I’ve always loved words. I was a book worm as a kid and still enjoy getting lost in a good book. Today reading isn’t just in conventional book form but often takes place on my phone when I’m out on the go too.
There is always something to read that can entertain, inspire, teach, or simply amuse me.
It’s not a huge surprise then that there have been words along the way that I have attached to myself like invisible sticky notes that are “life” words to me. Words that have a depth and meaning to how I live, or to remind me of who I am, or what I’m about.
One word was strength. In fact, it became so full of meaning to me that I made my first commitment to a tattoo when I had it put on my body.
Not just physical strength, but mental, spiritual, and emotional. Life has forged a strength in me and it has become one of “my” words.
The other, last year, courage. It became the beautiful focus of my second tattoo. To live life takes courage. To go through trials, difficulties and pain, takes courage.
Another word that resonates with me, and has for awhile is the word empowered (actually that word in it’s various forms… empowering, empower, etc)
Here’s the definition for empower…. “enable… to promote the self-actualization or influence of”
These past few years I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve accomplished things I never thought I’d do. I’ve taken on things that were larger than life to me.
And I did them. And each time I accomplished something new … it was empowering. And empowerment builds confidence, and an empowered, confident woman feels like she can take on the world.
It builds a “don’t mess with me” take no prisoners attitude.
And I’ve realized how much I want to share and convey that to others… but the crazy thing is… it’s not something I can just “bestow” on someone .
The word empower is a verb. It requires action from us. To be empowered we must be active in what we want to achieve.
It requires a certain amount of reckless abandon to what we’re doing. It requires us to shut down the “sensible” part of our brain that questions what on earth we are thinking? It will mean getting out of our comfort zone. Often it’s taking on a task that seems quite formidable. I’ve found, those are the best places to be.
Let me give you an example. After I ran my first half marathon the question came… “so now you’re gonna run a full one, right?”
“Uh.. no. You realize that’s 26.2 miles right? No. Other people do that not me.”
Then I ran my second, third, and it was only after my fourth that I walked away with the idea in my head… I knew it was time… time to consider a full marathon.
I made the commitment to it and early on I had the thought go through my head… “oh my gosh… a marathon? Like… 26.2 miles??? Will you be able to do that?”
And I pondered my sanity….
And then… I quickly, swiftly, stomped those thoughts down and never let them rise up again. You cannot allow thoughts like that when you are attempting something so much bigger than you.
You cannot allow those thoughts to rule you or somehow convince you that you aren’t enough, or don’t have what it takes… if you do… you lose.
I trained hard. I trained conservatively with my goal to do it and successfully finish. And finish I did ( in 5:23) on an unseasonably hot November day that topped 89 degrees…brutal was an understatement.
And yes, when I crossed that finish line, with sunburn marks, sweat drenched, mentally and physically exhausted with legs begging to stop moving, I had never felt more victorious or empowered in my entire life.
I did it. I didn’t back down. I didn’t listen to the “voices”. I didn’t convince myself I couldn’t do it.
It takes those times of empowerment to show us we are capable of so much more than we often think we are.
You.. my reading friend… what are you thinking of doing? What thing seems larger than life, yet scares you to do?
Stomp down all the reasons why you think you can’t, don’t listen to the “voices”, and dive with reckless abandon into that thing which will empower you like nothing else.
You’ve got this.