The Truth About Becoming
Whenever someone in the public eye releases a book on becoming, there’s a lot of fanfare and it is virtually guaranteed to become a bestseller.
In this context, becoming – according to the Collins English Dictionary – means to grow to be.
It’s intriguing to see/hear/read someone we find aspirational – for whatever reason – or that we’re just curious about, talking about becoming (the version of themselves the public loves or loathes).
But if you read such and go right back to wondering about becoming OR some things just don’t make sense when it comes to your own life, here’s what you need to know about becoming – especially if you’re a woman in Law or Media.
The truth about becoming is unfiltered, unapologetic and divided into four 👇
1) Becoming takes time
Although chicks might hatch in a day, they don’t hatch the day they are laid or the day the eggs are sat on for the first time.
Some things just take time and becoming is one of such things.
No matter what you’ve heard – including on social media and “reality” TV – about overnight success, becoming takes time.
The passage of time is not an indicator in itself that something is wrong. Or that we are being afflicted by a demon of delay.
No matter how bad morning sickness is, how uncomfortable a pregnancy is or how eager she is to become a mother, no woman gives birth 24hrs or 3months after conception. Not to a human baby anyway.
I don’t care how hard you think you can pray or who’s prophesying to you; some things are just not going to come when you think you want them. And if they do, they will destroy you.
A woman ‘giving birth’ in her first trimester is NOT the recipient of an extraordinary miracle; she’s experiencing a miscarriage.
2) There’s a process to becoming
Whether it’s becoming a parent, a doctor, a lawyer, an actress, an author, a couple or anything else, there is a process.
If you short-circuit your process, whether because you can’t wait OR you get tired of waiting, that decision will come back to bite you in the behind.
Sometimes, your process might not be as enjoyable or straightforward as others’ seem, but it is YOUR process.
Some people in becoming parents, wait longer than they’d like, undergo fertility treatment that may not be successful the first time, and the pregnancy might not be the easiest thing they’ve gone through.
But becoming a mother might take a very different process for another.
Same as becoming a lawyer; some really good lawyers don’t/didn’t pass the Bar the first time. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid or worthless. It just means they didn’t pass their Bar exams the first time.
Plus the process of becoming never ends.
So, if you’re being panicked, pressured or peppered by someone’s Instagram (or LinkedIn) profile/pictures/posts, to the point where you’re tempted to skip your process, just know that you could – best case scenario – end up lengthening the process for your becoming.
And there’s a reason.
3) Becoming requires preparation
The time and the (uncomfortable) process for your becoming are actually to enable you prepare.
Sometimes, it’s the fact that you are not prepared, that’s hindering your becoming what it doesn’t even look like you have the potential to become now.
In other words, you are not yet prepared to steward the position/resources, or handle the responsibility that you’re asking/praying for.
So, the time that’s passing is actually for you to get ready. It’s not for you to while away, to complain that the thing you’re expecting hasn’t come or to twiddle your thumbs while watching a ticking clock.
On other occasions, because so much time has passed, your becoming is not about you and everyone expects you’d have been reasonably prepared, you will be taken as you are found. But as you’re actually unprepared, you’ll get there and start behaving like undone moi-moi.
A while ago, I had a very disturbing dream. I was supposed to go somewhere with someone, to be given something that would signify a change of status for me.
But when the person arrived, he had to wait because I wasn’t ready. Not only was I still packing away certain things I should have done before this person arrived, I also wasn’t completely dressed.
I wasn’t wearing a blazer (even if I knew one that was tailor-made for me, existed) to go with the trousers. And let’s just say my cami (or whatever it was called) wasn’t what should have been showing in public. It was pretty, but I felt exposed – because I was. It looked like underwear.
What I found even more disturbing than me being out in public not fully dressed, was that I had known for a while, that my companion was coming. I knew because I had been informed by a reliable source.
And although a lot of time had passed, so I was weary of waiting, I also knew that the change of status was coming. Yet, for some reason, I wasn’t prepared!
Getting ready means different things for different people – completing that degree, getting coaching, getting therapy, getting your finances/credit rating in order, going shopping for the baby you’re still pregnant with, seeing to your personal hygiene. In this interview, I talk about how I prepared for something I wanted, that my background said I had no right to expect.
4) Becoming doesn’t just happen
Sometimes, you don’t know ahead of time that the time is around the corner for you to show up as that thing you’re supposed to have been becoming.
Sometimes, you have no idea that you are literally about to collide with the person, social post or opportunity that will put you on a trajectory that you could never have dreamed or made up.
I talk about becoming a radio presenter here, something I could never have imagined. But the circumstances that led to me becoming an author were even funnier.
Long story short, I edited a psychiatric report, instead of just proofreading it. I didn’t realise the psychiatrist owned a publishing company as nobody told me and it’s not really the kind of thing you ask anyone. But 18months after I was told, my first book was released as a paperback.
When some people hear the full details as it happened to me (because I don’t have the complete picture as it happened to other involved parties), they think it just happened because I was in the right place at the right time.
And while it is true there are some events and meetings you can’t plan or strategise your way into, my initial preparation had a lot to do with my becoming.
I needed to have an initial manuscript, as imperfect as it was, for a publisher to take me seriously when our paths crossed.
A book, which came from the manuscript, had to exist as my calling card to get on radio.
And even if I didn’t know what I was doing as a radio presenter, I had to be prepared to learn on the job. So that when I left that radio station after my time there came to an end because I moved countries, a second radio station with an ambitious proposal, snapped me up even if I wasn’t looking for radio presenting jobs at the time.
In many situations and on innumerable occasions, my becoming (whether it was something I dreamed of OR could never have seen coming) has boiled down to my ability to say Yes to certain people, things and situations.
Becoming isn’t an exact science as there are some variables – such as chance encounters – that nobody can predict. But there are some things you can do to prepare.
Which is why if you’re a woman in Law or Media who is serious about developing a stronger voice, more solid career and a more stable personal life – I can help you.
And you can apply here to ask for my help now.