In this blog I am encouraging people of color to see the importance of building community instead of being in competition with one another while striving for success.
The Struggle or The Gatekeeper
So many of us have ideas, dreams and goals that we’re thinking about pursuing or trying to accomplish. And I can attest that the road to success is not always an easy road to travel. In fact, it can be frustrating, overwhelming, and even lonely at times. But one thing I’ve decided to stand on is setting the intention to build a community while striving to rise to the top. Even for me this is a mindset that I’ve adopted because it has not always come naturally. While working on myself to become a better me, I’ve attained a higher level of self-awareness, confidence, and wisdom, and I have come to understand that it is easier to accomplish things with an open mind and the ability to see others in their success as inspiration instead of a threat.
We can all agree that there are more handmade jewelry businesses than we can even begin to count. But I didn’t let that deter me. Just because so many others are already established in what I’m building, my approach and outcome is very well going to look different because we all have something different things to bring to the table. One's personality, gender, background, views on life, etc., can all play a part in how something is presented. And because of this, every journey will look different, and some will find success sooner than others, and our response or reaction at this point can either hinder or help us. If at some point we are struggling, do we have the courage or the heart to either reach out and ask for help, or do we allow our pride to keep us stuck? And when we do find success, are we willing to be open enough to share ideas and knowledge when asked? Or do we become a gatekeeper of things that could help someone else? I’ll admit that I’ve been on both sides of the coin, and these are the mindsets that I’ve decided to walk away from not only for myself, but for those that stand beside me.
There’s Enough to Go Around
Take a moment to look around. Notice the abundance of everything. Go outside into nature. So many trees, leaves, blades of grass, flowers, grains of sand, stars in the sky…abundance. If we all realize that we can actually experience abundance in our own lives, we would be figuratively standing side by side with our arms linked, instead of climbing over each other or trying to sabotage or joyfully watch the next person fail because we see them as our competition, while trying to attain our own level of success.
Operating from a place of scarcity does not help anyone. Each and every last one of us has what it takes to reach our own level of success in every area of life. And one way to get there is to believe there is room at the table for everyone to eat. There really is enough to go around. As you walk up and down the aisles of any grocery store and you will find so many brands of the exact same item. When you visit the library, you’ll notice what seems like an endless supply of books from wall to wall written by many different people. Some brands are sold more than others and some books are checked out more than others, and that’s ok! But yet and still they are all placed so perfectly on the shelf side by side rightfully taking up the space that they have been given.
From Division to Addition
My opinion on why division and competition may be so prevalent in our community is this. For many generations we’ve been stuck in a slave mentality that has us in a house negro vs field negro mindset. And regardless of where they were assigned to work, a slave was still a slave. The house negro had no right to look down its nose at the field negro because of the hierarchy he or she had been made to believe they had attained. And the field negro had no right to think higher of himself if there were special treatment received after completing sick and sadistic tasks. Quite honestly everybody was in the same boat with a fork as a paddle. Some forks just happened to be bigger than others.
I wonder how differently things might have turned out if there wasn’t division created among slaves. And I also wonder how much further we’d be collectively as a people, because although the house negro vs field negro mindset presents itself differently in today’s world, these are still some of the physiological chains that we as black people need to break free of. Back then fear created the perfect environment for division, and we’re still affected by that concept so many years later.
Whatever your career, interests, dreams or goals may be, let’s decide that we are going to see each other as inspiration, partners, and associates, and not the enemy or a threat. Let’s stop being cutthroat towards each other and start rooting for each other. When you win, I win, and vice versa, because we can and will get so much further together.
“One finger won’t make an impact, but you ball all those fingers into a fist, and you can strike a mighty blow. Now, this family has got to be that fist.” ~ Mama Joe from the movie, Soul Food
I’d like to thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog! I hope it has inspired you in some way. Please feel free to share it with whoever you’d like. And I’d like to invite you to become a part of the Lizzie Three Design Community by subscribing to our Email List if you’d like to receive notification about new blog post, exclusive promotions, new product announcements, discount codes, and more! Once you have subscribed, be sure to respond to the Confirmation email to seal the deal. Thanks again for being here.