I think one of the hardest things about starting a new year is the realization of how much work you have left to accomplish on the goals that continue to linger from the past. It doesn’t make it any easier when you criticize yourself for not having moved beyond it. When the new year strikes, it can feel counterproductive to work on old goals when everyone is so consumed over the newness of the opportunities ahead. It’s times like those that often lead us to question whether we’ll continue to deal with the same distractions, delays, and disappointments in the future, and that is where I come in.
Have you ever felt curious about your call (your purpose)? I don't know about you, but I've found myself asking the question, "Did God really say...?" more than once lately. Fill it in for yourself. Did God really say it was time for me to go back to school? Did God really say to take this job? Did God really say my daughter should be on this team? Did God really say? Before we run down the rabbit hole of self doubt, I recommend we think about what happened to Eve when she contemplated that question a little too long.
Do you remember her? Do you remember the little girl who enjoyed the freedom to choose her clothes for the first time? She didn't care about what anyone else thought. She wrapped herself in polka dots and stripes without pausing to consider the color scheme. She grabbed the tutu and and everyone's attention as she pirouetted with a cape twirling around her. She made us laugh and squeal with delight at the smallest things and every now and then we remember her, but somewhere along the way, we lost her. It's time to stop comparing ourselves to our friends through social media and trading our confidence in for likes.
When we teach girls to trust their own creativity, boldness, and intuition, we teach them to defy the rules, the bullies, and the peer pressure at a deeper level. Limiting beliefs are hard to break, but the earlier we catch them, the more we can help our little sisters, our daughters, and our mentees to achieve.
As Black History Month comes to a close, I have to admit I’m hopeful about the future, especially with leaders like Yara Shahidi sharing the importance of the vote, and I’m grateful for the young leaders I know who are doing what they can. As mentors and parents, we can learn a lot from the way Yara was raised to influence the young people in our lives. After all, she didn’t get into Harvard, based on her acting skills, as great as they are. How are you encouraging others to influence the world? Let’s look at a few steps we can use today.