You can’t achieve your dreams by doing what you already think you know. The moment you think you have all the knowledge and skills you need to achieve your goal is the moment you have lost.
There is a difference between confidence and cockiness, and while you should be selective with the advice you take to heart, you still must maintain a posture of humility in order to grow.
I wouldn’t say I was ever the most naturally talented in any activity I got involved in, but I did usually work the hardest. I joined the swim team when I was 8 years old and had no clue what was going on. We joined the team late so I had missed about 2 weeks of swim practice. My introduction to the team was competing in the first swim meet of the season. I remember thinking, “what is a swim meet? Like we meet and swim?” I got there and was thrust on the diving block amidst bustling adults with whistles and timers around their neck, and told to swim to the of the pool as fast as I could in freestyle. There were other kids lined up in the lanes next to me ready with their goggles and swim caps. I didn’t have either. I was scared but didn’t have time to think. At the shocking sound of the foghorn, I dove in and swam scared in the water, my eyes wide opened and gasping for air almost every stroke.
Needless to say, I didn’t win that event. I came in 2nd to last and even my 8 year old self decided this wasn’t good enough. I worked my little and determined tail off the whole summer. I watched how the older kids swam, noted their diving and turn techniques and spent extra time with my coach outside of practice. Even at 8 years old, I wanted to learn and be better and spend time with people better and older than me. At the end of the season, I was awarded the Most Improved award. I went on to compete on the Varsity swim team for 3 years. I was never the fastest or the best, but I still got to compete in the big leagues and add it to my resume for scholarship and college apps!
When I was preparing for my dream of becoming Miss USA, I had the same coachable attitude. I listened intently to women who had already achieved the goal and took advice from women who had competed and realized how they could have done better. I never had a pageant coach persay, but I did surround myself with people I knew had my best interest at heart, had a proven track record of success, and whom I respected and admired.
Pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18.
I believe one of the biggest downfalls people make is being stubborn and hard-headed. Being strong minded and staying true to who you are is absolutely necessary, so don’t get the two confused.
Nia Sanchez, Miss USA 2014 is also one of the most coachable people I know. She listens to sound advice and applies it quickly. Even while she was at Miss USA and Miss Universe, she wasn’t above practicing. She called me for several Skype sessions to practice interview and on-stage questions. She didn’t feel on point every single time, but she was humble enough to get uncomfortable and show her weakness in front of me so I could guide her through it.
Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise. Proverbs 19:20
Nia seeks the wisdom and counsel of people she wants to be like and is adaptable to all the good stuff while staying true to the whimsical essence of who she is, anchored in her faith. She is someone who never wants to stop learning and so she is constantly becoming a stronger, more powerful lady. I believe it is this quality that has led to such exponential success in manifesting her dreams.
No matter how much education or experience you have, a humble heart will always make you come out on top. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12
Humility listens to advice and never thinks she knows it all. Being coachable with that eagerness to learn and grow makes you sparkle.
Thank you so much for loving your daughter so much exactly where she is, and loving her too much to leave her there. Thank you for being her transformer. Your Spirit lives within her and gives her power to transform more and more into your image every day. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18. Dear Lord, I pray that you will give her the discernment to know who to listen to and from whom to accept advice. I pray that you will send mentors into her life that will take the time to pour into her and to speak the truth she needs to hear in order to grow into the woman you created her to be. Amen.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2
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