Real talk: I been rocking with Beyoncé since the first time I heard “No, No, No” in high school.
It’s no secret that I have tremendous respect for her and all that she has accomplished. It really inspires me that a 36 year old Texas mother of three children under the age of 10 is at the very top of the music game. She shuts down red carpets, award shows, Coachella, and the Internet, all with the magic of her authentic self.
It’s really easy to think, “Well, Beyoncé is über successful because she has tons of help. She has a personal trainer, chef, nannies, management company, make-up artists, hair gurus, and a kick ass mama (Hey, Ms. Tina! I love you!) to help her out. I don’t have that kind of help so that’s why I’m not the Beyoncé of my own life.”
While there is truth in that statement, I want you to consider that the megastar Beyoncé that we all know and love today was once Beyoncé Gisselle Knowles, a little girl from Houston, Texas with big dreams.
I can tell you firsthand that the music business is not for the faint of heart.
Just because it feels like someone came out of nowhere does NOT mean that they are an overnight success. Most stars spend years honing their talent and repeatedly hearing “No, No, No” before they turn that into a chart topping song. I love to hear Beyoncé talk about how she and her group, Girlz Time, didn’t win Star Search or how Destiny’s Child got dropped from their first major record deal.
Those experiences can be a major blow to one’s confidence and many an artist have stopped pursuing their dreams because so-called failure is simply too much to bear. I get it. Believe me, I do.
But not Beyoncé.
She used those experiences as fuel to her fire. She had a dream and nothing was going to get in the way of that. I tell you, Honey Bunny, life loves a person who is not going to take “No, No, No” as the final answer. *Okay, I’ll stop referencing the song. I just can’t help myself sometimes.
Today I want to share with you four ways that you can tap into the Beyoncé mindset and catapult yourself into your couture version of super stardom. Whether that is performing sold out shows at Madison Square Garden, being promoted to Senior VP of Finance, or being the best wife, husband, father, mother, you can be, you can and will create a life that you absolutely adore with these steps:
1) Take yourself seriously.
Simple, right? As I’ve said a million times before, simple does NOT mean easy.
From the moment we are born, we are constantly being told what we SHOULD do. Our parents, our teachers, our culture, marketing campaigns — they all are very eager to share with us what we should aspire to and how we should act. “Little girls wear pink and play with dolls. Boys wear blue and play with cars.” Then we get older and the conversation turns to how we should earn a living. “Play it safe. Study to be an accountant. You don’t want to study art in college. How will you make a living when you graduate?”
While I’m all about being financially solvent and making smart financial decisions, I wonder how many people get talked out of a life they’d truly enjoy and find fulfilling because they do what they “should.”
The reality is that one day we will die. I don’t want to sound morbid, but it will happen. I’m not certain that we will think about how many e-mails we sent or how many deals we closed. We’ll think about the stuff that really matters — did we experience real love in our lives? Did we just get by or did we really live?
That being said, part of taking yourself seriously is to explore what is important to you and to set that at the top of your priority list.
So often we put others’ priorities at the top of our list and we fail to honor what would make our hearts happy. Gotta make the boss happy and gotta get Timmy to soccer practice. That money ain’t gon make itself. So on and so forth.
Don’t get it twisted. I’m NOT suggesting that you stop doing a kick ass job at your work or that you stop taking care of your loved ones. Not at all. Continue to do that AND make time for what makes you tick.
For example, if you know that writing poetry is important to you, that means that you will do what it takes to write your poetry. What would this look like in your life? Well, you’d wake up an hour early every single day to devote time to your poetry. You’d write at lunchtime and during your breaks at work. Instead of watching TV, you’d devote time to practicing your craft or perhaps reading others’ poetry.
This may mean that you only get 30 minutes to an hour a day to devote to what’s important to you. It may not seem like a lot, but when you take a step back and look at the big picture you’ll see that it really amounts to 182.5 to 365 hours a year. That’s a lot of poem writing.
On a side note, I feel like there is a lot of pressure to make your passion your main source of income. If you’re a singer, you’ve got to do that full-time or else you’re not a real singer. If you’re a writer, you’ve got to write full-time or else you’re not a real writer. Honestly, I’m not immune to this either. I feel tremendous amounts of pressure to scale my business and make it my only source of income.
