“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.
February 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm
Love this. Very inspirational, Erin, I wish my daughter wasn’t away in boot camp and I could email the link. Of course your sentiments are something I try to assure my daughter of time and time again. So far, so good.
“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.”
February 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm
Thanks Don! I think it’s something that we all have to be reminded of. As we get older and there is a greater risk involved with pursuing our passions, I think that we have a tendency to shrink back. When that happens for me, I have to remind myself of this:
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised…But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” -Hebrews 10:35-36, 39 (NIV84)
February 28, 2013 at 12:19 am
I just found your blog and this post, and I believe I was purposely led to it. I so needed to hear these words tonight. In three days, I embark upon my brand-new career as a Naval Officer, as God has truly placed a calling in my heart to serve. I just followed…and it is amazing, because when something truly is God’s will for our lives, and we are LIVING IT by heeding the call, there is a peace that settles over us, that surpasses all understanding. I thought I’d be a wreck. I’m leaving EVERYTHING behind to follow Him…and despite the obstacles and challenges that lay both behind me and before me….I feel comfort in knowing I have His anointing and His presence, because it is His will, and noy my own. Thank you for this post. The timing could not have been more magnificent. God bless you.