Succeeding Despite Stereotypes

I was an unwed teen mother of two children that struggled to finish high school, was brought up in an environment considered low income class, reared by my grandparents, taunted for skin complexion that was often seeking my identity in this world filled with statistics and status. According to some, based on my "beginnings," I should have been on a rollercoaster ride to a mediocre life.

Stereotypes have the ability to propel you or pound you, based on your mental strength and the people that influence your values/morals/character. Even though I was labeled by society as low income, the beliefs and encouragement instilled in me reflected that I was rich. Not from a monetary standpoint, but personality/attitude and integrity.

Having children at an early age taught me sacrifice and responsibility. Yes there were times when I behaved and acted reckless being a teen mother. However, it is my belief that my children actually helped me to mature and challenged me as a person/woman and citizen. Knowing that little eyes were always focused on me increased the zeal of personal awareness to expand my spiritual, social, political, economic knowledge and ability to "do the right thing."

Being taunted for skin complexion strengthened my confidence to love myself. Having the bare necessity needs met enhanced my gratitude for "wants and just because" treats in my life. Statistical data fueled me to advance regardless of obstacles and hurdles in life. Worldly status symbols accelerated the need to establish and be comfortable with my flawed identity and embrace the "have and or have not" in my everyday life.

"At best you can only pray to hinder me because you will not stop me." Those are the words I lived by to help me become the work-in progress I am today. Life, and my choices, dealt me quite a challenging hand before I realized two very important things that would save me from myself and save me from the negativity in this cruel but controllable world.

Number one, "No one has power over me without MY consent." As I encountered various issues in my life, I realized that my emotions, dreams, goals and joy are directly influenced by ME. Once I mastered my emotions, I stopped granting power to the people and or things that annoyed, labeled and degraded me.

Number two, "Listen more to actions and less to what a person speaks." It is true that talk is cheap. One of the affirmations I remind myself of daily is "When a person shows you who they are, believe them." Those words would eventually change the course of my life and frame my outlook/perception.

I am not a pie-chart or graph statistic created and supported by worldly standards/expectations. My value is not calculated by worldly status symbols/fashion nor trends. In my opinion, stereotypes are designed to bully. Unfortunately, some people allow it to define them. No matter what you encounter in life, the final outcome is controlled by your thoughts/emotions/actions.

Stop giving permission to stereotypes, the past, negativity and mistakes that strive to dictate your life. Success begins in the mind and is achieved by doing the work to ensure victory. I do not support the cliché that states "you are a product of your environment." I believe that you can produce success regardless of your environment. It's a simple yet complicated equation Mind over Matter. Be convinced in YOUR mind and nothing and no one else will matter.

© Copyright 2014, Stone
Feedback is welcomed at:

Read more works by Stone

Back to Columns Page