Dr. Rhonda Travitt: “Be your authentic self”

I would tell them to be unapologetic to your authentic self! We are all uniquely created and are carriers of our destiny. Don’t apologize for the greatness on the inside of you. Shake up the norms, be okay with going against the grain. Your presentation has to be disruptive, it cannot be the norm. You […]

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I would tell them to be unapologetic to your authentic self! We are all uniquely created and are carriers of our destiny. Don’t apologize for the greatness on the inside of you. Shake up the norms, be okay with going against the grain. Your presentation has to be disruptive, it cannot be the norm. You have to be relevant in this dispensation. Ask yourself, “what makes you different?” Give yourself permission to succeed. I would also tell them you don’t have to know every detail, God will provide it as you go. Just go, do and be the best you.

As part of my series about people who stepped up to make a difference during the COVID19 Pandemic, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Rhonda Travitt.

Dr. Travitt is an Author and Transformation Coach who is widely recognized as a leader in her community. Dr. Travitt is an internationally sought-after speaker because of her unique delivery of inspirational wisdom. Notably known as one of the top 100 Most Powerful and Influential Women of Georgia, Travitt uses her influence to uplift and motivate others. She has received multiple awards for her civic commitment and community involvement including Sheen Magazine’s distinguished Legendary Award. Dr. Travitt has released the second edition of her book “Rejection and Rebellion: The Twin Towers”, which has proven to be an invaluable resource for counseling professionals as well as for those seeking self-help. Through her continued service as a board member and trusted mentor with organizations such as:

Motherless Daughter’s Foundation, The Miracle Foundation of Arts & Academics, Restoring the Years Global Ministries, Prison Ministry, Queens and Rubiez, and Straight Up No Chaser, Travitt continues to devote herself to helping others achieve excellence in life, personal, and community development through transformational enlightenment.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Dr. Travitt! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how and where you grew up?

I am a southern girl, raised in Houston, TX. I was the youngest of three children. I grew up in church, singing and playing basketball. I was the curious child of the bunch and got in a lot of trouble because of my curiosity. I also learned many life lessons from those situations that were instrumental in who I am today. I lived with my grandmother after my parents divorced for a period of time. Those are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. I remember her homemade biscuits and all of the family coming for Sunday morning breakfast before church. I inherited many of her “older” ways from the time we spent together.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Yes, a book that made a significant impact on my life would be, “Hinds Feet in High Places” by Hannah Hunard. It is about a character that was afraid to take chances. It was written in allegory form, so I could easily relate to it. I still recommend it today as a healing tool to people that are facing fears and trauma. Everyone will see themself somewhere in this book. I saw myself within the pages and it made me stronger. Even in her pain, she learned to love. The best part of the book was at the end of their journey, everything changed. The main character, Much Afraid transformed, her identity was transformed and her name changed to Grace and Glory. Her protectors and constant companions were Suffering and Sorrow. In the end, her faithful friends had great transformation and their names were changed to Joy and Peace. When you look back on life, grace and mercy was always there through the suffering and sorrow encountered. As we grow and evolve in life the way that you perceive yourself and trials, it changes. The hardest situations are often the tools used to impart strength and character.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

My favorite quote is Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the Lord: it maketh rich and He adds no sorrow with it. There are certain things that we try to do and we want to call it a blessing. Not to say that in life we will not have trials, but a credit card with 30% interest is not a blessing. If we are sorrowful and it hurts ALL the time, it is not God!

There was a time I went to school to work in IT but it was because of the money. Turns out I was absolutely miserable, that’s not my personality at all! It brought much sorrow and I knew it was not God. As I began to walk in my purpose of mentoring, coaching, and counseling I knew I was in the right place. I was happy and felt alive again! My joy is assisting people.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. You are currently leading a social impact organization that has stepped up during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to address?

Transformation of a Nation is a supportive community that addresses the day to day issues of life focused on building healthy relationships and mental development. Helping individuals rebuild and develop a strategy to succeed in life as we now know it. Transformation of a Nation is an outlet, a safe place to assist to get from this chapter of life to the next providing mentoring, counseling services, as well as personal and professional development. Transformation of a Nation is a voice to the voiceless; a source and resource for first responders, COVID-19 survivors and those dealing with COVID alike, everyone dealing with transition on any level in this season. The formerly incarcerated that are transitioning during the pandemic, making sure they are equipped with the Mentoring and community services they need. Men and women that leave their families daily to enter the workforce, the essential workers, being a source for those individuals, dealing with the uncertainties, the mental stress and anxiety.

In Transformation of a Nation, we are not waiting for life to “go back to the normal” we are preparing for Greater. Everyone must be accounted for in this transformation.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a hero?

In my opinion, a hero is being a voice for the voiceless, that individual is a hero in my opinion. A trailblazer, the one that does not take the path of least resistance while knowing all the while that obstacles lie ahead. Yet they still overcome in spite of it all, that’s a hero.

