This is not where I wanted to be: a reminder to stop running and be true

Be-yourself-inspiring-women-artists

I came across a video clip of Oprah sharing why she admires Lady Gaga and to sum it up – watching someone who is unabashedly being who they are inspires you to also be your true self.

And that’s why I am so grateful to all the fabulous folks who have shared their stories, passion and inspiration in the Afri-love interview series. Reading about how others have followed their dreams, overcome barriers and put themselves first – above other people’s expectations of them – reminds me of the value in following my own dreams.

It is way TOO easy to veer off the course of doing what’s in your heart. It is way too easy to find yourself being carried away by the needs of other people (and convincing yourself that they are now your needs too). Even if you know where you’re going, you might not end up where you’re headed. Knowing is a crucial first step but what I’m learning is that constantly reminding yourself is just as important!

There are days where I look at myself and think, this is not where I wanted to be. Upon reflection I realise that it’s usually because I haven’t been selfish enough. I’ve put other people’s needs before my own and I’m running and running, trying to keep up with meeting them while my own are slipping away. The other people end up satisfied but I end up spent and miserable. There is another way where everybody can win and that’s by serving myself first. I best serve myself by being true to myself and not letting fear make me compromise that.

This week, I’ll be concentrating on eliminating the unnecessary, saying no and making space for unrestrained creative expression.

The women in the images above, like Lady Gaga, inspire me to be my true self. They are walking expressions of their creativity. They embrace what makes them different and they let it shine! Clockwise from top left: Erykah Badu image via Clutch, Simphiwe Dana image via TVSA, Shingai Shoniwa image via glamourmagazine.co.uk, Thandiswa Mazwai image from mio.co.za.

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