The one mission I had when I was young was to get out of the hood. I decided that I wanted better for myself and that I didn’t want to be like anybody around me. I wanted my life to be the complete opposite of everything and most of the people I grew up around. I decided to fall in love with who I am. I didn’t know it, but even back then I was trying to get out of my own way.
There wasn’t a specific time or date or monumental moment when I knew I had to get out of there. For me, the process of getting out of my own way happens moment by moment. When each moment presents itself, I can decide to do something wrong— if I was already made aware that it was wrong— or I can do it right.
When you know there are better circumstances you can be in, or that there’s a better way to do something, and you decide right then and there you want better for yourself and do it right, that’s when you’re technically getting out of your own way. But it’s not as easy as that because your life decisions boil down to how you see yourself and how much you love and value yourself.
Your actions reflect what you want for yourself and what you feel you deserve. I grew up with a few people who didn’t think they deserved anything and that’s the way some of them are still living.
Everything I was doing when I was living in the hood shows how much I loved myself: I loved myself too much to keep living like that. I loved myself too much to not try and hustle for quarters for food or call every record label to get a record deal. You can think about this in all areas of your life: I love myself too much to date someone like you. I love myself too much to keep sitting on my ass instead of searching for a new job. I love myself too much to have unprotected sex, or to keep friends in my life who bring me down.
We need to find out how much we love ourselves in order to get out of our own way. Part of that is accepting our flaws. It sounds contradictory, but you have to see the truth of who you are in order to get in front of the problem. How can you ever understand your actions and try to change, until you take a good look at the choices you’ve made? How can you open up a line of communication with yourself or others about your actions and try to change? You have to figure out why you keep staying on the wrong path and making the wrong decisions.
If you have a problem with your life, you can elevate yourself or keep standing still, but you will have to decide if you’re going to change. I’ve said this to many people: Life is a menu.
Whoever and whatever you order for your life is what’s going to be delivered to the table. If you want something new or better for your life, you have to order it. You are responsible for where you are in your life. You have more influence and can make more of a difference than you can ever imagine, but it has to start with you.
To get a copy of Tyrese’s new book “HOW TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY” – click here.
Tyrese Gibson is an actor & singer. Follow him on Twitter here.
Excerpted from HOW TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY by Tyrese Gibson, Grand Central Publishing 2011.