Why Fame is a Dirty Word (and why you should go after it anyway)

stage and bright lights

It’s okay to want attention.

It is okay to want to make such an impact in a community, or an industry, on in the entire world that people know your name.

But a lot of us were told that we need to stay humble.

For some of us, it’s been implied that we should shy away from the limelight, unless we get thrown into it.

And, to some people, fame is a dirty word.


Is it vain to want to make a difference?

Is it soulless to be so talented that people want to know you?

Does having influence over other people make you a bad person?

I’d guess it all comes down to what you decide to do with it.

Whether you set out to be (or want to be) famous or not, sharing your talents and making a difference in the world will raise your profile.

People will talk about you.

Does that mean you should do less with your gifts?

Will people knowing your name make you less humble? Will people appreciating your work make you a bad person?

I’d consider Issa Rae famous. I don’t know anything about her to suggest that she’s a bad person.

However, by some people’s definitions, just the fact that she put herself in the limelight at all (because, I mean, she created her own fame) might have made some people turn their noses up.

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Here’s the thing.

I’ve only ever heard people complain about someone else wanting to be famous when that person is still on the come up. Once you get to where they want to be, allll of a sudden those nay-sayers think that they were your biggest supporters—because they remember where you were when you started.

Not because they supported you the whole time.

I’m warning you: when you start climbing Come-Up Mountain, there are going to be so many people who tell you that it’s too risky.

They’re going to tell you to come back down to level ground like “the rest of us”.

They’re going to question what makes you think you can get to the top.

They will list people who didn’t get where you’re trying to go and try to make you question why you think you’re better than them.

But what about the people who aren’t as good as you who are two-steppin’ at the top of the mountain?

And, let’s not forget, there are so many people who don’t even have what it takes to start this journey!

Yet, here you are about to go get your come up!

Where’s the encouragement to remind you that you have what it takes?

They might not be capable of that kind of encouragement.

Because maybe they’ve never seen anyone do what you’re about to do.

But you are about to do it.

And you are about to turn them into believers.

So, you can’t listen to the nay-sayers that tell you to stay humbly in the shadows of the life you really want.

Unless you enjoy the shadows.

And the person who tells you “that’ll never work because you’re not _____ enough”?

They gotta go too.

Because they very much may believe what they’re telling you is for the best.

But you do not have time to be battling their words, your own inner-demons, and still get shit done.

You just don’t.

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And no matter how much anyone tries to convince you that you should play a little smaller, or be more realistic, when you make it, that person is going to be sitting right there talking about “I knew you could do it”.

*straight face*

So don’t bother listening to their off-key limiting beliefs now because I bet you they’ll be singing a whole different tune later.

Don’t let them convince you that you can’t have it all and still be humble.

You can choose both.

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