But, here's my secret: Each time I stand up in front of a group of customers, I am trembling (and sweating). The voices in my head say that I'm not pretty enough, thin enough, well-spoken enough, outgoing enough, or confident enough to do this justice.
Ana lives in Guatemala and learned the beautiful tradition of blackstrap loom weaving from her mother when she was just seven years old. As she grew, she became unsatisfied with the way she saw economic opportunities for women in her village. She sought out ways to make a difference. At the age of 28, she now owns a business and employs 30 female artisans. Ana partners with Noonday to make beautiful scarves. In this picture, you can see how each one is made. It takes five hours to weave one.
I’ve adopted a really powerful mental exercise that I learned from Melissa Russell, from the International Justice Mission, that she uses before she asks people for money to help her end human trafficking.
I imagine myself sitting down next to Ana, and telling her that I just don't feel confident enough to stand before you, because I’ve gained five pounds, and you have really pretty friends, and over 20 of them will be there, and I get really, really sweaty. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?! 20 ladies who can use their purchasing power for good, so that Ana can hire more single mamas to do weaving. I want to talk to those ladies, and tell them all about Ana!
You are enough! I am enough, and so is that pretty/thin/well-spoken/confident woman across the room. Her “enough-ness” doesn’t diminish my own. And we can elevate the worth of all women when we stop listening to the voices that tell us where we fall short, and start empowering those around us.What if we all chose to live wholeheartedly, and pour into women around us, rather than listen to the voices in our heads saying that we don't measure up? When we stomp those voices out, and believe that we are enough, we have the power to change the world!
How do you empower women?