In your opinion or experience, what are “5 characteristics of a hero? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Integrity — Your word has to mean something. Heroes operate in integrity. Their yes, is a yes and they follow through. They’re honest and have strong moral principles. Heroes honor their word, even if it requires extra effort.
  2. Strength — Heroes have the capacity to withstand up under great pressure. They don’t stop. They have an innate ability to withstand mentally and physically what would make the average person break.
  3. Conviction -. A hero’s position or stance in their belief system does not waiver based on popular opinion. Heroes are not governed by the masses in their position or thought processes.
  4. Humanitarian — Heroes have a humanitarian spirit, they genuinely care about people. Their reward comes in lifting the burdens of others, not to be seen. Heroes don’t cater to a specific group of people, their concern is for all mankind.
  5. Warrior — Heroes fight for what they believe. They are agents of change and are in the fight of life to see change manifested. Hero’s don’t sit by and wait for someone else to make a change, they themselves provoke change.

If heroism is rooted in doing something difficult, scary, or even self-sacrificing, what do you think drives some people — ordinary people — to become heroes?

People that we identify as heroes today, I don’t believe that their motive was to ever become a hero, per se. I believe that the warrior in them and their personal conviction for change was greater, regardless of how difficult, scary or self-sacrificing the situation. A hero believes it is their life assignment to answer the cause. Whatever their cause is, it is their life assignment to fill it.

What was the specific catalyst for you or your organization to take heroic action? At what point did you personally decide that heroic action needed to be taken?

The catalyst for Transformation of a Nation to take action was that lives and hope were at stake. As a Life Coach/Counselor, I realized that people needed assistance during this world transition. Someone to prepare and coach them from the inside out. Dealing with the mental struggles and so many uncertainties, it was important to me, having my own style of coaching to be a resource.

I made a decision to restore hope and encouraged people to dream again. Transformation is not easy or comfortable. Our organization considers it a victory when one individual has been helped within their transformation process.

Who are your heroes, or who do you see as heroes today?

Women are definitely heroes. Women who have been broken, yet healed. Women who have lost, yet recovered. Women who were down, but got up. Women who were voiceless yet found their voice again. Women who encourage. Women who empower. Women who paved the way for other women. Women who pay it forward and women who reach back to grab the hands of another woman are definitely heroic.

Let’s talk a bit about what is happening in the world today. What specifically frightened or frightens you most about the pandemic?

What frightened me the most about the pandemic was that the people were not prepared and did not take it seriously. They didn’t prepare food, water, and most importantly they were not prepared mentally. Now that we’re a few months out, I’m concerned that people are still trying to get back to “life as normal.” I believe long gone are the days of life as normal.

Despite that, what gives you hope for the future? Can you explain why you feel that way?

What gives me hope is that despite the division that our communities and government are currently facing, it has managed to bring forth a sense of unity amongst the people. It has caused us to have conversations that were too uncomfortable to have under normal circumstances. It provoked conversations that were long overdue. Through it all, our nation has begun to transform.

What has inspired you the most about the behavior of people during the pandemic, and what behaviors do you find most disappointing?

I’ve been most inspired by seeing people slow down and have a genuine concern for one another. For me, I was pleased to see neighbors who did not know each other begin to really become a true community. Everyone looked out for each other’s overall health and mental well being. Genuine concern restored.

I was most disappointed by the lack of truly defined leadership and organization regarding the current inequalities and injustices. There has to be a voice of integrity to provide clear direction and to execute any given plan. The leader gives the vision, direction and the people follow. I think if we had organized leadership our national protests efforts definitely could have been more effective.

Has this crisis caused you to reassess your view of the world or of society? We would love to hear what you mean by this.

Absolutely, I reviewed every aspect of my life. Things I believed, relationships, personal values and what I deemed necessary to my life were assessed. Coming face to face with my personal mortality, I honestly don’t believe that we could have an encounter of this magnitude and not reevaluate and make some changes.

What permanent societal changes would you like to see come out of this crisis?

In order for there to be a permanent societal change, there must be a real consummation in our relationships before there can ever be reconciliation. We’re trying to reconcile something that never existed. I would like to see discussions turn into obtainable goals, and those goals turn into lasting results.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I would tell them to be unapologetic to your authentic self! We are all uniquely created and are carriers of our destiny. Don’t apologize for the greatness on the inside of you. Shake up the norms, be okay with going against the grain. Your presentation has to be disruptive, it cannot be the norm. You have to be relevant in this dispensation. Ask yourself, “what makes you different?” Give yourself permission to succeed. I would also tell them you don’t have to know every detail, God will provide it as you go. Just go, do and be the best you.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That would be Transformation of a Nation. Transformation of a Nation is a movement that gives a voice to the voiceless. There are nations within each of us that’s waiting to come forth. Transformation of a Nation addresses, confronts, prepares, equips, shifts and ultimately assists in finding and functioning in your purpose. Transformation is evolving. It’s not always easy. It’s painful and uncomfortable along the way but it’s certainly worth it. Once we are transformed mentally then we can assist others in whatever their process may be. It starts with one person making the change.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I think I would like to have lunch with Tyler Perry to say thank you. Tyler is the example and poster child of transformation. Mr. Perry, through hard work and perseverance, transformed his own life. He continues to transform everyday by giving the average person an opportunity to transform their own destiny. In my opinion, that’s what truly whole and successful people do!

How can our readers follow you online?

I’m on Instagram at @dr.rhondatravitt & @transformationofanation

I’m on Facebook at Transformation of a Nation with Dr. Rhonda Travitt https://www.facebook.com/transformationofanation

I’m also on Apple podcast, Spotify & Youtube at Transformation of a Nation

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