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Roya,
East Lansing
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“Investing in Me” has been one of the most important principles in my life when it comes to cultivating my self-worth and transitioning into the business-minded woman that I am, and aspire to be. There comes a time when you discover that you are the one in charge of your destiny, and that you drive the car wherever it is that you want to go. Taking the extra time, or the extra minute to ask yourself what it is that you want, or what it is you should be reaching for, sets a foundation that you can build off of for the rest of your life.

 

Just this past year I made a lot of changes that have turned my life upside down. After 12 years as a competitive sprinter, and two years as a collegiate sprinter I decided to walk away from my beloved sport of Track and Field and start focusing more on my future. Shortly after I stopped running I had made the decision to transfer schools and now find myself studying Journalism and Spanish at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

 

Prior to my decision I was facing an everyday battle of comfort v. unhappiness, and knowing that if I went through with my decision to stop running and transfer, the ending factor would be putting myself outside my comfort zone. So for two years I fought hard with that same battle, until it got to the point where I’d look in the mirror and almost didn’t recognize the person staring back at me. Continuing to do something that I had lost love for, and pretending that I was happy within in my sport and most importantly myself; I had marinated myself in my own confusion and it was a dead end. I handled that confusion by wrong decisions, putting my faith into the wrong people, and some of life’s greatest lessons had taken their course and I was forced to learn them the hard way. For so long I was solely focused on what was going on with those I surrounded myself with, I had failed to focus on what was going on with me - the most important person which in return caused my outlook on my own self to decline. After two years of this constant battle I had no other choice but to find the words within myself, and come to the realization that I was unhappy and something needed to change, and just like that it did.

 

When you decide to invest in yourself you’re investing in your needs, your wants, and your desires to shape your future and guide your way into whatever path or decision you chose. As a woman who has only had a short 21 years, I’ve learned that through experiences and transitions you find that strength and courage within yourself at the most unexpected times. Listen to yourself, trust your instincts, and know that whatever you chose when it starts with yourself, it’s a fair investment.

Krissa,
Seattle

I believe that I can achieve great things!

 

As an organ performance major in college, I had to perform a solo organ recital. This took hard work to prepare for.

 

After learning about the power of positivity and hope, I determined to maintain a positive attitude. Having had few opportunities to perform on the organ, I often felt nervous for and apologetic about my performances. However, I decided that I wouldn’t get very far if I did not believe that I could do well. So I changed my attitude and my speech, and instead of complaining to people about my challenges or saying nervously, “I hope I will be ready,” I started saying with confidence, “I can do this! I am working hard, and this recital will turn out great!”

 

With limited time to prepare, I wondered how I would learn and prepare my pieces in time to reach my deadlines. My first major requirement was to pass a judged performance of my recital pieces, in polished condition, a minimum of three weeks before my recital. Because I was preparing during a fall semester, I set a goal to have my recital during Thanksgiving so that my parents could come to visit from out of state for my recital and the holiday. That goal meant that my music had to be ready, at latest, during the first week of November.

 

In order to reach my goal, I identified key actions that I needed to take along the way. My practicing changed to focus on making true progress rather than just counting hours. Although my school required me to practice ten hours per week, I practiced over 15 hours most weeks because I wanted to be ready. Each week I made significant progress. My improvement pleased me, but I still sometimes felt discouraged because the challenging music always required more time and effort to learn than I expected.

 

My goal deadline approached and passed and my music was still not ready to perform. Although disappointed, I gritted my teeth and determined to get my music ready as soon as possible. I maintained firm hope that something would work. Despite my diligent efforts, I did not have my music performance-ready until the last possible day that semester. With God’s help, I performed my pieces satisfactorily for the judges, who permitted me to perform my final recital.

 

I worked diligently and chose to sacrifice some fun so that I could reach my goals. With planning, a positive attitude, faith in God, and confidence in my abilites, I successfully prepared for and completed my recital. It was not flawless, but my hard work resulted in a confident performance that I could feel great about.

Kristy,
Phoenix

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Los Angeles

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