All of my combined experiences, both amazing and inauspicious, have led me to adopt a life mantra: Unleash Your Distinction. I believe that once you grow comfortable in your own skin and forgo the idea of cloning yourself to match someone else’s standards, you create a sacred space that fosters greatness, and allows our distinction to manifest, and allows you to be true to yourself.
Based on a popular Oprah Winfrey quote, every human being was born with a certain measure of tenacity and strength—including you. And as a result, I’ve narrowed down my long list of thought-provoking ideas to three specific questions to help inspire you and push you to unlock the greatness that dwells inside.
- What’s Your “Why?”
What do you want in life? If I had the power to rewind the tape, I would tell 20-something-year-old Khaliah what I know now. Pursuing a certain career just for the money will never provide 100% fulfillment. I would tell her that her fulfillment in life will only come from staying true to yourself and doing what you love. For example, I now know that what I love is empowering others.
Now, I do this because my “why?” is bigger than me. We don’t need to put our passions and dreams at the bottom of our to-do list. We don’t have to let others tell us what we are supposed to have an interest in. After shifting my priorities, whenever I ask myself, “Why do this?” I have the same answer: Because I could not imagine myself being anyone other than me.
- Your Brand Matters
Google your name. Would your “true to yourself” version that sings in the shower recognize the person portrayed on the screen? Or are you hiding behind a persona on social media in fear that some may not accept the “real” you? Regardless of individual views and social biases, sharing and embracing your unique traits is what make us stand out from all others and will ensure our brands (and lives) are consistent online and offline. Being true to yourself isn’t just about embracing your unique personality, it is also what sets you apart in your work life and in your social life.
- What’s Your Strategy for Giving Back?
Imagine if you replaced some of the downtimes you have every month using your unique passions and talents to make a difference in your community. There are millions of ways to make an impact and give back to our communities without going over budget. Part of being true to yourself and unleashing that distinction that’s within is sharing experiences with others and acknowledging that the world does not revolve around you. This is possible through staying true to yourself, and giving back to others in whatever way you’re passionate about.
All in all, you must be willing to own your path no matter what. Take the wheel of your own life and throw your gears into overdrive in the lane of embracing your individuality. Take a deep breath, stay true to yourself and say this out loud and proud: I am powerful. I am bold. Most importantly, I am unique. Now enjoy the journey to “Unleashing Your Distinction” and remember that it all starts with being true to yourself.