The whole objective behind leveling up is to make lasting changes that serve you and lead to a healthier you. As you make changes like working through personal issues and setting aside time for stillness, a new version of yourself will emerge, and not all those around you will see the same value in the new you as you will. Be prepared.
While it may hurt at first, you should get comfortable with the idea that not everyone will be your number one fan, or even your number two. As you make your way onward and upward, here are some things to keep in mind about taking responsibility for your level up.
First and foremost, as we have covered, the level up is your responsibility. You have to recognize when it is time to make a change, and you have to commit to changing. Be it weight loss, finishing up in school, cleaning up your credit, or breaking away from an abusive relationship, you are responsible for showing up in order to accomplish your goals. As you accomplish goals, your detractors will throw negativity at you as a means of projecting their own insecurities.
Without firmness of mind, you can give in to their tactics and start to feel bad about doing better in your own life. This is not an appropriate conclusion to the work you have done to level up in the first place. I have witnessed many other women living this way, feeling guilty for doing better than someone else, and at one time, I have even done this myself. You have to own your level up. You do not have to own anyone else’s response to it.
Those who choose to respond negatively to your rise are likely uncomfortable with how your success makes them feel about their own successes (or lack thereof). A dark-skinned woman who is confident, peaceful, and going places is a force to be reckoned with…or at least, that is how her opponents view her. Other people who are successful and secure in themselves will only see confident dark-skinned black women as lights of positivity that further affirm the benefits that focus and positive energy can provide. Real winners want to see others winning.
They do not need to create obstacles to try to make others lose. You do not have to take responsibility for the insecurities of your detractors, even when those people are your close friends or family members. In the same way you had to address your own insecurities in order to get over them, they must do the same. You cannot do the work for them. If they are not ready to, they will not budge from where they currently stand. None of that has anything to do with you, though.
Lastly, keep in mind that your level up might inspire others to do the same. This means that some of your detractors might actually become your allies later on. Positive behavior, like laughter, is contagious. In addition, everyone has influence. People will be watching your rise and studying your moves for the purpose of trying to do the same for themselves. If a person has experienced the realization of needed to do better, especially after they rejected or bad-mouthed someone for doing the same, it means they have had to grow up quite a bit. Be gracious if they come to you. Everyone is entitled to a level up or two.
Antoinette is an online curriculum designer who moonlights as an author, editor, yogini, and host of The Midday Reset Podcast. When she is not designing courses, authoring books, or recording episodes for her podcast, she is enjoying life with her husband and two children. Find her on Instagram @msantoinettechanel.