****This blog is no longer updated at this address! Come check it out at http://thinkandgrowchick.com. All of the archives are available there as well****

This site is my online journal that documents my attempts to reach various goals inspired by the principles found in the book, Think and Grow Rich. Join me as I strive to meet financial goals, fashion goals, school goals, hair-care goals, and everything in between. I hope that other young women will relate and find my journey useful to read about; this blog is for me as much as it is for women seeking resources for personal development and freedom. To get a daily dose, follow me on twitter and facebook...and don't forget to follow my blog!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Respecting the Space Between the Rock and the Hard Place

I ran across BeautifulBrwnBabyDol on Youtube when looking for fitness tips and I have to say, I really love this chick. Besides posting her very inspiring weight loss journey (she lost a ridiculous amount of weight by just eating right and working out, sometimes only using workout DVDs!) she comes off as confident and as "a real black girl", as she so aptly puts it. The video that I posted above was particularly inspiring to me for some not so obvious reasons. I invite you to watch the entire video (but you can fast-forward to 6:29 if your pressed for time and just want to get to the core of what I'm talking about) then read on below.


Now I'm not an ex-fat girl as I've been tall and slim my entire life, but I think many of the things BeautifulBrwn speaks on are universally true, regardless of what kind of transformation you are embarking on. What she describes as "the journey" I call "the space between the rock and the hard place" and it's so important that you respect it for all the reasons BeautifulBrwn talks about.

As you all know, I am on a pretty daunting "get-out-of-debt-and-get-back-in-school" journey for 2010. I have to admit, this is a "down" point in my life and it is CRAZY how different people will treat you because you are not "up"! Where BeautifulBrwn has people vying for her attention now that she is fit and "skinny" but couldn't catch a break when she was "fat", I had people fawning over me left and right when I had a scholarship and was attending Howard University, but now that I'm in debt, waiting tables full time, and saving up to go to the local public university you would think I had leprosy or something! Even my own family is giving me the side eye because they're not sure I can really pull this off. But you know what? I'm alright because I know this is my journey, not my destination and I'm learning to love me for who I am and not any of the titles I carry—impressive or otherwise—at any given point in time.

More importantly, BeautifulBrwn hit it on the head when she says not to advertise your progress in a way that seeks validation from other people. As she puts it, "Pop up and be the hotness" and this is so true. When my school and finance issues first hit me, I felt like I had to put a disclaimer on my chest when meeting new people or telling old ones about my situation. Instead of just saying "I'm saving up for school right now" or telling people about the new university I plan on attending, I found myself still telling people I was a Howard student or avoiding the whole topic of school all together. I now see that all of the stammering, half-truths, and drawn out anecdotes were totally unnecessary because it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. No, I don't go to Howard anymore. So? Yes, I'm working to pay off some debts. And? Both God and I know what I'm doing is the right thing, and in a few short weeks this ordeal has fine tuned my character and helped me appreciate my faith, my opportunities and my life in ways that I was totally blind to when I was a "successful" yet arrogant and unappreciative person. Furthermore, sharing my story has helped me connect with and reach out to other young women who are going through the same thing. I couldn't ask for a better silver lining, but I might have missed it if I refused to respect my journey in the first place.

So how can you respect the space between your rock and hard place?

1. Don't be in such a rush to "get there". Making a true, long-lasting change in your life is a transformative thing, which means a process is involved. You cannot make progress if you ignore the process. For instance, if your going natural, commit to the several months it will take you to grow out that 'fro, and love yourself on the good and bad days. I can't tell you how many women run back to a relaxer because they weren't committed to the entire process of going natural–ugly hair days and all.

2. Recognize that it's lonely at the top. BeautifulBrwn pretty much described this throughout her entire video, but it's worth repeating: not everyone is going to be happy about your transformation. You may have to drop some people and make new friends. This is okay, because a better you demands some better company. In the words of Will Smith, "You can often project your success in life by looking at the top 5 people you spend most of your time with. If you don't want to be those people, you know what to do..."

3. Never forget where you came from. This is so important! In reality, staying grounded in your journey and not basing your self-esteem on your success after the fact will save you if, God forbid, you face another hardship. We hear all the time that you shouldn't care what others think about you, but this goes both ways; you should be unaffected by both the hate and the praise you receive externally. This was the hardest thing for me to deal with; all my life I was great at ignoring negative feedback, but I swung to the opposite extreme and wrapped my confidence in my success and the adoration I received from my family, friends, teachers, acquaintances, strangers, etc. When all of that stopped, I didn't know what to do with myself! I had totally forgotten where I came from, but now I will always remember.

So that's all I got, beloved readers. How are you respecting the space between the rock and the hard place? How are you growing on your journey? Share your thoughts via the comments, or email me at thinkandgrowchick [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. really inspiring - and so true!

  2. "...in a few short weeks this ordeal has fine tuned my character and helped me appreciate my faith, my opportunities and my life in ways that I was totally blind to when I was a "successful" yet arrogant and unappreciative person."

    These words are the truth! I was in that EXACT place before my test from God and now I can say that I am a much more humble person and I don't take things for granted the way I did in the past.

    Great post, again, very inspiring!

  3. This post couldnt have had more perfect timing for me! it's time for me to do some goal setting and start on my hotness, not only when it comes to fitness, but also in working towards my career path.

  4. This post is truly inspiring , I've already read it twice... am going through a ''sort your priorities patch'' and i know your post will help alot .. thanks btw i just started a blog have you got any pointers that will help.. its http://silkysiren.blogspot.com/

  5. WOW! A post from you and the inspirational words of BeautifulBrwnBabyDol has done something to my spirit. I feel rejuvenated! I needed something to jump start my reinvention process and THIS WAS IT!!!!
    You are totally right: "this is my journey, not my destination." Many thing may happen, but I continue to strive for my best in spite of the naysayers.
    I thank God for finding your blog. You keep me motivated!
    Thanks for everything! Stay encouraged and Keep up the good work :-D

  6. Love this! I really needed to read this because I sometimes struggle with being between a rock and a hard place, but I'm continuously learning that reaching a goal takes time. I've written several posts about this, and I realize that I shouldn't compare myself to anyone because my journey is just that, my journey = )

  7. I love your raw honesty. Keep sharing your truth...you'll never know who it may inspire.