Last year, I decided to work towards obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Relations. I made this decision knowing that regardless of how much society tells us, “education is the key to success,” the level of your education does not always guarantee your ideal job. I was scared to apply to graduate school, my self-doubt started pouring in. How would I balance going to school full-time AND working full-time? If I apply, will I even get in? What if it is too hard and I flunk out of the program? My dream school has been Hofstra University since I was in high school. One of my high school guidance counselors once told me thatI would never get into Hofstra with my ‘B’ average. He pretty much told me not to waste my application money. What a fucking terrible thing to say to an adolescent. I took his words seriously and my thoughts were filled with fear and self-doubt. I carried that fear of failure for a long time, but I do not blame my high school counselor for my lack of confidence, we all carry that fear. Some people spend their entire life trying to attain the “American Dream,” and they spend most of that time hesitating to move towards it. Hesitating to start your business, hesitating to go back to school, hesitating to apply to that job, hesitating to take any step towards success. It’s human nature, too many of us hesitate to achieve our goals because we fear failing. So, I hope my this post inspires you to look fear dead in the eye and refuse to let it intimidate you.
I have spent a long-time trying to figure out what was stopping me from accomplishing my goals. I realized that I feared failure. I constantly think about where I would like to be 10 years from now and how I will reach my goals. I see myself with a Master’s degree, as a business owner, with my credit cards and student loans paid off, several pounds lighter, and overall a happier individual than I am today. This is not to say that I am unhappy with my life, but I am 100 percent aware that there is always room for improvement.
After thinking long and hard about how I will attain my goals, I started to second guess myself. What if I can’t afford to open my business? What if I do not payoff my student loans? What if I don’t lose the weight? It became a common and depressing occurrence, every time I felt confident about my goals and plans, I would kick myself down. So, I decided to do the opposite and forget the words of my high school guidance counselor. Before I even applied to the school, I started telling EVERYONE and they mama that I would be attending Hofstra University in the fall. The result? I dug up the courage to submit my application and got accepted. Later, I finished my first semester with a 3.8 GPA. This was not an easy task, but I did it. I spoke my goals into existence and it gave me the confidence I needed to succeed.
Another example, today I told someone that I signed up for kickboxing classes just to see if I would enjoy the sport. The person’s response,“oh wow, kickboxing is hard!” My first thought was, “damn, maybe I shouldn’t do kickboxing if it is hard.” Then I stopped and said to myself, “it was hard for her, that does not mean it will be hard for you too. Plus, this bitch is probably just hating!” I decided to stop tearing myself down, because really WHO GIVES A SHIT what other people think.
Something I learned while obtaining my Bachelor’s degree is that a good PR professional takes the time to create their own public image. I’ve been told over and over to start a brand for myself. For example, if I want a job in the food industry, then I should brand myself as a food expert by using social media and other online tools. I started this blog as a grad school project, intending to become my own “brand.” My goal was to improve my public image and I dreamed of becoming some kind of famous blogger. I realize now that I cannot think of myself as “a brand,” I can only be me. I should not care what others think of me as long as I am confident in myself. My new year’s resolution is to be the best me that I can be. I realized that MY brand cannot be ONE passion. I love watching television, YES, but there is more to me than that. I also love music (which mostly includes a Beyoncé obsession), nature, and my community (that includes you). I cannot just focus this blog on one passion, it does not feel genuine. So I am rebranding “Primetime Bliss,” even though I REALLY love that name. Rebranding “Primetime Bliss” is my way of taking a step towards facing my fears and accomplishing my goals. So, allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is Arthena Val-Marie Sherwood and this is Val’s Vista. What step will you be taking to face your fears in 2017?