Empowerment.

Empowerment.

It’s something that far too often, millennials, minorities, and women are not given or able to exercise. As a human being who is all three of those things, I’m here to talk about HOW and WHY we shouldn’t have it simply given to us anymore; we need to take it for ourselves.

You could say I’m a bit fired up right now in light of a few recent events in my life, but then again, when is a better time to talk about it than when I’m really feeling the passion??

That panda is my spirit animal by the way. Especially when I’m feeling fired up. It’s basically a demand to listen to what I have to say (something I will get into later and I hope you keep this black and white sass panda in mind – which is funny because I’m like a black and white sass panda. Thanks Mom & Dad).

Far too often, good people, no matter what category they fit into, are too concerned with not stepping on toes, with being overly polite, apologizing when they don’t need to, and caring too much about what other people think whether it’s personal or professional. And something I hear quite frequently which I feel to be true, is that millennials have the inspiration, creativity, and drive to BE their own empowerment – we just don’t all necessarily have the platform or know how to exercise it!

For me, my best platforms are my personal beliefs and my career. It’s incredibly important to be able to look at a situation objectively and from multiple angles, but these are two areas I unapologetically empower myself to handle daily. Every job you have and person you encounter will have something that tests your willpower and your sanity, but empowerment comes when you realize it’s okay to disagree, to not be on the same page, and to know that you don’t owe anything to anyone other than yourself.

When I look back on my teenage years, it almost makes me shudder at the things I let people say and do to me (and before you call me out, I’m pretty sure I mentioned this in another post, but I was not a perfect angel either – I’m positive there are many I owe apologies to). But there is a huge difference between 15 year old me and 25 year old me and I refuse to just accept things anymore because someone says it’s so. There is no strategy or set of rules to feeling like an empowered human being, rather it’s a PRACTICE that you have to work on daily.

What happens if you ask for forgiveness instead of permission? In my experience, I rarely end up even having to ask for forgiveness. If you assert yourself because you KNOW something is right or will contribute to the common good either personally or professionally, don’t waiver. Now, I’m not saying go rogue and don’t follow any rules, but be firm in your belief. Give reasons why. Be able to back it up. In the many instances I can think of, I relied on my experience and qualifications to back up my actions after the fact. And guess what? It may have pissed some people off, but we were all better for it. And at the end of the day, I don’t need to have everyone like me and neither do you. I can still sleep at night just fine, cuddled up with my legs around my body pillow and my cat on my face, not allowing me to breathe. There are literally 7 billion people in this world. It would be impossible for everyone to like you and agree with you.

Here is a special message (GIF) to my ladies:

And you better fucking believe it. I’m gonna need you to channel your inner Queen Bey on the daily. Flip your hair, put on an outfit that makes you feel good, know your confidence, and put your lipstick on “16 Candles” style.

When you demand respect, that’s when you feel empowered. When you know your worth, that’s when you feel empowered. Empowerment is not solely something that anyone can give you, it’s something you have to take for yourself. And if you do have those people in your corner who encourage you to be empowered and contribute to that empowerment? More POWER to you! Hold those people close and let them know your appreciation!

Anyway – if I don’t stop soon, this could be a serious rant and it might lose its flavor. I apologize for any vagueness in this post as I’m not here to point fingers, but simply relay and share my experiences and how I dealt with certain situations. I’m more than happy to chat one on one if there are questions. All I hope is that this is encouraging to at least one young, professional woman out there.

Look at me! Although there are times when I struggle and occasionally doubt myself, I’m alive and thriving and *metaphorically* giving the finger to anyone who wants to stifle my empowerment. If I can do it, I am 1000% certain you can too.

And remember this about yourself:

ALWAYS. (and thank the lord almighty for Michael Scott).

XOXO,

-H

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