Combatting racial narratives in America; how two “P’s” can skew our outlook in the face of uncertainty

(Source: Pexels)
(Source: Pexels)

Like many of you, with Christmas around the corner, I’m more mindful to give thanks. In my case, it was for the universe exposing me to challenges that strengthened my faith in myself. I was taking notes on addressing anxiety recently as I listened to a therapist’s podcast, and she said something (extraneously) that I knew I needed to notate with simplicity: when we catastrophize outcomes, we are focused on the probability for it to manifest, hence attraction to this mindset for the average pragmatist. Her explanation lacked the brevity my ADHD preferred, but I extracted the key message: we should believe in plausibility, not probability. That is the driver of hope that cannot be overlooked facing any challenges, business included.

As adults, we all have to look ahead from time to time to gauge how we are progressing in reaching our benchmarks. While I’ve been well aware of this most of my life, and fashion myself as a pragmatist, I realized there are detrimental tradeoffs for so-called pragmatism. As a Black male adult, that’s a tough thing to wrestle with because “pragmatism” can be excuse to validate negative thinking under the guise of it just being “reality.”

Lately, I’ve been anxious… worried I might even say about if I really wanted to take another step forward in building my legacy, which is very much in its infancy, hence the therapy podcast. Initially, it seemed like a no-brainer — what would get in my way? And it suddenly hit me I had been weighted down with the false narrative that as a Black man, my growth potential in this country is very limited. I was surprised to suddenly realize I had fallen victim to embracing a false narrative because when you start a business or project for yourself, you become more of a pragmatist to survive — and adopting that viewpoint would kill my desire to create new benchmarks for my career. Sometimes pragmatism numbs your senses; there was nothing that should have made me feel my growth would be stunted by some unknown device in our economy. It just isn’t true.

Sometimes, even as 40-something adults, we all fall victim to believing a false narrative, even when we think we know what are overarching truths — and lies — that we generally can distinguish for what they are. It’s been awhile since I spoke about me, and perhaps end-of-the-year reflecting deserved a spot on the agenda. This year has been unforgettable for me — despite it all, I learned new things about myself and how to continue looking forward. That newfound knowledge didn’t come without some growing pains, but it’s made me realize moving to the next level will always require retraining my brain.

Thankfully, I recognize that it’s a form of mental parameters we give ourselves when we are looking down the road at our ability to survive. Everyone considers it at some point or another as we age.

This isn’t to say this blog is going away, I’m too invested to walk away, however I am sharpening my side hustles to steer more resources to This blog is a vital part of my commitment to journalism for the foreseeable future.

I’m thankful to have the time to reflect on what is worth looking out for, and what doesn’t deserve a second look… like “the future.”

Predictability is overrated.