Last weekend my husband and I drove up north to Prescott, Arizona for an impromptu getaway!
As I sit in my hotel room reflecting on my weekend getaway, I learned a lesson I believe is worthy of sharing.
To start, I’ll give you a little insight on my past as it relates to todays blog.
I was born and raised in the valley of the sun #Aznative.
I started driving when I was 15 and had only driven the freeway 2 or 3 times prior to turning 28 🤦🏾♀️ Once I moved from Phoenix and I found myself having to travel back and forth frequently and quickly grew tired of driving the streets. Once I conquered my fear of merging on and off of the freeway, I began to venture out further and further, exploring my home state.
For years.. I mean, ever since I was in middle school, whenever the topic arose, I was quick to tell people that I couldn’t see myself living in AZ long term. I’d dreamt of going to college out of state, to an HBCU and joining a sorority. Also, I’ve always loved beaches and saw myself eventually moving to California or Georgia. As a kid, my family and I took many road trips to California. And, my family on my mom and dad’s side are from California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and other Eastern and Southern states.
Here I am, now 29 years old… Having ventured here and there around Arizona from 2021 till now, just exploring more cities on my own, I can honestly say that my overall perspective of my home state has shifted. Nobody would be more surprised by this than me, but I would honestly be heart broken if the day comes and I have to move away for one reason or another.
One thing I can say, is that I’m grateful that I have had the chance to discover the diversity that’s been right under my nose the entire time.
Now, you may be wondering how this inspired a blog post. There’s 2 parts to this. Let’s dive in!
Sometimes, we can miss a good thing that’s been right in front of us the whole time because of our perspective. And, sometimes, without realizing it, our perspective of a person, place or thing can be formed and shaped by the influence of other’s perspectives.
Our perspectives are typically shaped by our life experiences.
Now, you can apply this, to relationships, business opportunities, etc.
This is a reminder to myself and for anyone who needs it.
Could you be overlooking something that is quite amazing because you’ve been too busy looking in the opposite direction?
For years, I listened to people saying how boring Arizona is and how awesome our next door neighbor California is in comparison. The irony of that is that now as an adult, I actually hear the exact opposite. I hear complaints about how expensive California is and other complaints beyond that, that took me by surprise.
But that reminded me of this…
How many times do we develop ideas and opinions about things because we’ve been hanging on to the ideas and opinions of other people?
Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, sometimes we count ourselves out, we skip over opportunities, we disqualify ourselves from things that could actually be the best thing for us or the gateway to.
Now, I’m not staying I’m destined to reside in AZ for life. But, just within the past year and a half my perspective of my home state has completed shifted. But, this post isn’t about how awesome I think Arizona is now, it’s really about this…
That shift only occurred after I did 2 things:
1) I stopped listening to the negative opinions of other people.
2) I got bored and started to explore things for myself.
By doing this, I put myself in position to experience and develop my own opinion, free from the perceptions and opinions of other people. I’ve visited areas and places in AZ that many AZ residents have yet to explore.
So, I encourage you to look your goals and dreams. What have you given up on or lost hope in and why? If you find that it’s because of lack of support of people, negative opinions, haters, doubters, etc… You know, it’s easy for us to discourage someone from pursuing a goal or dream because it didn’t work out for us. Sometime, we can innocently just share our story and can unintentionally sow a seed of doubt.. now, I’m not saying don’t share your story – Including our mistakes. But, what I am saying is – remember to share the lesson learned as well. Because, that could be the gamechanger for someone else.
I thought this blog would end here. But, there is a..
As I sat in my hotel room, moments before checkout, I reflected on the lesson learned and I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more God wanted me to understand. Today I discovered the connecting piece. This right here really stirred me up today!
While, what I’ve shared with you regarding my new found perspective of my home-state is true, this blog post is far more significant than that. As soon as I saw this post today on social media, something clicked!
This was it. This was the missing piece to the lesson I’d learned from my weekend getaway.
In part one, I share HOW my perspective shifted. Part 2 is all about WHY we should allow ourselves to embrace our journey, embrace the process and allows God to shift our perspective as we pursue or goals and life purpose.
Let’s connect the dots.
When we are in our comfort zones, we are are comfortable because we are familiar with our environment. Our environment does not have to be physical, it could represent a state of mind or a perspective of a person, place, thing or an idea.
Here’s an example. Growing up, if you asked me what my favorite color(s) were, my answer was red and black. Once I began college at Grand Canyon University, where the school colors are white, purple and black, there was a shift. When asked, I’d tell you my favorite color was purple. My dorm room was decorated in purple and I enjoyed wearing my purple gear.
See, even when my favorite color was red and black, there was STILL potential – possibility – opportunity for me to SHIFT – change and favor the color purple. No pun intended. When I declared red and black as my favorite colors, I wanted everything to be in those colors. My bedroom colors were red and black, my wardrobe consisted heavily of black and when given the opportunity to choose something with color options, my go-to was always, red or black.
Things change. People change. Opinions and beliefs change. When it comes to people and our beliefs, change usually occurs when there is a shift in ones focus which then creates a DOORWAY for their perception to change.
The DOOR can be an opportunity that you have been waiting to find or waiting to open. And, that DOOR, very well could have been in front of you this entire time! Your breakthrough, your million dollar idea, whatever it may be… Could it be that it’s already open, ready for you to walk through, but because you’ve been looking in the opposite direction, because you’ve been waiting on God’s blessing to show up in a particular kind of way… You could be missing it even though it has your name on it?!
Don’t miss what God has for you! Remember that, God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Reference: Isaiah 55:8-9). That means, we have to have faith and trust in His timing. Understanding, that even when it doesn’t make sense, things are still working together for our good. He has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. We need to trust Him with the purpose He attached to our lives and the gifts and talents that He has given us to bless the lives of others.
I believe that God wants to reveal to us what has only been hidden, because we were not looking in the right direction. The wrong direction can be hinged upon relying on the experiences and opinions of other people. Maybe, someone else’s business failed, maybe someone wrote a book and it didn’t become a bestseller, maybe someone pursued their goal and made a mistake.. But, that is THEIR story. And, your perspective of it should be through the lens of a LESSON.
So, I encourage you to look for and learn the lessons and move forward. Don’t give up on yourself, don’t give up on your dreams and most importantly, don’t give up on God – just because you may be facing the wrong door. It is possible to view one thing, one way for your entire life and to have it turned upside down in a much shorter period of time. You can have your whole life or certain aspects of your life planned out and God can come and turn it upside down just because He wants you to see something differently. His plan for our lives is better the our plans. So, lets allow Him to connect the dots.