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I'm Kelly - the founder of She Is Fierce! and your host on our blog featuring stories and wisdom from fierce women all over the world! 


Accepting Greatness: Overcoming Outside Validation

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Accepting Greatness: Overcoming Outside Validation


I am great, and I embrace my greatness.”

One of my best friends challenged me one day to say this aloud over the phone as he made his travels back west to California. My face immediately became red, my voice quiet, all while my shy smile rose to the surface. My usual “phone pacing” that I had accumulated over time stopped in that moment, and I realized how uncomfortable I felt with this “greatness.” The truth is, with busy schedules that include work, social butterfly hours, and family time; we don’t take enough time to truly tell ourselves our worth. In a generation that is constantly empowering women, our toughest person to persuade of the aforementioned greatness is the person we spend everyday with: ourselves.

I’m not great. I don’t have a full-time job in my field directly out of college. I don’t have my life in perfect order. I’m not perfect. Well, I do have a decent résumé. But I haven’t taken a run in a long time. I should be auditioning more. I need to be healthier. How could I ever be great? This inner rambling dialogue, natural for the Literature and Theatre artist in me, kept going and it came to a point that my friend calmly reassured, “It’s like exercise. Start small, and eventually it will become routine. Say it. It’s your ‘run’ for today.” By him making me say it, and live in the discomfort of this so-called “greatness,” I was able to explore this area and realize that personal freedom is primary to anything else.

As women, creative beings, intellects, and progressive doers of this generation, it is astounding how much we self-deprecate. My childhood best friend is one of the most talented performers I know and is dedicated to her craft. My grandmother fighting lung cancer still manages to offer book suggestions and make everyone in her chemotherapy room laugh. My fashionista best friend is working a full-time engineering job five days a week making astounding income for her entry level. And yet, every single one of these women in my life find ways to belittle their “greatness.” Why? They’re excellent, right? Our friends and families undeniably rock the house. And yet, they don’t see it.

Our perception of this general “greatness” directly coincides with superficiality. As a general rule of thumb, I have always referred to many different social media realms as “highlight reels.” We showcase our new job, apartment, beach day, mimosas in SoHo, and traveling abroad to the most stunning places, with ease. After all, we earned it and deserve everything coming our way. We feel we deserve these things because they are things.

What we need to feel deserving of is the inside – our hearts, minds, bodies, and naturally curly hair. Our smiles that brighten a room. Our arms that hold our friends when they are in tears over a break-up. Our laughter, although embarrassingly loud in a moderately quiet café. Our ability to fit in a yoga class before a 12-hour day. Our immeasurable pain tolerance when we fall in public. Our opinions, because they are worthy. Our ability to cook a meal for ourselves in an attempt to keep our bodies healthy and save money. Our voices, that should never be silenced, because they need to be heard. This is greatness. This is organic. This is human. This is beautiful. This is acceptance.

There will always be days where we are not superhero’s – we cannot save the world in a single day. We cannot rid the world of all poison. But, we can positively influence the ones around us by freeing ourselves from all inhibitions. Once we are set free, we have the ultimate fearless approach to all troubles. We become less inclined for outside validation from people to tell us that we are beautiful, intelligent, strong, talented, and able. We suddenly do not need to hear that, because we embrace the greatness that has been inside of us all along. It does not look pompous because it is too busy looking inspiring. What better way to teach the younger ladies in our lives the power of embracing their beauty than by being our true selves, embracing our talents, and moving forward no matter how strong the tide is? We are dominating creatures that are already taking the world by storm. It’s time to look within and accept the great challenge of loving ourselves.

In a recent reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, “The Beautiful and Damned,” I underlined a quote that resonated: “She was incomprehensible, for, in her, soul and spirit were one – the beauty of her body was the essence of her soul. She was that unity sought for by philosophers through many centuries. In this outdoor waiting room of winds and stars she had been sitting for a hundred years, at peace in the contemplation of herself.” Fitzgerald has a point – peace with oneself is the most complimentary trait. It is time to be free and it is time to shine.

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