Why am I putting all of this extra work on myself? I feel pretty comfortable in my current life situation, why add any additional time, work and stress? If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it, RIGHT?

WRONG!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ROMANS 12:2

Don’t you understand that a gift is not to be wasted? Can you imagine your relatives and ancestors in heaven looking down on you with the full knowledge of everything you are CAPABLE of accomplishing; yet watching you sit in comfort? Yes you have accomplished some amazing things already, but you are not done.

God’s given gifts are not meant to be wasted. If you don’t use it for your own good, use it so your children can further witness the greatness that is within you and inspire them to find and utilize the power in each of them.

Finances

Maybe your goal will require a lot of money. There is a chance that the time it takes to attain your goal will take away from the steadiness and security of your current job. I’m not trying to preach to you, nor am I trying to get too deep into my personal life. However, what I do know as fact is that if it is meant for you, truly meant for you in your spirit, a way will be made.

At some point in life you need to step out on faith for YOURSELF. The crazy thing about being a woman and a mom, we will step out on faith for everybody else except ourselves.

We will be the first to spend $500 on AAU basketball, because our child MIGHT like the sport. We will cringe, yet still purchase the $800 cello because your daughter wants to ‘try it out.’ The kid needs a new soccer uniform or ballet costume and shoes? Cool no problem, you manage to get that too.

But when that itch KEEPS telling you to go get a personal trainer for $25/ hour…that is too expensive. When it is time to enroll in that cooking class for $300…you ain’t got it? Do you hear me yet?!?!? Here’s one for you… when you find a vacation on Groupon that is $1,000 round trip airfare, hotel, all inclusive food for you and your significant other…. you can’t find a way to make that work.

Starting to sound familiar?

You have everything you need to do the things you are divinely called to do. It is just a matter of where you decide to prioritize YOUR goals in your life.

All I’m Saying

Being a mom does not mean putting away all of your needs for those in your family. To me, being a mom means being the best me I can be so my family (including my husband) has a living example of someone living in their truth.

I never want to be the reason my child chooses not to go for their goal, the reason they settle for less. I owe it to them and myself to be and do better.

Vulnerability

Because this letter was genuinely a letter to me to get off my a$$ and actually do some of the things I know for a fact I am called to do; I am going to start by sharing one of my goals.

 

I, Talia Brookshire, am committing to losing 20 pounds by December. I have hired personal trainer extraordinaire, Mike Pryce from All Good Athletics and we will track every bit of my journey, including my workouts on my Instagram page and in my stories. I’m giving every reader full permission to check me if they don’t see at least 4 workouts PER week from me.

CHALLENGE: Here is the kicker. If I go one week without posting four different workouts and you catch me, send me a DM on my Instagram account. IF this happens I will pick one person and send them $20.

Deal?

Deal!

What are your goals? Write them below so I can hold you accountable as well. Make sure your leave your Instagram account so I can check in on you.