“People always tell you to be humble. When was the last time someone told you to be great. Be great. Be amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you what the f*ck you can’t do.” – Kanye West
When I coach women, one of the questions I ask them pretty early on in our process is “What are you amazing at?” Not just good, not just proficient, but real-deal-sparks-flying amazing. And time after time, these brilliant, vibrant women are stumped. I’m always told that it’s the hardest question I ask and I’ve been known to ask some tough ones.
Why is it so hard for us to embrace and honor the things that we kick ass at?
Part of it is that we’re bombarded with messages all day about what it means to be a woman — demure, accommodating, graceful — and as women of color, we’re also up against pretty strong stereotypes on how we should and shouldn’t be moving through the world — strong but not angry, grateful, humble, not too loud.
While watching A Wrinkle In Time last weekend, I was struck by this quote from Reese Witherspoon’s character, Mrs. Which: “Do you realize how many events, choices, that had to occur since the birth of the universe leading up to the making of you? Just exactly the way you are.”
And it’s true. It’s a slap in the face to God, the Universe, and each and every one of your ancestors for you to not walk in the absolute amazingness of who you are.
Take the time to really revel in your strengths. Get comfortable bragging about yourself. Do more of what you’re amazing at and way less of what you’re just ok or good at. Really commit to living in your zone of genius. It’s what the world needs.
And the next time a nosy person like me comes around asking ‘What makes you amazing’ be ready for them.