For years I lived in a prison. Not an actual prison but one I created by living my life as a people pleaser. It was an exhausting way to live. I was more concerned about what others thought of me, and I let that define me. It would take me years to learn how to speak my own truth.
For me, the turning point came when I realized I couldn’t even speak my own name out loud without worry. I was at a conference in Washington, D.C. I was asked to introduce myself on stage along with a group of other people. I began shaking. As soon as I got off stage I burst into tears.
I shared that story on stage before a crowd of thousands not long ago and recalled the questions that shifted my thinking, in the hopes that it would save someone else the heartache I once felt.
Fear is powerful but not as powerful as women lifting each other up. I am grateful to be partners with women of all different strengths and talents. Like me, they are all redefining success on their own terms.
I share a bond with these women who every day navigate the delicate balance between work, career, and family. In a world where people want to knock you down, to question your intentions, to doubt your abilities, we all need people we can count on to encourage and inspire us beyond the fear of rejection or pain. For ages, our voices have been suppressed. Women operated in isolation of each other, judging, and comparing. No more! Together, we are stronger. That is the real secret to success. Yes, we can have a career. We can have a family. We can do it all but we can’t do it all without a strong support system. If we support each others goals, we all get to where we want to be faster and happier than if we pave a path alone and fearful.
I have witnessed it over and over again, women who step into a success greater than they imagined just because someone finally believed in them. Lifting others clears a path to foster our own well-being. I don’t want my daughters to struggle with the feeling of being unworthy like I, and so many other women, have fought. I want them to walk through their own journey listening to faith and not fear. It was that particular message that resonated with so many women during my recent speech.
Ladies, let us not be afraid anymore. If we never get out of our comfort zone we will never grow. Let us stop making bad choices because we don’t feel like we are enough. You are already enough. You are loved and the world needs your particular talent and strengths.
Reach out to other women who share your passion and support your purpose. Walls come down when you build up other women. It creates the freedom we all seek to be able to step into our strengths and purpose without apologizing. When you invest in creating real relationships, with women bound by a common cause, you will be amazed at how you will begin breaking barriers that have long stood in your way.