Why do women underestimate their gifts, talents and worth?
Ladies, ladies, ladies, come on in! Come on in! Listen, these past couple of months, I’ve done so much resetting, self-reflecting and re-prioritizing. Listen, I had to check my own self because I started to doubt how gifted and talented I am. And, please understand, to know me is to know that I’m not saying this boastfully. I. AM. MY. OWN. WORST. CRITIC. I go so hard on myself but oh-so negatively. Everyone around me can tell me the great potential they see in me. That I’m beautiful and encouraging and so talented. Unfortunately and honestly when I look at myself, I don’t always see what others see. It’s so funny because I can see the dopeness in everyone except myself. I can cheerlead and encourage YOU but on the for real for real, I constantly doubt myself and dummy-down my abilities.
Sis, why do we do this? I know I am not alone. Why do we constantly underestimate our gifts, talents and worse our worth??? I’ve been writing for the Chicago Defender for over a year now. With almost every article, I put myself through this sabotaging drill of questions and negative banter: Why am I writing for the Defender? Why did Danie (president and founder of Black Bloggers Chicago) select me? I’m not really that good of a writer! OMGosh I’m going to be late with this article because my writing is crap. I would delete draft after draft after draft convinced that my writing was trash and everyone would be disappointed with the finished product. I mean, I put myself through a thang. And for what? 20 articles and almost 18 months later I’m still on the team and actually just secured a major client as a freelance writer! Wooooohooo! But, why did it take me this long to recognize my greatness? And why oh why did I beat myself up so badly while getting to this point -to see that I am really one dope chick and I have a lot to offer this world. What’s up with that mindset and what did I do to get over it?
Well, just recently, I started to affirm myself by getting closer to God, increasing and deepening my prayer life, listening to positive sermons and TED talks, and following other dope women who I am tremendously inspired by. I was literally on a slippery slope to losing my identity and mojo. This lack of self-confidence and “closet” low self-esteem I was carrying around almost cost me my purpose. Yep, yep, it sure did. Y’all, I was so convinced that I was not good enough for anything that I knew deep down inside I had been gifted with, that I darn near called it quits ON IT ALL.
Let's not get it twisted. I am an overall positive person and I’m surrounded by wonderfully amazing and honest people who are committed to holding me accountable to my calling and my purpose. I have no doubt (NOW) that I'm destined for greatness because the enemy has launched an attack on my mind - how perceive myself and what I'm called to do. Guess what though! The enemy didn't win! Baby boo and bye!! (Y'all know I love Jesus so I got to give Him all the glory and praise for turning things around for me, PERIOD).
Alright, alright, alright, where was I? Right, here's the deal: over the last 30 days, God nudged a lot of people to pour into me, but there were five women in particular who just refused to let me give up. Chandra Pitts, Tanisha Cooper, Monica Thomas, Danie Sanders, and Racquel Coral. These women, true bosses themselves, have been and still are my angels. I am forever grateful to be connected to them.
Seriously, over these few months of self-reflecting and self-evaluation, I earnestly prayed that God would send people my way who would positively influence me and put me right back in my rightful place – pursuing and walking in my purpose with drive and intent. And He did, through these ladies. In fact, Racquel is one of my fellow blogging sistahs whom I met in the aforementioned Black Bloggers Chicago group. I follow her and am tremendously inspired by her. She is such a vibe, a blogging beast, and a beautiful, oh-so-fashionable Black woman who embodies the saying: “empowered women empower women.” She literally changed my thinking and lit the fire under my feet in a one-hour conversation on a Monday afternoon. Oh yeah, she got me all the way together really quickly. So much so that I asked her to be a guest contributor on this here subject. She recently wrote a blog post that speaks to this question of why women self-sabotage and underestimate who they truly are. She encourages us to embrace our true selves. Y’all her blog is so dope. Check out Baby Girl, It’s Time to Trust Yourself - Be sure to subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on social media.
Racquel cheerfully shares with us some “notable quotables” begotten from her own
“I feel like Black women underestimate our gifts for a multitude of reasons. One of them being a lot of us grew up in environments that didn't necessarily encourage or nurture our gifts. We were taught to go to college and get jobs to make money, but not to explore our passions deeply or to invest more into what brings us joy. And when the opportunity presents itself for us to go out and do what makes us happy, we tense up and become nervous thinking we don't have what it takes. Because we were never taught to do that. And we can't always depend on our families to support or encourage our efforts to further explore our talents because they don't know what that is.
Also, for a lot of us, we are victims of having to work twice as hard, to get half as far. We don't have as many opportunities as our white counterparts. We are always reminded that we aren't good enough. We don't get to be mediocre. We always have to outperform everyone in the room and a lot of times it still isn't enough. Or when we do begin to receive some kind of recognition or praise, it's either too late or it's subpar compared to what everyone else is getting. And this makes us not only doubt ourselves but grow tired of trying because it just becomes too much.”
I know, I know, she's amazing, right!! Everyone needs a good girlfriend like her! Thank you Racquel for your encouragement and empowerment. You set this sister straight and I hope that your words touched every woman reading this.
Bottomline is we all get in a funk and feel less than our best. It’s okay. We’re human. It’s life and it happens. But, do not stay in that stupor for long. The world needs you to be operating in all those marvelous gifts you were created with. You were enough yesterday. You are enough today. You are certainly enough for tomorrow. Trust yourself and do it afraid if you have to JUST DO IT DANG ON IT!
Cheers and Chow for Now! Muah!
Your favorite bloggin’ gyal,
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