Monday, June 17, 2013

When PRIDE knocks U Down!

I recently had an experience where I was denied for a writing job that I wanted so bad. I took my time and wrote about interesting topics and then researched the company just to be sure that my articles would interest their target audience. And right before sending them off, I took one quick minute to proofread my work and then pressed send on the computer, confident that those articles would secure my next opportunity. I was so proud and excited that I beamed with anticipation.

Time passed and my confidence grew. I just knew this company was going to allow me to write for them. My articles were fresh and I was ready-- at least I thought. A couple of weeks later, I received a short and simple email that kindly read, "Develyn, these writing samples are not proofread. You should never send writing out like this!" Needless to say, the answer was a NO!

If the computer screen was a mirror, I would have cracked it with the surprised expression on my face. "Huh, my articles, sloppy?" I asked with a twisted expression. Then I played the sympathy card."But I tried hard and felt so passionate about what I was writing. Besides, they couldn't have been that bad?" I asked, begged and reasoned with my bruised pride, too ashamed to even open the articles and reread my poorly edited stories. My pride was knocked ALL THE WAY down and I was feeling like I wanted to hide under a rock for a year or two or at least until the fifty nagging voices in my head stop screaming, "Loser! Failure! Duh!
I bowed my head and felt sorry for myself for a short time and then the revelation came. I realized that the email send to me was a growth opportunity beckoning me to grow and get better. Though I had failed at this opportunity, I was growing in another. Because the truth of the matter was, "Yes, I did need to improve." I mean, I can't expect to be taken serious in a industry where you've got to be the best if my work was sloppy. Plain and Simple.

As soon as I got over feeling knocked down, I got up, brushed my dirty knees off and headed straight to the library. I checked out all of the books they had on my craft and studied them. I completed practice exams and tried to commit the common rules to memory. Now, I take my time and do research when I'm not sure about something. Most of all, I proofreading my work and take the time to make sure it's at its best. This experience in failure ended up being a blessing in disguise because it taught me three important lessons.

#1- YOU have to be willing to fail to GROW.
Anytime that you're walking in your purpose, you're going to be faced with rejection, denial, criticism, doubt, moments of unpreparedness and flat out NO's! But you have to be willing to stand strong, learn the lesson, shut down the nagging voices (including your pride) and keep stepping. The Life Coach, Iyanla Vanzant, always says, "Don't be afraid to DO THE WORK!" And if that means that you have to slip and fall first-- so be it.

#2 ALWAYS Send your work out LEGIT.
Anything that represents you or your craft needs to always be at its best. Take the time to check, double check and triple check your work. There is no such thing as checking it over for a minute. Being thorough is the right thing to do.

#3- Check your pride at the door. Pride is a hammer that will beat you over the head and make you want to forfeit your dreams. But don't be too hard on yourself. Failure is a part of the process. Everyone is going to fail at one time or another and it doesn't mean that you have to fail every time. But when you do, get back up and get focused on the next task.

MC Hammer 80's hit sang, "I am 2 legit 2 QUIT! That's the way I feel. And I want you to feel the same way too.

See you at the top!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Life experiences, trials that come to test us, situations that make us have to be quiet long enough to figure out
our next step,
our next decision,
or our next word to say
are some of the situations that takes place when life begins to peel back the layers.  The experience can be likened to a person’s skin peeling. At first, peeling skin looks irritated, scaly, dry, cracked and abandoned. It might hurt, or be sensitive to touch or burn. That’s metaphorically peeling off the first layer. It requires a lot of attention. Sensitive care and intentional decisions. You might have to cry or be in a state of confusion for a while. This is the stage when people usually cry out, “why me,” and want to give into defeat rather than staying strong. BUT DON'T GIVE UP!

 In time new skin begins to break through. It’s soft, tender and not yet ready to be revealed. This is like the second layer. During this time the attitude can be like, “Okay, things are looking up for me. I see the sun breaking through the clouds. But it’s not the time to let down your guards and celebrate just yet. Careful attention is still needed. You have to remain steadfast, focus and disciplined. The same things that you were doing at stage one must be continued except with further planning. Now it time to think about the plan further, stretched out . What do you need to do different? Have you learned the lessons in stage one? Are you taking care of your soul more carefully, cautiously and contently?

 Finally, the big reveal comes and new skin breaks through. It looks effervescent, strong, and beautiful. It represents the real you and leaves no traces of the process you had to endure, no matter how difficult the circumstance. And then the 'aah ha' moment comes.The layers, equivalent to the experiences we go through came for this moment, this purpose, this breakthrough in your life. The shine, the glory, the exposure of the greater you was what was behind those layers. Was it worth it?

Life happens in stages similar to this. Each situation, relationship, circumstance that we successfully overcome is a layer being peeled back in our lives. The shedding of these layers reveal a greater, more resplendent person inside.  If we take the time to understand the value in each lesson, the reward leads to a greater sense of self.

Too bad television doesn’t allow us to see strong women as they’re going through peelings. We either see them at the height of their success or at their fall down. But everyone, each one of us has layers that we will shed. It won't be a punishment, we can't be made to feel ugly and it certainly won't be recognized as odd, unusual or weird. Its seasonal, necessary and a healthy part of our maturity. So peel and let the old layers shed and be gone.YOU'RE GONNA SHINE REGARDLESS.....