Take Up Space

by Essence Iman on August 18, 2021

Growing up, I was painfully shy. In kindergarten I was actually put in speech class because they literally thought I couldn't talk (until my mom went up to the school and laid them out so bad that they ended up putting me where I rightfully belonged--in the mentally gifted class LOL).

As I got older I became a bit more outspoken and had the gift of recognizing the person I wanted to be very early on--much to the discomfort of others. I was disparaged by my peers on a consistent basis and was bullied for being "bougie" (it was so strange for me to see some of my most egregious perpetrators refer to themselves as such when Migos decided to make a hit song out of it!). I even had a friend tell me once that I had no reason to act the way I did knowing I lived in the projects. I've heard terrible things about my physical appearance (apparently messy buns were a white girl thing?) and have been called "insecure" for being drawn to makeup and beauty.

Truth is, I've always wanted a lot for myself. But even with such a strong drive and sense of self, even I almost got caught up letting other people write my narrative at times. I look back on so many moments that I shrunk myself to appear more adaptable and agreeable. I've accepted things into my life that didn't align with who I am. I've let the fragility of others dictate how view myself and how I navigate my friendships and most interpersonal relationships. I've allowed people to use me and run me dry because my voice was "louder" and I appeared "stronger." There was even a point along my journey as a founder that I couldn't even comfortably express what I was building and what my goals were although I very well knew. Everything was whoops too much, let me play this down a bit, I don't want to give the wrong impression. But you can't live to please anybody but you. And God MAX. 

I'm glad to say I just don't feed into this anymore. A lot of my healing came from recognizing that most of my success comes by me just being myself! As I was intended to be. And letting the universe move me away from relationships that were way past the expiration date. The beauty of being fully steeped into who I am now is that I just don't give AF. I just don't have this urge to people please and let people bulldoze over me with their insecurities nor do I focus on who or what may be trying to break me. I just focus on being my most authentic self and the things that make me feel uplifted, empowered and supported--a big piece of that being our fabulous community!

I say that to say this. Sink into who you are and feel free to TAKE UP SPACE! Especially my sisters. Let's stop playing small, shall we?

What are some ways you could be showing up more as your authentic self?