As African women, many of us have not had our life path paved with milk and honey. We have witnessed our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and kin put their lives on hold to work tirelessly long hours for little reward.
As I get older, I see more and more within us lays a common internal battle. In the midst of enacting the legacies of our lives, many of us are also carrying ideas engrained in us by our families.
Holding passions they have never known, we are constantly bombarded by family members pushing us to get into a “real career,” (aka becoming a nurse, doctor, or lawyer).
For creative women, with entrepreneurial visions bouncing off their every thought, balancing these two worlds is a beast to juggle.
We sit in a unique position, one where we must create the blueprint for our lives, because no one has come before us to achieve our success, and no one will come after us. What often halts us in our journeys is the countless intimate moments we have within ourselves.
Moments that cloud our judgment, moments that awaken/terrify us, motivate us, or moments when we wish no one is looking. Most times we feel all of the above. To live out your legacy is soul-shaking work. What we forget is simple, following our dreams is not supposed to be easy.
It is supposed to terrify you, wake you from your sleep, and place a fire under you that cannot be ignored. Last summer I had the amazing opportunity to Attend She Leads Africa’s, She Hive Toronto Conference.
The conference cultivated a space for African women, ambitious beyond words to surround, empower, and inspire each other.
Attending this event shook my soul but, more importantly, it forced me to remember the following:
1) Let your ideas manifest
Too many times we hear and feel parts of our ideas, but most of us never actually give them a chance. We don’t nourish them with our energy and allow them to grow.
What we do is the exact opposite. We allow them to sit idle, we minimize them with our doubt and create a reality that reinforces that we cannot accomplish them.
We tell ourselves we don’t have the resources, money, time, blah, blah, blah! But, once we take that first leap towards our dreams, we allow the universe to become our GPS.
2) Be the energy you need
We need to be our own number one fan and our own advocates. Women need to be a friend, sister, and lover to each other!
Most times, we expect people in our lives to validate us, support us, and invest in us. But, are you the energy you need? Are you that push you want others to bestow upon you, to yourself? We need to give ourselves the energy we ask of others.
Light up that room, be that never-ending inviting spirit, because you benefit from it the most!
3) Ask, ask, ask!
- Ask the universe.
- Ask God.
- Ask friends and family.
- Ask yourself.
- Be clear and specific when it comes to your goals and what you need from everyone.
PS…. this includes figuring out what you need from yourself!
Need I say more?
4) Know the kind of woman do you want to be
We need to remind ourselves of what kind of women we need to be. What are you not willing to comprise? Do you have your values written down?
What does your integrity mean to you when it is woven into your passion? If we remain grounded in these thoughts we will never regret anything on our path to our dreams.
5) Seek meaningful connections
Networking. Yes, networking is essential. You never know who is in the room. You never know who may be able to assist you or how you can assist another person.
But, even more, important than this, is understanding what meaningful relationships and connections you want with others. Seeking out meaningful connections means you are living authentically. You are not just thinking about a one-sided benefit.
You are considering the person, as a person, a soul to connect with, and not someone who will only be used as a future commodity.
6) With passion, ALL things can be done
Passion is our savior. It stirs you and your being. Our passions give us purpose and demands we show up. Our passions unlock our potential if we allow it to.
Fulfilling the vision and legacies of our passions is terrifying, it will arise a world emotion from you (as it should). Stand firm in knowing the world is awaiting the gifts you have dug a grave for. Be still, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remind yourself.
“I will accomplish nothing without the taste of fear,” – Zainab Salbi
This article was written by Amma Gyamfowa
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