“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
I love being a woman and I’m convinced that there’s no other experience like it. I particularly love being a black woman, and I recognize that as such, I’m constantly faced with experiences and challenges that others don’t face. My experience as a black woman, and as a black girl were mostly empowering. I was constantly reminded that I could do ANYTHING that I wanted to do as long as I was willing to put in the work required. And I grew up with other young women who were taught the same thing- that anything was possible for us.
I love seeing the same message in society today- that our young girls and young women can accomplish anything; that there is an entire world out there that is theirs for the taking. I still feel the sense of empowerment and “You Go Girl!” when I hear of women being the first in the field to accomplish a task or assume a role, and I am proud to work in a department that is lead by women.
Yet despite all of this, I still deal with the little voice in my mind that allows me to question if I’m good enough, strong enough, smart enough, capable enough, competent enough. And I know that I’m not alone. Some of my sister-friends and I have frequent conversations about how we feel like we’re “not there yet”- and how we may never “get there”. Or we lament our struggles with “Imposter Syndrome“, even though we know that we have both degrees and knowledge to back it up.
All of this makes me wonder- when does this change happen? When do we go from believing that we can do anything to wondering if we are deserving of what we have accomplished? What causes us to lose the confident stride that comes with knowing that we are “Phenomenal Women” and leads us to crawl slowly with our head down, wondering if we’re worthy of the life we’ve dreamed of?
I can’t pinpoint what it is, that causes this change, but I want to encourage you- don’t be afraid to walk! Whether it’s walking away from the relationship or the job where you know in your heart that you’re settling for less than you deserve, or it’s walking toward the career that you’ve dreamed for, the degree that you aspired to but told no one about- don’t be afraid to walk. You owe it to yourself to walk away from anything that makes you unhappy and unfulfilled, and to walk towards anything that God purposed for your life. And when you walk- walk with confidence, knowing that you are capable, that your dreams can and will come true, that you can have the life you want to have- because it IS possible.
And if you’re confused about what it is that you should be doing or where you should be going, start to listen to yourself. Take time to hear the voice of God within you and follow that voice. You aren’t an accident- there’s a purpose for which you have been created and the world NEEDS for you to walk in it! Be fabulous! Be fearless! Walk it out!
Author’s Note: This post was also featured on Up4Discussion.org for Women’s Empowerment Month.