I have a problem: I'm running out of ways to start blog posts in the least awkward way possible. I am so desperately trying to avoid the classic YouTube "hey guys!" cliché, but I fear that one day that is where we will have arrived. Let's just ride it out until then.
Recently I had a friend ask me what I believe is essential to achieving success. To both answer this question and entertain you at the same time, I will bring a pop culture reference into it all: the Netflix original show GIRLBOSS. If you haven't seen this show, you need to. But be aware: it is overflowing with profanity. So if that's not your thing, just let me fill you in.
GIRLBOSS is a show about the founder of a successful clothing company and how she built her business from the ground up. It stars Britt Robertson, who is that actress whose name you don't recognize but if you see a picture of her you go "oh, that girl," while still not quite being able to pinpoint exactly what it is you recognize her from. Her character is hard-headed and stubborn and determined not to succumb to the dreariness of adulthood. A lot of the show involves her spewing very creative profanity at nothing in particular and getting in hot water with people for not showing them the appreciation that they deserve.
The show is a self-proclaimed "loose" re-telling of how things actually went down, but the general gist of a down on her luck gal creating her own successful business is very true. In the show, the main character Sophia faces a lot of opposition and a lot of people telling her she can't do it. However, while there are plenty of people who don't think she has what it takes, she has a close group of friends who are there supporting her along the way. She has a community.
community (not the tv show)
A common misconception that people have about success is that it isn't yours unless you do it all by yourself. My personal opinion is that that can't be further from the truth. A lot of times, yes, you're going to have to trudge through resistance and push past all the critics and do on your own what others think can't be done. The thing people tend to forget, however, is that those are the times when you need a community around you the most.
A "community" doesn't have one definition when it comes to size. It can be one person or twelve. When there are people out there trying to tear down your spirit and tell you that you can't, you need a person or people that know your heart to continue to build you up and tell you that you can. For a while you may be able to survive off of your own resilience and drive, but no one can do that forever. Everyone needs encouragement and positivity coming from somewhere else but themselves, no matter how much they think they don't.
even if you may not want it, sometimes you need a (literal) boost from people you love and trust
There is no one method to success. Even DJ Khaled assigns the title "MAJOR KEYYY" to more than one thing. Moreover, you're way of achieving success may be completely different than mine or anyone else's. Community may not even play a part in what you think the best way to success is. I like to call this kind of stuff I write "unsolicited advice," because no one has asked for it and no one has any reason to take it. It's just me "live-streaming" my thoughts, as someone I know likes to put it. So feel free to take everything I say with a grain of salt, even though I truly have no clue what that saying means and I've used it too much to be able to ask anyone. Moving on.
Something I've learned and am still learning to do is to be vulnerable. I am not a fan of sharing. One of my favorite hobbies is bottling up all of my thoughts and feelings and dealing with them internally so that no one else has to deal with them. But more often than not, that hinders instead of helps. I, along with many others, believe that if you don't express your problems or share what you're struggling with then you'll be able to resolve them yourself and not have to bother anyone else with something you think is menial. This usually results in the problem growing and manifesting itself in your external mood or actions, which is what you think you're avoiding in the first place.
Keeping negative emotions and feelings inside and thinking you can still move forward efficiently and harmlessly is like filling a balloon with rocks and still expecting it to keep floating. It will eventually drag you down. Social media has encouraged us to be numb and unfeeling and feign vulnerability in the form of jokes about mental health (i.e. "zayn left one direction and now there's no reason to live lol"). But feeling things deeply and having struggles is not uncool. It's normal.
This is another reason I think surrounding yourself with a healthy community is super important. If you have people around you that really care about you, then you have no reason not to be vulnerable with them. Because if they care about you, then your problems are not a burden to them. Trust me.
So the three things you should (but don't have to) take away from this:
- Surround yourself with good people. You will need them eventually.
- Don't bottle things up. Every bottle has to overflow at some point, and it is never pretty.
- Watch GIRLBOSS on Netflix