How powerful would you be?


“I love the ability to transform because that, for me, is a liberation.” –Andy Serkis

How powerful would you be…?

If you took the one thing you feared and went for it? I asked myself that question when it came to my hair. I made small steps to the greater achievement of wearing my hair natural. It may not seem like a big deal if your hair meets society’s standards of straight hair, but it is a big deal if it doesn’t.

For years it became part of my routine, a habit that I honed from my teenage years. A routine that you don’t realize is a routine—like making tea—I got up and went into the bathroom and for ten minutes flat, I slid through my hair with the flat-iron turned up till the red-light flickered. I would take the comb and slide through my hair and top it off with sheen.

That question rephrased, how fluid would my life be if I just accepted the natural state of my hair.

On the weekend, I never plugged up the flat-iron. I just tucked my hair under with a pen—two seconds tops.

Over a five-year period, I answered that question, how powerful would I be if I took the one thing I feared and went for it, powerful beyond measure.

How powerful would you be…?

I asked this question again every time I went to the pool. I would get in and splash around and play with my girls when they were children. I would watch poolside as they learned how to swim. No one would have ever guessed since I go to the pool year round.

I get on water slides and even get in on the deep end, I’m 5’1, so not that deep, but deep for me.

Until I asked myself, how courageous would I be if I took my fear and went for it? With that question, I signed up to learn how to swim. It was challenging from day one. When I saw my elderly classmates, I thought, thank God I’m not the youngest here, but when I saw these women floating and doggy paddling, I wanted to run out of there.

My classmates were encouraging and they shared that they had taken the class a couple of times. I still stood in the water, shaking. At the end of the course, I had learned how to save myself, plus I became an expert at the elementary backstroke, something I’m so proud of.

How powerful would you be…?

When I meet people who share their fears, I think this question for them. I’m excited when I hear their challenges knowing that it is possible to take the things you fear and become powerful. What saddens me though is knowing that it’s a choice that so few of us are challenged to go after.

We think not about our fears as goals to conquer. Like goals, it is a process. Yes, take the smaller ones that seem less stressful first. This way you have practice and with practice, you gain confidence and know how.

I bully myself with the question, if I invest more time on myself than on others, how much further would I be?

This question time and time again has forced me into action. This question alone gave me the courage to leave and create relationships, reinvent, stand up for myself, volunteer, vacation, go natural, learn to swim, start a blog, write more, forgive, trust, quit jobs, read, do workshops, and begin again.

I get excited about the accomplishments of others because I know that connecting with those individuals that dare to ask and act, are powerful beyond measure.

Opportunities to become better are accessible. Learning through fear is the best way to learn, plus you’ll never forget it. Using my experience of learning to swim, I know that jumping into the deep end isn’t the ultimate end for me. I can go in and bounce back up. I have a reference because I dared to ask, how powerful would I be if I took the one thing I feared and went for it.

Volunteerism is something I encourage everyone to take part in, especially those who are looking to learn a new skill or land a job. If you’re afraid to strike out and switch careers, volunteer first in the field. Search your local job postings or indeed for opportunities and go give your time. You would be surprised how giving your time and putting your skills to good use can open up space for you and people in your circle. It is my experience that after putting in time and effort most organizations will offer you a position. If you think about it, you’ve put in the time and you know how the office functions, volunteers are the best candidates.

I encourage you to take at least one thing, just one and be powerful.