The 5 Things Stopping You From Going To YOUR Next Level: A Reality Check

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New year. New you. New goals. We all made it to 2019 (biggups to God!) and now we all want to make the absolute most of it. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been hard at work putting things in place for this crucial first quarter of the year. Maybe it’s an incredible vision board, a new planner with specific deadlines penciled in or maybe you’re committed to just trusting the flow of your life this year. Whatever your approach, the one thing I know for sure is——you’re ready for all the good 2019 has in store for you. I have to admit, when the ball dropped on 2018 ushering in a chance to reset, I didn’t have any lofty visions of what the next 365 days would be like. For the first time in the last decade, I didn’t claim this year as the year that xyz will happen. I still don’t fully know what to expect. What I did know though was that I wasn’t bringing old patterns into this year the way I’d done in the past. I knew I was ready to get out of my own way and really start to receive the abundance I’d been so desperately seeking for so long. See, even though I have lots to be proud of myself for, there is still so much I’ve yet to accomplish. And I don’t know if it’s just the natural progression of things or if I’m just more aware of my own mortality the older I get but I’m not willing to waste any of the rest of my time here on Earth. Time is so precious, so fleeting and once it’s gone—-we never get it back. So, I skipped out on writing my usual “this year, I will…” list and instead wrote a list of all the things I was done doing. All the things I’d allowed to stand in between where I am and where I want to be. When I thought of what to open this year on the blog with, something said to me “what did you need to hear most?” and well…


Humility Is Hurting You

Yep. It is. Here’s the thing about humility (or the need to appear to be humble): we hide behind it as an excuse to not be our fully wonderful selves out loud. Sitting down and being humble is keeping you from letting people know what you have to give to the world. The truth of the matter is, there are people with less talent than you who are further ahead simply because people know who they are and what they do while you’re playing coy as to not make anyone uncomfortable. Is it fair? No. Is it just the way the world is? Absolutely. And you can choose to rage against the machine in the shadows with hopes that someone will notice you eventually or you can find a way to make self-promotion work for you. You think it means something that you’re not “doing the most” because “real ones know” but there is no risk and, ultimately, no reward in being unrecognized for your abilities. Humility is keeping you boxed in. It doesn’t have to feel fake or boastful. You can be both your truest self and your own publicist. There is nothing wrong with supporting yourself out loud early and often. Nothing. Listen to me, nothing. Have a new product? Promote it. Have a service that you offer? People should know that! Everyone who is also going after their wildest dreams will understand. And those who don’t aren’t your audience anyway. You’re doing what you need to do for you. Contrary to popular belief, humility is about man’s relationship with the ultimate being, God. It’s not an excuse to hide your dopeness so you can blame the world’s shallowness for your lack of progression.


Be Careful of Comparison Disguised As Motivation

I know you keep reading and hearing about how much of a deterrent to personal success/happiness comparison can be so why is it so hard to just stop? You aren’t alone in this struggle but you have to make it a non-negotiable to run your own race. There is nothing or no one outside of yourself that can stop or catapult your dreams. But what about using people to inspire us? We have to be careful of comparison dressed up as motivation. What do I mean? You’re following people who are where you want to be—-there’s nothing wrong with that—-but is being constantly bombarded with their perceived successes actually helping you get closer to your own? On the days where you are the most crippled with self-doubt is seeing them making you feel better? Are you using their wins as a measuring stick for your own? Do you find yourself saying things like “if i can do what he/she is doing with their ____, I would be happier/make more money….”? You get the point. Using other people to motivate ourselves can easily work in reverse for us if we’re not careful to remember that whatever they’ve done is part of their unique life story. Even if you follow their recipe step by step, your results will look completely different. What took them two years with the same ingredients may take you 10. And though the cake may bake…if you’re expecting it to look like theirs, you’ll still be disappointed.


Figure Out What You’re Worth And Then Charge More

Listen, I know the struggle of thinking some money is better than none. Especially when things seem bleak. But take it from me, overworking yourself for underpayment of your value is the easiest route to being young and jaded. I know if you’re reading this blog you work hard and put 1000% into everything you do—-so why are you charging just enough to keep your lights on? More than likely, it’s connected to our earlier discussion of being “humble” about your talents. You spend so little time bragging on yourself that when someone approaches you with an opportunity, you don’t even truly believe you’re worth asking for what you should actually be making. You don’t want anyone to think you’re asking for too much or trying to get over on them but let me tell you something—-you’re not. You’re charging for the mental space you’ll have to give to the task. You’re charging for the literal time that’s gone into learning, failing at and then perfecting your craft. Nothing is “small” about what you’ve had to do to get to a place where you can charge people for your services so why expect or accept anything “small” for payment. Will there be people who refuse to pay your asking price? Yep. And usually those are the clients who would’ve given you the most headache anyway. Get your money.


You Talk Too Much. Stop.

You have a habit of telling people about your projects/ideas/dreams before they’re all the way formed. I know you get excited. I know you want to make sure people know that you’re not just sitting around waiting on opportunity to fall in your lap. I know you want to connect. But let me be the person to tell you that not everyone is rooting for you. Not everyone is really down to help. And a great deal of people profit off of the ideas of dreamers who lack the resources to make their dreams come true. Learn how to be comfortable with people only seeing the results and not the work. Let them think that you’re not working. Let them think that you’ve fell off. Let them think whatever the hell they want to think while you put your head down and get shit done. Show up out of nowhere with a finished product one time for the one time. Blow people’s minds with how your album/film/book/product came “out of nowhere”. Make them wonder how you keep going. The game is to be sold, not told. So…stop telling it. 

Trust Your Instincts

I know how hard it is to trust yourself after failures, rejections and setbacks. I know it can feel silly to still think “I got this”. I know it can be a true test of sheer will to still believe in your dreams after things didn’t pan out time and time again. But, just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen ever. You still have the talent, the vision and the work ethic to get everything you’ve prayed about. And check this out: you also have the wisdom of having gone through the ups and downs already. You not new to this you true to this now. You already know what it takes. You already know what it feels like to have $0 in your account. To have everything you worked for come crashing down. To lose friends. To lose relationships. To be at the bottom and have to climb out. You’re tried and tested and still here. How could you not trust yourself? Second-guessing and being too scared to make things move will have you scrolling social media watching someone else eat off of an idea you had years ago pretending to be inspired by their moves instead of disappointed in yourself. Your instincts are an extension of God’s voice. Make sure your fear doesn’t stop you from hearing it.

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These are the hard truths I had to call myself out on. I know that we all are responsible for our own lives but that we also create some of our own problems along the way too. So, I want 2019 to be the year that we stop being “almost there”. I want 2019 to be the year that we stop saying “next year…”. I want 2019 to be the year that we see the harvest from everything we’ve been planting. I plan to make 2019 the year that I impress myself. That I stop being a barrier to my own success. I plan to make 2019 the year that I hate to see go because of how good it was to me. I don’t plan to do anything that doesn’t speak to the very core of who I am. I don’t plan to equate my productivity with my value. I don’t plan on “what if”-ing myself to death. I will be bold about all the things that I am and all the things that I do. I will charge what I’m worth with no apologies and no explanation. I will go after my most scary goals with a renewed sense of purpose. And I have all intentions of showing up everywhere as my most incredible self. I invite you to do the same.

What are you shedding to go to your next level? Share it with me and I’ll hold you accountable throughout the year. Let’s go, y’all!


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Iman Milner1 Comment