I spoke at a local women’s empowerment conference this past weekend and had the opportunity to pour into women on a deep, personal level.
During my session, when I asked the women to share their own personal definition of themselves without mentioning anyone else, one woman was stumped. I looked at her blank piece of paper and then back up at her face. She didn’t know where to start. “You told me I couldn’t write down the things I would have defaulted to,” she explained.
Like a lot of us, we get our value from and define ourselves by our relationship to others. But who are we underneath all those titles? If we didn’t have children, if we weren’t married, if we didn’t work at this job or hold this title…who would we be?
When I spoke to her on the second day of the event, she admitted that what all the speakers were proposing (being intentional about putting your needs first) sounded selfish to her.
That word (“selfish”) truly gets under my skin. It’s old. It’s a trap. It’s only purpose is to encourage us to shrink.
This is the answer I wish I had time to share with her that day:
Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that will happen if I put my needs first?”
Will your children starve? No.
Will anybody die? No.
Will you be homeless? No.
Will you be fired? No.
What is MOST LIKELY to happen is that you will:
- Discover who is actually in your corner
- Transform into a woman with more patience and love to give
- Reclaim lost time given too freely to others
- Build mental health reserves for challenging days
- Develop new, enriching relationships to help you grow
THAT is what most people are afraid of. It’s hard to leave our comfort zone for greater, but it’s necessary if we want to be the fullest, happiest version of ourselves.
Ask yourself: Am I happy or am I comfortable?
If you feel you are truly happy, then congratulations! Keep doing what you do.
But if there is a small (or loud) voice that’s tugging at you, asking you to please pay attention to this area of your life that could use some work, listen. Let’s take action.
You’re worth it, sis.