It was such an honor speaking to the most inspiring group of women Mizzou has to offer! The ladies of Kappa Alpha Theta are wholesome – they’re both passionate and motivating, driven and encouraging, genuine and spiritual. I’m so thankful they invited me to come speak to the chapter about what a leading woman looks like to me, and how to never settle for a life less than the one you’re capable of living. I was amazed by the positive feedback I received, and I hope these uplifting words remind you that you are limitless. Here is a snippet from my speech. Oh, and I’m obsessed with quotes:
“Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.“ – Donovan Bailey
The last part of that quote is what really gets me. Because I think sometimes the biggest person who limits you, is you. No matter what the situation is – whether you have a huge crush on someone and you’re planning to pursue them, or you’re going in for an interview for your dream job, or you’re just sitting in bed at night and thinking about your dream life and what you want it to look like – and then all of a sudden all of your thoughts and dreams become shaded from these clouds and you don’t feel like what you’re pursuing is tangible anymore, you don’t feel like you’re worthy of it.
My friends, those clouds are called fear.
And a leading woman knows how to step out of the shade those clouds create because a leading woman knows she is worthy of the life of her dreams. She is worthy of her dream job and you know what? She is worthy of any man she’s interested in. A leading woman knows she’s good enough. She has no limits, because nobody can limit her. Not even herself.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
“Your life unfolds according to your effort.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned this past year, it’s that if you want something you’ve got to get up and go get it. Life is so, so short and we’re only given one. Why would you not go after your dreams? Why would you not be the best version of yourself? When it comes to branding yourself and getting your name out there, why would you not play BIG? Playing small does absolutely no good for you and also does no good for the people next to you. I think every leading woman recognizes that if you’ve got big dreams, you’ve got to make big moves.
Every monumental moment in my life came from me putting myself out there, making myself vulnerable. Miss Missouri USA and Miss USA were very vulnerable times for me because I put my entire heart on the line and had no idea what the outcome would be. It’s a terrifying thing. But if I had only put half my heart on the line, I wouldn’t have been living those moments fully. I wouldn’t have won Miss Missouri USA. I would’ve regretted not giving it my all.
To me, vulnerability means you’re pushing yourself. And pushing yourself is a vital thing if you want to live your life to its fullest. Don’t half heart your life. Don’t half heart your dreams. Recognize and understand that you are worthy of your dreams. You are worthy of living the life you’ve always imagined. Don’t settle for anything less than that.
Every broadcast job I’ve ever had has been through networking. I didn’t major in journalism, which has been a setback at times. But one thing i’ve learned is to never let a setback set you back. The journey to a dream job might take you longer than others, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get to your destination. In my opinion, the ability to not be phased by life’s disappointments / setbacks is one of the hardest, yet most important skills to learn. Throwing in the towel is so easy. It’s too easy. But if you are serious about a dream or an aspiration, there shouldn’t even be a towel to throw. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t be phased by a setback. You’re worth more than that.
How to be a leading woman:
Know who you are, and own it.
- Whether it’s your dream job, your personal style, your relationship status – just own it. Be proud of who you are and don’t second guess your heart.
Surround yourself with the right people.
- “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” The only way you will grow is if you surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. The people who remind you that life is magical and anything is possible. The people who encourage you to chase your dreams and “respect your grind” when you do. The people who make you feel whole. These are the types of people who you should cherish and hold close.
- If you don’t have anyone like this in your life, simply venture to new groups, new activities and be open about who you are and who you want to become. Life is all about creating yourself, and creations take time. Tips: Do some soul searching and decide if your group reflects who you want to be. Decide if your group is a group you’re proud of.
- Stepping out of your comfort zone is an important part of life. To me, it’s the only way you’ll grow. Yes, vulnerability is a scary thing, but so is not living your life to the fullest. Remember – Not taking risks is dangerous.
I hope these words have hit home with some of you! God works in the most mysterious ways, and whether it’s a triumph or disappointment, praise Him always. He is molding you for something big. Be patient, stay humble, and keep your faith.
Thanks so much for reading, please share with a friend if you think they could use these uplifting words as well!