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How Getting Fired Taught Me A Lesson In Humility

Sometimes getting fired can be a blessing in disguise

Workin' Girl

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard the news that Tamar Braxton was fired from her position as one of the hosts of the daytime TV talk show The Real. And unless you've never heard of the famous Braxton sister before, you'd know that she is what many would call a “firecracker". She has a very strong personality and unfortunately to some, it may come off as abrasive or rude. According to reports, those were traits that allegedly didn't sit too well with producers and sponsors of the show.

Often times however, what many people don't understand is that strong personalities are often the result of something deeper than what's observed on the surface level. In my case, a combination of childhood bullying, shyness, and constant let-downs led to me developing a tough shell. After being disappointed by others over the years, that hard shell toughened even more and I began to develop an IDGAF attitude. The sweet me that was often taken advantage of had dissipated and I had become a bitch.

Don't get me wrong, my stank attitude was never a conscious effort. In most cases, I never realized how my attitude was coming across to others. It was only after being dealt a huge blow to my ego by being fired and learning why I was fired, that I was able to reevaluate myself and deal with the underlying issues causing my abrasiveness.

Getting fired sucks.

But getting fired due to what some may deem a personality defect (insert the PC term for "strong personality" here) sucks even worse. I can't speak for Tamar, but in my case, being fired for my “attitude" resulted in a dose of humility and taking some time out to check myself - and my attitude.

Read on for a few takeaways I learned about myself by getting fired:

There's a Thin Line Between Confidence and Cockiness

I am a perfectionist. I strive to do well with any and every thing I take on. For that reason, I've become accustomed to the feeling of pride that has come with me winning and accomplishing what I've set out to achieve. With my success came a lot of cockiness.

That cockiness led to the demise of a lot of my relationships, both personal and professional. When I was younger, I was the exact opposite of cocky. I was very shy, I didn't have much self-esteem, and I feared failure and rejection from others. These were traits I possessed in my youth that affected me more than I realized at the time.

Fast-forward to me getting fired, I came to the realization my cocky attitude played a major role in my termination. I had convinced myself that I was going to take my former supervisor's job and I believe she realized my intentions. Once that reality hit, she made it her business to protect her position, as she should have. We eventually became competitive, and even though she was my superior, I personally didn't respect her authority like I should have. I compared the two of us and felt above her in most instances: I'm one year older than her, more experienced than her, and the only thing that separated me from her during my employment was that she had one degree more than me. Honestly, I did a lot of the work she should have done, but she worked hard to get where she was within the company.

I failed to respect her accomplishments and support her and instead, chose to compete with her.

That ended with me losing my job.

Being fired dealt a huge blow to my ego, but it also resulted in me realizing that while it's OK to be confident in my abilities, cockiness is not “cute" and in the end I did not win due to no one's fault but my own. Lesson learned.

No Matter How Successful I Get, There's Always Someone Who Can Check Me

My failure to realize that yes, I can be checked, was an obvious result of that cockiness I mentioned earlier. As a child, I changed from a shy, sweet little girl to a rebellious, smart-mouthed teenager. Regrettably, I put my mother and those around me through hell. While there were certain circumstances that led to my behavior, some of it was also, admittedly, me being a brat and wanting my way all the time. I developed a bad attitude and an overall lack of respect for authority. That attitude carried over into adulthood and my professional life as well. When I graduated from high school, I enlisted in the military.

You would think the military would straighten me out—wrong. I didn't care what anyone said there either, I was only there to collect a check. While I'm being honest about my frame of mind at the time, I must admit the way I used to act is completely embarrassing to me. What's even more embarrassing is how long it took me to realize that I'm not in control of everything and that I never will be. "Control" being the keyword.

During a bit of self-reflection after getting fired, I came to realize that control is what I wanted.

I wanted it because of the many negative situations in my past that I felt helpless to prevent. My lack of control during those situations made it hard for me to understand the boundaries of control and I became controlling, ruining relationships, friendships and professional opportunities in the process. The only way I've been able to overcome that time in my life is to learn that there will always be someone that can check me, even if it's God Himself. I learned that exhibiting humility doesn't make me less of a leader, it makes me a stronger one.

How I Rise From My Failures is What is Most Important

Sometimes when everyone is saying the same thing about you, it doesn't hurt to listen. More likely than not, if it's something that's said a lot, it's something that's true. I learned to listen and accept the truth when others would tell me what was holding me back from going forward in life. Most of the time, it was my attitude. While hearing my attitude was a problem right after getting fired felt like I was being kicked while I was down, the truth is I commend my true friends and family for being honest with me. Those truths helped me rise up to be the woman I am meant to be. Getting fired sucks, especially when you have so many goals and aspirations tied to a particular position or company.

In my case, being fired put me right back at start, but it was a good thing ultimately.

It helped me reevaluate myself, understand who I am and my potential, and rise up amidst adversity. In an interview on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Tamar revealed, in regards to getting fired, that it was God's way of making her take a leap of faith forward and leave that show behind her. Because she had been ignoring Him, He basically pushed her off the cliff, so that she would have no choice but to have her faith. My experience with getting fired was similar.

It was God's way of kicking me off of my horse and forcing me to be gracious for my blessings.

Since then, I've moved forward and accomplished many things, but I keep a dose of humility with me at all times, just in case I begin to start feeling myself too much.

Featured image by Shutterstock

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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