Living in the midst of chaos and dysfunction can take a toll on the most positive experience. My actions as a parent show my children two narratives. I teach my children everyday to either parent the way I parent or go in the opposite direction. Tequila Myers made the decision very early in her life that her narrative needed to change. Resiliency is rooted in adversity. In her own words Tequila tells us about a life of struggle, instability and uncertainty. But, the beautiful part of the “beautiful struggle” is that she is now on a path to show others how to thrive instead of survive.
Tequila Myers is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She is the owner of the Perpetual Growth Institute where she focuses on business consulting, marketing, and personal brand management. Tequila is also a motivational speaker. Let’s take a deeper look into her narrative tonight in our #ChangeYourNarrative Blog Series.
Tell us about your childhood.
I grew up the eldest of seven to a single mother who tried her best to make ends meet. There were times we had no electricity, water, or gas, but we still managed with what we had. We even helped other struggling family members at time. My childhood wasn’t easy and I had to grow up very fast. I saw more than I should have and had to take on adult responsibilities at an early age. Our living environment was very hostile most of the time and affection was not present.
What was the narrative that was told instilled or expressed to you growing up?
Growing up I didn’t have an example of what a functioning family looked like. I never knew what it looked like to create a life and be in a secure, comfortable environment. Encouragement whether academic, school activities, or even what I wanted to be when I grew up was never the topic of conversation. Something in me felt there was more for me and as long as I took my education seriously, I would see it one day; so I embraced learning and used it as motivation. However, nothing around me affirmed this. In fact, everything confirmed the opposite. Society (magazines, TV shows, images around me) made me feel like I would have to use my external beauty and feminine wiles to elevate myself beyond that environment. The messages I received from this was that everything but my gifts and talents would open the doors I needed to get to where I wanted to be. That message made me feel like being beautiful was more of a curse than anything. Like it was all I had, as if I wasn’t smart, creative and a fast-learner. It was as if, those things didn’t matter because no one would ever pay me for having gifts and talents. I would never be good enough. For the majority of my teen life, I was under the impression that I had one option and one option only.
How did this narrative show up in your actions, decisions and feelings?
As I grew into my late teen years, I started to hate being pretty and would feel awkward when receiving compliments. I engaged in self-destructive behavior that I thought was helping me, but only added to the existing mental and emotional issues that I struggled with. Being raised in such an environment where I had to be an adult before my time, I made decisions that were not so smart and could have gotten me into a lot of trouble in hindsight.
What was the catalyst or main event that made you say that narrative needed to change?
At the age of 13 my siblings and I were taken into DHS (state) custody and my youngest brother was taken to a foster home. Because I saw so much at such an early age and experiencing the things I had, I decided that I wasn’t going to be that pretty girl who only had one thing to offer. I wanted to do what was in my heart and always on my mind. I wanted to live a better quality of life and experience what it felt like to have a family in a comfortable living environment. I felt a yearning to create some sort of success in my life that I could be proud of and that my mom would be proud of too. My sister and I even went as far as making a pact with one another to change our circumstances and do everything we had to remove ourselves from this generational cycle.
What is the new narrative in your life?
Elevate and Amplify. Reach one Teach one. I’ve always loved serving, volunteering, and being active in the community. As an empowering women’s business coach I strive to not only show women how to leverage their gifts and talents to create more financial freedom and flexibility in their lives, but I also work with youth and motivate them to let their circumstances inspire them instead of victimize them. I love to talk about the power of choice, because we all have a choice in the type of life we create for ourselves. The decisions we make today are the choices we have to live with tomorrow.
How does this new narrative show up in your everyday life?
I consistently work on myself, improving my knowledge of self and education. I work to be a better version of myself everyday. It helps me to remain focused on my ultimate goal, creating a greater impact globally and being the example for someone who knows they have purpose, but cannot see beyond the fog of their current circumstances and environment. I work daily to cultivate and nurture the relationship with my daughter to keep our lines of communication clear, to encourage growth and create a legacy of love by showing affection and expressing my love for her and our family (something I didn’t get as child). I have also learned that although I’m very strong willed and independent, my husband plays a huge role in my life and I respect, love and appreciate him more and more everyday. I learned that duality is the universe’s way of creating balance. This is something else I lacked as a child.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to create a new narrative but didn’t know how to do it?
Reject the download. I release what you’ve been told about yourself in the past, release what society tells you, release your own negative self chatter and channel that into an energy that motivates you toward your goals. Encourage yourself through affirmations and start small. Find ways to acknowledge the things you like about yourself and the talents and gifts you bring to the world. Take one step at a time and don’t try to run before you walk. Change is not an overnight process, you can’t rush it. Change takes time, but the decision to make change only takes a moment.