However, I made a lot of peace with this conundrum when I read Liz Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. She says that for years she worked a job and wrote in her spare time because she didn’t want to burden her writing with the pressure of financially supporting her. It’s hard to stay in a creative mode when you feel the mounting weight of your bills every month.
This made total sense to me. Just because you’re born to do something doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be your full-time job. If you want it to be your full-time job, start it off as a side hustle and build it. There is no rush and no one is going to look down on you for not dedicating yourself to your business 100% of the time.
My teacher, Gabby Bernstein, also changed my perspective on the matter, too. When she was first starting out as a personal development maven, she supported herself by working in PR. She found herself getting really frustrated and resentful that she wasn’t farther along the path and that she still had to work full-time to support herself. She spoke with her mentor and he changed the way she looked at her job. He challenged her to see her job as a venture capitalist funding her dream. That shift in mindset made all the difference for her and it rocked my world, too.
2) Put yourself in charge of your life.
Beyoncé’s first manager was her father, Matthew. In 2011, she severed professional ties with him and took over the management of her career.
In an interview with Oprah, Beyoncé says that it was “definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Definitely, you know. Someone you love, someone that’s given you life, someone that’s done such a fantastic job. It’s hard, but it’s a part of life and it’s a part of growth. I had to just tell myself, ‘At some point you have to be the adult that your father has raised you to be and prepared you to be.’”
It would be easy to gossip about the situation, but I think it’s more powerful of a lesson that Beyoncé made a very difficult decision and did what she felt was in her highest good. This is not a judgment on her dad at all. It’s just an observation that sometimes we have to put ourselves in the driver’s seat of our lives.
Oftentimes, we keep people in our circle and it’s not in our best interest. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bad people. It may just mean that it’s not possible for you to take them with you in the direction you’re going.
At the end of the day, the longest relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. Yes, it’s important to take the opinions of others into consideration, but never at the expense of your own.
3) Give yourself your best chance.
I myself am guilty of forgetting this. I, too, get caught in the “should” trap. I should do this. I should do that. I spend so much time fighting what it is that I really want, instead of working with my desire and setting myself up for success. When I finally accept what it is that I really want to do and start putting some action behind it, that tension that comes from doing things I know aren’t in alignment with my true self transforms into the fuel that sustains my endeavors.
All of the energy we put into fighting what we truly want can be put to better use. If everything in you is saying that you don’t want to be a lawyer and that you want to write, then start small and start honoring the desire in you to write. If you keep fighting it, you’re only going to make yourself miserable.
Oh, and stop worrying about whether or not it’s going to work out. Yes, it rarely goes down the way you imagine in your head. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be just as wonderful or better than what you can see in your mind’s eye. When you let go of the tight grip you have on how your life should go, you allow God’s grace to swoop in and do what you cannot or what you could never have imagined.
4) When you fall down, you get back up and keep dancing.
Beyoncé is an amazing performer AND she has also fallen down many times in concert. However, she doesn’t skip a beat. She gets back up and keeps rocking it. She doesn’t stop the show and say, “Oh my goodness, I just fell. I am hurt. I am embarrassed. I can’t do this. I quit.” Nope. She gets back up quicker than ever and gets back into it.
My daughter, Lyric, is in the process of learning how to walk. It is such an amazing thing to witness. I can see the wheels in her head turn as she tries to figure out how to maneuver herself and get to where she wants to go. Has she fallen? Yes, she has. It takes everything in me to not want to shield her from the pain and discomfort of falling. She’s my baby and I love her with every ounce of my being.
However, I know that she is learning so much more than the physical aspect of walking. She’s learning how to fall and get back up, how to experiment and adjust her approach, how to keep going in spite of obstacles. She never loses her enthusiasm. She never says, “Mami, this walking stuff is not for me. I quit.” Nope. She looks up at me with her doe eyes and cheesy grin and says, “Bring it, life. I’m going to master this.”
That’s exactly how Beyoncé approaches performing and evolving as an artist. I think this is also the way we should approach our lives.
Yes, we will all fall down and it’s up to us whether or not we stay down. We get to choose how we view failure. We get to choose how we want to proceed. Consider that the moments when you fall down are pivotal because you get to choose what happens next.
You are the Beyoncé of your own story. It’s time to start treating yourself as such.
Now it’s your turn. Comment below and tell me what taking yourself seriously would look like in your everyday life.
I’m cheering for you. Like I’m at OTR II.
From the Front Row,
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