𝐁𝐄 π’π„π‹π…πˆπ’π‡ π—ͺπˆπ“π‡ π˜πŽπ”π‘ π„ππ„π‘π†π˜.⁣⁣

What’s good, friends? Ciara here. ⁣⁣
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I want to share with all of you my story of: ⁣⁣
𝐁𝐄 π’π„π‹π…πˆπ’π‡ π—ͺπˆπ“π‡ π˜πŽπ”π‘ π„ππ„π‘π†π˜.⁣⁣
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In the last two years of my life, I’ve experienced more internal growth than ever before. At times, I found myself at what I felt were to be the lowest points of my life - mentally & emotionally. I never really gave attention to myself beyond what others see on the surface. Fear of vulnerability? Fear of what I might uncover? Fear of myself? Fear of the truth? Yes, to all of those. ⁣⁣
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I was lost in the unspoken trap and pressures of the definition of β€œsuccess.” I was allowing others to freely define who I was, to set expectations on myself, and to mold me into a β€œprofessional.” ⁣⁣
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Here’s the thing - I have mentors and I am ridiculously thankful for them because of their guidance and suggestions. What I’m not thankful for is this somewhat unspoken standard that I felt. I felt that as a woman, a person of color, and a young professional that β€œwanted to make it” I had to say YES - to everything. Every opportunity, every committee, every networking gig, every extra project - y’all name it and I was there. Because doing more means success. So there I was - spreading myself thin to please who? Not me - that’s for damn sure. Yes, my network was growing, yes I felt β€œknown” in DSM, and yes I finally felt like a β€œprofesional.” ⁣⁣
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But here are my questions: ⁣⁣
If this was success why wasn’t I happy? ⁣⁣
Could success & happy be partners? ⁣⁣
Why the hell was I so tired of everything? ⁣⁣
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Like many of us, I found myself scrolling through instagram and came across a quote that challenged me to think about my energy. One uncomfortable thought led to another and I made a breakthrough - an epiphany!⁣⁣
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𝐁𝐄 π’π„π‹π…πˆπ’π‡ π—ͺπˆπ“π‡ π˜πŽπ”π‘ π„ππ„π‘π†π˜. ⁣⁣
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Who was I out to impress so much that I was willing to put my own health and joy aside? I made changes. I absorbed the concept of - intent vs. impact - within my choices. I asked myself what took my breath away, what made me feel like ME, who was I anyways, and why didn’t I ever spend time with myself to know these things? ⁣⁣

I promised myself I would begin to put myself first because who was with me at the end of the day? ME. Not them - you- or anyone else. ME - always. Why the hell would I allow others to define my life and ever make me feel less of a QUEEN because I said NO. I began the process of BEING SELFISH WITH MY ENERGY. ⁣⁣⁣
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My life began to change. In every way. Toxicity - slowly disappeared. Depression - replaced with lightness and ease. Anxiety - became something I could face. All of those I just listed - something I became comfortable saying. I began to feel my heart and brain smile again. And omg it feels good. Now remember, growth isn’t always supported by everyone. I lost relationships and gained the ones that make me feel at home in my own body and support me in the ways that I appreciate. Changing my mindset, asking myself WHY before I agree to something, and giving myself grace has led me to where I am today = sitting in the dark, listening to music, sharing my most vulnerable feelings with hundreds of people that have assembled to create the Inner Circle. All of you - you have supported my growth. Thank you for being part of my life and thank you for allowing me to be part of your stories. My heart pounds harder with all of you in mind. So friends, BE SELFISH WITH YOUR ENERGY. When you start choosing yourself - your world changes. ⁣⁣⁣
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Love you all,

Ciara