As I have traveled across the United States for the Boss Babes Brunch Tour this year, I have pretty much experienced every human emotion. And out of all the emotions I have experienced over the past four months, one completely caught me off guard…
I had no idea where this emotion was coming from. In my mind, I knew I was different. In my mind, I knew my journey was different. But, as I looked at the social media of women who were influencers, event hosts, and other popular accounts that would appear on my timeline, the jealousy would begin to consume me. I would begin to compare myself to the women who showed off their red bottoms, Louis Vuitton bags, and a new photo shoot each week.
I would ask myself, “Is this who I have to be to reach the women I have been called to reach?” “Is it more important for them to see these outfits?” “Do they prefer purses over purpose?”
As I asked myself these questions, I would find ways to make my life seem more glamorous and appealing to the masses, but I would never follow through. Why? I do not and have never cared about ANY OF THAT! I was never that kind of girl.
I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama with four sisters, my stay-at-home mother, and my father who brought home the bacon. There was never a moment in my childhood when I had my own room. We shopped for clothes and shoes at discount stores and got hand-me-downs on a regular. Name brands were not accessible until I got my first job. (Someone played me into watching her kids for $80 a week while she worked full-time). And even when I got those $80 each week, I really didn’t care about what brand was on my clothes, I just wanted to look cute.
Having “things” and being in the spotlight were never things that were appealing. I was never upset growing up without the things my classmates had. My parents did an amazing job of making sure I knew I was beautiful, smart, and talented regardless of what clothes or shoes I had. So why were these feeling creeping up now?
I had to get back to some of my core values. I am going to share three with you if you find yourself in a place where jealousy is causing you to compare yourself to your peers.
Embrace who YOU are!
Sometimes, I think about all the stories of celebrities and wealthy people who spent so much of their careers chasing these personas of who they thought they should be to reach “the top.” But once they achieve their goals, they still find themselves unhappy. I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy. I want you to be happy too! Psalm 139:14 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” You must understand that you have a set of unique gifts, unique beauty, and unique talents that will draw people to you. Continue to be yourself and embrace yourself and the right people will come.
Improve where you need to!
As important as it is to embrace who you are currently, it is even more important to understand that you are constantly evolving into a better version of yourself. Because of that, you need to be aware of your areas of improvement.
Do you want to become a better speaker?
Would you like to be more engaging on social media?
Is it time for you to update your style?
If there are parts of your personal or professional brand that need improvement, but are also aligned with your standards, level up and improve!
Enjoy your journey!
Becoming who you want to be is a journey. There are highs and lows. Successes and failures will be a part of your day. The most important things to understand is that your journey is unique to you. No one else will walk in your shoes and live your life. Find your lane and stay in it. Do not travel into someone else’s because it gets more likes, shares, or comments. As you get closer to your goals, remember that there is enough success for everyone!
We live in a time when everyone is seeking approval and validation and are willing to sacrifice who they are to get it. And, I know how easy it is to get caught up and do what everyone else is doing it. But as my mother would say before she grabbed her belt, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?!”
Next time you get the urge to change who you are because you are, look in the mirror and tell yourself, “Sorry, I’m not that kind of girl!”
Jessica C. Alexander is a Possibility Strategist and the Founder of Operation Evolve, LLC. She is based out of Montgomery, Alabama and has worked across the United States to empower girls and women to walk in their purpose. She is the author of “Boss Up! Pursue Your Purpose with Confidence” and the creator of the Boss Babes Brunch Tour.