Last week, I felt really discouraged and uninspired. I couldn’t identify exactly why because there wasn’t anything going wrong in my life. I mean, everything wasn’t perfect, but I could clearly see progression and positive things happening in both my personal and professional life. So, why was I feeling so down in the dumps? As an introvert, I think a lot (sometimes too much) and I don’t talk very much. I spent days suffering internally in silence because I didn’t want to talk to anyone about my “fake sadness” as my husband calls it. He calls it “fake sadness” because ever so often I get in these discouraged moods and when he asks me what’s wrong, I can’t clearly express the problem. To help me out of my funk, he names my blessings to show me why I have more reasons to be happy than sad. Most of the time it’s enough to keep me going, but deep down I still feel like the issue is unresolved.
This time, I tried something different, something I had never done. I owned my “fake sadness”. I got to the root of it and hopefully rid myself of it forever. The reason why I could never clearly express what was wrong with me was because I felt like people would think I was crazy. Let me explain. From the outside looking in, people see the work that I do and all that I have accomplished and think that it’s amazing. I have a wonderful support system who always tells me what a great job I am doing. The “problem” is me. I am very ambitious and have great expectations of myself. My vision is often farther ahead than what I am capable of doing at the present moment. I beat myself up for not being where I thought I would be by now. I get caught up in thinking about all that is going wrong (outside of my plan) and convincing myself that I can’t do this, which ultimately leads me down a path of self-sabotage.
Well, I finally got tired of being on this self-made roller coaster ride of emotions that randomly disturbs my creativity and decreases my passion. I made the decision to talk about all of my thoughts and feelings with my sister who is a Certified Life Coach. Yes, coaches need coaches too. Just getting it all out was a relief. I didn’t realize just how much junk had accumulated in my mind since the last time I intentionally unloaded toxic baggage. After speaking with her, I determined that I was my own source of discouragement. It wasn’t the people who don’t support me or the past disappointing experiences that I had refused to let go of that were making me feel less passionate and ready to give up. It was my choice to allow myself to get into a space of negative thinking and stay there. One of the major shifts in my thought process came when I was expressing to my sister how I felt more women would appreciate the vision that I have for Women By Choice and support it. She immediately started listing all of the ways that Women By Choice is supported by and positively impacting women all over the world. More specifically, she mentioned that we have women in Ohio who represent Women By Choice in their city and I have never even once been to Ohio. That one statement stopped me in my tracks and made me see that I had began to focus on the wrong things. Instead of focusing on what was not going the way that I thought it would, I should have been focusing on all of the extraordinary things that are happening that I never imagined could. I had to take a step outside of my own head to see all of the blessings I had been ignoring while trying to convince myself that I wasn’t good enough to pursue this mission. After that conversation, I felt 10 times lighter and 100% focused on moving forward in my purpose. I regained clarity, rediscovered my “why”, and rekindled my passion for empowering and uniting women.
As women, we are often harder on ourselves than anyone else. We get into our own heads and start pulling ourselves apart. We create problems that don’t exist, magnify our weaknesses, and convince ourselves that we aren’t good enough. We don’t need anyone to bully us because we are mean girls to ourselves. It’s our own expectations and insecurities that hold us back from becoming our best selves and reaching our full potential. We are human so we won’t be perfect. We’ll make mistakes and fall short. However, every day we make the choice to get better or stay bitter. We make the choice to move or stay in the same place. We make the choice to be a victim or a survivor. We make the choice to quit or keep going. We make the choice to lose or to win. I hope that sharing my truth helps you to choose to push through your own negative thoughts, challenges and obstacles to reach a place of peace, happiness, and success. “When Women Support Women, We ALL Win!”
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Andromeda Raheem, Empowerment Coach and Founder of Women By Choice