Head Down, Chest Up - The one piece of advice I always forget to give

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with some amazing bloggers. While on stage we dished out advice and shared our stories about how we came to be the women we are. But as I walked off stage to the sound of grateful applause, I had a slight onset of regret...

There was a piece of advice that I wish I had given, that I did not. 

Later that night as Kierra Sheard was going through soundcheck, I sat on the side wing and took in her amazing voice. For just a moment I took a look around and allowed myself to soak in what had just happened. I allowed myself to soak in the little success I had just experienced. Me...Hayet on a panel...with people actually listening to my every word.

But my thought process was cut short with the prescence of a young woman who waited patiently for me to acknowledge her curious spirit. I beckoned for her to sit down, next to me, as I turned to her smiling. With a deep breath, and a nervous tone, she began to spill all the details about who she was, what her dreams were and all the things she wanted to accomplish. 

As I listened eagerly, I couldn't help but notice that she was unsure of her path ahead of her. Her words were spoken with poise, but had an underlying tone of uncertainty. Then there it was, she gave me the one chance to give the best advice no one had ever given me. She asked me how she can become like me. And I said...

Keep your head down and your chest up.

Confusion crept over her face, and I smiled to myself. See...when people ask for advice on growing, they expect you to present them with a magic pill. A perfectly calculated formula laced with little daily rituals of which they must abide to. But what they do not realize is that it is not about what steps you follow to success, it is about the attitude that you wrap it all up in.

From the start of my career in advertising, and my career as a blogger...there was one thing I always did. I never looked at someone's success as a mirror to my own. I never looked at someone else's path as a temperature check of where I should be. I never looked at someone and wanted what they had. No...what I wanted, and what I still want is far beyond what anyone has achieved, and everyday is a mission. 

So everyday as I wake up, just after I say my prayer. I remind myself to keep my head down, but my chest up. 

I keep my head down, not in shame...but in pride. Because I do not need to look at the ones I am surrounded by in order to feel like I belong. I am part of an amazing movement of body positive women, and all I feel are their vibes and energy. I choose to keep my chest up, not just for the sake of pride...but because my heart will always be my compass. Every decision, every mistake, and every accomplishment will be driven by that alone.

As I spilled out my knowledge, I saw a wave of confidence warm her melanin features. She thanked me, and as she walked away, I couldn't help but smile to myself. I had so much hope in her, for if she practiced this one thing...next year she would be right next to me on that stage, as a peer.

Happy Monday,




ThoughtsHayet RidaComment