Vanessa’s phone rang and rang – it went to voicemail, again.

“Hey girl, call me back. The art festival is today, it’s gorgeous out and I haven’t seen you forever.” I hung up the call, frustrated and concerned. Vanessa and Tiffany had been friends since junior high. Vanessa was a talented artist and loved funky art festivals and gallery openings. When she had met Vance, she buried her dreams of her own gallery showing so he wouldn’t feel threatened. He had said he didn’t want her out showing off. Vance didn’t like her artsy friends either, so Vanessa had curtailed the coffee dates and gallery openings she used to do with her friends.

Suddenly Vance broke things off. Vanessa was devastated and started ignoring all of her friends’ phone calls and texts. Her friends had been trying to get her out of the house for the past 2 weeks but Vanessa constantly refused, she kept saying she wasn’t ready to get out and be around people.

At first, Vanessa’s friends felt sorry that she was going through such a painful breakup. But now, they were getting frustrated with her. She had so much talent and virtually shut that part of her life down just to keep Vance happy. Vanessa had so many friends that loved her and even more people that loved her art. But she chose to hide the best part of herself in order to keep a man that just wasn’t right for her.

Have you even been guilty of behaving like Vanessa? Did you have a great career path, a dream, a talent that you hid, just because you thought it wasn’t as important as having a man in your life?

I’m not saying you have to have either/or, but that you can be the best you without him. Pursue that dream, that promotion, that goal and in doing so, you will shine through and the man that will love you and love your dreams will notice your light.

Here are just a few ways to get back to finding your best self:

  • Sign up for a workshop or seminar to learn a new skill (you’ll also make some new friends)
  • Join a gym or new workout class (feel fit, healthy and boost your mood)
  • Call up some positive-minded friends for lunch or an afternoon at your favorite gallery, museum or festival. (Choose ones that will encourage you)
  • Spend a quiet hour with your journal and write down a list of things you’ve always wanted to do. Pick one and make plans to do it.

What are you waiting for? Reignite your passion, dust off your dreams and go for it.