I believe so much now, more than ever before that there is a diamond inside each of us. And every single person in your life intends to explore and harvest the mine you are. Some will be blind to your beauty because like real diamonds, we are each covered in earth. Those who don’t have the vision to see what a precious jewel you are will try to bury you or throw you away like dirt, they will do so much to prove you don’t shine and/or aren’t meant to. I met one of those and it nearly cost me my life. But that’s a story for another day, am not here to talk about pain and all those things that leave us feeling tarnished. Am only here to remind you of how precious you are.
Earlier today, while watching one of my favourite TV shows; The Voice based in the US, Blake Shelton, one of the coaches and also my favourite country artist, while commenting on a contestant’s performance said that;
We are each a diamond within but covered in earth, and we have to shake it off and shine.
This spoke to me. It spoke right at me and I rewound the episode a few seconds just to hear it again. It dawned on me that we spend a lot of time waiting on somebody else to be discovered, to be unearthed and shown off and not realise we can do it ourselves. Our culture, especially here in Uganda, is so anti-ambition. I don’t hear many stories of people stepping out on their own to pursue a dream, or more so be supported. And a good number of those who defied the odds often waited too long to do it. I read and watch stories of women and men waking up to a better choice of career after wasting a lot of time in a very unrewarding career. Smart brains for the entrepreneurial world are still stuck in the corporate world. They just won’t dare take a leap of faith. Of late, you will be half encouraged to venture into the business world beside your day time job, which comes with a strong emphasis on the fact that that passion your pursuing is only a side gig in comparison to your being employed. They would rather have you get laid off, than encourage you to walk away before it happens.
I have ventured away from the corporate world and I cannot say I have had much support. I am still struggling, not giving up, I have a lot to learn and I fear that I have made the wrong choices in that area of life. I believe if I had had the support when I first started, it would be different but that is just an excuse at the end of the day. It is all still up to me; it is up to me to shake all the dirt off and shine. Because a shine that you give yourself cannot ever be taken away.
You might be thinking about what kind of dirt your covered in and how to shake it off. The dirt is disguised in various forms of feelings and insecurities that surround us. The dirt could also be people with influence in our lives. Let’s explore a few examples:
- Self-esteem is one of the heaviest dirt we are covered with. The lower your self esteem, the thicker the dirt on you and, therefore, the less you shine. And we are each totally in charge of shaking this one off. Others can influence and advise but until you make a decision to shine and push through the criticism, and all that makes you feel inadequate, you wont shine. Like Meghan Good’s character in the movie Love by the 10th Date said; I am enough, you too have to feel that you are enough always. Its the only way to summon the courage within and shine on. Read Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins for more.
- Friends influence us in many ways. Great speakers and life coaches have often said, you are the average of your five closest friends. If you walk with nine fools, you become the tenth. We don’t always pay attention to who we relate with because we naturally lean toward those who think like us, as opposed to befriending those who think differently and challenge us. We all want it the easy way. But guess what? Those who make it easy for you are not helping you. Am not saying get yourself hooked up with someone who makes your life miserable, but rather engage with those who stretch you beyond your weaknesses and bring out the best in you. You ought to become better through your associations.
- Family influence is by far the strongest form there is. And it gets worse if the family doesn’t help you to grow and stand out. I recently was part of a conversation and we shared about family blessings and curses. Someone said that you find a particular family always finds favor while others struggle. We have seen families whose lineage always stands out; from business, to politics, to sports, et cetera. Even in the religious life in the case of Catholics. Yet others it is one downfall after another and they always wonder why. Prayer has a lot of fixing it does, but our thinking too has to change if we are to break away from this. You have to stop blaming your inadequacy on a family curse and make up your mind to find the right associations and influences to help you achieve your goals. Some families are partially successful and those who have made it do not want others to rise up too, they want to hold the torch alone and they do so much to keep others down. I am still witnessing this around me and I do my best to help where I can but it still comes down to you as an individual.
- Bullies are my worst. They just always have a trick up their sleeve to belittle and mock and discourage their targets from breaking through. They laugh at your little honest effort to make a change, they take away/deny you what you need to make the next step. They dominate your world, wanting to know your every move and thought. They usually are people with no vision for themselves and cannot bear the thought of someone they deem below their standard making it farther than they have. They are sometimes family and close friends who instead of encouraging you, oppose you. They are hard to ignore because they are loud and pushy but ignoring them and focusing on your goal eventually shuts them up, especially when your results start to show. Read The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson.
- Stereotypes are those limiting beliefs we have been programmed to live by. Girls aren’t supposed to do that or cannot do this, a man is supposed to be this, et cetera. We all have them and in many different aspects of our lives. But deep down we feel crippled and tied down by these stereotypes and must rise above them if we want to blossom and shine through. One I have been told many times is that I have to work for somebody (a job) until I am 40 years before I can start my own business or follow my passions. I do not believe this even for a day. If that were so, David in the Bible, who killed Goliath was a child but even God saw his ability to triumph over the mighty warrior and made a way for him. We wouldn’t have enjoyed movies like the Sound of Music, and many others with children starring in lead roles, music sensations like Justin Beiber and Rihanna in the 2000s and many more. We should learn to see through these limitations and prove our strength which is beyond what anyone thinks should be the norm.
Like Beyonce said in an interview about the top ten success principles she lives by,
“We are all superstars and were born to shine.”
Start today and work on yourself, the rest will follow and you will figure out your path. But before you do, start polishing up; your esteem and confidence, your natural talents and gifts, etc. Find what excites you and explore it, who knows where it will lead you and above all, how happy and fulfilled your life will be.
Shine bright like a diamond.