The "Who Am I" Mindset
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson
When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to create genuine and authentic community by sharing what’s real in my daily life. I could see that was missing in the online community. My feed was either filled with perfectly curated posts of influencers selling products they don’t really use or an occasional post of someone’s meal in a poorly lit subpar restaurant.
I was craving more. Knowing that social media is my generation’s fastest growing way to communicate with each other, I wanted to create a place that felt more like real life. My real life is a mixture of really high highs and really low lows. We travel a lot, feel like a circus most days, and know that we’re not your average family. Given that we have three dogs between 5 and 90 lbs, an adorable adopted daughter, and live the baseball lifestyle. We could not be more outside of the box.
But how you share that, relate to your audience, and keep yourself grounded was beyond me. I was overwhelmed with how to ‘brand’ myself and what steps to take to keep up with the largely popular Instagram influencers.
The quote above hangs in my home and it’s always in the back of my head. The other night, I was lying in Robbie’s arms before we drifted off to sleep and whispered to him that I am totally and always scared. I confessed that much of my life had been ruled by hidden fear. That almost everything I put online is yes; for all of you all, but also a commitment to myself to stop letting fear be the boss of me. If you look back, everything I write circles around rising above your fears. I told him that I am right in the middle of two pressures:
- We have a new precious baby girl at home that I have longed for with my entire being for four years. I get caught up in her smiles and giggles and could spend all my days watching her every move, being her best friend, and loving her hard.
- I have a strong desire to add my fingerprint in changing the world. Mission 108, the talks I give, the things I write—it’s all in an effort to help people live their lives free from fear.
So do I stay home with Gypsy and be a Pinterest wife and mom? Or do I follow my intense dreams to change the world?
Robbie told me swiftly that I needed to write about this. That women are sitting at home feeling these same tug-of-war pressures and that, even though I don’t have it figured out, I at least need to get this down on paper. So here we are.
The truth is I am made for more. Everything inside me wishes that I was one of those women that is perfect at thinking of and creating arts and craft games for her six children that she homeschools. I wish that cooking three meals a day for my well-manicured husband, who is both hard working and grateful, filled my soul and my families belly. I wish that I looked at our house as a way to express my vision for the place we lay our heads to sleep. But this is not my truth, or my life, and my family is not all that polished. And we likely never will be.
I wish desperately that I was this type of woman. I love this type of woman. When I see her online or out in public I give her a big, welcoming smile in hopes that she takes pity on me and wants to teach me her ways.
Putting different kinds of noodles in different colored bowls to advance my child’s sensory motor skills is not what I wake up thinking about. I rarely remember that the people in my home need to eat until someone is crying or screaming or yelling. Between the dogs, the baby, and the husband I’m lucky to ‘meal prep’ anything more fancy than throwing some carrots in a zip lock baggy as I run out the door… talking on the phone about how I need to go because I can’t find my phone.
The truth is, I wake up thinking about girls in safe homes and how to advance their quality of life. That if I could position myself in front of women like me, I would share all my fears so that they felt less alone. I think about teaching Gypsy that all the things that make her different are the exact things we love about her, and that she is meant to use those things to better the world. I think about helping the world overcome racism, poverty, and the refugee crisis.
What has held me back my whole life is fear. It is the “Who Am I?” mindset.
Who am I to run a nonprofit?
Who am I to start another blog in a sea of many?
Who am I to have an opinion on best practices for international development?
Who am I to be a female CEO when that title is dominated by men?
Who I am to have a voice?
Who am I to be different, stand out, stand up, be bold… the list goes on.
And do you want to know what I’ve recently learned? Every woman out there who dares to dream big is having the same kind of thoughts. I bet you’ve thought it at least once today.
I’m in a monthly masterminds group with four strong women who are all dreaming big and creating something from scratch. Whether it be making jewelry to help new mamas remember that they can still be fashionable and motherly, or helping other women navigate this crazy lifestyle by sharing real and raw YouTube videos about her own life as a baseball wife (link Korrin), or a badass chick with an editing business that helps bloggers and influencers get their messages out there—all of us have the same kind of thoughts.
Who are we to create, make change, put ourselves out there?
But funnily enough, we reminded each other that if we crept back into the roles we felt most comfortable hiding behind (mine is a Pinterest wife—even though I’d suck at it) the world would be missing a whole lot. If I waited for the world to validate what I know it needs from me, I’d die taking all my gifts to the grave.
The ‘Who Am I?” mindset doesn’t serve anyone. It tells us that we aren’t good enough, that our gifts aren’t worthy, that if we stay small we’ll be liked or get a stamp of approval. But being liked doesn’t take you anywhere. Being liked is chasing a pipe dream. Don’t chase approval. Chase your dreams. Chase what brings your soul alive. Chase the thing that makes you most afraid.
And like Marriane says ‘our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, it is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
We’re scared that we are right about ourselves. That maybe the world kind of likes that crazy, quirky, weird thing about us. And more than likes it, needs it. Will die without it.
What if we dared to think that we’re here on this earth to rid ourselves of the “Who Am I” mindset? What if we’re created to live out our dreams despite our fears? I can only image what the world would look like with all the goodness you have to add to it.
Will you join me? Will you live despite the fear of being powerful beyond measure?