If there is anything these past few years have taught me, it’s that the higher you climb, the more your circle shrinks. These days, my inner tribe is extremely small and exclusive, a space that I have learned to provide limited access to so that others don’t have the liberty to taint it with their mess and mayhem.
There has been a lot that the ladies of Foundations of a Powerhouse have spoken to over the course of the past month–choosing influence over power, remaining honest with yourself about what it really takes and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Now the group piece of the series concludes with five of the women talking about what it has meant to shrink their inner circle and listen more closely to the sound of their inner voices.
Roconia Price | creator of EverSoRoco.com
When someone calls you a powerhouse, what does that mean for you? It dredges up memories of being dubbed “Thunder Thighs” by a boy named Jack for the entirety of my middle school career. But, beyond that, it means that I’m a source of inspiration and strength for others. This month, especially, being called a powerhouse solidifies the message I’ve been relaying to shawty in the mirror, year after year, day after day, and sometimes hour after hour. I tell her to stop the external search for strength. Stop the search for a shero. I tell her to drop the “s” altogether, for her greatest source of vitality is already within (her)o. She doesn’t need anything more. The second she stops believing that is the second she relinquishes her power.
Sam Bailey | Actor/Writer | You’re So Talented
A blunt truth about getting to where I am is: I don’t take (or ask for) everyone’s suggestions when it comes to my work. As a woman, I’ve learned that everyone seems to have opinions about what I should be doing and how I should be doing it. I’m learning to be better at discerning whose criticisms are constructive and whose are destructive. It’s a day by day challenge, but it’s important to me that I don’t go about my day asking for permission or validation from others. It’s ok that everyone won’t be up for what I’m doing. I’m getting better at accepting that. Trying to make sure everyone is taken care of in the work I do would be exhausting and I’m not really here for that. But there are people that I consider to be valuable to my process, as collaborators and healthy challengers. Now, that circle is pretty small (mostly people that I work with directly) but I think that’s fine. I’m already hyper critical of myself so the amount of people I allow into that part of me needs to be small or else I’d never get anything done.
Nicole Booz | Founder & Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty
What’s a myth about success that you want to dismantle? Create something that comes from the very core of your being. Don’t stray from your vision. Don’t let anyone else’s opinion sway you. Many people will try to tell you to do it differently, but you’re only going to be proud of what you believe in. Make it yours and own it. At the end of the day you are the one who needs to be happy with your success. This means saying no to big opportunities that don’t fit with your vision. This means it might take you longer to get where you want to be. But don’t give up. Success is hollow if it isn’t organically you.
Jamé Jackson | Founder of TheBlondeMisfit.com
To me, success looks like a good day when you’re at peace with what you’ve accomplished. As cliche as it sounds, success really doesn’t come from the house you live in or the car you drive. To me, success is the byproduct of my hard work and happiness mixed together. If I have worked hard for what I have, and I am happy, I am successful. And if I have a career that allows me to be happy and impactful to others, that’s success. There are a lot of rich people who aren’t successful, and a lot of broke artists who have mastered the art of success. It’s about YOU and your dreams. Nobody else’s.
Ashley Coleman | Creator of WriteLaughDream.com
The hardest thing about getting to where I am at this point has been believing in what I have to offer. We live in a time where everything seems oversaturated. It can feel like so many people are trying to do similar things in a crowded market place. But I had to keep believing that no matter how many authors, bloggers or writers there are, I am the only me. Period. No one else can say it like I say it, think the way I think or offer what I have to offer. It’s just impossible. In that I had to decide to really focus on my authenticity, try my best to be positively influenced by other people but never trying to take on their voice. I had to decide that what I have is special and I had do the work that it takes to show everyone else that what I have is special as well. It won’t happen by chance, it takes work. It takes reminding yourself every day that you were created with purpose and it takes focus. It’s so easy to get caught up, but don’t believe the hype. Stay true to your voice.