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The Idea Of Being Self-Made Is A Myth

Being self-made is a sweet lie.

Inspiration

Disclaimer: the following content may hurt your self-centered feelings. I acknowledge responsibility for any awareness or outpouring of gratitude that may arise from the latter.

Many people are blinded by the glorifying and egocentric idea to make it on their own and grant themselves the "self-made" title. However, I believe that there's a serious need to establish the truth regarding this concept: being self-made is a sweet lie.

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How many of us are obsessed with the challenge to make it on our own? How many of us take a sense of pride, which in my opinion, is often misplaced, in doing things alone to the point that sometimes achieving a goal by ourselves becomes more important than achieving the goal itself?

Have you ever considered putting your ego aside for a minute and acknowledging even the smallest gesture of help that you receive every time you're trying to achieve something? Take it from me, if you start making the list and connecting the dots, you'll soon realize that for every door that was unlocked in your life, someone was there to hand you the key. Of course, these doors wouldn't have opened if you didn't put in the necessary amount of work and effort to achieve whatever goal you wanted to achieve, so don't worry, you can still be proud of yourself for having done that; but whether you like it or not, those same doors wouldn't have opened if someone didn't keep reading the stories you write, watching the videos you make, buying the products and services you sell, and ultimately propel you towards your goal. Had your a-ha moment yet?

Now that the tea has been spilled, let me share with you some lessons that I learned when I, too, was trying so hard to make it on my own.

It Doesn't Always Have To Be Hard

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Most of us have, at least once in our lives, heard success stories that made struggling look sexy.

Well… It's not.

You can ask any successful person you know and I bet that they'll agree. Although they would probably confess to you that the struggle is what made their success, I'm 100% sure that the early mornings, the late nights, the empty fridges, the countless rejections, and all the adversity weren't a choice.

This might surprise you, but I find it important for you to realize that the paths to fulfill our deepest desires don't always have to be ambushed or lonely. Achieving a goal without it taking us through hardships doesn't make it less meaningful or deserving of a smaller reward. Rising from the ashes sure looks majestic; I get it. But why would you rather burn yourself when, in all sanity, it'd have been more clever to learn how to fly in the first place?

There's a saying that says "work smarter not harder". To me, working harder is placing all of your focus on your wings, trying to figure out how to make them work.

Working smarter is asking the right person to teach you how to fly so that you can focus on your destination.

Do you want to know what's really sexy? Sexy is acknowledging that you can do anything but not everything. Sexy is acknowledging that you need help in order to succeed and realize that you, too, are able to contribute to others' success.

Surround Yourself With The Right People

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Walt Disney once said, "You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality." I couldn't agree more. But if I may, Mr. Disney, I'd say that it actually takes the right people.

When you start surrounding yourself with the right people, genuine connections are made. They will genuinely use their skills and knowledge to help you achieve success, and the only payback they will ever ask for is for you to help someone else in return.

When you make the decision to surround yourself with the right people, you eventually come to understand that being lit by someone else's light doesn't mean that yours will be dimmed; quite the contrary, it'll only shine brighter.

Most importantly, you realize that trying to make it on your own is a real waste of time. So, instead of using all your energy to be worthy of that "self-made" award, use it to find your mentors, the members of your team and build your community.

Be Grateful & Give Thanks, Always

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This, my dear, isn't up for debate. I therefore invite you to go to the people who came to your mind while you were reading this to thank each of them personally.

And like Beyoncé said, I'm not just preaching, I'm taking my own advice.

This article is a tribute to every single person who's played a role, whether it was as a main character or as an extra, in the realization of the woman I've always dreamed of becoming. Especially to my mentor in writing and amazing xoNecole editor, Sheriden Chanel, whom I consider as the Beyoncé of my Blue Ivy.

"Thanks for the love every step of the way, with no support this wouldn't be as great. Thank you for making me stronger than most, for taking it beyond my coast. Thank you for raising your glass when I toast… All I gotta say is I thank you." – Kehlani

*Originally published on Savannah Was Here

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

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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

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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

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