On credits vs. gratitude

🙋🏼‍♀️ Dearest you,

When I was 17 and decided to make the world my university I met quite some people who offered me chances. Some offered to be my mentor, others offered me jobs and gigs. I politely declined most of those people. Back then I did this mostly because something was making my gut feel icky. Now I know that this pain in my stomach had to do with those chances not being a win-win.

I don't think many of these people consciously offered a chance with a way bigger 'what's in it for them' than 'what's in it for this seventeen-year-old girl I find talented'.

It is human to project, but projections do blur our judgments. In these cases, I think often people unintentionally undermined my autonomy by not seeing me, but the young person they wanted to see.

It took me quite some work to loosen myself from these projections. Your late teenage years are naturally a phase in your life in which you develop your identity, a process which is beautiful, but vulnerable and in my case susceptible to the ideas others had of who I should be.

In the process of dumping all ideas beginning with 'I should be....' and creating new ones starting with 'I want to be...' I often struggled with this feeling of honorary social debt.

There were people that really saw something in me and opened doors that were like the speed boosters in Mario Kart. Didn't I owe them credits?

When I was about ten years old, I used to offer shares of myself to my dad. Whenever I ended up in 'this is the rule and that's that' situation I tried to transform it into a negotiation by saying 'what if I give you 5% stock in my career'. (He luckily never went for it, I should have never gone above 4% 😉.)

Until a few months ago, I felt like I owed the people that helped me out in the first years of my entrepreneurship stocks in my success too. Until I realized that true help is given with no strings attached.

I feel very grateful for all the people that helped me grow into the person that I am today. There is a difference between gratitude and credits, however. The credits for opening the doors is on them, the credits for me being brave enough to walk through those doors and speak up belong to me.

For all the young people reading along: when you have success you should be grateful for those helping you out, but credit yourself 100% for doing it, because no one can do the work for you.

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