Failing Forward

I'm afraid of failing. I wasn't always this way, but increasingly this was the pattern I found myself slipping into. I have always tried my hardest at anything I attempted. It would make no difference if I’ve never done it before, I’d give it a go. Throughout my life I have won various awards in high school and college, namely, MVP Defense awards in basketball, National Honors Society and Homecoming Queen in high school. I was elected Vice President of Black Student Union and recipient of Award of Excellence and Outstanding Community Service awards in college

I was always driven, and that drive and belief in myself alone was usually enough to be "successful". I wasn’t the best at everything, or maybe anything for that matter. I wasn’t popular, and I wasn’t considered all that likeable if we’re being honest, but my efforts usually helped me obtain great results

Then, something shifted. I don’t know if it was college where suddenly effort didn’t always equal success. You have to network, study harder, get the great internship, and create the BEST resume. There were other people MORE talented than you and HARDER workers. They knew a guy, who knew a guy, and I knew no one. Suddenly, there were people that were competing with you IN LIFE. #What?

So subtly, something inside of me shifted. I stopped believing in myself. Instead, I started to believe I wasn’t smart enough, wasn’t deserving enough, wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t pretty enough… I just wasn’t "enough" of anything. No amount of effort I poured into something would ever be worth it. And that’s a hard place to be leaving college with two degrees, believing you have NOTHING to OFFER your field or the world. You feel paralyzed. You feel like a phony. But life goes on, and you keep living it, even with your new friends, affectionately known as fear and self doubt.

Now to avoid a lengthy background story, I will tell you my journey from graduating college until now has been marked with wonderful opportunities and experiences. I’ve worked for some great companies, held some wonderful leadership positions, met my husband, and was blessed with a smart, capable, vivacious, beautiful daughter. And I was full of fear and doubt in almost all of those experiences.

<Insert into my life Megan Goodman, and Girls Can! Crates>

At this point in life, I find myself a stay at home mom, watching this little and beautiful life unfold before me. I think of the equality gaps in this world. Specifically, for my daughter “G”, the gaps of gender and race. I don't want my daughter to have to believe she is just a girl, or just a black girl, or “just” anything. I want her to know that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. I want her to know she is smart, capable, and worthy enough to achieve her dreams. That she should be fearless.  

Then I started reflecting on my own beliefs about myself. HOW could I raise her to believe in herself, if I don’t believe in myself? If I’m full of fear?

I don't want my daughter to see her mama as someone afraid of taking risks or achieving success. So I joined three inspiring women and formed an amazing company with a mission to inspire and empower little girls. How better to conquer your fear than to face it head on? I’m afraid of failure. So, I suppose I better attempt to do something I could fail at. I mean I could really bomb it, tank it. BUT, You have to put yourself out there.

This journey is scary. And by now, three blog posts in, you know this company isn’t comprised of women who don’t feel fear. Not feeling fear doesn’t make you fearless, because it would be impossible. Being fearless is striving for your goals, even though it’s intimidating, challenging, or foreign to you. And though starting a business is all of those things, we trudge on. We trudge on for ourselves. We trudge on for our children, we trudge on for your children, and we trudge on with a lofty goal of making this world a better place.  I don't know what this journey holds, but I’m staring it down with fierceness and tenacity. #dreambig #fearlessfriday