“You are smart…you are enough.”

I was recently presented with an opportunity to work alongside a cohort of professionals on one of my organization’s internal projects. We’re in the very early stages of this project, where the foundation is being laid. Key questions are being asked and the work that is fundamental to the identity of this project is being executed.

As with any project, the work is being divvied. My friend drew the lucky straw of drafting a few statements to represent the groups purpose.

After reading these statements, I was left a bit perplexed. Thesaurus-laden buzzwords and corporate jargon had drowned out the message. I asked my friend to rewrite the statements in plain English. Though she knew I had good intentions, she was offended.

I wanted her to see that her message, the one she believed in, the one without the colorful language was enough. Adding colorful language not only took away from the message, but it made the reader work harder. In fact, I had to read the statements more than once to deduce what was being said. And in the end I was still confused and frankly, frustrated.

But this also created a great opportunity for feedback. While, my colleague wasn’t happy with my feedback, I had the opportunity to follow up with what was in my heart.

My feedback had less to do with the message and a million times more to do with what I believed, and what she needed to believe, about herself.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was smart and that she didn’t need to rely on anyone else to tell her that. She didn’t need the “extras” to impress anyone. Simply being who she was was enough. And when she delivers her message from her heart, that would be enough.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was, and is, enough.

 

 

Affirmation

Today, I repeat this message to you. You are enough. Give yourself the gift of relaxing the security of who you are. Stop trying to outfit yourself with the proverbial colorful layers — fancy clothes, an extensive vocabulary, multiple degrees, or the pursuit of the seemingly “perfect life” — to gain the approval of others or even yourself. Don’t water down the magnitude of who you are. Be you.

The Bible says that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Who am I to disagree with God?

Take off those layers. Life is a lot lighter and much clearer without them.

Until next Wednesday,

RP

Tell someone they are enough.

Share this message and tag them in it. I can’t wait to hear how you’ve made a positive impact on their life. Be sure to add the hashtag #beaffirmed on IG, Twitter, and FB so I can see how you’re inspiring others.

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Boy, was I on an emotional trip. I was truly freaking out.

Here’s the thing, I’m not used to not knowing where I want to go in life, nor am I used to not knowing what get’s me going. So when the conversation of goals, future and career planning came about, I freaked…and I mean for about 3 days. I couldn’t get it off my mind. However, after I wrote this post, it all became so much clearer.

Let’s start with the epiphany: I don’t live for my career? I was not put on this earth to merely be a marketer, have fund and make and spend money. No! That is only a means to an end; a small piece of the puzzle. Instead, purpose is what drives me. I may not think of this purpose every day and it may not always be in my mind, but it is the reason why I’m on this earth.

At a high level, my purpose is to create change. I noticed years ago that when I’m involved in something, that something is in the midst of a change. At work. At school. At church. Even in extracurriculars. And while change is often annoying, it’s a catalyst for progress.

Don’t get it twisted. I can’t say that I always like change. It takes time. It can be frustrating. You have to go through forming, storming, norming, and performing…and so much more…and just when you think you’ve gotten to a good spot, it’s time for more change. Frankly, change can be downright uncomfortable.

However, as stated earlier, change is needed to light the fire under progress. Like Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (Yep…I totally used a cliché. It was so appropriate.)

And this is where I come into the picture. I come to challenge the status quo and inspire young men and women of color to be a better them. I am more than tired of seeing African-American men and women living substandard lives. I feel like if I – the girl from the ‘hood who had a goal of being a mom by 18  – can make it, so can you.

It’s true, the struggle is real, as the saying goes, and you often become what you see and hear. And if you have constant reinforcement of “struggle”, then what else should you believe? I want to share a different story; a different experience to inspire youth to believe in their potential. To not succomb to teen pregnancy, dropouts, drugs, single parenthood, and so much more. But to showcase their INTELLEGENCE, STRENGTH, BEAUTY, KIND-HEARTEDNESS, THOUGHTFULNESS, and LOVING NATURES. Because that is who they really are – because that is who they are. (DO YOU HEAR ME. THAT IS WHO YOU ARE!) And the only way this message can be conveyed is by doing literal show and tells of the reality of today’s African-American.

We don’t all struggle. We aren’t all victims of violence. And NONE of us are stupid.

You do have a future.

Let’s face it. The world is full of inequalities. We’ll most likely living this reality our entire life, whether it’s racial inequality, class disparity, or gender inequalities. But it’s still your life and we all deserve as much as we can get out of it. And after you’ve seen what can be yours, it’s up to you to believe it and go get it. There are plenty who will walk with you. But even if you have to walk alone at times, it’s still yours. So go out there and get it. And don’t forget to reach back to help someone else while you’re fighting and after you’ve “made it.”

**please clap as loudly as you like as all graduates cross the stage**